4 things people don’t tell you before climbing Kilimanjaro

3 mins read

With this year soon coming to an end, there are so many exciting adventures ahead of us in 2018. It could be the year you finally climb Kilimanjaro, and it will definitely be one of the best experiences of your life.

While you won’t have trouble finding information to prepare for your trip, there are some things people tend not tell you.

1) Losing your dignity is inevitable

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The higher the mountain, the harder it becomes to avoid losing your dignity. You may as well embrace it as people will see you at your lowest moments. That might not sound appealing now, but it’s all part of the experience.

On the plus side, throwing up outside a nightclub will probably get you nasty looks and snarky comments. However, at summit night on Kili, you’ll get a pat on the back from one of your guides who’ll  insist, “you’re doing amazing!”

2) Fewer things will embarrass you afterward 

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If there’s anything positive that can come out of losing your dignity, it’s that you won’t be as easily embarrassed on your return home. I can’t say this is what happens to everyone, but it’s certainly something that happened to me.

Put it this way, before I’d get ridiculously embarrassed if I tripped and somebody noticed. When people who you’ve only known since the start of your climb see you throw up or witness something else they might not want to see, nothing could possibly be more embarrassing than that.

3) The meals you’ll have will be a bit strange

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Of course, when you’re climbing a mountain, you’re not anticipating a la carte cuisine. Popcorn and cucumber soup for a starter at dinner is normally a bit strange, but when you’ve been walking for 12 hours, almost anything could get put in front of you and you’ll just be happy you’re eating.

4) Attitude not altitude

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Whether you’re stressing over your kit or finding any other reason not to exercise, there is still a chance you could make it to the top. I wouldn’t encourage anyone not to train beforehand, but your attitude is just as important as how fit you are.

You’ll lose count of how many times you’ll cry and question why you thought it would be a good idea in the first place. Whenever you feel like that, take it one step at a time and tell yourself you can do it. Seeing Kilimanjaro for the first time is incredibly daunting, but making it to the top wouldn’t be very rewarding if it wasn’t.

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