It’s one of the popular climbs on the planet, but hiking Tanzania’s Climbing Kilimanjaro is not any easy feat. Standing 5895 metres tall and frequently covered in snow, the summit eludes many due to altitude sickness and ill preparation. Because the latter can strike even the most experienced hikers, being ready will provide you with the best potential for which makes it to the most notable.
As well as the helpful packing list you’ll find on Intrepid’s Kilimanjaro itineraries, they are the accessories that got me to the summit.
1. A solar battery charger
With no power sources on the mountain, the only path to keep your devices charged during the hike is to bring your own power. And with cool mountain climes known to zap battery life faster than usual, you’ll require it if you want taking photographs or listing to music. While still not particularly cheap, solar chargers are much more compact than they used to be, making one a great investment for Kili, and multi-day hikes beyond.
2. Hiking poles
You will possibly not use several hiking pole on your ascent of Kili, but you’ll be glad you brought two on summit day, not so much for the uphill slog, but also for the incredibly steep descent, which can change your knees to jelly in minutes. If you’re heading down via the Marangu route, it’s a six-to-eight-hour hike right down to your last camp on the mountain. For all those exiting via Mweka Gate, bank on a nine-to-ten-hour hike down to Mweka Camp.
3. Reusable hand and toe warmers
If you feel the cold, hand and toe warmers are essential for summit day, when temperatures can drop below -20°C. Avoid increasing the smattering of hand and toe warmers that contain been discarded on the mountain by past climbers and choose reusable set that may be reactivated on the next adventure by dunking them in boiling water.
4. An ultra-motivating playlist
You might would rather chat to your hiking buddies during the first couple of days of your trip, but on summit day, it’s every hiker for themselves: you’ll be trekking in the dark, in single file, for about six hours, and will be puffing too much to obtain additional when compared to a few words out en route. Keep the device near to your body to guarantee the battery stays juiced until you reach the summit.
5. A sanitary bag
Despite Kilimanjaro National Park’s strict no-littering policy, many travellers continue steadily to leave their wc paper behind, which can take years to breakdown in the overwhelmingly dry climate. Avoiding increasing this eyesore by keeping a tiny bag stashed in your pocket (like a zip-lock bag or a sanitary bag from a hotel) which you can use to store used toilet paper or wet wipes before emptying it in a drop toilet upon arrival at the next camp.
6. A shower in a bottle
As there are no showers on the mountain, fans of non-greasy hair would be smart to choose bottle of dry shampoo (or talcum powder, that includes a similar effect and can even be sprinkled in your shoes and socks to keep odors away). Similarly, wet wipes will be the closest you’ll reach a shower on the mountain. By purchasing a biodegradable brand, you can help to decrease the impact of the waste you produce in Africa.
7. Water bladder
Instead of waste valuable energy (and time) taking off your daypack to retrieve your water bottle, choose water bladder that you can sip from when you walk. I packed a supplementary one-litre water bottle in my day pack, in support of reached for this on longer hiking days as i drained my two-litre bladder. Remember that plastic bottles are strictly banned on Kilimanjaro.
8. Hiking buff
Whenever your neck isn’t burning on Kili, it’ll be freezing. Or the wind will be blowing flowing hair everywhere. Nevertheless, you may easily contain these issues with a hiking buff, a stretchy tube of fabric that may be fashioned into everything from a beanie to a headband, a sleeping mask to a neck gaiter, and even a balaclava. Pick one up at an outdoorwear store.
9. Every one of the meds
Intrepid recommends packing headache tablets and diarrhea medication, but it’s also smart to bring medication for colds and flu as well as constipation, which can strike at thin air. After learning my lesson the hard way, I never lay out over a multi-day hike without rehydration salts, if you’re likely to take Diamox (the typical medical prophylaxis agent for altitude sickness), be aware it can mask the symptoms.
If you’re planning to hike during year when there may very well be snow on the summit (roughly December to June), consider bringing crampons. Like hiking poles, these might not exactly help you a whole lot on the uphill slog if the trail is already boot-packed, but crampons can help increase your descent considerably, which can get just a little slippery as the snow commences to warm up following the sun rises.