Hiking Kilimanjaro: Some Practical Advice

May 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Hiking Kilimanjaro is one of the definitive experiences that visitors dream of before they ever tour Africa. It is worth every minute and every hour you spend climbing to reach the summit to enjoy the breadth of what you’ve accomplished.

For many tourists, this is an once-in-a-lifetime moment and you should absorb it and enjoy it, but not before you’ve prepared for it.

The 35 Pound Rule

Preparation is a large part of the tourism experience. People buy guide books, take language courses, get inoculations and put together packing lists. This isn’t a normal tourism experience.  Hiking Kilimanjaro requires specific knowledge of how to pack for climate and terrain changes and the restrictive nature of provisions for climbing. While nothing completely prepares you for this trip, Zara Tours has taken the guess work out of how to pack for it.

We’ve put together a packing list that will make some of your preparatory steps easier. The cardinal rule: don’t pack a bag that is heavier than 35 pounds. When you hear the words “day pack,” think large backpack or duffel bag.

Why? Our porters will be hiking Kilimanjaro with you. They will carry the majority of the gear, including yours, from camp to camp as you climb. If your bag weighs more than 35 pounds, we will have to hire another porter to carry it. This is an additional $100.00 charge for the duration of the trip.

Some Practical Advice

Rule number two: dress in layers, but not the ones you’re used to. Yes, you are on the equator, but as the altitude rises, the temperature drops. Hiking Kilimanjaro can get cold. We recommend that you dress in three basic layers:

  1. Wicking-do not wear cotton
  2. Insulating
  3. Breathable top layer

This combination allows you to shed and add layers as needed.

You may have noticed that shorts are on the packing list too. These are meant for your first and last days only, when you’re in the lower elevations of the mountain. Pack some winter gear too.

You’ll need a good jacket, some gloves, a neck gator, and chemical warming packs for your hands and feet. It’s important that what you wear stays close to your body and allows you to move. You don’t want to bring anything that can get easily tangled up or blown away.

Ladies, wear sports bras and all hikers need to break-in their shoes before the trek starts; preferably at home a couple of weeks before you leave for the trip. Bring a solid, waterproof pair for hiking Kilimanjaro during the day, and comfortable tennis shoes for the camping areas at night. It’s important to rest your feet as well as your body.

This is very practical packing advice, but it works. Please review our complete list on our website: www.zaratours.com. It includes documents, first aid supplies, and gift ideas; all the things that make your trip complete. If you have any questions, please contact us. We’re committed to making your once-in-a-lifetime hike successful.

Hiking Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Entry filed under: Climbing Kilimanjaro, Hiking Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit. Tags: , , , .

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