Tips for climbing Kilimanjaro

I recently climbed Kilimanjaro and it was an awesome experience – I highly recommend it. However, I wished that I could have found a simple quick list of tips ahead of time. I figured I would drop in a few of the things that I think can make the whole experience easier.

  • Yellow fever vaccination. Have this way ahead of the actual trip because it is likely to make you feel a little unhealthy for a few days. Many of the guys in our group (myself included) reported feeling unwell up to 6 days after receiving the vaccination.
  • Wet wipes. There isn’t much water up there, so you won’t be washing at all for 5-7 days. We were disgusting by the end and wet wipes do allow some welcome relief.
  • Diamox. There was a lot of debate about taking diamox. I feel that it didn’t make any difference at all, but I still took it to be on the safe side. Imagine how bad it would feel to get AMS and to wonder if Diamox would have saved you. Take it with.
  • Wet gear. We had some rain and snow – trust me you want gear that is totally water proof. Make sure of this.
  • Bags. You should take 3 bags. One for the gear you will leave at the hotel – lock this one. A waterproof duffel bag which the porters will carry for you – lock this one every day. A backpack which you will carry – this one is for warm clothes, snacks, water, etc. Make sure it’s waterproof.
  • Plastic bags. I found it extremely useful to separate everything in my duffel bag into plastic bags – they also increase water resistance.
  • Toilet paper. You will be using pretty dirty ‘long drops’ all the way up and you should bring your own toilet paper or you’re going to be very unhappy.
  • Camelback. Makes drinking much, much easier. Will freeze on the summit attempt so bring along a thermal water bottle too.

Enjoy! It’s a really great experience.