Planning a trip to Ladakh or any other high altitude area? AMS is the first thing that you need to consider. Normally we ignore this factor but this should be given priority to make your trip enjoyable. With the proper knowledge you can acclimatize properly in high mountains to avoid acute mountain sickness. To know more about AMS or Acute Mountain sickness read here What is AMS?
What is Acclimatization?
Acclimatization is a natural process of human body which make the body to adopt the new environment. Ladakh is an high altitude area, which means the air pressure is very low at that height and people feel discomfort in breathing. Due to the less oxygen level it can be fatal if it ignored.
People who live in plains or at low altitude area feel uncomfortable at that height for few days until their body get acclimatize for that environment. So proper acclimatization is a necessary thing to be considered for any trip to a high altitude region.
Tips to acclimatize easily on Ladakh tour in Himalayas?
Granted, flying, driving or riding directly to Ladakh might seem faster and convenient. However, that is where the trap lies. The first precaution you must take to keep mountain sickness and related conditions at bay you need to ensure you increase attitude gradually. In addition, there are other measures you must take to ensure your body remains in excellent condition during the ride. Some of these include
1. Gradual Increase in the altitude
Best practice to acclimatize properly is that travel gradually keeping in mind about the altitude of the place. like sleeping at an altitude of 14000 feet from your previous sleep at 7000 feet is not good. You should give a stay at 11000 feet between this. So planning a proper itinerary can help you to acclimatize properly on Ladakh tour.
2. Right itinerary preparation is the key
Ladakh is not an ordinary holiday destination but it is an adventure destination and required a good body fitness. Due to the less options to stay, long barren lands, high altitude mountain passes, harsh weather it is very important to make proper itinerary.
A right designed itinerary may help you to acclimatize properly and make your trip more enjoy-full. Read more at itinerary tips for Ladakh. Contact us freely for a free itinerary advise.
3. Keep your body re-hydrated properly
Take ORS water as well as other fluids such as milk, soup, juice, and tea but avoid too much black tea or coffee. Try Ginger lemon honey tea. It is one of the famous drink in Ladakh to avoid AMS and keep your body warm. These will keep your body hydrated. Please keep in mind DO NOT over hydrate yourself which can lead to cerebral edema.
4. Over hydration is also dangerous
Over hydration is also as dangerous as dehydration. So it is not recommended as it can lead to cerebral edema which more dangerous then simple AMS.
5. Avoid over eating
Due to low oxygen level at high altitude digestion become slow, so always avoid over eating. Another thing is travelling, riding, driving curvy roads with full stomach make you feel uncomfortable. Drink some acidity regulator drinks.
6. Avoid anti-depressant drugs
Smoking, alcohol, and tobacco; all these and other anti-depressants will cause respiratory problems, So avoid these at least for the first 24 hours on a new high altitude location to give your body time to acclimatize properly.
7. Do not spend too much time at top of a high altitude pass
Ladakh is a land of high passes. Wherever will you go you would have to cross a high mountain pass. But never stop more than 10 minutes at those spots. And descend as early as possible. We recommend just to take few photographs and move immediately with in few minutes. A mountain pass is a way which connects two valleys. And pass top is the highest point of the pass.
8. Rest properly
Proper rest is the key to recover your body. So always complete your sleep properly and give proper rest to the body on a rest day. It helps to acclimatize quickly.
9. Carry preventive medicine
Always carry Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) medicines and still make sure you consult your doctor before using these drugs because of possible side effects.
10. Use the power of herbs
Many herbs are very useful in minimizing the risk of AMS. Better to start these herbal remedies before developing symptoms.
- Drink ginger lemon honey tea during your breaks. In Ladakh you can find this drink at most of the all eating places.
- Add some sliced ginger in your water bottle and drink it during your journey.
- Many other herbs are also useful like Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola, Shilajeet (known as Indian Ginseng). You can start taking 2 -3 days before starting your trip. Though they are herbal but always consult your doctor before taking them.
11. Always bear in mind
if you develop AMS you must move down / descend immediately.
Read first timers motorcycle travel guide for Ladakh. Watch out our properly designed Ladakh itineraries included in our guided tour packages.