5 Top Items For An Altitude Sickness First Aid Kit
If you're planning on travelling to mountainous regions where it has high altitude conditions, then it's never a bad idea to carry an altitude sickness first aid kit. Here are five things that you would want to carry in your first aid kit if you want to feel good and stay healthy throughout the trip without the drag of altitude sickness.
Many altitude sickness first aid kits focus on climbing and injury items, but instead here we focus solely on what you need to avoid altitude sickness.
What Causes Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitudes. The higher you go, the thinner the air becomes. At sea level, there are about 20% more oxygen molecules per breath than at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters).
In addition to lower oxygen levels, altitude sickness is also in part caused by hydration from the dryer high altitude climates, and in combination of increased respiration.
The symptoms of altitude sickness vary from person to person, but they all have one thing in common: a headache that usually gets worse as time goes on. Altitude sickness symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Anxiety, irritability or depression
People who live at sea level need time to adjust to the reduced amount of oxygen at higher elevations. Altitude sickness can occur when travelers ascend too fast or too far without giving themselves time to acclimatize, or climbing to heights that are too much for the body to handle.
This is why having an altitude sickness first aid kit can be a lifesaver when traveling to higher altitudes.
What Altitudes Do You Need An Altitude Sickness First Aid Kit
Altitude sickness usually occurs above 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level, but in places like Denver Colorado where we're based out of, some visitors will even feel it as 5280 feet in elevation.
As you climb higher, the percentage of available oxygen decreases. This can happen when you climb a mountain or travel above sea level, but it can also occur in even airplanes.
Altitude sickness first aid kits can come in handy for visits to places as low as Denver Colorado (5280 feet) or Santa Fe New Mexico (7199 feet), but becomes vital for treks and climbs in Peru like Machu Picchu (7972 feet) and Cusco (111152 feet), in Colorado like Pikes Peak (14,115 feet), and ultimate ascends in Nepal like Mount Everest (29032 feet).
5 Top Items For An Altitude Sickness First Aid Kit
If you've ever been to a high-altitude destination, you know that altitude sickness can be a serious setback and potential health issue. But if you're prepared with a first aid kit, it can be managed.
Beyond just bandages and equipments, here are the top five items that should be included in your altitude sickness first aid kit:
1. Altitude Supplement That Replenishes Glutathione
An altitude supplement that replenishes glutathione is our top choice for an altitude sickness first aid kit.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps protect our bodies from free radicals. It also helps repair damage caused by free radicals so our bodies can regenerate new cells more efficiently.
When we are exposed to high altitudes for extended periods of time, our bodies not only have difficulty producing enough glutathione on their own to combat this oxidative stress, altitude is shown in studies to deplete glutathione levels up to 45%.¹
This is why supplementing with glutathione is so important when traveling to high altitudes or spending extended periods of time there. The Zaca altitude supplement
contains Glutathione and other antioxidants and herbs that are shown to improve performance and combat physiological stress from high altitudes.
Zaca chewable tablets
can play a key role to replenish your Glutathione levels lost due to high altitude conditions.
2. Ibuprofen (Altitude Sickness Medicine OTC)
Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin, although commonly used as a painkiller, is a good choice as an altitude sickness medicine
because it also reduces swelling and inflammation. And it also can relieve headache and muscle aches.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that was shown in an Annals of Emergency Medicine published study to significantly lower the occurrence of altitude sickness by up to 26%.²
As an over-the-counter drug, although it's not recommended to take if you're already dehydrated, Ibuprofen can be a great last-minute option in an altitude sickness first aid kit.
3. Oxygen Canister For A Boost
While the science is still unclear if canned oxygen is effective for altitude sickness, research does show that supplemental oxygen works. As altitude sickness is mainly caused by lower oxygen levels.
The difference is that supplemental oxygen is what you'd get from an oxygen tank with a face mask that delivers continuous oxygen to your mouth. Oxygen canisters or canned oxygen is just a small bottle of oxygen that doesn't have the same ability to give you ample amounts of oxygen. We go into further depth on this in our article Does Canned Oxygen Help Altitude Sickness
Nevertheless, we think oxygen canisters will do no harm with only upside of some benefits, and at the very least give you body a boost of oxygen. Brands like Boost Oxygen are a good option.
For an altitude sickness first aid kit, while not self-sufficient solution on its own, canned oxygen could be a last resort to intake oxygen fast to temporarily increase oxygen levels.
4. Ginger Chews For Nausea
Ginger has been used for thousands of years to help nausea, headaches and migraines.³ It is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well,⁴ so with those combination of benefits it can help with altitude sickness.
Ginger chews, ginger capsules or candied ginger slices are a good way to get the ginger into your system quickly. It also helps promote circulation and digestion, two functions that can be impaired by high altitudes.
A brand like The Ginger People Gin Gins Chews are made with real natural ginger, not artificial ginger, which is what you want in an altitude sickness first aid kit.
5. Hydration Packets To Enhance Water
The one key thing you absolutely need to do under high altitude conditions is hydrate your body well. While drinking water is essential, and carrying a water bottle or hydration backpack will be needed, taking hydration packets will drastically increase your hydration ability.
Zaca chewable tablets
, in addition to helping replenish Glutathione, also enhance water absorption and electrolyte intake as well via Glutamine. And packaged in portable pouches, they are perfect hydration packets to take before and during your high altitude climb or trip.
can be a key addition to altitude sickness first aid kit, as dehydration is a top cause for developing altitude sickness symptoms.
Zaca Chewables A Top Choice For Altitude
Known for their effectiveness and popularized in the Rocky Mountains, Zaca Chewables are a top choice for altitude. As mentioned above, they work synergistically both as an altitude supplement and a hydration packet. Our natural ingredients formulated with herbs and antioxidants such as Glutathione, help support your body and combat the stresses from high altitudes. Whether you're hiking, running, biking, snowboarding, or simply vacationing in the mountains, they can make all the difference. The convenient chewable tablets come in a pouch that can easily fit in your pocket or anywhere else you might need them like a altitude first aid kit. Try Zaca chewable packets today and feel your best during an altitude journey.
1. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione and related metabolism in rats
2. Ibuprofen decreases likelihood of altitude sickness, researchers find
3. Herbal Medicine: The Amazing and Mighty Ginger
4. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence