Oxygen was an afterthought. I live at 8,000 feet in Colorado and thought I would be more tolerant to the thin air. I didn’t make the connection between being tired and/or having a headache with O2 deprivation.
Once I started using O2, those symptoms went away. Recently I changed my system from an inexpensive small cylinder with flow meter and Oxymizer cannula to a state-of-the-art pulse-demand system from Mountain High Equipment that gives pulses of O2 and does not continuously flow. One of my races is the AirVentureCup that starts in Kitty Hawk and ends at Oshkosh. Sometimes I have to go high over weather. With the EDS-011 I have enough O2 to get to the race (1,400 miles), run the race (1,000 miles) and get home (900 miles) without having to refill.
With this new system I get a small pulse of O2 at the beginning of each breath. It also automatically increases the length of the pulse as you go higher so there is no requirement to constantly monitor your flow meter. I have a transfiller hose and fill my own bottle from my welding tank. It cost $15 to fill my large tank, which gives many refills for my small tank.
I now believe that O2 should be very high on the list of things you should have. If you fly any cross-countries, you will definitely benefit from the alertness and the feeling of rest you get after a long flight, rather than that tired feeling.
Rob Martinson and Race66. 5-time winner of the AirVentureCup (Sprint Class). Also first place finishes in the Great American Cross Country Race (Denver-Oshkosh), Sun ‘n’ Fun Sprint, Sun100, CopperStateDash, and numerous R.A.C.E. events held each year in Utah and Nevada.