Altitude acclimatization while trekking in Nepal

Increase altitude slowly

The golden rule of altitude acclimatization is to increase altitude slowly. The usual rule of the thumb says that trekkers should not ascend more than 400 meters per day after crossing the 3000-meter mark. According to this rule, if trekkers sleep at an altitude of 3,400 meters on Day 1, they should not sleep at an altitude of more than 3,800 meters the next day.

Drink lots of fluid

Drink lots of fluid but avoid alcohol. Go for 3-4 liters of water every day. You can buy drinking water in almost every tea house throughout the trail.

Avoid smoking, alcohol and sleeping tablets

Smoking, alcohol, and sedatives must always be avoided while trekking in high altitudes. Smoking and sedatives may reduce the flow of oxygen to the brain while alcohol may cause dehydration.

Garlic soup or Acetazolamide (Diamox)

Garlic soup is a natural recipe for acclimatization which is served in almost all tea houses in Nepal. Although its effectiveness is not supported by any scientific study trekking guides usually recommend their clients to drink garlic soup every day during the trek.

Acetazolamide, popularly Diamox is a drug that helps you acclimatize to the increase in altitude. Diamox tablets are sold without a prescription and you can buy them in Kathmandu before heading out on your trek.

Don’t overexert yourself

At times overexertion can also lead to altitude sickness. If you have a Sherpa this should not be a problem, but if you’re carrying the load yourself make sure its not more than 15 kgs.

In case of altitude sickness symptoms

If you suffer from mild symptoms of altitude sickness at a certain point it is advised not to climb higher. So if you see symptoms of altitude sickness at 4000 meters just stop right there and don’t climb higher. If the symptoms get worse you should immediately climb down.


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