ContentsBACKPACKINGBEGINNERS COURSEWHAT IS HIGH ALTITUDE HIKING?HOW DOES THIS ALTITUDE CHANGE AFFECT YOUR BODY? 8 STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE A HIGH ALTITUDE HIKE1. TAKE YOUR TIME2. FIND YOUR PACE3. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER & EAT WELL4. DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL5. BRING WARM CLOTHES6. WEAR SUNSCREEN7. SUMMIT ACCLIMATIZATION HIKES8. HAVE A GOOD TIME High altitude hiking allows you to enjoy stunning views, get your adrenaline pumping and it makes you feel great. However, before tackling such an adventure, learning how to train for high altitude hiking is essential. You need to understand how altitude can affect your body and prepare yourself in order to complete your hike successfully. Some experiences you have when hiking are just priceless. These are simple but unforgettable moments, like watching the sunrise at Annapurna base camp, feeling the breeze over a huge cliff or testing your limits conquering a huge mountain like Iliniza in Ecuador. Hiking at high altitude provides incredible experiences, but you need to be prepared for this particular environment. This article will teach you how to prepare yourself for high altitude hiking. If you are just getting started, don’t forget to check out the Hiking FAQ and the 41 hiking tips for beginners. BACKPACKINGBEGINNERS COURSELearn how to plan & prepare for your own overnight hiking adventure.SIGN UP FOR FREEJOIN THE BACKPACKING COURSE WHAT IS HIGH ALTITUDE HIKING? All routes above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) are considered high altitude hikes. Why 8,000 feet? It’s simply because at this height your body can be affected by altitude. Why does this happen? Because the air pressure changes depending on the altitude, being higher at sea level and decreases the higher you go. Reduced air pressure means there is less oxygen to breathe in the air. The decreased oxygen supply causes your body to work less efficiently. If we do an altitude change gradually our body has the ability to adapt, but if the change is too fast you can have some serious problems. MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. HOW DOES THIS ALTITUDE CHANGE AFFECT YOUR BODY? At higher altitudes you can feel the need to breathe deeper and more often so your body gets enough oxygen to keep working. If you are walking too fast you can feel more tired than usual and if you don’t give your body enough time to adapt, you can experience some altitude sickness problems. The first symptoms are headache, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. If these symptoms don’t go away in a day or get worse you should consider descending some feet and rest. Don’t worry if you feel a mild headache as it is common, but keep an eye on how your body feels the next day. Some more serious symptoms include throwing up, feeling dizzy, being confused, feeling unable to walk and having blue lips or finger nails. Of course, if you feel any of these symptoms you need to descend and find some medical help. For more detailed information about acute altitude sickness, check out this article. Climbing Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador 8 STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE A HIGH ALTITUDE HIKE 1. TAKE YOUR TIME The most important step you need to take when facing a high altitude challenge is to ascend gradually. For multi-day hikes it’s good to get up to some higher areas during the day and then sleep lower at night, gradually increasing the altitude day by day. Do not sleep more than 1,600 feet higher than the previous night. 2. FIND YOUR PACE You will probably need to slow your pace and find a good rhythm for breathing and walking that works without feeling tired. If you feel you aren’t getting enough oxygen, you should take deeper breaths which will help you get more oxygen to your blood. 3. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER & EAT WELL Water will help you to reduce the altitude sickness symptoms. Get a rich high carbohydrate diet before and during your hike. 4. DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL As we just mentioned it’s very important to hydrate your body. Drinking alcohol will only dehydrate it. I’m sure you can wait till next weekend to open that bottle of red wine. Gear up for hiking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Hiking GearSent straight to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR HIKING 5. BRING WARM CLOTHES Usually, the higher you hike, the colder it gets, and this drop in temperature can dramatically affect your physical condition. Weather can change rapidly so always bring some extra layers like pants, gloves, hats, etc. 6. WEAR SUNSCREEN You are getting closer to the sun each step you take and the atmosphere doesn’t protect you the same way at high altitude. Don’t forget to use high SPF sunblock. 7. SUMMIT ACCLIMATIZATION HIKES If you are planning on hiking very high like a mountain summit like the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador you will need to acclimatize your body for days or even weeks. This means you’ll have to climb some lower mountains gradually increasing altitude one by one, until you feel ready to climb the highest one. 8. HAVE A GOOD TIME Now that you are ready, just enjoy your next hike that will surely offer you some amazing experiences! Hiking at high altitude in the Markha Valley, India HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.