High Elevation First Aid Kits from The Sportsman's Doctor

Are you the type of person who enjoys climbing to new heights? This is an exhilarating way to get outside, enjoy amazing views, and challenge your body in new and exciting ways. But reaching new altitudes is a difficult experience, because the higher you go, the harder your lungs have to work to take in the oxygen you need. This is a reality that all climbers and hikers must properly prepare for - otherwise, we run the risk of developing serious side effects and health problems. And while discussing how to prepare for high altitude is helpful, it’s also important for everyone to climb with proper medical supplies at the ready.

That's where we can help. The Sportsman's Doctor specializes in providing custom first aid kits to our customers meant to combat specific problems experienced in the great outdoors. Our kits are unique because we go above and beyond in providing the medical supplies you may need for all of your wilderness adventures, including high elevation treks. Every kit contains basic kit materials as well as additional prescription medications that your standard, run-of-the-mill first aid kits do not have! 

Additionally, all of our kits are created and reviewed by Fred Teribury, MD. This ensures that our products are overseen by an individual with over two decades of military and medical experience, and are carefully crafted to meet every adventurer's needs. Plus, when working with The Sportsman’s Doctor, you will always have access to a medical doctor/provider who is experienced and board-certified in internal medicine.

Ready to start preparing for your next outdoor getaway? Our kits are ready for purchase right here on our website! We are also able to answer questions and take custom orders, and invite people looking for additional information to contact us and discuss your kit needs.

FAQs on High Elevation First Aid:

What Is The Most Concerning Health Issue Experienced At High Altitude?

High altitudes can induce altitude sickness, otherwise known as acute mountain sickness. This illness can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or other travelers at high altitudes. (High altitudes as typically defined as above 8,000 feet - a.k.a. 2,400 meters.) Note that altitude sickness is not a "sickness" in the sense that a virus or bacteria causes it. Instead, this issue is specifically brought on by when we reach a higher altitude - i.e. elevation - too quickly. Therefore knowing how to prepare for high altitude, trying to prevent it, and addressing its symptoms appropriately is a vital part of a high elevation trek.

 

Are There Certain Risks For Altitude Sickness?

While anyone traveling to a high altitude can develop altitude sickness due to the elevation, some factors do make people more likely to experience symptoms. These factors include the following:

  • You have had the illness before. 
  • You ascend to higher elevations too quickly, i.e. you fail to allow time to acclimatize to the altitude. 
  • You use alcohol or other substances known to interfere with acclimatization. 
  • You have medical problems involving the heart, nervous system, or lungs.

 

What Are Common Altitude Sickness Symptoms?

Altitude sickness symptoms - or acute mountain sickness symptoms -  can vary depending on the type of sickness being experienced.

  • Mild/short-term cases, for example, tend to include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, sleep problems and a general loss of energy. These symptoms are likely to set in within 24 hours, but are also likely to dissipate as the body begins acclimating to the elevation. These symptoms are also the most likely to respond to basic medications.
  • Moderate cases are less likely to respond to basic medications. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath worsen instead of improving over time. People also may become uncoordinated and experience a severe headache, nausea and vomiting, and tightness or congestion in the chest. 
  • In the most severe cases, affected individuals lose the ability to walk; experience a shortness of breath even at rest; become disoriented and confused; and may have fluid buildup in the lungs and/or brain. Severe cases often present with a cough, gray, pale or bluish skin tone. Severe altitude sickness is an emergency situation, and the affected person must be taken to a lower altitude immediately.

 

What Are The Best Steps For Altitude Sickness Prevention?

The good news is that there are altitude sickness prevention techniques that can help people experience the outdoors safely. These prevention methods include the following:

  • "Assume the worst" and respond to initial symptoms accordingly. This means that above 8000 feet, you should assume that all headaches, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting should be considered altitude illness (until proven otherwise). Therefore, all symptoms should be addressed and/or resolved before continuing to higher elevations. 
  • If symptoms do not improve or worsen, descend immediately to lower altitudes.
  • Ascend using graded pathways and trails. Additionally, be sure to average no more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain per day after 10,000 feet.
  • Eat food high in carbohydrates and low in fat! This, and staying well hydrated, helps with prevention - as does avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption.

 

How Does The Sportsman's Doctor's First Aid Kits Help At High Elevation?

Our products are specifically designed to treat the minor issues that may affect us as we climb to higher altitudes. The key word here is minor! Our products are not trauma or emergency treatment kits and should not be used as such.

With this in mind, our high elevation kits specifically include 6 Acetazolamide Tabs. This medication is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, specifically by decreasing mild headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It is particularly useful in situations when you cannot make a slow ascent. 

To treat basic injuries, our kits also contain the following:

  • 1 Triangular Bandage
  • 1 2” ACE Wrap
  • 2 4×4 Gauze
  • 2 3×3 Gauze
  • 2 2×2 Gauze
  • Role 1” Tape
  • 6 Alcohol pads
  • 3 BZK Towelettes
  • 2 Iodine Swabs
  • 4 ¾” BandAid
  • 2 2”x4” BandAid

To treat basic aches and pains - including headaches and sinus issues - our kits contain the following:

  • 2 Packs Ibuprofen/Advil
  • 2 Pack Aspirin
  • 3 Packs Sinus Tabs
  • 3 Packs Acetaminophen/Tylenol
  • 3 Packs Bismuth(Pepto-Bismol)

To treat basic skin issues, our kits contain the following:

  • 2 Packs Hydrocortisone Cream
  • 3 Bacitracin Antibiotic Ointment
  • 2 Packets Burn Cream

To treat minor/possible infections, our kits contain the following:

  • 1 Z-Pack
  • 6 Doxycycline Tabs

To provide comfort from issues such as sore throats, dry eyes, or allergies, our kits contain the following:

  • Benadryl
  • Cough Drops
  • Eye Drops

To help you safely treat minor issues, our kits contain the following:

  • 2 Pair Gloves

 

The Sportsman's Doctor also allows shoppers to purchase advanced first aid kits geared towards women. These kits include the same items listed above, with the addition of 12 Phenazopyridine OTC, 6 Cipro Tabs, and 1 Pregnancy test.

The contents of each of our first aid kits have been hand selected by Dr. Teribury. He has built this list based on his experience as a member of the special forces, a sportsman and a physician. You will find everything you need to treat minor scrapes and cuts, as well as prescription medicine that have been prescribed to treat issues such as elevation sickness, sea sickness, urinary tract infections, and bacterial infections.

*Currently available in NY, PA, NC, OH, & TX