Hikers often venture to higher altitudes and face a significant challenge: reduced oxygen levels. As a company based in the high elevations of Colorado, we'll share everything you need to know about hikers oxygen as an altitude remedy and three of the best oxygen options for hiking.
Oxygen is a vital element present in our atmosphere, constituting approximately 21% of the air we breathe. But when we ascend in altitude while hiking, the oxygen levels go lower.
Hikers oxygen, or portable oxygen, can be a lifesaver for hikers to potentially providing relief or improvement during high-altitude expeditions.
Oxygen is essential for the human body as it fuels the process of cellular respiration, providing the energy needed for bodily functions. From powering physical activity to maintaining brain function, oxygen plays a fundamental role in our overall well-being.
The lack of oxygen, also called hypoxia, while hiking can lead to altitude sickness which includes symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and nausea.
Symptoms of altitude sickness may include:
These symptoms can develop within 4-24 hours of lower oxygen levels when hiking at high altitudes.
Canned oxygen might work for hiking.
There's conflicting evidence for effectiveness, as supplement oxygen or oxygen tanks are proven to be affective for altitude sickness.¹ However, canned oxygen which are much smaller are shown to help aerobic exercise but no direct research proving it helps with altitude sickness.²
A study done on the physiological effects of boost oxygen canisters found it can be beneficial to active individuals, trainers, and athletes for exercise and to improve VO2.²
In conclusion, canned oxygen (hikers oxygen) is effective for hiking in regards to body for exercise purposes and athletic performance, but likely not to help with altitude sickness.
To use oxygen while hiking, you'll simply inhale deeply for 1-3 seconds, then exhale. Boost Oxygen instructs to do this 3-5 times as needed.
For the aerobic aspect of hiking, this should be sufficient to use the oxygen in intervals as you feel needed. For altitude sickness, it appears that canned oxygen would not be enough quantity of oxygen to make a difference.
The Next Summit mountain blog did some research estimating that you'd need a canister (10-liter) of oxygen every five minutes to help altitude sickness.³ Based on their findings, you would need a lot of hikers oxygen cans to get adequate results.
For aerobic improvement, canned oxygen can be beneficial for hiking at any altitude.
Hiking difficulty from high altitude can start at around 4,000 feet and increase with ascending elevation.⁴ This is based on the fact that at 4,000 feet, altitude sickness could start according to Travel Medicine Consultants. At these heights oxygen levels start decreasing, making supplemental oxygen potentially beneficial.
Oxygen Levels Based On Altitude:¹⁰
Based on the list above, you can see the risk of lower oxygen levels goes up dramatically as you ascend in height. More oxygen is necessary for each altitude level, until you're acclimated.
No, due to FAA rules, you cannot bring any kind of oxygen on the plane or in checked baggage.
No matter whether checked baggage or carry-on baggage — canned oxygen, recreational oxygen, and flavored oxygen are all prohibited.
With such restrictions, we'd recommend taking a high-altitude or hiker supplement (as below), which usually can be taken on the plane when in pill, tablet, or chewable form.
According to Boost Oxygen, you can get a a range between 60 to 200 seconds of oxygen based on the canister size.
How Long Can Of Oxygen Will Last:⁹
This is how long you can expect your can of oxygen, or hikers oxygen, to last based on the canister size.
Each of these options offers high-quality oxygen, portability, and effectiveness, catering to the needs of hikers exploring diverse terrains and altitudes.
The tricky part when evaluating canned oxygen (hikers oxygen) is that they all provide the same element, oxygen. In our analysis, there's not a huge difference between brands, so we broke down the best ones based on reputation and reviews.
3 Best Canned Oxygen For Hiking:
These three canned oxygen brands, known as hikers oxygen, are the best options available for your next mountain expedition.
High-altitude hiking is an exhilarating adventure, often pushing hikers to their limits, however, the decreased oxygen levels has been shown to cause oxidative stress on the body.¹⁷ ¹⁸ ¹⁹
Supplementing antioxidants is shown to be a promising solution.¹⁸ Glutathione particularly is a powerful nutrient and antioxidant to fight free radical damage from oxidative stress.
Discover the power of Zaca chewables, the ultimate nutrient-packed supplement hikers, travelers, and athletes. With each tiny and delicious-tasting chewable, replenish your body swiftly with the goodness of antioxidants, amino acids, and herbs to keep at peak performance. Featuring glutathione as a master antioxidant and oxidative support. Rehydrate, replenish, and recover fast! Toss the on-the-go packets into your backpack, luggage, or pocket — and simply take 2-4 chewables as needed. Try Zaca's chewable supplement today and fuel your next mountain-journey.
1. Supplemental oxygen and hyperbaric treatment at high altitude: cardiac and respiratory response
2. Physiological Effects of Supplemental Concentrated Oxygen in VO2 Kinetics During Steady-State Exercise
3. Does Boost Oxygen Help With Altitude Sickness on 14ers? It’s a Brazen Scam
4. High Altitude Illness
5. Altitude Sickness
6. Travel to High Altitudes
7. Patient education: High-altitude illness (including mountain sickness)
8. Effects of high altitude on humans
9. Boost Oxygen FAQs
10. Oxygen Levels At Altitude
11. Boost Oxygen Large Natural Aroma 10 Liter Canister | Respiratory Support for Aerobic Recovery, Altitude, Performance and Health (2 Pack) - Amazon
12. Oxygen Plus – O+ Biggi 6 Pack | Portable Oxygen Can | 99.5% Pure O2 | Natural Wellness Supplement to Boost Energy & Recovery | 50+ Uses Per 11 Liter Canister - Amazon
13. Buy Boost Oxygen
14. Buy Oxygen Plus
15. O2 Blast - 99.7% Pure Oxygen Supplement, Quick Recovery for Exercise, Motion Sickness, Altitude Sickness and Focus. Sanitary flip top Cap (4 Liter Oxygen Canisters - 3 Pack - Natural) - Amazon
16. Buy O2 Blast
17. High altitude and oxidative stress
18. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
19. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione