Updated on 10th Nov, 2020
High Altitude Treks, especially in the mountains, offers some of the most phenomenal scenic beauties which one can ever experience in his/her lifetime. However, it can be a daunting task, as this kind of hiking requires one to adapt with lots of challenging situations (like low temperature, low O2 level, etc) as well. So if you wanna minimize the inherent risk that high altitude hiking brings, then you must take some precautions beforehand. One of the most common problems on high altitude mountain treks is Hypothermia. In this article we are going to discuss in detail about the causes of Hypothermia and also the various ways to prevent it from troubling you in the middle of your trekking journey.
There are many factors that can cause Hypothermia to set in the middle of a trek. This can resist you from enjoying the stunning views that surrounding has to offer, and that is not cool for sure. Here we have listed the main causes for Hypothermia:
Now that you know about the factors that can cause Hypothermia in high altitude treks, let us discuss about the ways that can help you to avoid it. We would recommend you to follow these basic precautions if you don’t want any speed-breakers to come in between your trekking.
What is Hypothermia
It is the condition of having abnormally low body temperatures due to the rapid loss of heat which can impair the normal functioning of muscles and also affect vision. It is usually caused by long exposure to extremely cold weather, although there are many other factors that can cause it.
In this article we are going to discuss in detail about the causes of Hypothermia and also the various ways to prevent it from hitting you in the middle of your trekking journey.
Major Causes of Hypothermia in High Altitude Treks
- Inadequate Clothing: Wearing clothes that are not warm enough to suit the climate may cause Hypothermia to set in. It is always advised to take proper clothing like down jackets and raincoats for treks especially in high altitudes because of the extremely low temperatures.
- Prolonged Exposure to Wet Weather: Another major factor that can cause Hypothermia is the prolonged exposure to rain or snow during a trekking expedition. Encountering rain in the mountains is a very common phenomenon but in some cases like a cloud burst, the rain may be very heavy and prolonged. Now, if you are not properly shielded from the rain, it may cause the body temperature to fall rapidly causing Hypothermia. You may check out some of the best 4 person tents that can help you to tackle this problem with ease.
- Sudden Changes of Temperature: Mountain weather is usually very erratic and the temperatures can change very rapidly. From one hour to the next and from one point to the other, the weather may exhibit sudden and abrupt changes. If you are not properly acclimatized, it can cause health problems.
- Crossing a River or Stream in Low Temperatures: It may become necessary for you to cross a small river or stream in the middle of the trek in order to continue on your trail. If the temperatures are near freezing then this activity may cause Hypothermia to set in on the part of the body that has been exposed to the cold water.
Ways to Avoid Hypothermia in the Mountains
- Try to Stay Dry at All Times: If you happen to get wet due to a sudden rain shower in the mountain, changeover to dry clothing as quickly as possible. Wet clothes in cold weather for long periods would mean rapid loss of body heat.
- Increase Layers: Wear loose fitting multilayered clothing while on a trek. The air between the layers of clothing prevents heat from escaping quickly and will help to keep you warm. Also try to wear the best down jackets that are made of waterproof material to keep you dry in wet weather.
- Avoid Rigorous Activities: Try and avoid performing rigorous activities that cause you to sweat. Too much of sweat will actually cause your body to cool down even further in cold temperatures increasing the risks of Hypothermia.
- Intake Plenty of Food and Fluids: Try to eat plenty of food that is rich on carbohydrates and proteins while on a trek. While the carbohydrates will provide energy, the protein will increase your metabolic rate to produce more heat and keep you warm. Also do not forget to drink plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated. Lack of hydration can also cause the onset of Hypothermia.
Always remember that you must have fun in your high altitude treks, and that’s why you must take precautions for avoiding things like hypothermia beforehand. So don’t control your adrenaline rush and go for the high altitude hiking and trekking that you always wanted to go in this summer.