Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:25 pm

Well, the worst is over so I am still packing up to go. May delay until Wed. instead of going Tue. Waiting a week or two is not an option because I am booked up with other family obligations. I backed off to a 7-8 day trip, with less miles, easier terrain and good bail-outs.I am pretty good at retreating when necessary. Supposed to be stormy next week so do not want to push the mile anyway. I certainly would wait if I had a choice.

Russ, I would guess you are not hanging out a lot with small children. Grandkids just started back at school, and thus all the new school germs. I suspect that is where I got it. I have pretty bad allergies, and chronic sinus issues, so it is hard to tell if I have a real "cold". I was stuffed up and snotty during my last trip- when I got back to my car it was covered with pollen. High altitudes usually do wonders for my sinuses. It is going back down to sea level that hurts. Could be the urban pollution.

When I worked 35-day NOLS courses, we always had to deal with colds. Participants would fly out, get exposed to everything on the airplane, and then we would go out. I would say nearly a third of the people got sick sometime during the course. We just dealt with it- adjusted travel, and took most of the load off the sick person.

But thanks all, it was good to get other people's perspective. I will be careful.








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Re: Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

Post by rlown » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:28 pm

Have fun, Daisy! Yes, kids get a lot of germs, but that is what makes them stronger later in life.
I used to get bad allergies every May/June, but that went away for some reason.

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Re: Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

Post by Rockyroad » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:44 am

WD, sorry for your loss. I felt the beginning of a cold while on a trip one time but it didn’t really hit me until the drive home. Perhaps adrenaline or excitement of the trip held off symptoms. The point is, be careful on the long drive home.

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Re: Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

Post by giantbrookie » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:32 pm

I missed this one until now, but I have hiked in while sick to variable degrees. If I were scheduled to do a trip and, like most working folks, have limited chances to get out, I would in fact go out as long as I'm not super sick. I would probably plan on cutting back on the hiking but I'd have to say that isn't what I've done in my history. For me the most memorable "hike in when sick" came in 2007 when I did what we called the "Blackchuck" trip. I had one big trip, if any, for an entire season, so I would have had to have been super ill not to give it a try, but...I probably wouldn't recommend what I did in fact do.

I had my ace hiking partner driving down from Chico to stay over the night before hiking in from Rancheria (not Hoffman Mtn because plan was to loop out via Duck L). Takeoff was set for the next morning; we planned to drive up and meet two other companions who would be camped at or near the trailhead. As of the day before I was really ill with a sore throat and a fever in the high 102's. As of the evening, when my buddy showed up I was away at the hospital gettin this checked out. I thought I might have strep throat, so they swabbed my throat (it would prove to be negative for strep) and they pretty much assumed I had some sort of bacterial infection, so they prescribed antibiotics right off the bat. They admonished me NOT to go through with my hike. I got back from the hospital and my buddy had arrived. I said the trip was probably off but I'd get up with him early the next morning to see him off. The next morning I got up and felt horrible. I had chills and was pretty shaky, but I said I hadn't seen my other friends in awhile so I'd drive my buddy up to the trailhead. I figured he could get a ride back after the trip. I got to the trailhead and I still felt horrible, but I told the assembled group I'd hike with them a tad up the trail before turning back--I was in fact carrying my full backpack set up. We ended up at the crest of the Rancheria trail where it fades out into the near use trail that descends to the Woodchuck drainage. I felt terrible and said I'd head back after lunch. I felt rejuvenated after lunch and decided to descend with them toward Woodchuck and of course things felt relatively good because I was descending. By this point I had gone from lagging behind to now setting the pace and leading. Then comes the final ascent by trail to Woodchuck L (3+ mi and something like 1400' of gain). I wasn't close to 100 percent but the pre-trip (pre-illness) conditioning which had been top notch was kicking in. I got to Woodchuck about 40 min ahead of the next person in my group. I still wasn't right and I had mild chills but announced that the next day I would be 100 percent and the "Dai Zong, Marvelous Traveler" mode would kick in. Day 2 was Woodchuck L to Pearl L in Blackcap and I was in top form. Would I do this again? Well I was a relatively young person of 48 at that time. I don't think I'd do that now. I have hiked in with milder colds on other hard trips. In 2002 "Mordor I" looped out of Wolverton and went Tablelands to Ferguson Creek to Glacier Ridge to Josephine to Colby, Triple Divide Pk, Lion L., etc. I had a very mild cold on day 1 and it got pretty bad on days 2 and 3 (3 I remember spending a lot of time at Josephine simply napping), was still a factor on day 5 (didn't have enough in the tank to make it to lake beneath Kern Pt) but was gone as of day 6.

I have even more examples of getting a cold while on a trip: I can recall a miserable exit from near Bearup Lake in 1992 (thought I'd pass out in the tunnel near the Hetch Hetchy trailhead at finish), a similar retreat from Tallulah L in 1993, then, also in 1993 having a cold in the middle days of a Dumbbell Lakes trip, still being sick on the incredible exit day (Amphitheater L to South L) but burning it off on the ascent up Barrett Creek.

Again, if it was now, if it was a mild illness (not like the Blackchuck one) I'd go, but I'd dial back the hiking on each day until I felt better, or at least that's what I think I'd do.

Then there is my "old school" memory of Mt Ritter and Banner in 1973 at the age of 14. I did in fact get a positive strep throat diagnosis just before the trip. I didn't feel super sick. I asked the doc if there was any way I could go on the trip and I got this mammoth shot of penicillin and was declared good to go. Apparently I was. This led to the 2007 thing where I asked the doc... "34 years ago I was about to go on a trip and... I'll bet you guys don't do that anymore" "No we don't--stay home".
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Do you ever go out when slightly sick?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:31 pm

I just returned from the trip. I did not do the route I had planned, mainly due to weather, but also due to me just being tired and lazy. I bailed out to an easier route. The worst was all the snot running down my nose- got pretty raw and painful; but also nice to be solo and never see anyone given my snotty face! Also being stuffed up made sleeping poorly. I got better at the same rate I would have staying home. But overall it was a good trip. May not get a report written for a month or so due to all going on the next month.

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