Canned "Recreational Oxygen" for elevation sickness?

willfrye027

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I appreciate your feedback and first hand experiences. I'd certainly love the 3 day period, but don't see anyway it's going to be possible without giving up 3 days of the season. All of us are coming from lower altitude so I'm sure no one will be pushing all that hard the first day or two. On the other hand we are all FBI swat or military, so I suspect our egos will want to see who can out do each other. Haha.
Even one night at the trailhead will help. Don’t ascend too quickly. Here’s what I wrote in an article that I never ended up getting published based on the current research: (AMS stands for acute mountain sickness which is the medical term


Acclimate slowly

Other than medication, this is the single most important consideration for preventing AMS. It takes our kidneys about 48 hours to fully compensate for dramatic changes in altitude. The majority of this happens as we sleep. The faster you climb altitude, and the higher you end up going,the greater your chance is of failing to compensate and starting a vicious cycle. Current wilderness medicine recommendations are as follows: Give yourself two days to arrive at altitude above 9800 feet. That could mean spending a night at the trailhead, then spending another night on the trail before heading above 9800. If that is not possible, even just one night at the trailhead will help! Do not ascend more than 1600 feet elevation per day. This one is easily broken, but if you are worried about getting altitude sickness then take it slow on your way into camp. If ascending more than 3200 total feet, give yourself an extra day to acclimate before going higher. For instance, if you start at 7000 feet and set up camp at 10,200 feet, you need to rest and acclimate for two days before checking out the next basin at 11,000 feet.
 

HARPERC

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On the other hand we are all FBI swat or military, so I suspect our egos will want to see who can out do each other. Haha.
It will be interesting to see your post trip analysis.

I'm betting at least one of you has issues that impact the group negatively.

Best Wishes Though!
 

ndking1126

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It will be interesting to see your post trip analysis.

I'm betting at least one of you has issues that impact the group negatively.

Best Wishes Though!
Thanks! This will be their 3rd or 4th time going together, and my first time with them, but as I mentioned not my first time in altitude. At the end of the day I'd rather have a hunt end short than have no hunt at all because we are worried.

And don't get me wrong, we're all responsible adults who have families that rely on us. We won't be doing anything stupid or dangerous. We'll certainly come down the mountain before taking any chances. The question becomes what reasonable steps can we take to mitigate the risk of elevation sickness and I was hoping the oxygen canisters could be a possibility.

I didn't require medical care for my elevation sickness. I just needed thicker air, so I could see in a few situations where they might at least ease the symptoms while getting off the mountain.
 

willfrye027

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Thanks! This will be their 3rd or 4th time going together, and my first time with them, but as I mentioned not my first time in altitude. At the end of the day I'd rather have a hunt end short than have no hunt at all because we are worried.

And don't get me wrong, we're all responsible adults who have families that rely on us. We won't be doing anything stupid or dangerous. We'll certainly come down the mountain before taking any chances. The question becomes what reasonable steps can we take to mitigate the risk of elevation sickness and I was hoping the oxygen canisters could be a possibility.

I didn't require medical care for my elevation sickness. I just needed thicker air, so I could see in a few situations where they might at least ease the symptoms while getting off the mountain.
Your two options are medications (diamoxx prescription from your primary care doc) and acclimating. If you’ve had altitude sickness before you have a good chance of getting it again. O2 will not help unless you can be on it all night while sleeping ( not feasible)
 

ndking1126

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Even one night at the trailhead will help. Don’t ascend too quickly. Here’s what I wrote in an article that I never ended up getting published based on the current research: (AMS stands for acute mountain sickness which is the medical term


Acclimate slowly

Other than medication, this is the single most important consideration for preventing AMS. It takes our kidneys about 48 hours to fully compensate for dramatic changes in altitude. The majority of this happens as we sleep. The faster you climb altitude, and the higher you end up going,the greater your chance is of failing to compensate and starting a vicious cycle. Current wilderness medicine recommendations are as follows: Give yourself two days to arrive at altitude above 9800 feet. That could mean spending a night at the trailhead, then spending another night on the trail before heading above 9800. If that is not possible, even just one night at the trailhead will help! Do not ascend more than 1600 feet elevation per day. This one is easily broken, but if you are worried about getting altitude sickness then take it slow on your way into camp. If ascending more than 3200 total feet, give yourself an extra day to acclimate before going higher. For instance, if you start at 7000 feet and set up camp at 10,200 feet, you need to rest and acclimate for two days before checking out the next basin at 11,000 feet.
My experience going back since moving away falls in line with what you typed here. I've noticed flying straight into Denver is a little bit harder of a transition than driving into town and spending the night somewhere at 3k-3500 ft on the way. Not a huge difference, but enough to notice.

Right now my plan is to spend the night around Amarillo (about 3,600) and then of course I'll be spending at least one night at elevation before getting out. I really think that next morning will be licenses and such so we probably won't get out until later that day. I'll definitely talk to my doc about diamoxx though. I didn't realize some medicines would prevent it. I thought they only helped after the fact.
 

Bob Wright

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Went to the hospital after briefly fainting at my buddies house. It's real. Just cannot understand the functions. Bottles of over the counter O2 was marginally effective, or a placebo to me. The medications I took made everything takes like iron. So, acclimating is really what I try to do. Got it as an older person.
Good luck.
 

HARPERC

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Thanks! This will be their 3rd or 4th time going together, and my first time with them, but as I mentioned not my first time in altitude. At the end of the day I'd rather have a hunt end short than have no hunt at all because we are worried.

And don't get me wrong, we're all responsible adults who have families that rely on us. We won't be doing anything stupid or dangerous.
I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I've been around experienced climbers, that altitude issues snuck up on. Granted they were all going higher than you, just they had been fine on other trips, and then it got them.

My apologies if it came out otherwise.

I agree go hunting! Not altitude, but we goat hunted in weather, that we should not have. So no stranger to pushing limits. It's part of why we go, redefine limits, and good stories after. I would sincerely like to hear yours however it goes. I'm hoping all goes well for you
 

lancetkenyon

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My older daughter has gotten altitude sickness since she was a kid. We shot a lot of 3D archery tournaments when she was young, and we would drive up the day before the tournament. First day of the shoot, she was always puking all day. She is a trooper, but she was sick as a dog. Day 3 up there, second day of the shoot, she would acclimate by mid day and be fine. Same with hunting. So we started going up 3 days early, and let her just lay around for 2 days before the shoot/hunt. Made all the difference in the world.
 

Forcedoutage

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Get medication if there is any doubt. I go every year and always use medication. The first year I didn’t. Was there two days early, hiked up to hunt, back down to 7600 to sleep. I was sick the entire time until I came off the Mtn. It affects people different and will ruin a hunt.
 

JakeC

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North Utah
I meant supplemental O2 will not help.

acclimating and diamoxx or steroids are the only things that will help.

interesting but some studies showed that people in better shape, actually got worse altitude sickness. Probably because they pushed it too hard but who knows. Being in shape sure helps you enjoy the trip but by itself won’t prevent altitude sickness.
That's true. I worked for a guy who had driven a lot of his supervisees off the mountains due to the sickness and it didn't seem to matter what shape they were in at all. Acclimation tips and finger wagging about fitness are not the same thing.
 

Bob Wright

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Just an FYI, while at the fire dept getting checked out, then emergency visit, my O2 sats were at 95%. It's not O2 for me anyways, it something else. I've researched it, no conclusive explanation. To me I'm thinking it's more like the "bends" where the blood/organs are reacting. It certainly was not lack of 02. I hate it....
 

CO_Guy

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Has anyone used one of the canned oxygen bottles that claim to have 90%+ pure oxygen inside as a way to help with elevation sickness? In my mind it might be useful after the sickness kicks in almost as a treatment, not prior to as a preventative measure.

I ask because i have an elk hunt this year around 7k, 7.5k' and I currently live at about 500'. The last time I was at 9k I had a pretty bad case and I had to be driven to a lower elevation cause I couldn't do it myself. I've never had problems at 6k, though. I'm thinking $20 or $30 is pretty cheap insurance if they are even a slightly helpful.

Cause someone will probably mention it, I'm certainly not trying to find an easy replacement for being in shape. I've already started physical training and will be ready to go when the time comes!

It's good you know the symptoms and responded. Altitude is interesting and I swear, one situation at 10k E of the divide, is quite different from 9k in the NW corner of CO. I think the supplemental O2 is not a bad idea.
 

ndking1126

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I would sincerely like to hear yours however it goes. I'm hoping all goes well for you
I just put a meeting on my calendar on a day after the trip and copied the URL to this thread. As long as nothing pops up that keeps the trip from happening, I'll let you know!

There's just enough people saying they thought the canned oxygen helped that I'll probably take some and try it. Nothing to loose but a couple of bucks. I'll include my thoughts on it also.
 
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