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Anticipating & Adapting to Altitude

Rocky Mountain High

People around the world are discovering that mountain life is the good life. Stunning views, endless recreational opportunities, lively nightlife, and laid-back locals are all reasons why people are attracted to mountain towns like Breckenridge, CO. Our elevated lifestyle is more than just an attitude, it's also the altitude. At 9,600' above sea level, the town of Breckenridge is high -- and we're not talking about the euphoric feeling you might get after visiting one of the shops on Airport Road. In fact, the highest chairlift in North America sits atop our towering peaks at a whopping 13,000'. That's about 2.5 miles above sea level! There is less oxygen at higher elevations and though most people do just fine up here, it's not uncommon to experience symptoms of altitude sickness in Breckenridge.

Breathtaking Breckenridge

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness, displays a variety of symptoms that range from a slight inconvenience to more severe conditions. Thankfully, the majority of cases we see in Breckenridge are mild and can be treated with supportive care or oxygen therapy. Symptoms tend to appear soon after arrival to high altitudes. The most common side effects are headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, exercise intolerance, appetite suppression, trouble sleeping, and an increased heart rate.

Thankfully, altitude sickness is usually self diagnosable. Most cases can be treated with oxygen therapy or in more severe situations, by descending to lower elevations. There are small cans of oxygen for sale at grocery stores, an oxygen bar and a Vida-Flo store for those looking for a quick, short term fix - but most symptoms will likely return.

An oxygen concentrator rental is the treatment plan that is there when you need it most. Those having trouble sleeping will rest easy with oxygen distributed via nasal cannula and experience improved sleep quality. Feeling lethargic or experiencing fatigue? Take an oxygen break and hit the trails. Can't seem to kick a headache or hangover? Hang out, hook up, and feel relief from your aprés woes.

Anticipation, Acclimation & Adaptation

Being in the oxygen rental business, we see hundreds of cases of altitude sickness every year. Most of these cases are preventable with a little preparation. Make the most of your time in the mountains with these tips.


Prior to traveling to high elevations, double your water in-take. Start drinking more water several days before traveling and continue to drink more water while at altitude - especially if your plans include being active. Trust us, being dehydrated in the mountains is a miserable way to spend your vacation. Bring on the H2O!

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Yes, aprés appetizers and boozy breakfasts are a fun part of vacationing, but they also contribute to dehydration and altitude sickness. Limit the hard stuff while you're in town, especially during the first few days. For some, altitude sickness is often compared to the worst hangover ever - consider that the next time your friend suggests another shot ski.

Ease into Activity

Breckenridge is known for incredible skiing, hiking, biking, paddling, and pretty much all outdoor recreation. It's tempting to hit the trails on day one, but we recommend limiting activity level within your first few days in Breckenridge to assist acclimation. Your body will be comprised if you over do it with exercise right away, so don't burn yourself out by hiking the six senses on day 1.

Acclimate at Lower Elevations

Though not necessarily possible for those with limited vacation days, we recommend those coming from sea level with health issues spend a day or two in Denver. The mile high city is at an elevation of 5,280' above sea level, and spending some time there will help prepare your body for the high life.

Oxygen Rentals

Altitude sickness can really put a damper on your vacation. An in-room oxygen rental, conveniently delivered to your hotel or vacation home, will continue to provide relief after the small can of oxygen is gone and the bar closes. The Oxygen Guys offer affordable solutions for 1 day rentals or an entire week. Catch your breathe and call to reserve yours today.

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