Apart from the challenges that Mt. Kilimanjaro presents, you will be spellbound by the diverse vegetation, mesmerizing beauty, and panoramic azure sky.
At the foot of the mountain lie several farms that cultivate various crops that grow in the fertile soil that runs down to the frequent patches where livestock graze.
There are copious amounts of violets and orchids, and you will also be welcome by several variants of the native impatiens. But the real question is how hard climbing Kilimanjaro is?
But when you reach there, you will soon find yourself in an exotic mountain forest surrounded by the entire Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Understanding the Difficulties of Kilimanjaro Hiking
The first thing you need to sort out is whether Kilimanjaro is trekking or hiking?
The differences in these technical terms lie in the types of training and equipment required and the degree of technical knowledge.
Hiking or trekking
Of course, hiking is the easiest and the simplest activity. You will not require any kind of specialized equipment, and you may also choose to walk in basic trainers or runners.
But if you choose to trek, it will call for an intense knowledge of the equipment and appropriate gear. Trekking involves traveling by a more difficult terrain along a remote path. And you will also need a supportive pack as well as trekking poles.
Technically speaking, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is full-fledged trekking. It will take days together to scale the mountain. The adventurous activities would cover various types of terrain, and it’s better to be armed by a guide to step your foot to the top.
Even though you will see many people reaching the top without any assistance, there are others with oxygen tanks or trekking poles for reaching the destination. Thus, the journey to the roof of Africa is better to be called trekking.
One of the major concerns that will come to your mind when thinking about how hard climbing Kilimanjaro is is whether any technical obstacles are involved.
It’s worth mentioning that there are no technical problems that you are likely to face while climbing up. It is also called the walk-in trek, and almost anyone can achieve it without any ropes, ax, or harness. It’s absolutely okay if you don’t have any mountaineering skills.
The issues pertaining to the high altitude
Perhaps the hardest aspect of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is dealing with the high altitude. You will have to deal with a number of things.
First, there is minimal oxygen in the surrounding air. Second, you have to keep on trekking along, and third, or most important, your individual abilities to acclimatize and adapt to the hostile situation.
The best preparation you can take in this regard is to enroll in Kilimanjaro Altitude Hiking. This will improve your chances of handling the altitude efficiently.
Moreover, you should walk as slowly as possible. And even if sounds counter-intuitive, you will also hear your guide repeating the same thing.
By maintaining a slow pace, you will be able to conserve your energy and prevent yourself from exhausting yourself. Remember that it is not a race.
Individual fitness levels
You must have understood that the trek will be much harder than usual when you are physically not prepared. The problem here is thinking about how much should be the level of your fitness.
That doesn’t mean you will have to be an ultra marathon runner. However, your body shouldn’t give in after hours of uphill walk with a weighty backpack.
You should be prepared to do it again the next day. Your fitness level will determine how well you can recover from hiking. The best thing to do here is to consult with your general physician beforehand.
The adverse weather conditions are another obstacle that can make the climb an uphill task literally. You cannot predict the mountains, but still, certain times of the year are better than the others.
As you go higher up, you will feel the cold as the temperature drop to a great extent at night. If you are prone to cold, you will have to gear up and be prepared. Not being equipped with the right gear or having the wrong ones will make the journey much difficult.
Becoming dehydrated will make your climb extremely difficult and negatively impact your ability to adapt to the weather conditions. You should aim to drink a lot of water, and in case you find it difficult, you may choose to add some flavoring agents.
Also, you will be burning a good amount of calories, and thus, you will have to replace them. You should eat a lot of protein to keep up the energy levels all through the day. You can bring some energy bars or tasty snacks from home and munch on even when you are not very hungry.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, physical disabilities, or any injury that makes walking difficult, you will have more difficulties than others.
You must talk to your physician about it as he will be the right person to advise you on this issue. You can also take motivation from the others who have climbed Kilimanjaro.
Also, when you are considering how hard climbing Kilimanjaro is, it’s important to keep yourself healthy. It would be great to have a good company that’s meticulous with its food preparation and hygiene.
Final Thoughts on Hard Is Climbing Kilimanjaro
If you have more questions about how hard climbing Kilimanjaro is, jot them down and try connecting with someone who’s been there anytime soon. If you are only considering mountain climbing, read our entire guide for beginners.
You should also check the comprehensive packing lists that dictate what to take and what to avoid. When you finally reach the summit after days of grueling trekking, it will surely reflect in your mind how mighty the mountains are.
You cannot but doubt your strength standing at the feet of the Kilimanjaro and seize the moment by taking an unmistakable and classic summit snap. And for the curious one, we have tackled one similar question, and it is how hard climbing Mount Sinai is? I hope you enjoy it!
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