Kilimanjaro illusive Uhuru peak is reachable to all levels of walkers, providing you follow some simple rules.
Drink plenty of water or fluids - soups are a great warmer. Be careful with some energy drinks as these tend to make you dehydrated and need more water. Coffee, and milk powder should be avoided on the mountain, tea with honey or glucose is fine. Glucose can be purchased in Arusha. As you get higher in altitude it will be necessary to keep an insulted bottle in your sleeping bag or at least in the tent wrapped in some clothes. Water bladders with drinking hose (platypus) are great at a lower altitude as this makes it effortless in taking small amounts of water during the day. Unfortunately in our experience the hose's and mouth pieces can freeze what ever you try, so have alternate container available. All drinking water on the mountain is boiled and purified thereafter using purification tablets, your daily intake should at least be 3 liters if possible or more.
Stay warm and dry - Selective specialized clothing is the best thing you can have in your pack, a spare set of thermals should be kept in a dry bag (heavy plastic bag) walk in one set and change in your dry set for the evening.
First and second layers are the most important for walking, if you follow similar clothing to what is listed below the only other clothes you will require are ones that will be changed into during the evening. These should be of a higher tog rating a heavier fleece and another 2nd layer polar Tec sweater. Thinsulate waterproof gloves, hats and even soaks are a must, nothing worse than cold hands or feet. The pleasant thing is that you will find yourself climbing in shorts and T- Shirts ( Avoid cotton as it takes a long time to dry from sweat and will freeze overnight ) there are many breathable T's on the market or simple walk in a polyprop top.
The heavier jackets will most probably only come out in the evening. A good motto for any Alpine climbing is "It's better to have more than less" the right clothing packs down to small sizes and weigh's little. Note. Some specialized equipment is expensive and can be hired for the duration of the climb so I have given you a guide line to follow. Please advise in advance if rental equipment will be needed. A rough guide to what you should wear – to which your guide will advise you each day when you need to keep out as you gain altitude up the mountain.
Note. Some specialized equipment is expensive and can be hired for the duration of the climb so I have given you a guide line to follow. Please advise in advance if rental equipment will be needed.
A rough guide to what you should wear – to which your guide will advise you each day when you need to keep out as you gain altitude up the mountain.
1st layer - Thermals tops and leggings (Polypropylene or geo thermal)
2nd - Light weight polar Tec or similar long-sleeved sweater.
3rd - Lightweight wind stopper fleece or similar
4 th - Breathable wind stopper shell (Gortex-Waterproof)
5th - Water proof over pants
1st layer - Thermals tops and leggings (2nd dry pair should be worn.
2nd - Heavier weight polar Tec or similar long-sleeved sweater.
3rd - Heavier weight fleece or down jacket.
4 th - Fleece over pants ( jogging bottoms are ok )
5th - Breathable wind stopper shell ( Gortex )
6th - Over pants
Pointers for walking and dealing with altitude gain - Carry only what is necessary in your day pack, this should be large enough to carry your jacket or fleece, water and energy food. Recommended size is 20 - 30 liters with a hip strap. Walking poles are excellent. It’s an extra set of legs which help pace your walking, steady balance on tree roots and slippery ground. For uphill sections extra leverage - down hill, takes the weight and pressure off of weak knees and tired muscles.
Everybody has their own pace to walk and I'm sure you will find a comfortable speed that will allow you to enjoy the views and chat with your prty members and the climbing crews on route. I tell walkers to try and breath to every 2-3 steps, it's important not to exert yourselves too much, and take slow long deep breaths. If your out of breath just give yourself a quick 1 minute break, pull off the path where possible, take small amounts of water and enjoy the vista's far below. Try not to sit down, these stops are merely to catch up with the breath, when your ready continue at a labored pace. If you reach the camp too early, wasted energy will be spent keeping warm.
A picnic lunch is provided each day of walking and it is advised to bring energy food to nibble on the way (i.e. Chocolate and energy muesli bars.) When going for the summit dress carefully, follow the guide lines, most probably everything will be worn this day, if wearing over trousers with braces put these on last under gortex type shell. Toilet stops are a lot more pleasant if you do not have to remove everything.
Once again pace your ascent, you will get there if you "PLOD" breath nice and steady and use the walking poles at the correct adjusted height to give maximum leverage. Once you have danced the victoria dance, laughed, cried and taken the photo's the descent is a lot more pleasant. For those who ski use the poles once again and slide in the sections of screed (similar to telemarking or giant steps) this takes a lot of pressure off of the knees which are now in for 2 days of down hill. The information covers most points, please let us know if you have un-answered questions. Best of luck from all at Bush2Beach Safaris.