Using Supplemental Oxygen When Acclimating
I live at sea level and my first snowboarding trip of 2018 was during Mammoth’s opening weekend. I went up with a friend and we went shopping around town that Saturday evening. While my friend browsed, I sat there feeling very off with my head getting heavier and feeling variations of overheating and being too cold. One of the shop employees handed me a Boost Oxygen can for me to try. I took two puffs (inhale and hold it in for a couple seconds) and within a few minutes I felt like myself again (no joke).
We got a couple cans to hit the lift with on Sunday and on the drive home, stopped by the shop again to stock up. These have been such a game changer!
In the last year, I’ve been more sensitive to altitude as my body take the time to acclimate. Boost Oxygen helps your body as your acclimating, almost like a supplement that helps the acclimation process. But if you are feeling severe Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), you need to decent to lower elevations quickly. That is the only cure for AMS and HAPE.
In the winters I snowboard (mainly at Mammoth) and in the summers I hike at high altitude all over the Sierra Nevada’s and I’ve been keeping a stock of these cans at home so I can grab and go when I hit the mountain. These cans weigh almost nothing, so to all the backpackers out there worried about your pack-weight, these won’t make it any heavier.
Whether we’re at 7,000 ft, 11,000 ft or higher, everyone in the group ends up passing around the oxygen can, taking turns puffing.