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Backpacker Magazine – January 2013

Peakbagger Skills

Tips for overcoming jetlag, gathering beta, and getting your summit gear to foreign peaks in one piece.

by: Rachel Walker

Mark Jenkins in Tibet
Photo by Mark Jenkins in Tibet
Mark Jenkins in Tibet



Avoid Jet Lag
>> Prep your sleep
Get eight to nine hours of shut-eye each night for a week before your departure date. If possible, adjust your sleep schedule pretrip by going to bed and waking up several hours earlier than normal if you’re flying east, or several hours later if you’re flying west.
>> Time it right
Choose flights with afternoon arrivals. Stay awake until it’s your normal bedtime in the local time zone (where you’re headed), and set an alarm so that you wake at a reasonable morning hour; limit sleeping time to eight hours.
>> Drink up
You lose 250 ml of water per day through normal breathing and even more when the air is dry (most overseas flights dehumidify cabin air). Slow dehydration by breathing through your nose and drinking lots of water. Aim to consume two liters on flights longer than five hours, always accept the flight attendants’ refill offers, and avoid alcohol.
>> Work out
Avoid heavy sweat sessions immediately before your trip. But upon arrival, take a brisk run, bike ride, or hike. The boost in circulation and the sun exposure will energize you, and the workout will help you feel more tired when your appointed bedtime arrives.


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