A Guide for Traveling to High Altitude Areas

A friend of mine that owns a San Antonio Nightclub once gave me this talk about traveling to high altitude areas come with risks that are associated with low levels of oxygen that are found there. Essentially, low oxygen levels can cause problems to travelers that travel to destinations that are above 8,000 feet above the sea level.

Ascend Gradually

One of the best ways to avoid the effects of low oxygen level in high altitude areas is to ascend gradually. If you do not ascend gradually, you risk getting sick if you travel to a high altitude area and sleep there.


  • Don’t move from a low altitude area to sleep to an area that is 9,000 feet above the sea level in a day. Instead, spend some days at an area that is between 8,000 and 9000 feet above the sea level before you proceed to an area whose altitude is higher than this. This allows the body time to acclimatize to low levels of oxygen.
  • Do not increase sleeping altitude by more than 1600 feet per day when you reach areas that are above 9000 feet. Whenever you ascend 3300 feet, spend a day without climbing further.
  • Don’t engage in heavy exercises or drink alcohol for at least 48 hours after arriving at an area whose altitude is above 8000 feet.
  • Consider taking a single day trip to an area of a higher altitude as an alternative. Taking a day trip to an area of a higher altitude and sleeping to an area of a lower altitude is less risky.

There are times when the itinerary does not permit gradual ascent. In that case, ask your doctor to prescribe medication that prevents altitude illnesses. It’s also important that you familiarize yourself with signs of altitude illnesses. This will enable you to take appropriate steps towards preventing altitude illnesses from becoming severe if they affect you.

Bear in mind the fact that many high altitude travel destinations are mostly in remote areas with poor medical care access. As such, preventing altitude illnesses is better than waiting to get sick and struggle to get emergency treatment.

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