I'm going to climb Emory Peak and I was wondering if I should spend a day acclimatizing in Chisos Basin. I know 7800 ft isn't going to give me AMS, but I'm wondering if it will make it a little easier to climb if I stay there a day.
Probably not enough to notice, if you're asking about acclimation. One day isn't long enough for your body to change much, and anyway 5,000 feet won't trigger much of a change.
Look at it this way: the standard advice for acclimation (above 10,000 feet) is to increase altitude by no more than 1,000 feet per day, with an extra rest day every three days, so a net of 750 feet per day. Just for laughs, let's pretend the same advice applies at lower altitudes: if your body can adjust at a rate of about 750 feet per day, then at best, spending an extra day at "altitude" effectively lowers Emory's summit to 7050 feet. That's just not a big enough change to matter.
Personally, I love to spend an extra day at my destination before I go *do* anything. Travel disrupts my sleep (can't sleep on airplanes or in cars or most trains), changes my food and exercise routine, and generally throws me off. Having a whole unscheduled day to recover is quite helpful, regardless of altitude.
I made it. I made a mistake that only a half of a handful of people here have committed that caused me to spend another four hours. I also spilled my water. Thank you for your information. It was my first class 3 climb. Got some great views of the Chisos Mountains in the process.