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Mt Kilimanjaro stove/ advice
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Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Mt Kilimanjaro stove/ advice on 08/29/2009 11:20:30 MDT Print View

I'm doing a medical rotation in Tanzania in January and am planning on climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. I understand that guides are required and plan on choosing a trekking company in Moshi. However I am not a fan of having someone carry my gear for me, cook for me, fetch water for me, etc. I plan on going along with a group, but I hope to keep some degree of independence in terms of self support. From what I have read in Kilimanjaro: The Trekking Guide to Africa's Highest Mountain - 2nd Edition I'm confident I can find a trekking company that will go along with this, but if they are instantiate I may hire a porter in case I need help. I will post a gear list for scrutiny later, but I was wondering if anyone in the community had any experience with Kilimanjaro\Tanzania or other initial advice. For starters what stove would you recommend? I have a MSR XGK that I know I can get fuel for (gasoline), but of course it is heavy. I would prefer to take a homemade caldera cone, but I don't believe I could find fuel there.

A little information about me: I've been to Nigeria for a month so I know a little about interacting in Africa (culture, visas, vaccinations, etc.), but I've never been to Tanzania. I understand the importance of supporting porters work in the there economy. The highest I have been in the past was Mt Whitney last April. I did not experience any symptoms of AMS beyond the typical shortness of breath. I'm 5'10” and 155 pounds and don't have any joint problems. I've run marathons in the past and am training for Kilimanjaro the same way I would train for running a marathon. I expect my total pack weight including food and water to be around 30 pounds at the start of the hike. Any advice is appreciated.


Edited by ascientist on 08/29/2009 11:24:35 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Mt. Kilimanjaro stove/advice on 08/29/2009 11:44:32 MDT Print View

Seems like a Bush Buddy would be perfect and you would not have to worry about fuel...

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Mt Kilimanjaro gear on 08/29/2009 12:41:03 MDT Print View

It would be nice, but several days will be spent above treeline and I don't believe burning of vegetation is permitted.

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Kilimanjaro on 08/30/2009 08:16:18 MDT Print View

I did Kili by Machame rt last August with my sister as an add on to a safari.You'll love it.I just went with their program and let the porters carry it all(another way to go ultralight ,use a poter)At 2-3 dollars/poter it is a bargin.We had 21 poters/guides for 2.I saw groups with 2-3 porters/person. .Much more of a hike than climb.I only brought my trail runners...never walked on snow.Lots of big pain fest.Summit day will be like Whitney,not harder.Much colder.
You'll be on a 6-7 day sched.This = 5-8 miles of hiking.More traversing than climbing.I chose to hike slowly and spend the day on the trail...much more pleasant than in the camps.On Machame you sleep lower than the highest point you traveled which seems to help aclim. with the 100 or so other people in other groups going camp to camp.I only saw 2 people altitude sick.On the tourist rt( Marangu),I bet many more have problems.We never even got head aches.Diamox last 48 hrs,lots of liquids all day and night.Bring a pee bottle for night.Ear plugs help as camps are noisy.Chem hand warmers for summit dayalso Kept water from freezing in tent last night.Zero degree sleeping bag a must.On summit day I used an empty G5 pack under my expedition weight jacket as a camel back to keep water from freezing.As the sun rose on the way down the G5 filled up with 5lbs of insulated clothes.I am a 3mph hiker at home.On Kili we never got out of breath,sub 1mph on summit night....too cold to stop -10f.
Ask the head guide before you go to list the poters by name and what they need as a tip.This worked well for us.Many climbers got played at the end...left a sour note.The tip really is part of the trip cost,kind of how things work there.
It really was a fun trip.Not a wilderness trip,but not trashed as described by many.Any hiker in good health could do Kili....Even Martha Stewart : - )
Be sure to get in some game drives.Truly amazing!I'll go back!

Edited by alanyork9 on 08/30/2009 09:06:05 MDT.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Kilimanjaro on 08/31/2009 20:41:20 MDT Print View


"on summit night....too cold to stop -10f"

I've heard several people comment about how cold the summit can be. Any guess as to how cold the highest campsite was (how does the temperature/wind compare with the summit)? I'm confident that my sleeping bag and clothing (Western Mountaineering Versalite with down jacket and pants) will be warm, but wonder if my neoair mat will be enough. I know from experience that I can be comfortable on the neoair at 25 degrees, but I have yet to go below that. If its just uncomfortable for 1 or 2 nights that's alright, but this may be pushing it.

"I only brought my trail runners...never walked on snow"

So do you think there would be no need to bring snow stakes? I'm going in January (semi-dry season) and will likely also take the Machame route.

I'll be sure to add earplugs and a pee bottle to my gear list.

Thanks for all the advice.


Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Kilimanjaro Gear List on 08/31/2009 20:55:40 MDT Print View

Here is my gear list. If you go to the PDF version through my profile there are links to most of the commercial gear I reference. Any advice is appreciated.

Ospery Exos 46 1,050 g (37 oz)
Homemade silnylon pack cover 69 g (2.5 oz)

Black Diamond Hilight with Fibraplex poles Tent 1,162 g (41 oz)
4 MSR Ground Hog Stakes Base tie-outs 57 g (2 oz)
4 MSR Needle Stakes For extra tie-outs 35 g (1.25 oz)

Sleep System:
Western Mountaineering Versalite medium Sleeping bag 1,063 g (37.5oz)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir regular Pad 391 g (13.8oz)
Homemade foam pillow 55 g (1.95 oz)
Homemade down booties 65 g (2.25 oz)
Earplugs and 6 Benadryl 2 g (.07oz)

Cooking Gear:
MSR XGK Expedition with 11fl oz fuel bottle 507 g (17.9oz)
Small box of matches 7 g (.25 oz)
REI Ti Ware Nonstick Titanium Pot - 1.3 164 g (5.8 oz)
MSR Folding Spoon 14 g (.5 oz)

Surprise Silk Shirt 72 g (2.55 oz)
Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka Small 403 g (14.2 oz)
Homemade cashmere top Base layer 252 g (8.9 oz)
Homemade silnylon jacket Rain protection/vapor barrier 89 g (3.15 oz)
Seirus Innovation Neofleece Combo 51 g (1.8 oz)
Homemade nylon pants 75 g (2.65 oz)
Terramar Woolskins Bottoms small Base layer 155 g (5.45 oz)
Icebreaker Boxer Brief Underwear 67 g (2.35 oz)
Possum Glove 43 g (1.5 oz)
6 XL Nitrile gloves 38 g (1.35 oz)

Vasque Aether Tech SS US size 10 Shoes 640 g (22.6 oz)
Thin base-layer socks 42 g (1.5 oz) (estimate)
Toasty Feet Insole 88 g (3.1 oz)
Smartwool trekking heavy crew Warm socks 92 g (3.25 oz)
Homemade silnylon socks Vapor barrier socks 23 g (.8 oz)
Integral Designs eVent Shortie Gaiter 69 g (2.45 oz)

Acetaminophen, aspirin, caffeine to Treat headaches 14 g (.5 oz)
Diamox Prevent AMS 3g (.1 oz) (estimate)
Homemade first aid/emergency kit 156 g (5.5 oz)
Sunglasses 24 g (.85 oz)
Chapstick 10 g (.35oz)
SPF 60 Sunscreen 43 g (1.5 oz)

Aurelle TOOB Brush Tooth brush 43 g (1.5 oz)
Toilet paper 78 g (2.75 oz)
Dr Bronner's bar soap 30 g (1.05 oz)
Small sponge 7 g (.2 oz)
Disposable water bottle for Pee bottle 11 g (.4 oz)

Black Diamond Cosmo headlamp 71 g (2.50z)
Kestrel 4000 Pocket Wind Meter 105 g (3.7 oz)
Panasonic DMC-ZR1K Camera 231 g (8.15 oz)
Gorillapod Camera stand 44 g (1.55 oz)
Spare camera battery 23 g (.8 oz)
Ziplock bag for camera 6 g (.2 0z)
ipod shuffle and headphones 20 g (.7 oz)

Passport and Wallet 56 g (2 oz)
Gerber Ultralight L.S.T. Knife 16 g (.55 oz)
Outdoor Products Dry Sack 488 cu. Inches Food bag 40 g (1.4 oz)
Outdoor Products Dry Sack 488 cu. Inches Fetch water 40 g (1.4 oz)
2 1 Liter Platy Bottle 57 g (2 oz)
20 Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets Treats 10 L 13 g (.45 oz)

Weight varies during trip:
Food 7 days 4,000 g (141oz) (estimated)
Water 2 liters 2,000 g (70.5oz) (estimated)
Fuel 10 fl oz 220 g (7.8 oz) (estimated)

Total base gear weight: 5,780 g (12 pounds 12oz)
Total gear, food, water, and fuel weight: 12,000 g (26 pounds 7 oz)
Total gear and clothing weight: 7,980 g (17 pounds 9 oz)
Total everything weight: 14,197 g (31 pounds 5 oz)
Actual bag weight at start (total weight minus clothing worn at start): 13,209 g (29 pounds 2 oz)
Estimated weight of bag at end of trek: 8,672 g (19 pounds 2 oz)

Items I'm probably not going to take, but still considering:
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Poles Trekking poles 211 g (7.5 oz)
Garmin Oregon 400t GPS 197 g (7 oz)
Black Diamond Absolute Mitt Very warm hands 350 g (12.35 oz)
Montane Super-Fly XT Jacket Breathable waterproof 465 g (16.4 oz)
Therm-A-Rest Z lite Size Regular Extra pad insulation 447 g (15.75)
4 SMC T-Anchor With cord and mini carabiners Snow stakes 115 g (4.05 oz)

Edited by ascientist on 08/31/2009 21:03:49 MDT.

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Kilimanjaro on 09/01/2009 20:22:37 MDT Print View

Brett, Looks like a good list of gear.I would add a balaclava.I had a silk weight and a fleece.Slept in lighter one up high.Last 2 nights temps were 25f or so.I was there in August(their winter).I would bring glove liners and insulated over mittens.A 1/8 or 1/4 closed cell pad is good insurance for under the t-rest.The camps are not really too windy & no snow.No need for snow stakes.The camps were rocky/dusty ,muddy down low.
I was suprised that on summit day we moved at such a slow pace behind the head guide that I never took off my insulated jacket.We never got out of breath at this pace...but you don't generate heat to stay warm.
We gave away most of our gear and clothes to the porters.If you have any old outdated gear/packs/boots/clothes they are great gifts to these guys.They really are struggling to keep busy since the # of climbers is 1/2 as many as 2 years ago.
I ate food that was provided,but brought lots of my own snacks,nuts,ect.Great to share with the hungry poters.I would take some drink mix like Cytomax or Hammer perpetuum.Works well to keep the gas tank full.
Any Ipod/camera/head lamp be sure to have in sleeping bag & then in a warm pocket so they'll work when you need them.
Another idea that worked well was to bring some rags.I brought a pc of car washing rag for each day to clean me up with,then clean dust & mud out tent.Down low camps are really muddy as you are in the rain forest.
I love my Exos pack.Tossed out the top lid and never looked back.It might be tight getting your load in to it.
If you wanted more of a wilderness trip the Western Breach rt would be another option>>>Good luck with the planning!

Edited by alanyork9 on 09/01/2009 20:28:02 MDT.

Liz Chou
(lizpfc) - F
Kilimanjaro shoe and gear advice on 02/28/2011 14:55:57 MST Print View

I'm planning to climb Kilimanjaro in June and would appreciate advice about the gear I need for a successful summit. I usually hike/backpack and run trails in running shoes and have no experience wearing boots with ankle support. I find them constraining and uncomfortable. That said, it seems that most websites recommend using boots for the summit night.

Could I be relatively comfortable only using Keen Obsidians, thick smartwool socks and maybe some toe warmers? My ultra light sleeping back has a comfort rating of 30 F, so I am planning to bring a liner and an emergency blanket for summit night.

I purchased an Asolo 520 TPS boot, but they are so clunky and constraining compared to trail runners that I am reluctant to keep the boots, especially since it seems I'll only use them for this trip.