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How to Ride in High Altitudes

How to Ride in High Altitudes

An all-terrain vehicle is a great way to experience the outdoors in a fun and functional manner. Since an ATV is capable of traversing a wide range of terrains and conditions, taking it up a mountain is a challenge worth accepting for the adventurous. If you are looking to take on this type of riding, we have a few helpful tips on how to ride in high altitudes.

  1. Work your way up with practice: When taking on high altitude riding, the key is to work your way up over time. You should never try to take on high altitude riding all at once. If you aren’t familiar with riding in higher altitudes and you jump right in, it can take quite a toll on you physically. It can lead to accidents and even death. High altitude riding isn’t something to play around with. You should start with a few rides with increasing altitude on each ride. This way you work your body up to acclimating it slowly to the higher altitude.

  2. Pace yourself: There are two types of pacing in learning how to ride in high altitudes. The first is the above mentioned pacing where you start small and work your way up altitude wise on subsequent rides. The second is to remember to pace yourself as you climb the altitude on each ride. When climbing altitudes, it is a good idea to rest with every elevation climb in sets of 100 degrees. The reason for this is because the body requires more breaths to get the same level of oxygen at a higher altitude than at sea level. Your lungs will be working overtime to supply you with the oxygen your body needs, and this becomes harder with every elevation climb during the ride. It is a good idea to rest in between significant climbs in elevation to give your lungs a chance to catch up.

  3. Hydrate: The matter of hydration is crucial to riding in higher altitudes. The body can quickly become dehydrated since it is already working overtime to get enough oxygen and this overload may deplete hydration. There is also the fact that a lot of the symptoms of altitude sickness and dehydration are similar, such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, and upset stomach, so it is key to stay well hydrated before a ride so you can gauge if it’s dehydration or altitude sickness. If you are properly hydrated and start experiencing these symptoms, you will know it is altitude sickness and that you need to start descending and work your way up to that higher altitude over time. Make sure you take enough water with you for the climb and descent to avoid any issues.

  4. Ride in your best form: Before testing your altitude riding skills, you should make sure you are in top form physically. This means well rested with plenty of sleep and free from any illnesses, especially sickness impacting the lungs such as bronchitis or other upper respiratory infections. Riding in high altitudes will take a toll on your body so you always want to be in top form to take on the challenge.

  5. Check your ATV prior to the ride: An important thing in learning how to ride in high altitudes is to remember to tend to the vehicle prior to the journey. A high elevation ride shouldn’t take a huge toll on your ride since ATVs are made with rugged riding in mind, but you definitely want to avoid becoming stranded at a high altitude with a dead machine. You should always make sure your ATV is in good condition, and check the nonnegotiable aspects of tire pressure, fuel, and oil prior to a high altitude ride.

  6. Wear the right clothing: The gear and apparel you wear on a high altitude ride can make or break the journey. If you are doing riding in the winter, you will need to make sure you are properly insulated from the cold and wind. If you are riding high altitudes in warmer temperatures, you will still need the right clothing to protect you from the high wind shear experienced at a higher altitude. You should choose materials which offer wind resistance and protection from UV rays. You want options with moisture wicking abilities as well to keep you dry and comfortable.

  7. Eat the right snacks: When you are doing a high altitude climb, the right fuel is crucial. You should bring some snacks with you to keep your energy levels up during the ride, but not just any snacks. You need snacks with low salt and high carbs coupled with electrolytes to help your energy levels. A few good options are fuel gels used by marathon runners, dried fruits, and granola bars.

  8. Accept your limits and keep working your way up: When learning to ride at higher altitudes, the motto of “no pain, no gain” is the wrong approach. While most riders can withstand some pain and breathing difficulty as they adjust to the higher elevation, you should never push through it when it hurts beyond what you are comfortable enduring. There is no shame in accepting your limits for the time being as you work your way up. Your lungs will acclimate even more with every ride so don’t feel the need to force it.