When you’re climbing such a beast as Mount Kilimanjaro, what is the last thing you need? Each to their own, but I’d personally say, additional weight – and taking into account all the equipment required, there could be up to an extra 15kg on Rich & Jason’s backs! Hence Rich’s upper body gym work and Jason losing body weight to compensate… Preparation is key, but jelly legs are inevitable!
If you’re a keen hiker/climber, you’ll understand what’s required, but for the amateur it can be an afterthought, and a rude awakening at that! Luckily Rich and Jason are leaving no boxes unticked. If we were to produce an exhaustive list of equipment required, this blog would be 3,000 words – but that’s boring and you’d probably stop reading half way through so we’re e going to break it down into 3 categories and share the main materials required: ‘essentials’ ‘clothes’ and ‘nice to haves.’
Day pack: Make sure it’s big enough to hold all your gear and you’re comfortable walking long distances with it. As shown above, the guys have their very own SR Timber branded waterproof bag covers!
Sleeping bag & mat: For obvious reasons – comfortable, warm rest is vital.
Toilet roll: Strongly advise against using leaves. Loo roll is like currency on the mountain. Has its own interest rate and everything, honest!
Water bottles: Thermally protected water bottles / filters are necessities – ideally bottles that hold 3-4 litres. Despite the extra weight for your bag, keeping hydrated is hugely important.
Torch: A head-torch is more practical than a hand-held, also allows you to keep your hands in your pockets for warmth!
Sunscreen/sunglasses: Yes, this is Kilimanjaro, not Benidorm, but Kilimanjaro is located near the equator and the lower part of the mountain will be really hot – and when (not if) the guys reach the top, the light can be damaging.
Footwear: The most important thing is that they’re sturdy & comfortable – may even be an idea to wear them on the plane, in case luggage gets lost (forever the optimist, me). Trainers are ideal for around camp/lower sections of the mountain.
Socks: Advised several thermal and regular pairs. Maybe even two pairs at a time.
Headwear/gloves: Sun hats and cold weather hats for various eco-systems of the mountain. Jason’s luminous yellow hat will light the way for the whole group I’m sure! Balaclavas may be necessary in the extra cold areas. There are no banks to rob up the mountain so you won’t look dodgy either! Gloves – self-explanatory.
Fleece / Waterproofing: There will be times when you have several layers on – waterproofing layer on top will be vital to keep dry and fleece wear to keep warm.
Nice to haves
Plastic bags: These are handy for segregating your wet clothes from dry clothes. Also, important for keeping litter off the mountain, as she’ll bite back – mountain Karma! (We’ll come back to this in a later blog)
Trekking poles: Experienced trekkers will know whether they need these or not, they can be very useful when the jelly legs take over.
Earplugs: Can be handy for the guys if they get sick of each other’s voice – and especially useful for Rich if his biggest fear occurs – Jason snoring!
Chapstick: The wind on the summit will rip your sun-burnt lips to shreds. You might want to swerve that with Chapstick or Vaseline.
Hot water bottle: I’m sure the guys won’t be game for spooning at night to keep warm…
As you can see – plenty of things to think about when packing to climb the world’s highest free standing mountain; and we barely even scratched the surface today!
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