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!