Learn About Altitude SicknessWhen the body can't adjust to abrupt changes in altitude, altitude sickness can set in, resulting in breathing problems and fluid accumulation. This isn't just a problem for people climbing the really tall mountains. It can occur as low as 6,500 feet and symptoms can start any time within the first three days after an altitude change. Altitude sickness is potentially fatal and you should know its symptoms and what to do if you feel affected.
Combat the DrynessYou'll find the air much drier in the mountains than at sea level. Take these along to stay comfortable:
Saline Nasal Spray: Dry nasal membranes are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause nose bleeds. A few spritzes of this over-the-counter remedy can help a lot.
Extra-Strength Moisturizers Bring lots of your regular stuff, or get something extra-strength and don't forget your lips.
Artificial Tears: Tuck a few packets of artificial tears in your bag or pocket.
Water Bottle Carrier: Buy the water once you get there, but a carrier helps. Reduce waste by bringing your own bottle, too.
Protect Against the SunHigh SPF Sunscreen: The sun will be bright in the desert, and at higher elevations there's less air to absorb it. Whatever you normally use, bring something stronger.
Hat with a Wide Brim: A baseball cap will shade your face, but not your neck. You'll be better off in a hat with a brim all around so it protects your neck, too.
Sunglasses: It's easy to leave them at home, especially if you leave at night, so find a way to remember them or pack a spare pair.