Hiking Lady reader Jacqui wrote in with a great question. On a recent adventure by the ocean, her brand new Vasque St. Elias GTX boots got wet with saltwater. Are they ruined?
Read Hiking Lady’s advice on treating Gore-Tex boots that have been soaked with saltwater.
Using the RAVPower to charge an iPhone
Are you tired of your smartphone, camera, or GPS being dead and out of power? Are you worried when you’re out hiking that your cellphone might need some backup battery power?
Here at HikingLady.com we continue to test devices that would be helpful to hikers and all outdoor enthusiasts, and our latest find is the RAVPower Luster battery backup. Check out the just published gear review of the RAVPower Luster here.
Grand Canyon, courtesy National Park Service
In honor of President’s Day, the U.S. National Park Service is offering free admission February 15-17th
Yes, that means you can get free entry at the 147 national parks that charge admission. There are so many parks to choose from… where shall we go?
Is trekking Mount Kilimanjaro on your bucket list?
In this article, Mark Whitman from the Climb Kilimanjaro Guide shares 5 interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro and in doing so hopefully inspires you to make it a challenge for your next adventure!
By Mark Whitman
If you are anything like me, you are probably always planning your next hiking adventure. You may be thinking about a challenging stretch goal. If you are, I highly recommend considering trekking Kilimanjaro for these 5 reasons.
- High, High, High
Did I say high? Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 5,895 meters (19,371 feet) which makes it the highest mountain in Africa, one of the Seven Summits and also the highest free standing mountain in the world. The beauty though is that Kilimanjaro is not too high to make the trekking challenge scary or super dangerous like some of the 7,000 and 8,000 meter behemoths in Asia. But it is high enough to impress people with your hiking chops and of course you can say that you have stood on the Roof of Africa.
- Technically straightforward
Hiking Kilimanjaro is just that, a hike. You do not need any technical skills to climb Kilimanjaro. There is one section of the mountain, called the Barrancco Wall, which if you are approaching from the south requires some basic bouldering skills. But in general Kili is just one long trek.
- Geographically stunning
Because of Kili’s height you will trek through five distinct climatic zones. This makes the hike very picturesque. The lower slopes consist of tropical rainforest. At around 3,000 meters the rainforest gives way to a shrubland setting. From about the middle of day two you will spend the rest of the trek above the clouds. Shrubland turns abruptly to an alpine setting and then as you reach the upper slopes a dessert-like glacial silt dominants the surroundings. Summit attempts begin at night and most climbers who are going to make the summit arrive at the top of Kibo just as the African sun is rising over the Tanzanian countryside. The site that welcomes you at Uhuru Peak is awe-inspriring – large glaciers, 60 meters deep and glistening in the sun, surround you. The moment is brief as the air is thin at 5,900 meters but the experience lasts a lifetime!
- Summit success is entirely possible
Success rates on Kili are actually quite low on average (around 45% for all routes across all climbers). However, this is because many people take the cheapest Marangu route which takes 4 days up and 1 day down. Success rates increase dramatically the longer the route you take. Why? Because the body needs time to acclimatise to altitude. Four days up is generally too short for the average human being. To put this into perspective, Everest Base Camp (EBC) is around 5,200 meters, but most climbers take between 7-10 days to reach EBC. Because Kili’s camp setup up is dispersed the rate of ascent is a lot faster. If you take a 6 or 7 day route (5/6 days up, 1 day down) you chance of success increases dramatically. Top tip: make sure your route includes a climb high, sleep low acclimatisation day. This dramatically increases your chance of success.
- Experience the wonderful country of Tanzania
If you are travelling all the way out to Tanzania it is worth making a proper trip of the experience. Tanzania is an incredible country with many natural beauties. Over and above Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is also home to Lake Victoria (the largest freshwater lake in Africa), the Serengeti Plains (one of the best wildlife safari spots in the world), the Marine wonderland of Zanzibar (perfect for anyone who loves diving) and the ancient Maasai Mara community. I guarantee you will leave Tanzania richer than when you arrived.
Mark Whitman runs the Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, a leading website that helps prospective climbers prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro.
Feel free to ask him anything in the comments below.