I’m going to altitude with a commercial group that is carrying a hyperbaric bag. Doesn’t that lessen my chances of having problems with serious altitude illness ?

No. It is unclear whether a group carrying a hyperbaric bag is less likely to have problems. Among trekkers to high altitude destinations in Nepal, those traveling independently are less likely to experience a fatality resulting from altitude illness. Such people may be more flexible in their schedules and less likely to be influenced by peer pressure. The bag may not change that (see Shlim and Gallie 1992). Aggregate statistics do not distinguish between groups with experienced, competent leaders and those without. Travelers with commercial groups should assess the competence of their leaders as there are no regulatory standards.

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