BEST TIPS TO GET READY FOR HIGH ALTITUDE TREKKING ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO
While thinking about Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world; the essential part to take care of is how to prepare well. The mountain doesn’t acquire “one of the prime summits of the world” title without a reason. The majestic height is as challenging as mesmerizing it is.
While Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing is a dream to many aspiring trekkers, the main confusion is how to get ready properly for summing such a high altitude. Here are the details about the challenges and precautions a trekker should know about.
What is Altitude?
Altitude is simply defined to height. Height between 2 points is usually known as altitude. The mountain altitude typically means the highest peak of the mountain from its foothill. The height is usually measured from the sea-level.
Kilimanjaro conquers 5,895m height from sea level which is the highest altitude in the African continent. Due to such a high altitude, the mountain’s peak is completely covered by snow. While reaching the top of the mountain trekkers can feel temperature below -7 degrees.
How Does Altitude Sickness feel like?
While climbing high altitudes like Kilimanjaro, the oxygen level gets thin. Above 2000feet the oxygen level starts to get lower where it’s is difficult to breathe. The oxygen deficiency makes the trekkers feel physically unwell, and that is what called Altitude sickness.
While going for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing it’s better to get prepared for the Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness. As the mountain acquires a great altitude the main obstacle to reach the peak is the altitude sickness.
Must Read: How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro
Mention the Symptoms of AMS
Acute Mountain Sickness or Altitude Sickness has mild to very high symptoms to feel. Here are few general symptoms felt by the trekkers;
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Shortness of breath
- Problems with sleep
- Loss of appetite
These are the common symptoms and the severe symptoms are like;
- Shortness of breath even at rest
- Inability to walk
- A cough that produces a white or pink frothy substance
- Loss of coordination and trouble walking
- A severe headache that doesn’t get better with medication
- A tightening in your chest
What is Acclimatization?
Acclimatization is what trekkers need to take care of for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro successfully. Acclimatization is what trekkers need the most for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing to fight with Altitude Sickness.
To cope with the lowering of oxygen at high altitudes it is advisable to spend more time on the mountain. The prime rule to follow during Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is “walk high and sleep low” to prevent AMS.
Must Read: How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro
Prepare for the Changes in Altitude Trekking
Only taking longer routes during Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro won’t be enough for acclimatizing and fighting with Altitude Sickness. A fit body can do it a much better way, so here are some tips to prepare yourself for fighting with altitude sickness;
Do exercises- practice cycling, running, light weight lifting, small hiking, swimming (to control breath), and yoga for preparing yourself for controlling the breath.
While Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro take care of following things to acclimatize well;
- Stop and rest where you are.
- Don’t go any higher for at least 24-48 hours.
- Keep some medicines for head-ache and fever.
- Keep Diamox for fighting altitude sickness.
- Don’t climb too fast.
Must Read: The best route to climb Kilimanjaro
Most Necessary Items to Bring
Apart from preparing your body for fighting high altitude sickness here are a few more tips to getting ready well to have a successful Kilimanjaro summiting.
High Altitude Medication
As climbing on 5,895m comes with a great threat of altitude sickness it’s highly advisable to keep some Acetazolamide medicine to take while feeling AMS symptoms. Acetazolamide helps prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.
The medicine is useful to prevent headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
However, many trekking operators don’t supply Oxygen Cylinders but at Ascend Tanzania we take utmost care of the trekker’s safety. Sometimes due to lower oxygen levels, some trekkers might feel uneasy in breathing.
Hence an extra oxygen cylinder is quite needed to fight an extreme situation of hardship in breathing.
High Altitude Sleep Mask
The most needed thing for the body to rejuvenate the stamina while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is sleep at night. It’s always advisable to take a good sleep and high altitude sleeping mask is a must for having a good sleep.
This mask helps the trekkers to fight with lower oxygen levels on the heights and have better sleep. Altitude Sleep Mask’s added benefit is that re-breathing improves the heat and humidity of inhaled air in the typical cold, dry environment at altitude.
As you move towards the peak of Kilimanjaro the cold gets bitter. To cope with the temperature that usually gets below -5 degrees is to pack yourself with warm clothes. Here is the list of warm clothes to pack before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
On the Head:
- Knit Hat, for warmth
- Balaclava or Buff, for face coverage
- Head lamp
On the Hands:
- Gloves, thin, or
- Gloves or mittens, warm
On the Top:
- 1 or 2 Long Sleeve Shirts, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
- Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
- Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
- Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
On the Bottom:
- Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
- Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
- Hiking Pants
- Waterproof Pants, breathable
- Fleece Pants
On the Feet:
- 1 or 2 Socks, wool or synthetic
- Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
Must Read: How high is Kilimanjaro
Some Advice To DO and Not to DO
Here are some important points to keep in mind to have a successful summit;
Take your own time- Chose your duration according to your body fitness. We recommend more days for Climbing Kilimanjaro to acclimatize well. Follow the slow and steady process to reach the summit successfully.
Don’t drink alcohol; Avoid alcohol as it may harm the acclimatization process.
Drink More Water; Keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fluids (any of your favorite drinks) to keep yourself hydrated.
Eat Well (High Carbohydrate Meal); Eat food that will supply enough energy to your body. Mostly the chefs take care of proper food that will energize your body but apart from that, you can keep some snacks to eat in between. Make sure you take a lot of carbohydrate food to let your body gain better stamina.
Apart from these, there are many things you need to know before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to have a successful summit. Follow the below links to get more knowledge about Kilimanjaro for fighting Kilimanjaro Altitude sickness and make it a successful trek.
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