Dangers and Precautions
At 10,000 feet, air contains only 2/3 the oxygen it has at sea
level. In addition, the higher air pressure at sea level easily forces the
available oxygen through the thin lining of the lungs into the bloodstream. At
high elevations, there is less air pressure and the available oxygen is not so
easily forced through the lung walls.
SYMPTOMS: Listlessness, loss of
appetite, weakness, apathy, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness.
TREATMENT: Stop and rest, breathe deeply a few times, and
obtain nourishment from simple sugars such as candy or fruit juices. Travel to
PREVENTION: Keep in good
physical condition and eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid sudden trips to high
altitudes requiring immediate physical exercise. Drink plenty of water.
SYMPTOMS: This reaction to altitude is
caused by breathing that is too rapid and a decrease of the carbon dioxide level
in the blood, causing light-headedness and cold feeling. Victims are
apprehensive and excited.
PREVENTION: Same as
A good rule is "lightweight but loaded", meaning loaded with
calories. Plan your meals to ensure a balanced diet of high-energy foods. Take
along plenty of snacks.
Water is often difficult to find in winter. All
that is available may be what you take or can melt. Replacement of fluid is very
important for maintaining physical condition.
What you carry in, please carry out. Take food in easily
compressed packages, such as foil, that requires little space in your
Avoid leaving human waste near any water source. If you are in a
group, avoid concentrating wastes. Nature can assimilate only small quantities
at a time. Bury solid waste 6 inches underground.