While experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like to skip this section, everyone hiking or spending time outdoors while in Breckenridge should heed these simple suggestions that can prevent a vacation from turning sour.
PACKING FOR YOUR BRECKENRIDGE VACATION
You'll want to bring clothes that can be easily layered, especially if you plan on hiking or traveling up to areas with a higher elevation than Breckenridge. Afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence, so don't forget your rain jacket. And, while daytime summer temperatures are warm and comfortable, the temperature may drop into the 30s or 40s at night. Be prepared with pants and a lightweight jacket. Check the forecast ahead of time to see what kind of conditions to expect. Make sure you bring comfortable shoes that are appropriate for whatever activities you're planning. Other items, like sunscreen and a hat, are also valuable additions to your suitcase.
Mountain weather is extremely fickle and afternoon thunderstorms can sneak up on you. Plan your hikes and other outdoor activities for the morning with a return based around a late lunch, and you'll likely save yourself from getting soaked by the afternoon rain. Check weather forecasts often. When you do head out, keep an eye on the horizon for clouds. If the clouds start to build, watch them for lightning. Lightning strikes pose a real danger, especially if you're above the treeline. If clouds start to look ominous or if you see lightning, head back. That storm will get to you faster than you think it will. If you hear thunder, you need to get to shelter as quickly as you can.
Bring a good supply of water and high energy food for your outdoor adventures. The dry air, elevation, and physical exertion make fuel and hydration essential for enjoying any outdoor activities. Breckenridge is 9,600 feet above sea level, meaning it stands nearly a mile higher in elevation than Denver. Anyone ascending over 1,500 feet in one day, especially after going higher than 8,000 feet above sea level, risks altitude sickness. Visitors to Breckenridge should take extra precautions to avoid symptoms.
Drinking lots of water, providing your body with good food, and knowing your limits when ascending can all make your stay more enjoyable. Typically, altitude sickness involves nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and headaches. Medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen may help with these.
Altitude sickness can manifest itself in more dangerous forms. If you or someone you're with experiences symptoms like fever, coughing up frothy saliva, confusion, unstable emotions, or excessive drowsiness, this could indicate severe forms of altitude sickness. People experiencing these conditions need to immediately descend altitude and get to a hospital.