Hi, me and a group of 4 friends are doing the Rwenzori in December as part of a fundraising drive for a little known charity organization here that looks after children and generally people with mental illness.
Oh we are so excited and looking forward to the challenge – We can’t wait.
All is set but just one little thing; What sort of things do we have to bring along. I know it should probably be more of backpacking – may be!
What a thrill you are in for! I can understand the excitement – You will love it.
… And thanks for your efforts for a good cause – the fundraising, your contribution is much appreciated.
Your question is quite common and I am surprised it had never featured here.
Here is what you need to bring/consider for your Rwenzori Mountain Hike … and pretty much the same for the other mountain hikes too;
For starters, stock up with enough equipment and supplies – once you hit the road running, you will not have opportunity to restock. You will only survive on what you will have brought with you.
Warm clothing and a decent 4-season sleeping bag are essential. It can be, and it’s indeed chilly and wet out there. At 4000m, you dare not underestimate the equatorial chill. Have a good raincoat, waterproof over trousers, a woolen hat (one of those good winter ones will do) and have some plastic bags (very often they come in handy especially if you have to separate the wet and dry cloths in your rucksack).
… And yes! did I just say rucksack? … or is this one of the very obvious! Bring plenty of snacks and sweets. A few bars of chocolate would do but I doubt if they would survive the heat before you get to the cool heights – let alone messing up your bag – covered in chocolate!
Depending on how high you plan to go, you will need proper walking/hiking boots – quite essential! and for the boggy valleys, walking gumboots are preferable. Sun glasses of course, sun cream, lip salve and a flash light.
First in the bag should be the camera – You don’t want to miss out on those ‘kodak moments’. Bring loads of films or if you are using the modern digital ones, then have lots of storage space, flash disks etc …
If you turn up and your rucksack is quite heavy, porters can be hired to carry your backpack up the Rwenzoris and back. Unfortunately they will only do a maximum of 15kg and you will have the rest. So find ways of light travelling.