These tips pertain to the Himalayas. They are general in nature and in exhaustive.

The atmospheric pressure being one third of that at sea level the lungs have to make extra efforts to take in more air while breathing. The thin air has diminished levels of oxygen. So gain altitude gradually to avoid high altitude mountain sickness. Symptoms of high altitude mountain sickness are headache followed by sleeplessness, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness and breathlessness.

The UV radiation reflected from the white fields of snow often causes snow blindness. It is painful but curable. Dark glasses are handy here!

Exposure to cold for long durations or fatigue, results in hypothermia. Early symptoms are coldness, tiredness, muscle cramps, light headedness, unreasonable and violent behaviour for fainting. Keep yourself warm at all times. You can also use inner thermal wear.

Snow is too tempting to eat to quench your thirst. This could lead to throat infection. Carry sufficient water.

Carry sufficient water or hot lemon/black tea in a flask to avoid dehydration. Drink at least 3 litres of water per day.

To prevent sun burn, generously use sunscreen with high SPF. This is caused by UV radiation reflected from snow. The underside of the chin, ear lobes and nasal septum are generally affected.

Keep yourself dry, clean and warm at all times, especially fingers, toes, nose and ears. If these parts become white and lusterless, then it’s frost bite.

Also refer to TRAVEL TIPS – TREKKING AND CAMPING in this section.

Also read “WHILE IN THE HIMALAYAS DO’s AND DON’Ts” published by Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi. and achievement inherent in the journeys that continue to expand our understanding of the world we live in.