Contributors to this thread:
I've been there done that. It only happens to me when I push myself to some else's pace. Drink plenty of water and pace yourself, there are few things worse than altitude sickness.
Take some tums or rolaids. They help with alitude sickness. After a day or two I usually am fine.
Cardio training, it hopefully will make the adjustment easier.
I also live at sea level in Rhode Island and just returned from a month of hunting in AZ, NM and CO. First day or two I had a slight headache then I was fine. Have your legs in shape before you get there of course! In my opinion the most important thing is to drink LOT'S of water particularly when you first get there! Good luck and have fun! Charlie
recently returned from idaho hunting about that elevation...listen to everyone here...hit the cardio hard and if you are really concerned discuss with you doc the right options for you....
i too had a similar experience it wasn't my muscles just oxygen getting to where necessary. Go slow, then slower. Try and find the right rythem/pace for you, and make sure everyone in your party understands they can only hunt as fast as the slowest persons pace.
While being in good shape may help with your performance at altitude, it is no guarantee against AMS (acute mountain sickness/altitude sickness). It is more a matter of your body's own response to altitude. It can manifest itself in many ways including headache, feeling tired, nauseous, dizzy, Cheyne-Stokes breathing while sleeping, as well as the more dangerous HAPE and HACE.
And it's not just a problem for people living at sea level. Even if you live at 6000' and rapidly go to 10,000' yo may experience symptoms.
The ONLY way to reduce these symptoms in people prone to AMS is to acclimate slowly. If you know you have had issues in the past, you should consult your doc for a prescription for acetazolamide (diamox).
Some good info can be found at www.princeton.edu/~oa/safety/altitude.html
Do a lot of cardio with some anaerobic training thrown in and you will be fine. 6,800 ft isn't really that high.
Question: has anyone here ever gotten altitude sickness at 6,800 ft.? I was under the impression it was uncommon below 8,000 ft. or so.
Don't worry about oxygen tanks, if you get that sick you must descend in altitude quickly and get to a hosp.
That said, the chances of that happening are very very remote. Most people (like me) just have nagging symptoms: headaches, heart pounding, can't sleep.
Here are the basics:
1)give your body time to adjust. The times I have the most trouble is when I fly up and go to high altitude in the same day. You should always try to go up at least a day early and stay at moderate altitude for at least the first day. This year we went to Durango and stayed at 6500 ft for 24 hrs before heading to the high country.
2) Avoid alcohol and caffeine until you adjust. They increase your chances of having symtoms.
3) Drink water like a fish. Then drink some more.
4) Take antacids (rolaids/tums) at 2 to 3 tablets every 6 hours.
5) I take a nutrition supplement called Altitude adjustment from Sun Countries inc. I start it the day before I leave and take them for about 3 days after I get there. Helps me a bunch!
6) If you are that worried, you can get your doctor to prescribe Diamox (acetezolamide) to prevent symtoms. Does have some side effects: makes you pee and makes any carbonated beverage taste NASTY. I used to take this every time, but don't have to anymore since I started taking the altitude adjustment
I never have severe symtoms, but they are annoying enough to make me not enjoy the first few days I am there. Doing the above has made the transition comofortable. However, the air IS thin, and that will take a few days to adjust too no matter what!
Prepare, then don't worry, just go and have fun. For years I did the above and did OK even though I lived in Corpus Christi, TX (sealevel)
is the altitude beverage avail in co and if so, where is the best place to purchase it. thanks david
The guys offer good advice. Being this is a hound hunt where you go from nothing to Oh My God in nothing flat the best bet would be to get out there a couple days early to get acclimated to the altitude. Take lip balm also as they will dry out and crack without it. Also when busting your but to the tree and you get winded do a 180 and face away from the mountain side this will mentally help you catch your breath and you will see some great scenery that you would miss with your face in the mountain side. Enjoy your hunt!
You shouldn't have that much trouble at 7000 feet. I live in Austin and when I run in Denver (mile high city) I notice only a slight decrease in performance.
Many runners compete in the Pikes Peak marathon every year which starts at 6300 feet and goes to 14000+. At least 1/2 are from sea level. Everybody is different but I was able to complete Pikes Peak Ascent several times without altitude sickness or acclimizing - we would arrive a 1-2 days early but experts say it takes 2 weeks to acclimatize. The better shape you are in...the less you'll suffer. Go here for more info.
Altitude can really wear on you if you are not used to it. I don't know that I would worry all that much about 6,800 feet, however. I live basically at sea level in Corpus Christi, Texas. This year I flew to Denver, jumped into a vehicle and drove to our camp at around 9,000 feet. Next day, we climbed to nearly 12,000 feet and dropped into a bowl where we spent the day at elevations ranging from 10 - 11,000 feet. I don't know that I would have been able to pull it off without Diamox, and it was still difficult. However, that is almost twice the altitude you are talking about... just drink a LOT of water and avoid getting overly dehydrated from driking copious quantities of booze, etc.
run & swim and be in Great Shape. For many years I went form 10 feet above in FL to 9 - 11,000 feet in Rockies with 0 problems. now I live here and love it,
low humidity .....elk
no property taxes and few people
I just came back from a Mule deer hunt @10.000 feet and had very little trouble I drank a lot of water, Went to the highest mt for several hours then came down, and the last thing I did was to take an asprin every day and that thins out your blood and alowes more oxygen to travel through your blood, these are recomediations from my doctor and they worked. Good luck RLH