Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain on earth and the highest mountain in Africa. It stands at 5895 m above sea level making it unique by providing a challenging and interesting climb.
The mountain is one of a kind since it passes through five different climatic zones. The trek is challenging though worth it since it provides an accomplished feeling standing at the roof of Africa.
The following guidelines will help trekkers prepare for the climb for higher summit success rate.
Mental And Physical Preparation
A clear mind is most crucial for the climb. A good mental preparation will provide higher summit success rate. This is through listening to what the guides tell you and having a positive mind since you are on vacation.
However physical preparation is not to be set aside. Prior to the climb, it’s important to do physical exercises including taking long walks with a backpack. Also to do lung exercises to help you breathe normally in reduced levels of oxygen.
Acquire The Right Trekking Gears
It’s important to pack the right clothes which are to be used through different climates on the mountain.
Consider the following before packing;
- Packing trekking outfit which include a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, hiking socks, waterproof and sturdy boots
- Packing personal items inside a plastic bag before putting them in the bag in case of rain
- Thermal socks (more than 3 pairs), gloves (preferably mittens), warm head protection, rain coat, sunglasses, sun protection cream
- Clothes for higher temperatures including shorts, sweaters and T-shirts
- Water bottle including Camelbak and Nalgene style plastic bottle
Being Aware of AMS
(AMS) Acute Mountain Sickness is a pathological effect on humans caused by high altitude effect resulting in lower oxygen levels which makes it hard to breathe normally.
It has several symptoms like headache, dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and rapid heart rate. However being physically fit doesn’t guarantee a hiker not getting AMS since anyone can have it.
The following are to be done so as to avoid AMS;
- Choosing a longer route of above 6 days, Northern circuit, Machame and Lemosho routes are highly recommended
- Drinking lots of water while on the mountain. 5 liters of water is recommended
- Doctor’s prescription of Diamox to help acclimatize comfortably
- Taking slow paces in order to avoid exhaustion
- Avoid consuming alcohol, stimulants and caffeine
Taking It Slow
On the mountain, it is important to walk slowly since it’s not a race but rather a holiday. Walking slowly will help hikers acclimatize properly and avoid exhaustion.
Maintenance Of Personal Hygiene
It’s important to know that you will not shower while on the mountain.
You need to consider:
- Using baby wet wipes for bathing
- Carrying a roll of toilet paper
- Get a toilet tent in the campsites
It’s recommended to drink lots of water while on the mountain. This will help giving you strength and reduce fatigue. The amount that is recommended is 5 liters a day.
The last day of the climb is very challenging and takes a lot of walking hours hence it’s required to do preparation. Take time to allow your body to rest prior to the summit. Also drinking lot of water will provide your body with strength and energy to move on.
Above all, it’s required to sleep very early the day before summit so as to avoid exhaustion.
Climbing Kilimanjaro provides you an amazing feeling especially standing at the roof of Africa. To make it more adventurous, one may opt for a wildlife safari in the national parks or a beach vacation in Zanzibar.