There are a few rules of thumb that you need to take very seriously when being out there in the Himalayas. Your body is working hard to get accustomed to the new surroundings and it will let you know when it needs to take things easy.
Consult your medical professional about 6 months before your trip. Have a full medical checkup and tell your practitioner what you are up to. Purchase medication recommended by your doctor. If you plan to be trekking with children, make sure you take their preparation just as carefully. Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions? Make sure you consult your doctor about this as well.
If you want to enjoy your trekking experience, make sure you do all you can to get physically fit. Do a lot of walking and try and cover some elevation if you can. Exercise about 3 to 6 hours a week with a backpack of 10kg to simulate an average day out in the Himalayas.
Listen to Your Body
Your body tells you when it needs rest. Listen to it carefully. Be aware of the symptoms of Altitude Sickness and talk about it. Let your friends, your guide, your porters know how you feel and press pause when your body wants you to. Don’t let things get worse.
Climb High, Sleep Low
An unwritten law for trekkers and climbers alike is to climb high but to sleep low. That’s why those mountaineers on Everest take a long time to get to the peak, they go up and down a few times before they push for the peak. They climb high, but they sleep low. That’s why you sometimes see a descent in the middle of your itinerary. This is being done to ensure you that you acclimatize carefully after having tackled elevation.
Eat. Eat as much as you possibly can. Never skip a meal in a teahouse, even if you don’t like what you see on your plate. Your body is working hard and needs plenty of carbohydrates to go the extra mile and to be able to handle more elevation. Forget your diet and buy that extra candy bar. Trekking is hard work and easily makes you burn over 4,000 calories a day. Replenish, your body will be grateful.
Hydration is Key
Before and after food comes water. After that comes water again. Seriously, you will have to up your water intake. This is a lot easier when it’s warm and you transpire, but you have to be disciplined. Drink 3 to 5 litres a day and have another cup of tea. You are trekking and not partying - So leave the alcohol for after the trek. Alcohol stimulates AMS, not just because you are dehydrating while consuming alcohol.
Choose the right Itinerary
You have been dreaming of climbing Kilimanjaro or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek for years and now you decide to cut your budget. Why? Take it easy!
Chances are it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so take the time to enjoy it. The more gradually you climb a mountain, the smaller the chance that you will experience health problems. It would be a shame to be disappointed after a long period of excitement because you were not able to get the most out of your trek due to nausea, wouldn't it?
Keep Note of Urination
Drinking more and being on a high altitude should inevitably lead to you having to make a leak more often. Take note of this. Simply, make sure that you are urinating more frequently than normal. If that is not the case, then you know what to do: Hydrate.
It doesn’t prevent you from experiencing altitude sickness, but it of importance in case you need medical assistance. Make sure your insurance provider covers you while traveling and also check if you are covered on high altitude. Insurance providers usually demand you to make an upgrade as soon as you intend to travel to high altitude destinations.