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By once&future
There's been some discussion on another thread about when O2 use is advisable. Rather than continue to hijack that thread I figured I'd start another. The question is, do you use an O2 system and, if so, at what altitudes?

For me the cut-off was around 14K feet. Below that and the complexity, weight and risk of doing an XC out landing with a big old Lloyd Bridges O2 tank on my back never seemed worth the benefit, but I recognize I may be in the minority here and I'm curious what others think.

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By red

I would not want my big SCUBA tank on my back when flying, either. I use those skinny green O2 bottles, free from a deceased smoker. (I think if you save the cigarette coupons, they give you those O2 tanks for free. :twisted: )

High Energy Sports was happy to make a custom long pocket on my harness, which Velcros flat (genius!) when not in use. It carries my tank below and behind my left armpit, and I never notice it unless I am on the ground. Since the tank is completely covered by the deep pocket, with zippers that close from each end (like a mini glider bag), nothing can hang up on the rig in flight. Thanks, as always, to Betty at HES.

Since most pilots here do not live on mile-high flat ground (like Denver or Utah cities), I think it would be valid to include the altitude (MSL) of each pilots' home in their responses. Low-land pilots will require oxygen long before the high-land pilots would need it, in any ascent. Physical conditioning can also be a factor, there.
By once&future
Of course I was exaggerating a little bit about the SCUBA tank, but I just measured my O2 bottle at 4.25" diameter by 12" length and it is pretty big and ungainly however I mount it in my harness. To answer Red's question I live at roughly 1K MSL and the launch at my home site is at 7K. When hiking I find that I'm comfortable without acclimatization up to about 11-12K, but need a day or two at altitude before I like to hike 14ers. When I'm flying a high altitude site I usually like to camp high the night before which helps me acclimatize.
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By billpain
I use the Mountain high system when gliding. It is light and small, designed for climbers so perfect for hang gliding. The system gives a varied pulse of oxy depending on altitude delivered as you inhale so very efficient.
For long flights to keep fatigue to a minimum I have it set to come on at 7,000'
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By waltspoint
It's been so long since I've gotten high on that stuff. Ahhh, the follies of youth... I really miss it though. Feeling like Spaceman Spiff, launching with O2, radio, water, instruments, a carefully chosen survival package containing chocolate, a can of Foster's, maybe a spliff, a wing and a prayer! That kind of flying does scare me a bit nowadays. Maybe again when I've gotten the mortgage and the kid's college paid off, so if I have a hard landing everyone is taken care of.

I had one of those smoker's emphasema setups, no pulse so I'd try to conserve. I'd have it on for the launch run if launch was above 9K, then switch it off. I'd switch it back on above 12K. If I launched without O2 and got up, I'd turn out of the lift at 14K. I remember feeling a LOT warmer and stronger when getting the oxy on. Probably less stupider too, but I don't know if that matters much for us hangglidering dudes.

>>Breathing pure oxygen is toxic at below 20 feet of water depth
I rarely fly that low, so pure oxy has been safe as far as I could tell.

Push out,
By Roadrunner71
I only have been able to get to about 14,800 Feet Once when I flew off Sonorra Peak up in the Sierra Mountain range. I did not encounter ill effects. I did not loose focus or have a Headache. I have flown Hang Gliders for something like twenty three years. I have never been high. High being over twenty thousand feet. I know one can get high flying a Hang Glider. My friend Ken Muscio got to I believe 24,000 feet up in Colorado.

That Day when I flew off the Sierra Mountain Range set up the senarrio for me having a pretty decent X-C flight. On that flight I flew to Gardnerville Nevada. On that Day I flew to Gardnerville Nevada 57 Miles away. I remember sticking my landing reaally well.

Maybe I will finally get high flying a sailplane. I see flying sailplanes as being the same game as flying an Hang Glider. Flying a SailPlane is just flying on a much larger scale.

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