4 Crucial Things to Consider While Camping at High Altitudes
Camping is a fun activity. After all, everyone enjoys spending some quality time in the outdoors, surrounded by nature. However, many go on camping trips, not for the fun, but the thrill. To them, that thrill and excitement is their way of having fun. And they seek this thrill by going camping in locations that most people would not. Some set up camp inside dense forests, while others feel the need to camp in so-called “haunted” locations overnight.
And then there are some people who go camping in hills and mountains. These high-altitude locations are not as dangerous as they sound. However, camping in such areas can be a challenging task. Before you can go camping at high altitudes, you need to take a considerable amount of preparation. Given how risky such high altitude camping trips can be, you have to consider certain things before you go camping. Among them, five of the most important ones are discussed here.
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#1 Determining Whether You Can Make the Climb
To set up camp on top of a hill or mountain, you must first get yourself up there. There is a possibility that the trail that leads to the top is not wide enough for cars. Even if you managed to get a car on that trail, it might break down once it reaches a certain altitude. So the best way to make it to the top is by climbing the mountain or hill on your own.
Hence, before setting out for the trip, make sure that you can walk yourself (while carrying all the gear) to the top. Avoid going if you have back or knee problems. You are bound to get tired during the climb, and that is natural. However, it should not put extra stress on your body or any other physical injury that you might have.
#2 Being Aware of the Weather
Bad weather can ruin the camping experience. In the case of high altitude camping, such weather will not only ruin the fun, but it will also make things more dangerous.
Heavy rain can lead to landslides in hilly areas. There is a risk of avalanches if you are camping on a snowy mountain and the wind is very strong over there. Thus, before you go camping, you should check the weather forecasts.
No matter where on earth you are going for your camping trip, you can always avail worldwide weather forecast services through different smartphone apps. Check the weather conditions of your preferred campsite before you set up camp. Apart from the wind speed and the possibility of rain or snow, be sure to check the temperature and humidity as well. The camping experience will be anything but pleasant if the conditions are too hot.
#3 Picking the Right Type of Food
Your high altitude camping diet should consist of foods that are rich in potassium Carry dried fruits, potatoes, bananas, and other food items that contain high levels of potassium. Consume lots of carbs as well. They can help you generate the energy needed for all your camping activities. Carbohydrates can also help maintain your blood sugar level at such high altitudes.
You must also drink plenty of water. The human body loses water rapidly in high attitudes. Therefore, while camping, you need to consume at least an additional liter of water (minimum) daily than what you usually consume.
Avoid consuming too much salt. Also, try to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol. Try to avoid alcohol completely if you have a very low tolerance to it, or you are going to high altitudes.
#4 Understanding the Risks and How to Tackle Them
The nights can get very cold when you are high on top of a hill or mountain. Carry warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold. Also, oxygen content in the air will decrease as you move higher. Under such circumstances, you are likely to have breathing difficulties, trouble sleeping, starting a fire, and other problems associated with an oxygen shortage. Altitude sickness is also a problem, especially High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
The best way to avoid these situations is to set up camp at a much lower altitude and climb to a higher spot only for a brief period. That way, you do not have to worry about oxygen deprivation and can enjoy a pretty normal camping experience.
Once you consider all these points, you should be good to go on your high altitude camping trip. The whole experience may seem a bit rough at first. However, as the hours pass by, you will surely start enjoying it.