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« How to pack for Kilimanjaro and clothing to wear | Main | Kilimanjaro Climb Questions »

Do we need hiking or trekking poles?

Jonathan and Carrie,

Thanks so much for answering the clothing question for us! I did think of another question of course. We read somewhere that there are usually hiking sticks for sale near the gate of the mountain. Did you find this to be true? Also, do you recommend hiking poles? We're packing our stuff and its really starting to hit us now! Thanks again for all of your advice! =)

Britten (and Chris)

Hi Britten and Chris! We're absolutely more than willing to help and glad we've been able to offer useful advice.

Should you have trekking poles for your climb? The short answer:

Are there trekking poles for sale at the entrance?

We believe so. Even though we didn't see people selling them specifically, there were people selling everything at the park gate. So we imagine that there would be trekking poles for sale there (as well as little bags that go aroud your day pack, in case it rains - which the first day in the rain forest was VERY rainy (big surprise, right - after all, we were in a "rain" forest))

The longer answer to the trekking poles question is that we loved having them. Going up, they were good to balance with (which, by day five, can be an issue for some people). The place we really loved having our poles was coming down the mountain. One of Carrie's knees had gotten a bit swollen and having the poles to brace the impact of stepping down was extremely helpful. The trekking poles also helped to slow the "Step-slide" method which is what you do for about the first 3,000 feet coming down Kilimanjaro from the summit.

We bought our poles for $20/pair (2 paris for $40 total) at a local outdoors outfitter here. It was the cheapest we found them, although we have since heard that some Wal-Mart Stores carry trekking poles (we didn't find them at our local Wal-Mart).

We would imagine that you would be able to find trekking poles at the park gate, and remember, even though there will be people trying to sell them at a high price, the rule of thumb is always BARGAIN, BARGAIN, BARGAIN! (Offer $10 or $15/pair and you can always negotiate up from there.)

We look forward to hearing about your climb when you get back!



Thanks for sending me information about Kilimanjaro Hikking. According to the rules of climbing Kilimanjaro, when hiking, it is better for any climber to be fully equiped, in order not to have any trouble during the actual climbing of Kilimanjaro. So trekking poles is one of the pieces of equipment, and at the gate you don't need to buy them because you can hire (rent) them. After coming down the mountain you bring them back. At the gate is everything needed for hikking so you have to relax where you are all you need to worry about it arranging your safari. This time (of year) is the best time for climbing the kilimanjaro, but if you can't climb it, you can drink in Kilimanjaro's beauty from a distance.

[Jonathan's note: Fred was one of our guides on our Kilimanjaro trip. Thanks for commenting Fred!]


Jonathan and Carrie
I haven't checked on you guys for awhile. Are you ever in Greeley? How are the pictures of Kilimanjaro coming? Have you thought of doing presentations. My classes would love to hear from you. Thanks, Jill Platte Youth Services Center.


"Lord, I have a problem!"
"What's the problem, Eve?"
"Lord, I know you've created me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and that hilarious comedy snake, but I'm just not happy."
"Why is that, Eve?" came the reply from above.
"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples." "Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you."
"What's a 'man,' Lord?"
"This man will be a flawed creature, with aggressive tendencies, an enormous ego and an inability to empathize or listen to you properly, he'll basically give you a hard time. He'll be bigger, faster, and more muscular than you. He'll be really good at fighting and kicking a ball about and hunting fleet-footed ruminants, But, he'll be pretty good in the sack."
"I can put up with that," says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow.
"Yeah well, he's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick. But, there is one condition."
"What's that, Lord?"
"You'll have to let him believe that I made him first."
:D :D :D

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Official Travel Pictures
(What's online and available at the moment...)

Day 1 -  The Hains Point Giant "The Awakening" and DC Metro       Pictures/stories    No Video
Day 2 -  Our First Official "Tourist Day!"                                    
Pictures/stories    Summary Video  
Day 3 -  National Museum of Art, Constitution, and Carrie's Bday   
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 4 -  Arlington, Iwo Jima, FDR, Jefferson, Holocaust Museum    
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 5 -  Washington D.C. Museums and the Hope Diamond           
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 6 -  Mellow relax and Catch-up day with our friends Misty and Yvette
Day 7 -  Delaware, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania      
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 8 -  Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Mamma Mia! on Broadway    Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 9 -  New York City, The Empire State Building, Long Island      
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 10 - Catch-up/prep day with our friends Viliam and Julie, as well as the New Jersey PPL Briefing
Day 11/12  Travel to Africa  (Arriving in Africa the evening of Day 12, which was June 22nd)
Day 13 - Safari in Arusha National Park and touring the lodge        
Pictures/stories    Summary Video(s)
Day 14 - Traveling to Mount Kilimanjaro and beginning our climb     
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 15 - Second Climb Day on Mt Kilimanjaro                              Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 16 - Third Climb Day on Mt Kilimanjaro                                 Pictures/stories    Summary Video

In the meantime, check out the Gear page!