You arrive at your camp on Kilimanjaro after a long day of hiking. The porters passed you hours ago—gear on their heads—to make sure by the time you reach the camp, your tent and duffel bag are already there. If you look inside your tent, you’ll notice that the air mattress and sleeping bag have also been laid out just waiting for you to take a nap.
Outside your tent, the private toilet tent is set up, as is the dining tent. Inside the dining tent is a table and chairs with plates and bowls already set out with snacks which vary from day to day but may include, popcorn, fruit, cookies, Duros, chips, and peanuts. As well as warm drinks like tea and coffee.
One of the many nice things about climbing Kilimanjaro is that once you reach the camp, you aren’t required to do any chores. The diligent porters take care of everything from setting up your tent, the dining tent, the toilet tents, gathering water, and preparing food.
So now that you are at camp, what do you do with all the downtime?
The most important thing you should do while at your camp on Kilimanjaro is to rest. It is imperative that you get as much rest as possible so your body can acclimatize to the extreme elevation gain. This also allows your body time to recover.
So what is the best way to rest? First of all, kick off your boots and socks. Let your feet breath. Prop your feet up on your duffel or daypack. Elevating them will help with some of the usual swelling that occurs while you are hiking.
Then take a nap, sleep is great for recovering. If you can’t sleep then just lie down in your tent.
One thing you should do before you rest is to change out of your sweaty and dirty clothes. Put on a fresh t-shirt and a pair of fleece or down pants. Put on a puffy jacket or fleece if you are cold. You can quickly wash out the clothes that you were wearing and hang them over your tent so they are dry before the sun goes down.
Once you have taken a nap or have at least rested. The next item on the list is to get some food. Refuel all the depleted calories that you burned hiking.
Sit in the dining tent and snack on the provide food and drinks. Drink plenty of fluids. There are coffee, tea, and water provided. Now is a good time to fill your Nalgene with water and mix in Nuun tablets or Gatorade powder to replenish your electrolytes. They also cover up the taste of the treated water.
Furthermore, once you have rested and consumed calories, what should you do? Depending on the day, there may still be several hours before the sun goes down.
Use this time to read a book or listen to music.
Record Your Journey
Additionally, you can also walk around and take photos and videos. Afterward, go back to your tent and review them.
You can use this time to create a video blog (vlog) and document your journey. Talk about the weather, how you feel, what you saw that day, what you would have done differently, and your overall experience.
Dinner will be served daily between 6 and 6:30 PM. It will be in the dining tent. This is where some of the best times are shared with your fellow travelers. People from all over the world may be on your climb.
Chances are, you will make lifelong friends with some of the people on your trip. Use this time to connect with everyone on social media (not that you’ll have a signal) but you can take notes on your phone and find them later. Then you can share photos of this amazing experience for many years.
Evening Briefing & Health Check
Once dinner is wrapping up, the head guide will come in for your trip briefing and daily health check. During this briefing, he’ll let you know how much water to bring and what to expect the next day. This may be the weather, how long you’ll hike and your next day camp.
In addition to the briefing, you’ll also receive a health check. For more on our daily health checks go here:
Practicing proper hygiene is crucial on the mountain. You don’t want to get a bacterial infection which can lead to an early exit from your journey. Even though we provide private toilet tents so you don’t have to use the public “long-drop” toilets, wash your hands when you are finished with your business.
You should also brush your teeth, wash your face, and—as we mentioned earlier—wash your clothes.
You can also use this time to tend to any hot spots or blisters you may have. Wash your feet, dry them, and inspect them. If you have any blisters or hot spots let the guide know at the health check. But cover them with moleskin or duct tape before you put them back into your shoes.
And finally, clean out your day pack of any snack wrappers. Place them in the trash for the porter to carry. There isn’t a problem with mice on the mountain, but it is a good practice to keep your pack, tent, pockets free from crumbs. Even though there aren’t any mice. The White-Necked Raven may find your snacks and have a field day with them.
For most people, it doesn’t feel like there is excessive downtime. We’ve never had complaints from clients about their camp on Kilimanjaro being boring. Taking this respite each day is very beneficial to your climb and your mental health. Free from daily distractions, you will have time to reflect on your life. This can be about your Kilimanjaro climb, your life goals, your relationships, and your future. People often say that Kilimanjaro changed their life. It is during these moments of solitude that these revelations can occur. Cherish the time.