Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Eagle River, WI
Hammock: Jacks-R-better bridge
Tarp: Sportsman's Guide
Insulation: JRB Top & Bottom
Suspension: Whoopie Slings
[QUOTE=OutandBack;500034]Geez he's not climbing Everest.
A person does not have to be climbing Everest to get altitude sickness. The hunter we rescued was flown out by helicopter. The flight nurse who was onboard told us that many Colorado residents who live in Denver get altitude sickness when they go to Aspen or Vail to ski on a weekend.
Here is part of the Wikipedia article on it:
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet).   It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that compare with this susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can climb up to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) normally.
Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), which are potentially fatal.
People have different susceptibilities to altitude sickness; for some otherwise healthy people, acute mountain sickness (AMS) can begin to appear at around 2000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level, such as at many mountain ski resorts, equivalent to a pressure of 80 kPa. AMS is the most frequent type of altitude sickness encountered. Symptoms often manifest themselves six to ten hours after ascent and generally subside in one to two days, but they occasionally develop into the more serious conditions. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance. Exertion aggravates the symptoms.
The Lake Louise assessment system of AMS is based on a self-report questionnaire as well as a quick clinical assessment.
Those individuals with the lowest initial partial pressure of end-tidal Pco¬2 (the lowest concentration of CO2 at the end of the respiratory cycle) as a measure of a higher alveolar ventilation, as well as individuals with a corresponding high oxygen saturation levels tend to have a lower incidence of Acute Mountain Sickness than those with high end-tidal Pco¬2 and low oxygen saturation levels.
Headaches are the primary symptom used to diagnose altitude sickness, although a headache is also a symptom of dehydration. A headache occurring at an altitude above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet = 76 kPa), combined with any one or more of the following symptoms, may indicate altitude sickness:
Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
Fatigue or weakness
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Pins and needles
Shortness of breath upon exertion
Persistent rapid pulse
Peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face).
 Severe symptomsSymptoms that may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include:
Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs):
Symptoms similar to bronchitis
Persistent dry cough
Shortness of breath even when resting
Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain):
Headache that does not respond to analgesics
Gradual loss of consciousness
The most serious symptoms of altitude sickness arise from edema (fluid accumulation in the tissues of the body). At very high altitude, humans can get either high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). The physiological cause of altitude-induced edema is not conclusively established. It is currently believed, however, that HACE is caused by local vasodilation of cerebral blood vessels in response to hypoxia, resulting in greater blood flow and, consequently, greater capillary pressures. On the other hand, HAPE may be due to general vasoconstriction in the pulmonary circulation (normally a response to regional ventilation-perfusion mismatches) which, with constant or increased cardiac output, also leads to increases in capillary pressures. For those suffering HACE, dexamethasone may provide temporary relief from symptoms in order to keep descending under their own power.
HAPE can progress rapidly and is often fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, severe dyspnea at rest, and cough that is initially dry but may progress to produce pink, frothy sputum. Descent to lower altitudes alleviates the symptoms of HAPE.
HACE is a life threatening condition that can lead to coma or death. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, visual impairment, bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, loss of coordination, paralysis on one side of the body, and confusion. Descent to lower altitudes may save those afflicted with HACE.
I saw a man almost die from severe altitude sickness. The surest way to become a statistic is to think it can't happen to you, which is what he did. When we found him he had been coughing up blood for two days and could not walk more than 10 feet without stopping to catch his breath and wheezing. He had just written his wife and infant daughter a good-bye letter. After he got flown out, his gear sat by the side of the trail as a reminder to us of what had happened earlier that week. The stories that people told us later in Lake City were all about people who had died because they either didn't know what altitude sickenss was, or didn't take the symptoms seriously until it was too late.
I'd rather be safe than sorry. More people die in the wilderness because they are under prepared, not over prepared. More people die because they aren't cautious, not too cautious. At the bottom of Engineer Pass outside Lake City is the decaying wreck of an International Scout that rolled down the hill because the driver thought it couldn't happen to him.
Hrmm..bear bag? Absolutely. Losing your food when you are out sucks!
Problems with people? Statistically no.
Bad idea? Depends on you. Hubris gets people hurt. Make a packing list and check it off cause no one will have what you forgot (I forgot a spork and made chopsticks!) Bring a book (looking at kindle right now.) Have good map reading skills so you dont wind up like that knucklehead in Maine who had to be rescued out last year, and leave an itenerary that will be stuck to. Finally, dont forget to post pictures of your trip.
Peggy & Russ --The Jerzybears -
I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.
Altitude sickness is real, but it is extremely easy to prevent. WATER. Hydrate the crud out of yourself before you come out and keep pounding down the water once you arrive. A night or two of transition at Denver's altitude will help a tremendous amount too. If you do start to get sick, stop what you are doing, drink water and rest. Very, very simple. Don't know why, but Tums brand antacid tablets seem to basically cure altitude sickness. Good thing to carry in a pack.
Otherwise, I agree with the other Colorado posters.
1. Yes, please stow your food in an appropriate manner
2. Just the squirrels and chipmunks. They are thieving little ards
3. I spend a lot more time out there alone than I do with others. I'm confident in my skills and my gear. If you're comfortable in the wilds alone elsewhere, Colorado is no different...just a bunch higher.
If you really don't want to hike alone, I bet a Colorado hanger or two could be talked into a hike.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Hammock: HH UL EXP, WBBB Dbl 1.1
Insulation: Exped 7
You can also join the Spot Adventures where you can store your tracks for 30 days and export them to google earth to show your route. Great for Ride Reports/ Trip reports. Just make sure to keep it on you and not on your bike or other as you need to have it within reach should you need to send for help. And it needs a pretty clear view of the sky to transmit.
I do enjoy solo trips. A bit nervous at first but you dictate what you're going to see and do. No one bugging you about your pace.
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Corsicana, Tx
Hammock: ENO DoubleNest
Tarp: Kelty Noah 12
Insulation: DIY underquilt
Suspension: Tree straps & CRL
Just got back from A few days in the Colorado mountains. Take the altitude sickness warnings seriously. I get it every time I go above 5,000 feet. This time my camping partner and I camped at 8,400; 10,500; and 11,500 feet. Mostly, I just sat and stared. No energy. Hanging the tarp required a good rest afterwards. Then same thing with the hammock. If you are by yourself and altitude sickness hits you hard you will not be able to take care of yourself. I managed to feed myself and tend my own equipment and that's about all.
BTW - I can't wait to go back Next time I will plan a longer trip that allows me a few days to adjust at increasing altitudes. Nothing like waking up in a hammock with a bull elk looking at you wondering what you're doing in his territory.
Old Gorge Rat
Altitude headaches seriously suck.
WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.
"A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin
Home of the Gorge Rats: Linville Gorge
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I talked to my doctor and she prescribed Actazolamide. I'm supposed to start taking it the day before ascent and then for 4 days. It's supposed to counteract the affects of high altitude.
Who has tried this and how was it?
My YouTube channel: Tool Dude Tony
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
Join Date: Dec 2010
Hammock: BIAS WW
Tarp: AHE Toxaway
Insulation: JRB SS & HG Clone
Suspension: Whoopies & Straps
Lots of good info here. Don't fear. Respect, then educate yourself and prepare.
Don't waste your breath
Don't waste your heart
Don't blister your heels
Running in the dark
Join Date: Oct 2010
Hammock: Hennessey Ultralight asymmetric
Insulation: Ridge rest
Goin' solo...no prob.
I just did a week solo in the area around Telluride Colorado....saw LOTS of bears.
My philosophy towards traveling in wilderness areas is that once you leave the trail head, you are now part of the food chain...so act accordingly.
bear bag: I use an Ursack and hang or tie it to a solid tree no less than 200' away from camp. In it goes ALL food, anything that touches food, and anything that a bear might take as food. The Ursack is pretty amazing. I woke one morning to see a bear trying to tear into mine....it eventually gave up and move on...after I tossed a few rocks in it's direction. The bag is made of either Kevlar or spectra fiber.
I pretty much ran into someone every day...but camped alone. Next time I go out I'm planing to use a SPOT or similar locator beacon since my wife was VERY concerned that I was out of cell service.
I keep a journal and write about my thoughts, my mood, the weather, Etc. I also the time and gps coordinate of each entry.
I enjoy the quiet and chance to contemplate life in a beautiful setting.
Needs more Hang time
Sorry, medical background took over there for a minute.