Your Ultimate Guide to Prevent Being Rescued | Oxygen Plus

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Your Ultimate Guide to Prevent Being Rescued: Oxygen Essentials for Adventure Seekers

April 03, 2024 5 min read

    Your ultimate guide to prevent being rescued

    Did you know that in outdoor rescue stories, oxygen plays a pivotal role in saving lives? According to recent statistics, in nearly 80% of underwater rescue situations, administering oxygen has been the decisive factor in stabilizing divers until they can reach professional medical care. This really shows the critical importance of oxygen, not just in scuba diving, but in other low oxygen environments. Let’s take a deep dive into the top tips to prepare for your adventure travel, like caving and hiking at high elevations, so you can feel vibrant and safe knowing you are prepared for almost anything.

    The Importance of Oxygen for Adventure Safety

    Oxygen isn't just the gas we breathe to stay alive; it's also a lifeline for those who venture into extreme environments. Imagine exploring the depths of a cavern, where narrow passageways twist and turn, or descending into the mysterious depths of the ocean, where the pressure increases with every meter. Similarly, when hiking at high elevations, where the air is thinner, and oxygen concentrations are lower, carrying the right tools, like supplemental oxygen, can help mitigate the effects of altitude sickness. Lack of oxygen at high altitudes can lead to symptoms ranging from mild headaches and nausea to more severe conditions like pulmonary edema or cerebral edema. In all of these harsh environments, the availability of oxygen can make a huge difference.

    One news story comes to mind when discussing this topic. In June 2018, a youth soccer team from Thailand captured the world's attention as they became trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave complex. The team, known as the Wild Boars, ventured into the caves for a routine excursion but were swiftly engulfed by rising floodwaters, leaving them stranded for over two weeks. An international rescue effort involving divers, engineers and volunteers from around the globe worked tirelessly to navigate treacherous conditions and bring the boys to safety. Miraculously, all 12 team members and their coach were successfully rescued, uniting the world in relief and celebration. Still, their oxygen levels dropped to as low as 15%, which can be fatal. A former Thai navy SEAL from the rescue team passed away when he was placing oxygen tanks in the cave for the team members. The tragedy and triumph of this story relates in large part due to the oxygen and lack thereof in the underground environment.

    10 Ways To Prepare for Your Adventure to a Low Oxygen Environment 

    10 Ways To Prepare for Your Adventure to a Low Oxygen Environment

    How can you ensure you're adequately prepared for these adventures? We’ve got you covered!

    Research and Planning 

    Take the time to thoroughly research your destination, including potential hazards, weather conditions and required permits. Plan your route meticulously, considering factors such as distance, terrain, and available resources, also taking into account what would be needed in an unwanted or unforeseen event.

    Physical Fitness

    Ensure you are in good physical condition for the challenges ahead. Engage in regular exercise and activities that build strength, endurance and flexibility. Train specifically for the demands of your chosen adventure, whether it's hiking, climbing or diving. This way you feel strong enough to combat potential challenges that may present themselves. Engaging in regular aerobic exercise can improve your body's ability to utilize oxygen efficiently, thus enhancing your overall endurance and resilience in oxygen-demanding situations.

    Recreational Oxygen

    It's a smart call to carry portable oxygen with you during these excursions, especially in remote locations where access to medical assistance may be limited. Packing recreational oxygen canisters like Oxygen Plus can help you out when you most need it. Increasing your oxygen levels before embarking on your journey will start you off on the right track. Portable oxygen canisters, such as Oxygen Plus (O+), are not prescription or medical oxygen but – when used as directed – can provide a convenient, reliable source of supplemental oxygen for healthy, wellness-minded outdoor enthusiasts.

    Skills & Training or Hire a Guide

    Acquire the necessary skills and training to safely navigate your chosen environment or make sure you hire a guide with adequate training. This may include wilderness survival techniques, first aid certification, or proficiency in specialized equipment such as ropes and harnesses.

    Emergency Preparedness

    Prepare for the unexpected by having a comprehensive emergency plan in place. Familiarize yourself with procedures and protocols to address common injuries/illness associated with your activity, including how to signal for help and administer basic first aid. Becoming Red Cross First Aid certified is a great first step, and if you are a true backcountry traveler, getting wilderness first responder certification from a school like NOLS can be an indispensable asset. Of course, you should carry emergency supplies such as a first aid kit, emergency shelter, and extra food and water (and errr…canisters of oxygen!). Always let someone know where you are going and when you are expected to return.

    Navigation Tools

    Whether it's a map and compass or a GPS device, make sure you have the necessary tools to navigate your surroundings safely. If you are going into the backcountry make sure you have a paper map of the area and compass and know how to use it, in case your batteries or electronics fail. When it comes to emergency preparedness, redundancy is key!

    Emergency Shelter

    Pack a lightweight emergency shelter, such as a tent or bivy sack, to protect yourself from the elements in case you get stranded. If your gear bag does not accommodate a shelter be sure to at least have an emergency blanket or warm clothes. A space blanket is a lightweight, portable and reliable way to add some warmth.

    Nutritious Snacks

    Fuel your body with energy-dense snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and dried fruit to sustain you during long hikes or strenuous activities. If you think you packed enough pack for one more person or day, if your buddy loses the food bag or you get stranded you won’t mind having carried the extra 4 ounces of protein bars. 

    Protective Clothing

    Dress in layers and wear appropriate clothing for the conditions you'll encounter, including footwear, waterproof jackets, and hats for sun protection. Again, remember the rule of redundancy: The best case scenario is that you’re overdressed and too warm; the worst is that you get caught in a tricky situation with poor clothing.

    Communication Devices

    Carry a fully charged cell phone or satellite communicator to call for help in case of emergencies. Emergency transponders are another great option that don’t take up a lot of space and can be a good compromise if you decide you want to be 100% offline and phone free. If you are going to use a cellphone as your primary form of communication for an emergency, remember that cold temps drain batteries faster and external batteries don’t have to be heavy!

    Avoid Being Rescued and Be Prepared to Help Others with Oxygen Plus

    Avoid Being Rescued and Be Prepared to Help Others with Oxygen Plus

    By following these ten steps, you can enhance your preparedness and maximize your enjoyment of any adventure, whether it's exploring caves or summiting mountains. Even when diving into the depths of the ocean, it can be crucial to have the items mentioned prepared once you come out of the water. Remember, the key to a successful adventure lies in careful planning, proper training, and a spirit of adventure tempered by responsibility and respect for the natural world.

    For more tips on outdoor adventure preparedness and the benefits of oxygen supplementation, check out our other blogs like "What is Reverse Altitude Sickness and What Can You Do About It?" and our blog on how to pack a first aid kit!

    Stay safe, stay prepared, and keep exploring with confidence!



    Oxygen Plus (O+) products, which contain pure recreational oxygen, are intended for recreational, intermittent use only, not to be used as medical nor life-saving products. Prolonged use is defined as uninterrupted intake for more than 8 hours. Any person with any type of health or medical condition should consult their physician prior to the use of O+ products. Since O+ is not a medical product or intended for medical use, it is neither regulated nor approved by the FDA. 

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