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Top Ten Tips

We have received a slew of tips from people who recently climbed Kilimanjaro. Enjoy!

Madhu’s Tips:

1. Instead of a backpack for the porters to carry all your stuff that is not in the day pack…use a DUFFLE bag. Easier for one to pack and unpack. The porters consolidate bags and carry them in their packs on their head…so even if you have a great pack its not very useful for them.

2. Use compression bags to store your things, which will not only reduce volume but also protect from rain.

3. Invariably socks soak up moisture…to reuse the same ones just tuck them at the bottom of the sleeping bag at your feet. Next day morning they are dry.

4. Tuck the clothes you are going to wear the next day in your sleeping bag at night. They are warmer when you put on the next morning. Or wear them at night so you get extra 10 minutes of sleep.

5. Carry some gum.

6. Carry water flavouring and gatarode. Use them if you cannot drink iodine treated water. Hydrate! Hydrate Hydrate!

7. Carry extra items. You never know who might need it!

8. Bring some non caffeine tea bags.

9. Try and re-use the baby wipes. You know what I mean.

10. Don’t forget knee braces and elastic bandages. You will need them while coming down. Your knees will thank you.

Daisy’s Tips:
1. Don’t underestimate how cold it will be! I was talking to our guide about how Marisa got frostbite on her fingers. He said that he tries to not wear the thick gloves until at least halfway through the hike for the day. If you wear the thick gloves the whole time, your sweat will seep into the glove and it won’t help as much keeping your hands warm. He said he just put his hands in his pockets and alternated between hands. Or you could always wear a lighter glove and then switch them when it starts to get really cold.

2. Trekking poles rock, except on the Barranco Wall.

3. My camelback was insulated, so it didn’t freeze (and i know a lot of people had nalgene bottles and whatever else that froze over). The top part wasn’t insulated, so I tucked it underneath my balaclava.

4. You can never have enough water, toilet paper, wet wipes, and diamox!

5. A lot of people that wore contacts during the summit attempt actually had their contacts pop out of their eyes (probably from the wind?).

Marisa’s Tips
1. Pack super essentials on your carry on bag in the plane with you! (ie. 0 degree sleeping bag, sleeping pad, gaiters, down jacket, etc).

2. Don’t forget the poncho (and don’t buy a cheap one!!!)

3. Don’t forget the duck tape. It’s good for a combination of things.

4. Don’t forget your meds, snacks, energy drink powder

5. Anticipate extreme cold and wind just in case (better to be prepared) — bring 1 pair of expedition weight socks and 1 pair of thick gloves/mittens (those, I wish I had for the trip!)

6. For the girls, dig a hole in front of your tent between the tent door and the outer fly, make a ‘dam’ on the downward slope. To dig and cover, a random rock or thick stick works well. This is great if you need to pee in the middle of the night and you don’t want to walk to the long drop (bleh), find a bush, or it’s freezing cold outside. Cover your pee with dirt when your done. And the peeing technique…get as low as you can, knees literally on the ground and lower legs splayed out to prevent splashing and waking up your neighbors. Yoga helps give you the flexibility to do this pose.

7. Don’t be afraid to immodium up

8. If you miss a meal (sick, etc), take a glucose tablet once you feel better. It’s a little boost of quick energy

9. Altitude sickness sucks, but try not to mask the symptoms with powerful pills so that you can tune in to how it is affecting your body

10. Stretch before hiking, breaks, after hiking. Your body will love you for it.