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Climbing Kili | Mount Kilimanjaro Tips

Mount Kilimanjaro

More and more people are signing up to adventure holidays and tackling the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, it is not simply a case of paying for your place and turning up. Less than 50% of walkers make it to the summit and it is both a physical and mental challenge. We have put together our Kilimanjaro tips.

Do Your Homework
Research your Travel Company. Some companies offer shorter trips which are cheaper but but more stress on your body and increase likelihood of not reaching the summit. Some companies have more or less medical staff and guides. There are ethical issues like hiring less porters who have to carry more packs.

Turn up to your Training Days!
A lot of travel companies will organise training days. Some are mandatory. These are important not only for building up physical strength but they give you the chance to break in your boots and put your gear to the test. Better to find out your boots are rubbish in Glendalough, than on Kili. You will also practice walking at a snail’s pace, something which you will need to do as you gain altitude. Simulating this on your training day will prepare you for that.

Medication
You will need to get vaccinations before leaving Ireland. Go to travel doctors or the likes of Tropical Medical Bureau. Be aware of the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness and know what to do before it gets serious.

Treat Yourself
Tour companies will provide you with meals but you bring your own snacks. Loss of appetite is a side effect of altitude sickness, to make it easier for you to eat and keep energy levels up, pack small zip lock bags of your favourite goodies to crack out on the days that your energy is flagging and you are struggling to eat.

Staff member Eoin told us:
“…one of the hardest things was eating. I was drinking up to 5litres of water a day so I didn’t feel hungry. Snacking on salted peanut butter M&Ms, salted popcorn, and chocolate raisins kept my energy up….”

Listen to Your Body
You will be inundated with advice on what to do and when to do it. If you are feeling the cold early on, put on another layer. Don’t wait just because the guide book told you.

Don’t Skimp
You have already put down a lot of money and it is not the time to be frugal when buying your gear. Cotton Long Johns from the high street might be grand for the Irish winter but you will suffer on Kili. If you are worried about the cost of a down jacket look into hiring one- your gear could make the difference between reaching the summit or not.

Mentally Prepare
Physically fit and experienced walkers struggle climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Be prepared for the possibility that you might not make it to the summit. As cheesy as it sounds, it is about the journey, not the destination.

If you have booked onto a Kilimanjaro trip or any other expedition, call in to our shop on Chatham Street. We have over 250 years experience. If you are travelling with Earth’s Edge, you are entitled to a 15% discount.

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