Together We Go: Tips for Everyone Hiking up Kilimanjaro

Fanny Pack.
“Of course my daughters would not go out in public with me, with one of those around
my waist. However, I used mine every day of the climb-and for the rest of our trip. Great
for keeping purell and a small camera close at hand. I found a spray purell that I
preferred to the gel kind. Convenience reigns over fashion in Tanzania.”

Camel Back.
“I suggest a 3 liter water sack, that fits right into a knap sack that has a hole for the
valve to come out. I just purchased a water sack (I prefer the clear brand because the
plastic has a less weird aftertaste). Also bring 2 carabiners so you can dangle at least
one nalgene bottle for summit day, and for crater camp when the nozzles freeze.
Neoprene covers do not work on the hoses at the summit, so don’t purchase. I suggest 2
nalgene bottles along with the water sack.” □ “I concur heartily with this advice, I did not
have a camelback and getting enough water was a challenge. It is hard to drink from a
nalgene while moving, and also hard to make myself drink so much during short breaks.”
“I did not use a camel back and did fine with water bottles.”

Waterproof Baseball cap.
“Great for the bright sun. I also had 2 weights of head bands in fleece for underneath.
Good combination for most days. Could easily take of the head bands once you get
warmed up and wrap around your wrist with out stopping. My fleece hat was for
nighttime, summit day and crater camp.” “I used a wide brim, crushable waterproof hat
that worked great for the sun.”

“Down. Much warmer for sleeping, summit day and crater camp than gloves. Also be
sure to pack thin liner gloves for evenings and mild temps. A medium weight glove is
good for one of the days, where there is some rock scrambling to protect your fingers.”

Artic Weight Socks.
“I suggest a new pair of socks and liners for each day. I used the heaviest weight sock
5 of the 9 days with liners. I also purchased wider hiking boots so my toes had lots of
room to breathe. Normally my toes never stay warm. On this trip it was hardly an issue
except at night time. I think a boot with some room to wiggle my toes helped with my
circulation, which kept my tootsies in good shape the whole time.”

Flip Flops/Camp Shoes.
“Back a pair (takes up almost no space) so you can slip on in the middle of the night to
exit the tent without having to lace up, for a quick pee.” □ “My recommendation is a
little different, given the cold temps at night, you might want to use those lightweight
water shoes – these cover the whole foot, but are very easy to pack and can be
purchased inexpensively. Plenty of hikers used running shoes as their camp shoes.”

General Hygiene.
“I suggest packing lots of baby wipes, plan on using at least 10 a day. The first thing to
when you enter camp is to wipe down with baby wipes and get into clean clothes and
socks for the next day. If you have any half-days that are sunny, do a small laundry first
and hang your clothes up to dry while the sun is out. A great thing to have to hang
laundry from inside or outside the tent to dry.” □ “Another thing to consider is taking
along some clothes pins or diaper pins. I washed two sets of socks and underwear and
pinned them to my backpack on sunny hiking days. (You might want to think about
which pair of underwear is suitable for display.)”

Mini Ipod.
“Bring one loaded with music, and a battery pack
charger back up (or cd player with premixed music). We
tried a solar charger, which did not seem to work. I
found it extremely helpful to listen to tunes a few nights
when I had problems sleeping. The songs were soothing
and helped pass the time.”

“I had not brought any
music because I thought it would be a distraction and a
hassle (why pack more?), but now having completed the
trek, I think that I would have enjoyed the music for the
challenging summit trek – and for that after dinner hour spent trying to fall asleep at
9pm.” “I did not bring music – and did not seem to miss it. We had plenty of
conversation while hiking.”]

Stuff Sack.
“Make sure you have one big enough for your winter coat. I purchased a gortex coat
with a synthetic liner by “mountain gear”. It was a great coat for evenings, sleeping and
summit day. If you have a sack, it is easy to stuff the coat into the sack summit day for
the porters if you get too warm. Most days I wore 3 layers of thin long sleeved shirts, a
fleece vest, fleece jacket and a gortex waterproof shell. Layering is definitely the way to
go.” □ “I concur. These stuff sacks are a great way to keep organized. I used about 4
of them of various sizes. Having to sort and shuffle through your stuff each morning and
evening, you’ll appreciate having to spend less time finding stuff and more time enjoying
your companions and the mountain.”

Crater Camp. (A night at the summit.)
“Avoid if you can. After summiting....I suggest the 3
hour walk back to Barafu Camp, where there is plenty
of oxygen and warmer temps. After the summit (we
arrived at 2:45, stayed 30 min). Crater Camp was
rough for everyone in our group. No air and freezing
temps. The views were spectacular though.“

Fleece Pants (thin ones for layering).
“One pair is a must for sleeping and for summit day; wear the fleece pants under
waterproof pants for the summit day to protect against the wind.”

“I suggest a variety. Avoid bars totally covered with chocolate because they melt and
are very messy. I had one bar a day, most people probably have 2 or 3, if you are trying
to figure out what to bring. Any cliff or power bar is fine. The balance bars were
problematic because of the chocolate coating. Also, the jelly beans with energy boosts
(sold in most running stores and camping stores) were great for a quick sugar rush. Gu
was good for energy when you are not really hungry. The caffeine can have an adverse
effect, so try flavors other than chocolate. Hard candies are good too, because you can
easily pop them in your mouth along the trail with out stopping. Be sure to bring plenty
to share. Also, there are some Gatorade pills that can be added to water. They are easy
to use and do not take up much space. I preferred straight h2o.”

“For altitude sickness. Check with Tusker regarding what to bring. Our travel medicine
group did not recommend enough for the trip, so we had to purchase additional medicine
in Moshi. Better to come with your own.” □ “If you read up on this, you will find that
there are different approaches to using this medication. Tusker strongly recommends its
use beginning at the first camp. However, I preferred to wait until several days in until
my body was challenged. I did experience the tingling feeling in my hands that is a
common side effect.”

Herbal Tea.
“Never saw any during the trip. They had plenty of regular tea, but you may have a
negative effect from the caffeine. So pack a few for the cold evenings for sipping.”

Fleece Jackets.
“I wore one and used the other as a pillow and back up. Fleece vest a must. □ Fleece
makes a great pillow, but keep in mind you might end up wearing your fleece so plan for
a pillow if you know you like to have one.”

“Lots of kids were asking for pens. I suggest stopping at staples superstore and loading
up on 500 to bring over.”

Small bills (generally a good idea for most of the trip).
“Bring lots of ones, for tipping and small purchases.”

Picture taking.
“There are a great many philosophies and preferences when it comes to taking photos,
but I’d strongly recommend thinking ahead of time about what you’d like remember
about the trip in the months or years afterwards. For example, I’d taken a fairly detailed
written log of the daily activities, but neglected to take pictures of each campsite. Had I
considered ahead of time what I would want to remember, I would have been more
strategic in my selections. On the other hand, it is very likely you’ll get to share photos
later with your fellow hikers, so someone else is likely to take that shot you

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