Thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro? DO IT. But take a look at what you’re in for, first.
Here’s a few things I learned climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro:
- Never, ever, take a western flushing toilet for granted.
- A SheWee is one of the best inventions ever.
- This is closely followed by wet wipes.
- When the guide tells you to sleep with your devise so the batteries don’t freeze, try wrapping your GoPro up first so you don’t accidentally roll over on it and use 98% of the battery filming you sleeping. Just a suggestion.
- Altitude sickness doesn’t just ‘go away’ when you’re back at sea level. Sorry.
- Battery packs are a great way to recharge your devices while on the mountain. It really helps if you take the cord that attaches the pack to the device. Just a suggestion.
- Africans are massive stoners.
- The final summit night is a massive b**** and no matter how prepared you think you are, you are not prepared at all.
- If you have a meltdown halfway up the final summit and its -20 degrees, snot and tears will freeze on your face. It will hurt.
- If you think that’s lamb or pork or beef, it’s probably goat.
- Use a good travel agent, because when s*** goes tits up, Africans cannot organize a piss-up in a brewery and you need someone reliable to call. (Again, this is an anecdote. I’m sure some Africans organize a fabulous piss-up.)
- You will never, ever, be as smelly, dusty, and dirty as you are the day you leave the mountain.
- There is a lot of dust. Everywhere.
- In camp, you forget you are at high altitude, until you nearly die trying to jog from camp to the mess tent.
- “Pole pole” are the two best words ever. “Slowly, slowly.”
- “Jambo,” (hello) “Mambo,” (how are you) “Kacheezy com on deezy” (cool like a banana) are the three sayings you’ll use the most.
- It helps to make friends with the guides. They end up literally pushing you up that mountain on summit night.
- If you are precious, soft, or more than a little scared, this is really not the mountain for you.
- Lie to absolutely everyone you pass on your way down if they’re on their way up. Tell them it’s tough but good. The reality is that only 37% make it, so they need all the encouragement they can get.
Do your research before you board that flight to Tanzania. It will change your life, but be prepared.