Kilimanjaro with kids?

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tarasmu
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Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby tarasmu » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:31 am

Hello, To those who have gone and hiked Africa's highest point.

My whole family is going so it will be a once in a life time trip. (roughly 20 grand)
My son will be 8 and my Doctor recommends him to be 10+ due to immune systems in children.(even with shots).
Also I was wondering if any of you folks have brought children that young with you to the top and was there any
concern or problems with them? I think he could make it but maybe I need another year climbing 14ers with him.
The more I think about it I like him to be a little more mountain tough perhaps I am jumping the gun.

Cant wait for all your help in this.
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fleetmack
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby fleetmack » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:34 am

I thought there was a national age limit where they wouldn't let anyone under age 10 on the mountain?
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scalba123
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby scalba123 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:43 am

According to the Tusker.com website...

Are kids allowed to climb?
Yes. Kids are not affected any differently by the altitude than adults. The main problem for kids is the mental toughness required as the breathing gets harder.

The National Park authorities have set a minimum age of 12. However, we have received permission for a 10-year old to climb. If you plan to climb with a kid of 12 years or younger, book well in advance. We need extra time to obtain permission for your kid from the park authorities. They are notoriously slow.
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ylingli
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby ylingli » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:50 pm

I thought the minimum age to climb Kili is 10 years old? I can let you know for sure when I get out there.....leaving in 6 weeks and counting!!!!! :D
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby RockyMountainMustang » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:33 pm

I wouldn't really recommend it to most children. What route are you planning on? I did the Machame. It's do-able with kids, but I don't know how much they would enjoy the experience. If you do 5+ day backpacking/mountaineering trips with them now, and they love it, they would probably do fine. Most short, one day 14er hikes involve less dedication than a longer trip. I would say 99% of children are either not up for it, or could do it, but wouldn't really enjoy it. Children are pretty impatient and what's fun one day becomes miserable after 4 tedious, tiring days. At 8, how much of it would they remember anyway? My memory of being 8yrs old isn't exactly crystal clear. I definitely encourage you to climb Kilimanjaro though. Hiking it was one of the most memorable things I've done.
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matt pierce
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby matt pierce » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:15 am

Ive been twice and cant recall seeing any "kids" on the peak.

Me personally? I wouldnt take my 8-10 year old...too much risk

It's East Africa - it aint Disneyworld...

It's hard for most people let alone kids - dirty, poor as hell, some loooong days of hiking at altitude, pooping in holes in the ground, risk of water bourne pathogens, malaria...

Also - my second trip it took me 44 hours to get home - can your kids sit on a plane and/or in airports that long?

Just my 2 cents...
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:03 pm

matt pierce wrote:Also - my second trip it took me 44 hours to get home - can your kids sit on a plane and/or in airports that long?

The Addis Ababa to Dulles leg was over 20 hours in the same tin can.
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Scott P
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby Scott P » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:47 pm

Me personally? I wouldnt take my 8-10 year old...too much risk

It's East Africa - it aint Disneyworld...

It's hard for most people let alone kids - dirty, poor as hell, some loooong days of hiking at altitude, pooping in holes in the ground, risk of water bourne pathogens, malaria...

Also - my second trip it took me 44 hours to get home - can your kids sit on a plane and/or in airports that long?


I disagree 100% with all of the above (except for maybe the altitude thing, see below). I've taken my kids in the developing world many times and it has always been an educational and positive experience. Some examples:

Peru (one of the most remote areas of the country) with my five year old (first gringo kid to visit most of these areas):

http://www.summitpost.org/father-and-son-adventures-in-peru/378565

Honduras, El Salvador and Guatamala with my 4 & 6 year old:

http://www.summitpost.org/welcome-to-the-jungle-a-photo-trip-report/780363

Malaysia and Indonesia with my 6 & 8 year old:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountains-jungles-orangutans-wild-caves-raging-rivers-and-erupting-volcanoes/691015

Also, Nicaragua at 20 month old and many other not in the trip reports above. We're looking forward to our big trip to the Himalayas later this year.

You are supposed to be 10 to climb Kili, but never avoid travelling with your children.

Anyway, as far as altitude goes, be careful and take lots of time to acclimatize. If you want to take kids that high, climb an acclimatization peak first (i.e. Meru) and take at least 8 days on the Kili climb (or any other climb of similar altitude. Unless they are feeling perfect, consider not taking them to the summit. Also, if whoever you are going with won't let you spend 8 days on the climb, go with a different company.
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Scott P
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby Scott P » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:52 pm

Me personally? I wouldnt take my 8-10 year old...too much risk


It's East Africa - it aint Disneyworld...

It's hard for most people let alone kids - dirty, poor as hell, some loooong days of hiking at altitude, pooping in holes in the ground, risk of water bourne pathogens, malaria...

Also - my second trip it took me 44 hours to get home - can your kids sit on a plane and/or in airports that long?[/quote]

I disagree 100% with all of the above (except for maybe the altitude thing, see below). I've taken my kids in the developing world many times and it has always been an educational and positive experience. Some examples:

Peru (one of the most remote areas of the country) with my five year old (first gringo kid to visit most of these areas). Ignore the part about the volcano though, that was a freak coincidence and not one I'd care to repeat!):

http://www.summitpost.org/father-and-son-adventures-in-peru/378565

Honduras, El Salvador and Guatamala with my 4 & 6 year old:

http://www.summitpost.org/welcome-to-the-jungle-a-photo-trip-report/780363

Malaysia and Indonesia with my 6 & 8 year old:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountains-jungles-orangutans-wild-caves-raging-rivers-and-erupting-volcanoes/691015

Also, Nicaragua at 20 month old and many other not in the trip reports above. We're looking forward to our big trip to the Himalayas later this year.

You are supposed to be 10 to climb Kili, but never avoid travelling with your children.

Anyway, as far as altitude goes, be careful and take lots of time to acclimatize. If you want to take kids that high, climb an acclimatization peak first (i.e. Meru) and take at least 8 days on the Kili climb (or any other climb of similar altitude. Unless they are feeling perfect, consider not taking them to the summit. Also, if whoever you are going with won't let you spend 8 days on the climb, go with a different company.
Last edited by Scott P on Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MtHurd
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MtHurd » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:03 pm

I don't see any reason why an 8 year old couldn't climb Kilimanjaro as long as he's interested. The only risk I see is preventing you from summitting if he's having any issues or just doesn't want to keep going. It will definitely be an educational experience for him and make him appreciate living here even more. Just make sure you drink bottled water everywhere you go, even when brushing your teeth. We took 4 days to summit and 2 days to return for our climb. This seemed rather leisurely for me and my dad who was 71 at the time. Bring warm clothes as it gets very cold on summit day as you will start at midnight. It warms up fast as the sun comes up. We were down to t-shirts on the way down.
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:18 am

When we climbed it we did not see any kids. We did the Machame route and even at the Lava Tower we saw a fair number of people having altitude problems. Its a long night from Barafu to the summit. Start at midnight and on top at first light. Its cold during the night. If you really want to do this I would suggest a moonlight hike of say Greys for a start. Leave the trailhead at midnight and see how it goes. Then a bunch of 4500 foot 14ers just to be sure the child has the stamina to continue.
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby Chaos Penumbra » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:51 am

I recently returned from Kilimanjaro (January trip) and it was an amazing experience. You will really enjoy it!

IMHO, it will come down to how patient your kid is, as people have said, and his ability to acclimatize. Actually, that applies to everyone! My group took the Lemosho route, which was supposed to be 8 days but due to a flight issue we were stranded in Amsterdam (oh darn) overnight and had to compress the route to 7 days. Despite this I thought they were dragging out the trip to make it more of an "experience" and also because people from sea level really will need that extra time. So, if your family has not done many high-altitude trips you'll appreciate the slow pace and won't be bored but if you have experience...you might be asking "Why are we stopping so early?" There's nothing to do at camp but wait.

Similar story with the difficulty. The only hard day for me was the summit day, which consists of waking up at midnight and basically doing a 14er whose base is already at 15000. No one can predict how their body will perform at altitude. I didn't notice anything until about 16k, and my performance dropped rapidly after that. However, another in our group is a marathon runner and she shrugged it all off. Yet another member had symptoms at HAPE at 14k and was forced to descend on day 4. The big takeaway is to monitor yourself and especially a child closely for altitude sickness. You do not want to get into trouble up there because there is no awesome SAR team waiting to airlift you out like there is in Colorado. Be realistic...not summitting is a real possibility.

Lastly, and this isn't my business but I will bring it up since you mentioned 20 grand...I don't know how many people are in your group but if it is just you, your spouse and one kid you are paying too much. There are outfitters that will charge up to 10 grand a head. I witnessed some of these "elite" outfitters on the trail and I will attest that you are not getting anything more for that price. My outfitter was 2 grand a head and they were outstanding.

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