To climb Mount Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime opportunity. People travel from all over the world to stand on top of the Roof of Africa. If you fail to prepare, Prepare to fail so being properly prepared to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is the key to a successful summit attempt.
You do not require any climing skills to summit Mt Kilimanjaro, Its like one big hike, if you go through one section called the Barranco Wall. This requires basic bouldering skills, If you went on one of our training weekends we would bring your skills level up to scratch.
The Right Gear
Having the right equipment is ecential to climbing any mountain. The hike has four different climatic zones, so you will need a layered system for clothes, so you can stay cool at the lower sections of the mountain and stay warm as you get higher up the mountain.
A theramal base layer, mid fleece layer and a outer jacket are recommended. Boots are very important and make sure they are comfertable. I would recommend good quality gloves and even layering them too for summit attempt.
I would also recommend trekking poles.
If you need any of this you can come down to the lodge and we can sort you out for all the gear you may need on your adventure.
Fitness for Kilimanjaro
There is a common misconception that you need to be super fit to be able to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is simply not true. Of course having a good level of health and fitness is important for anyone wanting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but you don’t need to be an experienced marathon runner! On Kilimanjaro you will be trekking approx. 5-7 hours a day (summit day being a lot longer). Preparing for these treks through practice hikes in your own area is a great way to build up your fitness level. As we have said above we do trainng weekends to help you judge your own fitness aswell as giving you the summit day experience.
Acclimitization on Kilimanjaro
Given enough time the body adapts to changes in altitude. Some people experience worse altitude sickness symptoms than others. Altitude effects every person differently. To prepare for altitude it is important to understand the symptoms associated with it.(we have another more in-depth article here)
Here are three key points to remeber.
1. “Pole pole”
Go slowly at all times, even on the lower part of the mountain. Do not over exert yourself. you will hear all the porters and guides say Pole pole which is Swahili for slowly slow.
Staying hydrated is important for you at any time, but on the mountain it can help you avoid altitude sickness. The more fluids you can drink the better. you are recommended to take 3 liters a day.
3. Climb high, Sleep low
Climbing high, sleeping low allows your body to experience altitude for a short period before descending to sleep. We always use an acclimatization day to get the best use of this odd climbers addage.
Food on Kilimanjaro
Eating well on Kilimanjaro is key to your success (you’ll need the energy on summit night.) Food is carried and prepared by our team. Typically breakfast consists of tea / coffee, bread with spreads, porridge, sausage and eggs. Lunch usually includes soup, bread, a cooked stew or sandwiches. Dinner is similar to lunch. Take snacks and try to eat 3 a day. A main symptom of altitude sickness is nausea and loss of appetite.
If you experience these symptoms you must remember to try eat something to ensure that you have some energy reserves you can draw on during the summit. Eating a few biscuits helps!
Water on Kilimanjaro
Water is vital on the mountain. As I said before you will need to take 2-3 liters of water. you may have to add water purification tablets with you if the water has not been boiled.
Your guides will undobtable be your greatest asset to you on the trek. All of our guides have a good grasp of english and cupla focal as gaeilge. You will have massive respect for these guys when you see them hauling up the gear and food.
Getting to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro has a lot to do with determination. There will likely be a point during the summit attempt where you might feel like giving up. You might be feeling awfully sick and exhausted. At that lowest point it is important that you remain determined to get to the top. just take it one step at a time “pole pole”. As long as it wont adversly effect your own health, our guides will help monitor that, it is important that you listen to your body and others in your group.