Conquering High Altitudes: Our Guide to Altitude Sickness Prevention

altitude sickness kilimanjaro peru Jan 24, 2024
a woman is hiking with a headache

Are you dreaming of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or trekking the Salcantay Trail in Peru with us? 

While these adventures promise breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences, altitude sickness can be a daunting concern. 

But fear not, we've got your back with a comprehensive plan to prevent and manage altitude sickness on your high-altitude journey.


    • Vetting the Experts: Hike Like a Woman prioritizes partnering with reputable guiding companies with experienced guides knowledgeable in altitude management. They understand the terrain, pace the hikes for acclimatization, and will monitor our health along the way. 
    • Preparation: Physical fitness won't prevent altitude sickness, but I personally think it can make you feel confident and prepared with one less thing to worry about. We provide training plans specifically for these treks, empowering you to arrive prepared and confident.
    • Diamox: While not a magic bullet, the prescription medication Diamox can help prevent altitude sickness symptoms. Consult your doctor to see if it's right for you. I'll be using it on Kilimanjaro and maybe the Salcanty trail as well-depending on how I feel. 

Acclimatization is Essential

    • Fly in Early: Give your body time to adjust by arriving a few days before our treks begin. This will cost a little extra money but give you time for gentle acclimatization at a lower elevation.
    • Hydrate: Water is your ultimate weapon against altitude sickness. We'll drink even if we don't feel thirsty. Electrolytes can also be beneficial. My favorite is Ultima. 
    • Climb High, Sleep Low: This mantra guides the itinerary, ensuring we ascend during the day and descend to lower altitudes for sleep, promoting natural acclimatization.
    • Listen to Your Body: We'll prioritize rest and recovery. Listen to your body's signals and descend if we feel icky. Our guides are trained to handle such situations and adjust the plan if needed.

Natural Remedies and Extra Support:

    • Coca and Muna: There are traditional Peruvian remedies for altitude sickness like coca leaves and muna tea. While research is ongoing, they're believed to alleviate altitude sickness symptoms. I'm excited to try both. 
    • Porters: We'll have amazing porters carrying our gear for us in both Africa and Peru. This will allow us to focus on enjoying the scenery and acclimatizing comfortably, and we get to compensate our porters well with tips, in addition to their regular salary, at the end of our trip. 
    • Pole Pole: Embrace the slow and steady approach. We'll hike slowly, taking time for conversations, laughter, and lots of pictures.  
    • Oxygen on Hand: Canned oxygen provides emergency support in unforeseen situations. Our guides and porters carry them for added peace of mind.


    • Altitude sickness is manageable, and our guides will be equipped to help us every step of the way.
    • Preparation, acclimatization, and listening to your body are key to a successful and enjoyable high-altitude adventure.
    • Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We exist to empower you and help you go on big and small adventures safely and confidently.

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