My wife and myself are booked up on this trip. We are very excited about it and a little nervous to be honest. It will be the biggest challenge we have ever undertaken.
It would be great to get to know any fellow travellers in advance of the trip.
And maybe we can all help each other out with tips and advice.
Hope to hear fron you soon :o)
I've just booked a spot on this tour, though am waiting on the formal confirmation bit of course. Looks like there are only 3 spots left so missing quite a few from this thread.
I'm somewhat nervous about this too, it's properly stepping up a gear from anything I've done before!
Hi Rob , We have been busy buying our equiptment over the last few months.
It's amazing how much you need to take and how it all fits into your travel bags. (scratches head).
If you have any tips for us please let us know , and vice versa.
What sort of stuff have you been buying? I've not really gone into any great detail yet I must admin. I have some of the essential stuff already - boots, goretex jacket, trekking pole but none of the stuff for the cold. Need to get a sleeping bag and some thermal stuff at the very least I think, probably a duvet jacket too, whatever that is. This trip seems a bit of an odd one to pack for as I believe we'll be starting in a shorts and tshirt climate and ending up in sub zero!
Not sure that I really have any tips, everything I've seen says that general fitness and determiniation are the best attributes to have. The best way of preparing seems to be to walk a lot. I live reasonably near Snowdon and the Peak District so will be doing some walking up and down hills at the weekends - first one is this Saturday.
We have a kit list to send you if you would like it? We got a 3 season sleeping bag as the 4 season ones are pricey. Then we got a thermal sleeping bag liner that boosts the season rating up to a 4.
Also our best buys are our baselayers. They are made of merino wool , which sounds itchy but it isn't. It is very soft and comfy. Look for the North Face Icebreaker brand . You can wear them to bed as longjohns in the cold nights and during the summit push.
For sleeping mats we have thermorest lite mats.
We have chosen not to get Duvet jackets . We are just using layers. eg- baselayer , long sleeve top, polartec 300 fleece, and then our jackets which are montane superflys . I tried it all on and i looked like the mitchelin tyre man . (but nice and warm)
A Good first aid kit that comes with syringe and needles just in case you need an injection up there.
And plenty of stuff for your feet , especially blitser plasters and strapping tape.
The list is endless.
Just send me your email addy and we will send you our list- firstname.lastname@example.org
bye for now
Sent you kit list over the weekend Rob , We hope it is of use to you . :o)
Hi Andrea and Donna
I see that your trip is a few weeks before ours. we leave on the 22nd feb.
You will probably be back by the time we leave . perhaps you can let us know how you got on when you get back.
Kit lists can be found anywhere online . Print a few out and compare them.
We are just about finished getting our kit sorted . We just need to sort out snacks to take.
Have you had your jabs yet? We had ours about two weeks ago. The yellow fever jab gave us flu like symptoms for a day or two but the rest were ok.
We also need to see our doctor about malaria tablets soon too.
bye for now
craig and kim.
hi craig n kim, i travelled botswana n namibia last year so i have my jabs up to date, have just got to have tetanus updates,,,lucky me! can not decide what jackets to take with me,,,decisions! am trying to do mountain walks 4-5 times a week for 2 hours eachtime but work gets in way! love the outdoors though! hope you have a great time, i will let you know how we get on!! x
I think taking two jackets is the best option.
The first should be a good quality waterproof jacket made with "Event" or "Gor Tex"
And the second is a Down jacket for the summit night attempt. They can both be expensive but if you shop around on the net you will get a good deal somewhere. Perhaps you already own them.
At the moment cotswolds outdoors are selling Berghaus down jackets for just £80.
It's good to get out into the hills to train especially in this nasty weather as you can get used to less than perfect walking conditions. We walk on a saturday in and around Brecon and during the week we go to the gym and do some cardio work and swimming . It does make a difference and we have lost a bit of weight too :o)
Although they say that being mega fit doesn't mean you will summit for sure as Altitude sickness can hit anyone . So it is best to drink and eat plenty and take your time during the walk and also look into a drug called DIAMOX it helps a great deal in preventing Altitude sickness.
You get it on prescription only.We are definately taking it.
I am no expert though I just read a lot about other peoples experiences.
thanks for the info ,,,very helpfull of you both,will defo look into the diamox , n good luck with your hike!!!
hi there, i will be going on this trip as well and looking forward to it!
Craig can you email me your list? The only thing i'm having a hard time deciding on is what type of jackets to get.
Our kit list we had was lost on our computer that kinda blew up last month.we lost loads of stuff.
We have been getting bits and pieces over the year to spread the cost of gear. it's damn expensive!
We did send the kit list to Robert Marples who has posted on this thread so maybe he still has a copy. But you can download many other kit lists on the web. Just mix and match them.
Deciding on jackets has been our biggest problem too.
We were originally only going to take just our normal waterproof jackets (montane superfly).
And thought that would be ok as long as we wore lots of layers underneath . But we have recently bought down jackets as we think they will keep us warmer on summit night. They look bulky but they pack down really small to store in your daysack. So we are taking both just in case we get rain.
Which trip are you on? is it the one leaving on 22nd or the trip Andreas on?
hope this helps.
ive just bought a berghaus down jacket from cotswold it was 80quid so i think for that much money,,,warmth means a lot to me!,,,,have been advised by a few people who,ve done kili to get down jackets! hope this helps!! bring on feb 7 cant wait!
That helps, thanks!
I am on the same trip as you and your wife I believe, beginning Feb 22nd.
Glad you got the berghaus jacket Andrea , you can,t go wrong for 80 quid .
What is your first name Hawkins and where do you live?
We live in Cwmbran, South Wales.
Seems you're Lauren rather than Justin, but I'll still welcome you on the trip :)
I can email you the kit list Craig sent me - just tell me where to send it, or just google Kili kit list! I think there are a number of subjective factors though....
Craig - Diamox - never heard of this - is it prescription only?
Diamox is what a lot of people take while at altitude so I have read and been told.
It is prescription only , so have a chat with your doctor about it. here is a link with good info on it.
A friend of mine climbed Kilimanjaro as part of a large group last september and everyone bar one took diamox . And that one failed to summit.
So I thought i'd look into it. Just hope the doctor lets us have it. It's not expensive either.
Unfortunately i am not Justin but am Lauren haha and I'm from Ontario, Canada.
I am getting the Diamox as I'd like to think it will help!
There are so many lists on google, the last thing i want to do is pack too much.
Are either of you continuing on with more tours after Zanzibar?
anyone going on this trip? my pal n i r starting to get worried coz cant seem 2 find dates n exodus website!!! We have bought n paid for our tickets so we r defo n the trip!
Andrea, I had a look at the trips that include rongai and the only trip with a Feb 7th start date is the Kilimangaro Zanzibar trip. code TYZ. Could that be yours? Have you had your 2010 update confirmation email yet?
Your trip notes and codes are on them. Better still is to just email Exodus to get proper confirmation.
Don't worry too much though, you will sort it out quickly.
Lauren, Kim and myself are just doing the Kilimanjaro Rongai trek and we are returning home the day after we return to hotel. Trip code TYW.
Hello Nigel, Thanks for the tip. We are due to see the doctor in January and hopefully we can talk the doc into giving us a prescription. I think Diamox is usually given to treat the eye disease Glaucoma, So I guess it depends if you catch the doctor in an understanding mood :o)
I would love to do the Everest BC trip one day . Just to get a glimpse of the Mountain would be amazing. The very best of luck to you and please let us know how you got on and maybe a few pics?
Anyone got any tips on cameras to take and any tips to make sure they don't freeze?
Andrea , Ignore my previous advice.
Your trip is on the Kili and Safari dates section.
It just doesn't show all the trips. Go to the bottom of the page and click on show all departures .
thankyou for the info on dates,,,,i am trying to find out what size ruck sack to take n what we carry ourselves? am getting bit confused as to what size bag we can carry ie our day stuff in? Ive been told the exodus kit bag will hold our sleeping bags n mats(kit bag)am going to see docs tomorrow bout diamox? ,,,will let youall know how i get on! x
Thanks for the info! Great to hear you all made it to the top!
What would you recommend for pants/layering with what?
Hi Jane, great advice thankyou. How did you and your fellow trekkers get on with cameras high up on the mountain? We have a digital camera so we plan to take lots of spare batteries.
Also can I ask you about Tipping. It is the one thing that I am not sure about. Different web sites give so much varying info on the subject. Just so we can allow for it in money we take.
Batteries: Batteries weren't really a problem if you looked after them, ie. avoid exposing them to the cold. I had my camera, 2 spare sets of 4 batteries (probably only need 1 spare set in hindsight), ipod, phone (only put on later in the week, reception near and at top of Kili), all in sleeping bag with me at night! I gave them all a final charge at the hotel the night before and then was careful but not overly so, but don't think anyone in the group ran out of battery power for anything.
Tipping: I assume you mean for the porters. Don't worry too much about this, they (African Walking Co) try to keep it all very fair. At the beginning of the trip the group will be given a sheet which gives a guide/breakdown of the level of tips for the support staff.....from general porters to toilet porter thru to chef, assistant guide and lead guide. Its all very mathematical.....as a group you work out the total in tipping so, for example (am just making up these figures) if it was $10 per general porter and there were 10 then that would be $100, $40 for the chef, $50 per assistant guide and there are 3, and $60 for the lead guide, that totals $350. If there are 5 clients in the group then that would be $70 each. Ours was all done on the last evening, information on the sheet tells you the process! But, just for info, we had 9 walkers, 1 lead guide, 4 assistant guides, a chef, a porter that did everything (!), a toilet porter, and all the rest general.....for 9 walkers we had a support crew of 37 I think it was!! If I remember rightly it was $85 each. Then some people gave one off extras that final night for things that some porters did over & above, there were about half a dozen extra tips of about $5 each that individuals did seperately. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the input Jane - much appreciated.
Have to say I'm still not sure what I'm going to wear, what sort of sleeping bag to use and so on. Must remember to put the batteries in my sleeping bag.
Thanks Jane , that has cleared a few things up for us.
Rob, Get a 4 season sleeping bag . Cotswold outdoors do a good selection. The one I would go for is the Marmot Wave IV at £90. 4 season bags are pricey but they are a must have. Also don't forget to buy a sleeping bag liner.
As for clothes , go for lots of thin layers. You already have your merino thermal layer, so add to that a good base layer and then a micro fleece and a heavy fleece too. Also maybe a windstopper .
If you need advice on particular makes of stuff let us know ok.
I find it very odd that a doctor can say he wasn't qualified to prescribe you it. Surely when you told him the reason you wanted it he should have had enough sense to make the decision depending on your medical history.
If I was you I would make another appointment (possibly with another doctor) and before you go print out data on Diamox being used as and aid to Altitude sickness, and take it with you to show the doc. there is a link to some on this thread somewhere.
I would also get your malaria medication from your doctor before you go. There are a few types and I wouldn't chance on buying it out there. You could be buying smarties . :o)
don't worry though it will work out fine.
I recently climbed Kili at the end of October, and i was just reading your thread and at the same time getting extremely jealous!!! I would love to do it all over again! I also did the Rongai route. Just thought I would share some tips as i thought that this may be useful for you? Definately get a 4 seasons sleeping bag as it gets really really cold at night time. It was when we got to the third camp we had every type of weather possible - it was constantly cold but we had rain, sleet, sun and then some snow. I remember braving it to the toilet in the middle of the night at that camp site and struggling to find my way back as it had completly clouded over!!!
In terms of jackets, definatley take a good waterproof and a down jacket. You will need both. And in terms of the Diamox, i didn't take any with me, but the guides have a supply and i think i had 2 for the whole trip.
The key to this trip is to go slowly slowly....or as they say in swahili "pole pole". They guides and porters are absolutely incredible and will make sure you are happy and safe all the time!
It will be one of the most incredible things you will ever do and although the last push to the summit is really hard, it is worth every single step.....I wish i was going with you all!!
If you want to know anything else, just ask and i will try my best to answer, although it seems as if you have been given pretty good advice already. Have an amazing time!!! and good luck :)
Hi Becky thankyou for the good advice. There is so much to think about with regards to kit and vacinations and visas etc... . We have an appointment with our doctor next week to ask for malaria meds and altitude meds. Hopefully all will go well. Did you take gaiters ? We wasn't going to take any as we don't wear them on our day to day walks. But we are going to give them a try over the new year and see how we get on.
Hello Craig :)
Yes, there is lots and lots to think about! I think that there are a few different types of malaria tablets you can take. The one that is most recommended is Malarone. This is the most expensive one, butvyou only have to start taking them one day before you go and for only 7 days on your return back to the UK. They don't have any side effect either. I think some of the other types can cause hallucinations as one of their side effects, and you need to take them for about a week before you head out there and for several weeks on your return. But they are cheaper.....but i went for the Malarone.
Diamox is recommended for altitude but can cause you to have tingly sensations in your hands and feet! I got a tingly foot when I took them, but it doesn't last for very long...and better than feeling sick! However, I only had 2 for the whole trip and I got mine from the guides, I didn't take any with me.
I didn't use gaiters, but two people in our group did have them. I personally don't think they are neccessary - but they may be useful on your descent because of the scree terrain, but I think it will be your own personal preference. I had never used them before so didn't use them.
Hope all goes well at the docs next week!
Thx for that .
Has anyone seen the hotel we stay at on our first and last night? It looks very nice . Here's the link addy
Anyone been to this hotel before ?
Hi all. We went to the doctors to get some Diamox earlier in the week. The Doctor informed us that he could not prescribe it to us as it is not a licensed drug . This shocked us and so when we got home we looked on the internet for an allternative source of Diamox.
Luckily my wife found it!!
You can get it from Nomad Travel Clinic. (just google it)
They have travel shops which are also drop in clinics for vaccinations.
They have clinics in London, Bristol, Manchester, Southampton and Bishop Stortford.
So hopefully one of those is near you and you can give them a ring and make an appointment.
We used Bristol. The staff were very kind and helpful. We had to fill in a form and then see the nurse who then phoned the local doctor who spoke to us about the drug .
A bottle of 14 tablets was £7.50 plus £7.50 prescription fee. So £15 pound all in.
They said to only use them if you really need them.
So better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them .
Hope this helps anyone wanting to take the drug along with them.
Not long to go now! Only just over four weeks if I can count correctly.
I've got an appointment to see my Doctor on Tuesday to try to get a prescription for diamox, I've printed out some stuff from NetDoctor and Wiki to take with me. Really hoping I don't have to venture into Manchester to one of those Nomand Travel Clinics.
I'm still not entirely sure how much gear I need to take with me, I think I've got everything I need now, though I do want to buy a second trekking pole, and perhaps some extra warm mittens to use instead of my current gloves.
How is everyone else doing?
Yes it's getting close now! Getting more excited every day. Can't wait to recieve the tickets etc.. Good luck with seeing the doctor. We took info sheets with us too to our Doctor but it was no use. It is just a sad fact that Diamox is not a registered drug within the NHS. Nomad travel clinics are very good indeed.Well worth the trip into Manchester. We tried half a tablet each last week and for the next 8 hours we were peeing like racehorses lol. ( memo to self..... drink lots on trip)
We only have to get our currency now and book airport parking. We are taking two poles, also. And gloves, it's best to have a good winter glove or Mitten and get another thin pair of gloves to fit under them . I would suggest a pair of power stretch gloves for underneath. Nice and warm
Besides your ruck sack what size bag are you taking ?
I was just wondering what type of bag we need to bring for the porters to carry any extra items of ours in? Thanks, getting very excited too!
I did Kili (+ safari) in Jan last year which was a fantastic experience. Having seen what you have been discussing on your forum I thought you might like some tips, although you have been given some good advice already and the trip notes tend to be pretty accurate.
Bags - you should get a complimentary kit bag sent to you in the post from Exodus. That is an ideal bag both size wise and in terms of comfort for the porters who have to carry it. Tie something eyecatching (tag or ribbon) so that yours is immediately identifiable. I carried at 35-40L daysac which was fine.
Sleeping bag/mat - I took one good to -7 with a silk liner and I was still cold for the last couple of nights but I'm not great with the cold! I took a thermarest mat which was ok but not as thick as the ones you can hire in country (think you need to do this in advance) which the porters just strap to your kit bag. Pack wisely, separating things into into smaller bags (carrier bags would be fine) so they are easy to find, as you won't have much room in the tents and will have to repack every morning.
Clothing - whatever you wear will get very dusty very quickly so don't take too much stuff (2 pairs of trousers, couple of t-shirts etc) - just accept you will be looking grubby throughout the trek. For summit night I had Icebreaker 260 long sleeved top and longjohns, t-shirt, fleece top, fleece jacket, Berghaus down jacket, waterproof jacket, thin gloves and winter gloves, balaclava and hat and heavy walking trousers. Some people used a neck scarf to keep the dust off for the first couple of days which I would recommend. Put your camera in the inner pocket of your duvet jacket to keep warm.
Kit - I took 2 poles as recommended in the trip notes but only used one and lent the other to someone who hadn't brought any. Believe me they make a difference both on the way up and on the steep scree descent. I was fine with one though, depends what you are used to - they should just fit in the bottom of your kit bag. A head torch is a must for summit night and trips to the loo. I used a Camelback (remember to blow back down the hose after drinking so it doesn't freeze) and a sports type bottle. The guides boil water each night and morning and fill them for you and we found it perfectly safe to drink. On the last couple of nights its a good idea to have your bottle filled and put it in your sleeping bag like a hot water bottle. The guides will nag you regarding how much water you need to drink - a lot!
Altitude Sickness - I got some Diamox from my doctor after reading conflicting advice. Our guide recommended that I took half a tablet in the morning and evening for every day over 3000m which I did and I made it, although I'll never know what difference it made.I did get the tingly feeling in my feet and cheeks a couple of times which is strange but soon passes. The guides are very clued up on it all and constantly ask how you are feeling to keep an eye on you for signs of altitiude sickness. The altitude affected everyone in different ways - at the very least you will be breathing heavily and will probably have a few headaches. I found I had insomnia and a few headaches, a bit like a dull hangover. Even turning over in my sleeping bag made my heart race! Out of the 11 of us in my group only one suffered very badly (i.e couldn't eat, vomiting, generally turned green, no energy) and didn't join us on the summit attempt. One other got as far as Gilman's point (still a great achievement) and the rest of us summited. 3 of the guys vomited on the way up and suffered with bad nausea but carried on and made it. The group became spread out a little on summit night but regrouped at the summit. The guides are good at knowing when you need a short break. Mine took carried my daysac for the last couple of hours which was a great help.
Support Team - If you saw the Red Nose Day team it's the same company - they were fantastic and earn every penny of their tips. They did everything possible to get us to the top although not to the point of risking people's health. It will seem like they are walking ridiculously slowly from the very start but that is to help you acclimatise gradually - it is often the fit young guys who walk too fast who don't summit. Follow their advice of 'pole pole' (slowly) and you will be fine. Take time to talk to them, learn their names and a few words (like Jambo - hi!), ask about their lives, it will enrich your experience. Some people gave them old walking t-shirts etc at the end which they were very grateful for. The cook does an outstanding job - there was plenty of food and it was amazing what they could rustle on a stove in a tent. None of us had any stomach problems at all although Imodium is always a good idea just in case.
Extras - I took a few snacks but didn't use very many as we were well fed and given biscuits etc. Wet wipes are a good idea to freshen up with and tissues for en-route loo stops (plus a plastic bag to take away your rubbish which not everybody does!) of which there were many as you have to drink a lot and Diamox makes it even worse!
Take a fold away bag so that you can leave some clean clothes and anything else you don't need on the trek at the hotel.
Visa - got mine on arrival, have US dollars ready.
The walking on most days is actually not too hard going if you are relatively fit as it is done at a very slow pace and the incline is very gradual. It only gets very steep on summit night but it is a zig-zag trail, just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and keep plodding along. You'll be amazed how energized you feel when the sun comes up as you reach the summit and the view is amazing. Be mentally prepared for a hard slog on the way up and a long walk to your next camp on the way down. A positive mental attitude is your best tool for getting to the top.
I'm sure you will all bond as a group and encourage each other. I hope that helps, if you want to ask anything else feel free.
Have a great time
Thanks for posting that great advice, much appreiated . We just bought our currency today, Probably got too much for the trip but at least we can bring it home and change it back if not used.
Did you get any tanzanian shillings when you got out there? (from airport?)What currency do the local shops or markets take? (For gift buying on last day).
Also how was the toilet situation? if you don't mind me asking :o) .
Deciding what size bag to take has been tricky for us. I did get a north face holdall 90l but couldn't get all my gear in it. So I have now got a gelert 120l. (it's huge) , and kims got the north face 90l. Between the two we can get it all in. The gelert bag is big but light , and it also can be carried like a rucksack.So the porters can carry it easily. Check out the gelert 120l online. good prices too.
I read the Exodus kit bag is only 63l . which I think would be too small for us. But will take it.
If I remember rightly I changed some US dollars into local currency at the hotel on the first night. You could pay in dollars as well but naturally they rounded up the prices to their benefit. We all paid our tips in US dollars but funnily enough one of our guides said that British pounds would have been equally useful to them. I think the souvenir shops took local curency. There are also some souvenir shops at the airport on departure which were fixed price as opposed to haggling. Unless you are great at haggling (which I'm not) it wasn't much more expensive.
Everyone on my trip took an Exodus kit bag each - it's a decent size and if you need anything bigger you are probably taking too much. Regardless of what you take the porters will carry it on their heads/shoulders not on their backs - the important thing is that it is soft based. There is a limit to the weight the porters can carry for you - I can't remember if it was max 15kg, check the trip notes. In your daysac you should only be carrying water, snacks, 1st aid kit, waterproof jacket.
Toilets - at camp there is a zippable toilet tent with a chemical toilet. It is emptied ech day so doesn't get smelly and even has a toilet seat! The rest of the time it's au-naturale - much easier for men than girls! For the last couple of days with the diamox and increased water intake I found I was needing the loo about every hour! There are plenty of rocks until you cross the saddle which gets barren for a few hours so choose your rocks wisely! Camp is taken down for you after you leave and set up by the time you get to the next spot as the support team overtakes you - very humbling!
Any other questions let me know
Thanks Michelle, I think now we will be taking the 120 litre just to get our stuff over there, and then we can transfer the trip stuff into a smaller bag and leave the 120l in the hotel. Yes it is 15kg max for the porters. I think our bags will weigh approx 13kg.
I'm always thinking of more questions so stand by :o)
Was given this link over the weekend. It is a cracking read. All about a journalist who slated the comic relief group who climbed kilimanjaro last year. Also a beautiful ariel photo of Kilimanjaro.Well worth taking 5 mins to read.
Good luck on your trek ! .I hope when you return you pop in and tell us how it went.
Everyone got there kitbags and final instructions? Have started packing already even though it will all be coming back out for a wash .
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