There’s been a gap in my posting here because I misplaced my Kilimanjaro journal! Also, the gap in writing is a bit symbolic because there was also a gap in my journaling at this time at the trip. After suffering heat exhaustion on Day One, I almost passed out on the trail 20 minutes in to the hike on Day Three.
Presumably, more training at altitude could have helped me cope more easily. Also a colleague on the trip used a training mask to prepare for the climb, and if I was going to do something like this again, I would definitely use that.
So, because my memory of this point of the trip is a little sketchy, I’ll take this opportunity to share with you some “lessons learned” with you.
1. I should have brought body spray. The prep books I read all suggested this, but I thought it seemed so silly to bring body spray on an 8-day camping trip. I’ve rarely been so wrong. In addition to covering up the fact I hadn’t had a proper shower in over a week, it also has the added benefits of masking the smell from the longdrops (or latrines). BRING THE BODY SPRAY.
2. Tissue and body wipes. I brought a sufficient amount of these items, but it probably would not have hurt to bring a slightly more ample amount.
3. Take your altitude medicine. I brought it. I didn’t take it. I probably should have.
4. Air mattress. My tentmate brought a thin inflatable mattress. Don’t forget you’re sleeping on a mountain side created from volcanic explosions. Rocks are prevalent – you’ll want a thicker mat than the tour leaders provide.
5. Candy for the guides and porters. I didn’t bring the huge bag of candy I intended to bring because I was afraid it would melt in the rainforest. But I was sorry that I didn’t have it to give later in the trip.
6. Comforts of home. Some folks on my trip brought hot sauce and other small containers of seasonings. That was clutch because you’re pretty much eating the same fare day after day.