Preparations for Kilimanjaro
Everything the porters will carry for you between campsites should be placed into the duffel bag, including the sleeping bag, but it is OK to pack the sleeping bag separately if necessary. If you rent a sleeping bag from us, note that the bag weighs 5 lbs. 6 oz. and this weight does count against the 33 lb limiter’s porters will place your duffel bag and sleeping bag into a large, sturdy, waterproof bag with a roll-top closure.
If you have excess weight, you will be required to hire an additional porter. It is rare to require an extra porter and should happen only in special cases, such as for carrying extensive photography equipment. You are expected to bring everything you need, though we do rent warm sleeping bags and trekking poles on location. All extra luggage, items you will not use on your climb, such safari clothing, gear and equipment, can also be safely stored at the hotel.
Plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed in the park, due to past problems with litter. So water should be carried in Nalgene bottles, water bladders, or similar devices. You should be able to carry 3-4 liters of water with you at all times. Please do not bring alcohol. It is illegal to have alcohol in the park. Our staff will not carry it for you. Besides, drinking and high altitude do not mix well.
Checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are essential to your Kilimanjaro climb. While most clothing, gear and equipment can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, there are some things that you should not replace.
Leken Adventure recommends that you wear one complete hiking outfit on the plane, including a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, socks, and hiking boots. In your carrion baggage, you should bring your backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, insulated jacket, fleece pants, snacks, toiletries, medications, camera and all paperwork. Airline regulations do not allow you to carry trekking poles on the plane. Make sure you do wear/carry your hiking boots; wearing a different pair of boots on your climb wills likely cause blistering.
If your baggage is lost or delayed, please notify us immediately upon your arrival so we can assist you in assembling the necessary gear. We will take you to local, independently owned rental gear shops in Moshi. Note that these shops generally carry second-hand items that may not be up to Western standards. Ultimate Kilimanjaro cannot guarantee the fit, quality or functionality of items found in local shops. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to carry on the most important pieces of gear as noted above. We will make reasonable attempts to deliver delayed luggage to you on the mountain. All additional expenses that are incurred by us while resolving lost or delayed luggage problems must be reimbursed locally.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly with a Kilimanjaro training program. Being in good shape is important in many respects. Obviously, strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. And a fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise.
How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro? That’s a difficult question to answer because some people don’t train much and fare very well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in a few days. We’ve heard marathon runners tell us that climbing Kilimanjaro is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The best advice we can give is to train adequately, as described below, and get you in the best possible hiking shape. The mountain is a big unknown, and you won’t know with certainty how you will react until you are there.