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I live in KS an am going to CO for a trip and I am afraid of getting altitude sickness again. I am going to: use aspirin, stay very hydrated, not ride for the first day, and try to camp the first night at a lower altitude (7500 ft). Does this portable Oxygen work at all? I have seen it and am wondering if it is worth the 35-40 bucks. Thanks
 

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youenjoymyself
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Before I moved to CO we used to take ginkgo biloba supplement every day for about 4-5 days before a ski/bike trip. It always seemed to help as I would go from 500 ft elevation to skiing in 11K ft elevation all in the same day.

There are quite a few articles online if you just google "ginkgo biloba ams"
 

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another bozo on the bus
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Sack up and suffer with the rest of us low landers. Always looking for the easier softer way... Part of what makes mountain biking interesting (for me anyway) can be the feeling of "I cant go on," but pushing through because you have no real alternative. In the end there is a feeling of acomplishment and relief that I dont get on shorter rides or bailing out to take the road back. Push through the cramps, injuries and lack of food, or darkness, and cold, wet weather and you will be rewarded this elusive feeling.

If you are looking to make it easier on yourself, dont bother getting out of the shuttle.
 

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wsudu said:
I live in KS an am going to CO for a trip and I am afraid of getting altitude sickness again. I am going to: use aspirin, stay very hydrated, not ride for the first day, and try to camp the first night at a lower altitude (7500 ft). Does this portable Oxygen work at all? I have seen it and am wondering if it is worth the 35-40 bucks. Thanks
How high are you going? You say that you are going to camp at a lower altitude (7500 ft) but don't say how high you will be going. It could make sense to take a day of rest when you get there to acclimitize, and then go as high as you can for a day hike, spend a few hours there, and then come back down to camp. I say this because I just got back from a trekking trip at about 15,500 ft in Peru and this is the sort of thing you do when you arrive in the Gateway city, which is located at a hair abouve 10,000 ft. Except in Peru you need at least two acclimitization days, not one. And at least one of these must be spent hiking up to around 14,000 ft, and then coming back down to 10,000 ft to sleep. Hike high, sleep low is the maxim for acclimitization in the mountains. Your body needs time to adjust, or bad things will happen. But AMS is not a real problem until one is over say 9000 ft or so. That is when care needs to be taken.
 

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Never worng!
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I used to climb in some of the fourteens in CO and it's what brianthebiker said "Acclimatize".

If you don't acclimatize and go above 14,000' the worst thing that can happen
is the fluids in your skull will build up and your head will explode.
If that's a concern to you then ask your family Dr. to give you a drug that will help eliminate fluid buildup.
The only side-effect to that drug is you will pee a lot.
Which may, in some cases, attract Marmots. So beware!
______________________________
Disclaimer: Based on the medical lingo above you might assume I am an MD. I am NOT!
 

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another bozo on the bus
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With the discussion about bottled oxygen, drugs and exploding brains, one might also assume we are talking about the Himalyas. We are not! What's next, sherpas?
 

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My wife get Altitude sickness when we go to Summit County. She uses Big Ox and it works wonders. Use it on your day off, not just before you ride. I have seen a flat lander go from puking and almost dying to snowboarding in less than 30 minutes because of Big Ox.

Jake
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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brianthebiker said:
How high are you going? You say that you are going to camp at a lower altitude (7500 ft) but don't say how high you will be going. It could make sense to take a day of rest when you get there to acclimitize, and then go as high as you can for a day hike, spend a few hours there, and then come back down to camp. I say this because I just got back from a trekking trip at about 15,500 ft in Peru and this is the sort of thing you do when you arrive in the Gateway city, which is located at a hair abouve 10,000 ft. Except in Peru you need at least two acclimitization days, not one. And at least one of these must be spent hiking up to around 14,000 ft, and then coming back down to 10,000 ft to sleep. Hike high, sleep low is the maxim for acclimitization in the mountains. Your body needs time to adjust, or bad things will happen. But AMS is not a real problem until one is over say 9000 ft or so. That is when care needs to be taken.
This because the main thing your body does at high altitude is release red blood cells that are stored in the liver and pancreas, your body might then be encouraged to make a few more of em, but the main thing is that your body puts the "extra" stuff in circulation, and that happens rather fast, but not instantly. This also means that when you go to low elevation your body will "put away" some of the red blood cells after a day or so, and you won't necessarily be able to "kick a$$" on everyone at low altitude if you're a high-alt guy. Riding and training at relatively high altitude, some of us might have slightly larger lungs, but we're also not talking about sherpas that live at 20,000 feet. If you spend a day to climatize, that will help a lot and most of those "quick changes" will take place.

In any case, people are talking about running out of breath and being tired, that is NOT altitude sickness.

Also realize that air-density is also affected by temperature and pressure, a real cold day at 9000' may mean more oxygen than a real hot day at 7000 feet, although the decrease in pressure with altitude does tend to be an overriding factor, these other effects (temp and pressure changes with highs and lows) may skew things a bit to.
 

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washedup said:
With the discussion about bottled oxygen, drugs and exploding brains, one might also assume we are talking about the Himalyas. We are not! What's next, sherpas?
People can die at 14,000 ft. High Altitude is not something to take lightly. Acclimitize well or know the worst is possible.
 

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Never worng!
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brianthebiker said:
People can die at 14,000 ft. High Altitude is not something to take lightly. Acclimitize well or know the worst is possible.
:thumbsup:

That and hypothermia.

I used to subscribe to "Accidents in North American Mountaineering".
It was amazing the number of people that had to be rescued or died because they weren't prepared
for the possible dangers of venturing into high-altitude. And "NO", were not talking about the Himalayas.
One example is a couple who decided to hike up one of CO's 14k.
They wore t-shirts and jeans. Got wet. Developed hypothermia. Found the next day dead.
And this was in the summer.

Mt Evans in CO is the highest road in North America. I've seen tourist at the summit
get sick and unfortunately there weren't any Sherpas there to help them.
 

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Verewolf said:
:thumbsup:

That and hypothermia.

I used to subscribe to "Accidents in North American Mountaineering".
It was amazing the number of people that had to be rescued or died because they weren't prepared
for the possible dangers of venturing into high-altitude. And "NO", were not talking about the Himalayas.
One example is a couple who decided to hike up one of CO's 14k.
They wore t-shirts and jeans. Got wet. Developed hypothermia. Found the next day dead.
And this was in the summer.

Mt Evans in CO is the highest road in North America. I've seen tourist at the summit
get sick and unfortunately there weren't any Sherpas there to help them.
I'm sure you've heard the expression "cotton kills" at higher, colder altitudes, but many here probably have not. Many people do not take altitude (especially "lower" altitudes) seriously.
 

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Never worng!
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Yes "cotton kills"! It is the #1 cause of hypothermia related deaths in the mountains.

wsudu when you do go into the mountains DO NOT wear any cotton clothing!
It is absolutely the worst thing to wear on a mountain.
When cotton gets wet it sucks the heat right out of your body and you develop hypothermia.
Synthetic wicking fiber clothes are best. Also it's a good idea to pack some dextrose/sugar tablets.
They give you an energy hit plus warm you up if you get wet and chilled.
This I can tell you from an experience with hypothermia.

People have to be aware of the risks they may encounter in the mountains and be prepared.

Mt Washington in NH is 6,288' high. It would be a foothill in CO.
Yet it has the world's highest recorded wind gust at 231 mph.
Who would ever take precautions here against an avalanche?
Yet, a number of people have been killed on this mountain by friggin avalanches.

Some trivia on someone I respect -
Yves Chouinard (renowned ice/mountain climber) lost some toes to frostbite climbing in the Himalayas.
He thought there should be something better to wear than wool.
He noticed a waterski rope floating in the water.
He thought if you could make clothing out of something that would not hold water it might just work.
Yves had waterski rope fibers worked in a machine until each thread was soft like cotton.
The birth of polypropylene clothing.
Over time he further enhanced the fiber. Today you see the results of his work in clothing sold by UnderArmour, NIKE etc.
Chouinards first company was called Great Pacific Iron Works and his clothing was sold by his Patagonia company.
 

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brianthebiker said:
How high are you going? You say that you are going to camp at a lower altitude (7500 ft) but don't say how high you will be going. It could make sense to take a day of rest when you get there to acclimitize, and then go as high as you can for a day hike, spend a few hours there, and then come back down to camp. I say this because I just got back from a trekking trip at about 15,500 ft in Peru and this is the sort of thing you do when you arrive in the Gateway city, which is located at a hair abouve 10,000 ft. Except in Peru you need at least two acclimitization days, not one. And at least one of these must be spent hiking up to around 14,000 ft, and then coming back down to 10,000 ft to sleep. Hike high, sleep low is the maxim for acclimitization in the mountains. Your body needs time to adjust, or bad things will happen. But AMS is not a real problem until one is over say 9000 ft or so. That is when care needs to be taken.
We run one of the most exiting mountain bike tours in Peru and we go to high altitudes for our rides, in 2 or 3 days we start at 14,600 ft!

The key in our tours is that we ride the first days in the Andes of Lima. We ride trails that starts a little bit above 10,000 ft. and then we return to Lima at sea level. As brianthebiker says, this is the best way to get used to the altitude.

With that preparation for the altitude, we don't have any problems with the passengers but we take also a bottle of oxygen (just in case). We don't use it to try to relief altitude sickness but we use it to return the breath to some passengers that got exhausted after a climb!

The oxygen will help you recover your breath, but if you are not acclimatized and you start feeling altitude sickness, the oxygen will not help at all.
 

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less is more
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I hiked above the tree line in California, Oregon for years w/ no problems. It helped that my cousins home was up there too but below the line. Gotta love volcanoes.
 
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