Kilimanjaro is known to be one of the most intriguing destinations that the planet has in store for you. Needless to say, approximately 40000 adventure enthusiasts chase this sought-after peak every year, of which around one thirds of them give up before they go all the way up. Listed for you, are five top tips to not only chase the tip, but to make it all the way as well.
1. Way Witty
There are seven routes that pave your way up the increasingly popular mountain – Marangu, Machame, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and the northern route. Here’s our take on what you must consider for the route to take. Put yourself through the wringer and reason it out with all the possible questions. Who’s the climber and how’s their mettle to battle the odds? What is your priority when it involves budget, health and duration of the trek? Where do you want to pick up your climb? Different starting points offer different startling points, sceneries and elevations. Why are you setting out on the trail? If you’re dead set on touching the Uhuru peak, then pick the route with the highest summit success rate. If you’d like a breezy, light hearted and pleasurable journey, then choose likewise. It’s indispensable to be waywitty here because the way you go says almost everything about whether or not you’ll go all the way.
Prepare well to fare well. Yes, Kilimanjaro is known to be the easiest mountain to climb at such an elevation and yes, it is warmly addressed as the layman’s Everest. But though it has become a major crowd pleaser by alluring people with different capabilities, it must not be misconceived. Although it is easier to scale on a relative scale, the climb requires every ounce of your physical and mental strength. So, brace yourself to ace the trek. Set a 3-6 month training schedule prior to the adventure. Your workout can include jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics, lunges, muscle presses, shoulder presses, sit-ups, practice hikes and so on, to build the core strength of your muscles.
3. Take before you take off
What you leave with is what you’ll have to live with. So make sure you pack right. Luckily, the Kilimanjaro climb does not necessitate any exclusive mountain gear, thus letting you climb light. Your absolute essentials include comfortable pants, shirts, underwear, fleece jacket, hiking shoes with ankle support, headlamp, long johns or silk underwear, hats, sleeping bag, waterproof wear, walking sticks, gaiters and medicines. Carrying light will carry you to the finish line. Always carry fabric that keeps you warm and dry. PS: Cotton is not one of them.
4. Don’t let the height bite
Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Don’t let its tallness stall you. As you climb higher, the oxygen levels will began to drop, but you don’t have to. Most people experience some degree of uneasiness owing to the altitude. The key is in treading slowly and carefully and not letting the height break your spirit. The longer the duration of your trek, the easier it is to fight the height. Slow and steady is the safest and most promising way up. Attend to your food and sleep to ascend all the way. Unfortunately, some discomfort is ineradicable despite the precautions you take. Get a total health checkup done before chasing the Kilimanjaro dream. Diamox is a climber’s best friend. But again, it isn’t recommended for some people. So make sure you see the doctor before you leave and pop in the right pills accordingly. Never undermine what the altitude can do. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) can also incur death.
5. Little add-ons
You’ll need to drink a daunting volume of upto five litres everyday because of the heightened pace of dehydration at such heights. Always carry water purification tablets.
Wrap up your individually packed items in plastic to keep things dry. Also carry wet wipes as the toilet facilities on top aren’t at their luxurious best. Things are likely to freeze up on your summit night, including your electronic devices. You can use a thermo flask for your water and tuck in your gadgets under the layers you will be wearing.
With the above five things sorted, so is your climb. We wish you a hassle-free and mesmerizing Kilimanjaro adventure.