Will I need Thermals for climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain
Q. I am due to go up Kili [Kilimanjaro] in a month or so, and I'm getting all in a tizz about when to wear thermals and when not to? I fear I'll get too hot if I wear them all the time and do I put dry fit clothes underneath or above? Thanks!
Trevor Bayliss, London
A. Hi, I have climbed Kili [Kilimanjaro] twice, Machame and Marangu route around July and September period. Thermals are not necessarily needed around this time period during the first few days while you are walking as the arduous walk is heating you up. However thermals are advised for sleeping at night and the last 2 days of the trek, as the higher you go up, the colder it gets. The final ascent happens [from] 11pm to sunrise and believe me it is freezing, temperatures can go to -18 [degrees] Celcius. Better to be prepared, good thermals and extra [spares], my group's thermals got wet and we were very lucky to get to the top as our operators carried spare. A balaclava is also a must!!!!! Walking pole for ascent down is also advised if you have bad knees. Take a lot of electrolytes. Hope this helps!! Have fun!
Dalvir Kular, London
A. I have not climbed Kilimanjaro yet (I am still working my way through all the magnificent mountains and hills in England, Scotland and Wales) but I gather the climb up Kilimanjaro starts very, very early in the morning when it is fairly cold. On the way up you will probably get warm and sweaty due to the exertion of the climb but then cool rapidly on the summit due to the altitude. So the trick is to wear several thin layers so you can take them on and off as your core temperature changes.
Our section on Clothing for walking and hiking is aimed primarily at walking and hiking in Britain but the advice is just as relevant for Kilimanjaro.
Hope this helps . . .