Side effects of Hiking in Smoke: "Barothermic confusion and distress" ??

Mt. Shuksan bathed in wildfire smoke and fine particulate on 10/16/2022. Video: Unaltered (no haze filter) photos  and film of smoke from Ptarmigan Ridge Trail Mt. Baker/Shuksan on 10/16/2022: Smoke and Fire AQI was 169 in Peaceful valley[1] See other AQI maps far below.

I have completed at least three Mt. Baker and High Divide smoky hikes this summer and fall of 2022. Each was more smoky than the last. Yeah sure, I have had some tightness in my (allergic asthmatic) lungs post hike. But I had a strange, new experience yesterday.

After about five miles of hiking in the smoke I began to suffer 'hypothermic' like mental confusion. This despite hiking with my shirt off in the strangely unseasonable heat. I actually 'lost' the Ptarmigan Ridge trail twice despite having hiked on that trail at least a dozen times in the last 20 years and have never, ever before lost my way like that in any weather. I got so confused I had to ask bystanders for help finding the trail. Ended up scampering across a boulder patch and then detouring on some side trail I had never been on. Interesting detours, but in retrospect, I was a bit out of my head. My legs kept moving, though sometimes I needed to stop and rest.

Apparently, fine particles and wildfire smoke aerosols can carry 'carbon monoxide' for miles which in turn can 'silently' replace the oxygen in your blood stream?[234] My God! I had to tell some fellow hikers I was dizzy and I actually just sat down on the trail near the end and took my shoes off to soak my feet and hydrate more. Blowing my nose for some hours after I got home and this morning. This doesn't feel like a cold or Covid case, but an allergenic reaction to the fine particulate in my lungs: Sudafed, Zirtec, Aspirin seemed to stop the nasal drip. Granted, I am sixty and 'immunocompromised' (probably should not have been out there), but I am in relatively good shape for my age and I regularly hike 10 - 14 miles at high elevations. I had slept well night before, had plenty of lunch, was properly hydrated, etc.

I think we will need new terms for the 21st century diseases caused by outdoor exposure: not 'hypothermic' nor 'heat stroke'. Maybe something that will connote 'mental confusion' and 'carbon monoxide poisoning' caused by wildfire smoke. Something like: 'Barothermic confusion and distress' ?

Private air quality measurement near Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan and just two of the fires (Little Chill and Copper Lake) northeast of Baker. Screenshots from . Note the 250 plus AQI measurements at top left for this last weekend.

End Notes:

[1],WA [2] [3] [4]

Mt. Baker Smoky hikes on my channel: Always Hiking :



Popular posts from this blog

Testing the new Samsung Note 20 Ultra at Deception Pass (Fidalgo Island) and Horseshoe Creek (Nooksack)