Hiking is among the most enjoyable hobbies or activities that we can undertake, particularly hiking in areas of great natural beauty. Hiking Mt Kilimanjaro is a breath taking experience, with so many different environments seen during the walk.
At nearly 19,500 feet (the actual height is about 19,300 and a few odd feet) Mount Kilimanjaro, with its snow covered peaks, is the highest peak in Africa. It is one of the most amazing walks in the world. You will traverse five different climates as you travel upward toward the peak. Each climate, each aspect of the hike, affords you different challenges to meet as you climb upward.
To reach that peak, quite appropriately called the Roof of Africa, in reasonably good health, there are a few things that you’re going to need to take with you along the way. Planning ahead for a trip of this level is, of course, only common sense. What are you going to need to organize?
*You many not climb Mt Kilimanjaro without a guide or without an organized trek, and by following the established paths. Find a good guide and group. Some will be far less costly, but may not be as experienced as they should be and not well able to handle emergencies. Choose wisely.
**Test your limits. You will need to know how your body will react to the altitudes that you’re going to travel. Hike to a few peaks prior to heading out to Kilimanjaro if you can and see how you react to high altitudes. If necessary see a physician to get medication to prevent altitude sickness.
* Pack very well for your trip. Usually your porter will carry part of your gear. Probably the porter will carry about 25 pounds worth. Don’t skimp or leave out needed equipment. One thing you will absolutely want to be sure that you have along with you will be portable water filters or hiking water filters. These are relatively light weight and you don’t want to be caught without one. Carrying enough water to sustain yourself on the trip is going to be difficult at best. A portable water filter, or hiking water filter will lessen the load and keep you safe by filtering out any type of micro-organism, even viruses.
*Good quality hiking boots are an absolute must. Never wear new boots that aren’t broken in. Get yourself in reasonable physical shape and break in the boots at the same time, but wearing hiking boots that are new is going to mean that you’re not as comfortable as possible. With a trip of this length and height, that is not an option. Hike a few smaller peaks while you wait for your trip, take your dog for excessively long walks, or even just stair climb with them, but whatever you do, make sure your boots are well worn in.
*Don’t forget a camera, but make it a good quality one. Cameras often don’t react well to high altitude or low temperatures. Make sure that yours is well rated so that your gorgeous photos of you at the peak aren’t lost to a camera failure.
Just as you would with any other trip, don’t try to rush it, and get in decent physical shape. Make sure that you’re fit enough to handle the trip. Get out and get moving well before your trip comes up, and pace yourself on the way up. If you follow common sense rules for hiking, you’ll be sure to end up standing at the peak smiling down at the rest of the world.