Did you ever trek or climb at altitude and get one of those damn coughs that took months to go away? It used to happen to me all the time on my Kilimanjaro climbs. In Nepal, the climbers call it the “Khumbu Cough.” It wasn’t until Kili climb number 42 that I got fed up spending countless bucks with my doctor and many more hours throwing down weird meds that never seemed to work. What ever I did, it always took 6 weeks for the cough to fizzle out.
The A-HA! moment happened when I realized that I would start coughing at 13,000 ft. when I took a breath. The breath triggered the cough. What was it about 13,000 ft. that triggered it? The cold and dry air. A-HA!
The cold dry air irritated my throat which eventually developed into chronic bronchitis. So I figured if I wrapped a BUFF around my head and mouth, and breathed through the BUFF, my breath would moisten the material, and I’d be inhaling moistened air. It worked.
So if you start developing a cough in the cold dry air at altitude, use a BUFF around your mouth, and start breathing the air through the moist material, and you’ll solve your coughing problem. In fact, I’m so hooked on the BUFF cure, that I’m giving one of these nifty throat-saving buffs as a gift (along with a cool new T-shirt and hat) to every Tusker trekker from here on out.
What fun to climb in the BUFF.