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What to Pack

The Xplorer Tour Vehicle has limited space for baggage. Maximum allowance is one (1) duffle bag or backpack weighing no more than 50 lbs (22.5 kg) and one (1) small carry-on/day pack.

 

Colorado mountain weather can change rapidly and vary dramatically from morning to evening. It is common, even in the middle of summer, to experience a cool morning followed by a hot sunny afternoon with a mid-afternoon rain shower (even snow flurries) that clear up for a pleasant sunset with a cold evening once the sun dips below the mountains.

 

Layering clothing is best so you can add and take off layers throughout the day as the conditions change.  Avoid natural fibers, such as cotton, as these tend to hold moisture and increase the body’s heat loss.   Even during the warm summer months, hypothermia is a significant concern and risk factor in the mountains. Clothing made of synthetic materials with moisture wicking properties is best suited for the mountain environment.

 

Below is a sample of what to pack for your tour.  There will be at least one opportunity during the tour to do laundry as well as several of the hotels offer laundry services for a fee.

  • 3 – Trousers loose fit, good for hiking (convertible with zip-off legs to shorts are popular)
  • 3 – Shirts (at least one long sleeve)
  • 1 – Fleece pullover or vest
  • 1 – Outer jacket shell, water repellent (doubles as a rain parka)
  • 4 – Underwear
  • 6 – Socks
  • 1 – Bathing suit
  • 1 – Beanie or snow cap
  • 1 – Sun hat
  • 2 – Sunglasses (always have a spare pair)
  • Sunscreen
  • Gloves (lightweight)
  • Toiletries (travel size)
  • Medications
  • Wash cloth or small pack towel
  • Watch
  • Flashlight/Torch (with spare batteries)
  • Sandals with secure heel (ex: Tevas/Keens - double as shower shoes)
  • Hiking shoes (over the ankle) or boots with good traction and ankle support
  • Phone with charger
  • Camera with charger

Tips:

  • At altitude sun exposure is more intense and the sun tends to reflect off snow and rock features so apply sunscreen often and use a higher SPF rating than you are used to.
  • Wildlife are attracted to different scents especially those of fruits & berries, honey, etc. so be cautious of what lotions, body sprays, perfumes, shampoos, and hair products you use and try to go with unscented or go without.
  • Colorado has low to no relative humidity.  Apply lotion (unscented) to avoid dry skin.  In addition, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

 

Mountain Travel

The mountain highways and passes in Colorado are inherently winding with sharp curves and switchbacks as they make their way through the mountains.  If you are prone to motion sickness, have had issues in the past with sea sickness, nausea on flights, etc. please plan accordingly and bring with you and take anti-nausea medications prior to traveling on the Xplorer Tour Vehicle.

 

High Altitude Sickness

People have different susceptibilities to altitude sickness; for some otherwise healthy people, acute altitude sickness can begin to appear at around 2000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level, such as at many mountain ski resorts.  Symptoms often manifest themselves six to ten hours after ascent and generally subside in two to three days, but they occasionally develop into the more serious conditions. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, dehydration, nose-bleeds, and sleep disturbance. Exertion aggravates the symptoms.

 

The most serious symptoms of altitude sickness arise from edema (fluid accumulation in the tissues of the body).  At very high altitude, humans can get either high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

 

HAPE can progress rapidly and is often fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath at rest, and cough that is initially dry but may progress to produce pink, frothy sputum. Descent to lower altitudes alleviates the symptoms of HAPE.

 

HACE is a life threatening condition that can lead to coma or death. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, visual impairment, bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, loss of coordination, paralysis on one side of the body, and confusion. Descent to lower altitudes may save those afflicted with HACE.