Posted by: trekguyd | January 31, 2014

Things to know about trekking Kilimanjaro

Across the saddle, Kilimanjaro

Across the saddle, Kilimanjaro

If you are interested in hiking Kilimanjaro this winter with Trekguyd, there are a few things to know. Here is a brief description of the trek: The trek goes up one side of the mountain and crosses over the saddle and then back down the other side. It is not that difficult if you train and do some good up hill walking. You cannot train for altitude. It is up to your body and you will not be running right along. Your body will be in slow motion and you will have to tell yourself to pick up each foot to move along. We start off slow, so your body can adjust to the altitude. You may feel a slight headache when you start to climb, but this is normal. If the headache continues and starts getting much stronger, it may mean you might have to go back down. If you start to cough and it persists, you will be forced to turn back. The water in your lungs can be very dangerous and even life threatening and therefore you have to return. There will be no water to bath in on this trek. A bowl of water will be given to you each morning for washing your face and hands. So for 5 days you will be in the wilderness, no bathing, no shaving and sleeping in tents. There will be three meals provided a day plenty of drinking water. Do not throw away any food or water, you may want it later. I was given juice on one of my treks up Mount Kenya and didn’t drink it all and saved it in my backpack. Coming down my partner was dehydrated and I kept pulling out juice for her to drink. I was glad I saved it.

Kilimanjaro Campsite

Kilimanjaro Campsite

The trek starts off in warm temperatures, wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts. This is where your porter comes in. He will carry your sleeping bag and items you won’t need until you reach camp. So be sure you have your gear with you when you start in the morning. He may be ahead of you setting up camp and you will not be able to retrieve your things until you reach camp. When the porters pack in the morning, you need to have everything packed and ready for them. They break down the campsite as you leave on the trek. You will start putting on more gear as we climb, so be sure you have your warm gear packed and on your back. I always bring a pair of long johns. They are good to trek in and warm enough in my sleeping bag at night. Some places have huts for sleeping. I prefer tents and the nice open fire to sit by at night because people in the huts tend to talk all night. You need to get some sleep, because you are going to get up at 1:30 am to summit to the peak and then back down, which will be a 13 hour day. Going down will be long and hard. This area of the mountain has sand that will roll into your boot as you go down. Gaiters will stop this from happening and a good walking stick also helps in the downward trek.

There will be a stop to get your certificate of the climb and you can buy a t-shirt. They also sell beer for $20, but you can wait until we get to the lodge.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience that will leave you with a real sense of accomplishment and friends for a lifetime.

Hope to see you in East Africa!
Your Trekguyd

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