Advices for female trekkers
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro as a woman comes with some specific challenges. We know all about it and are here to help you deal with it. We have listed some questions you might have concerning hygiene on the mountain.
Peeing on the mountain
We will make sure you will be drinking a lot of water during your Kilimanjaro climb (at least 3 liters a day!) to prevent altitude sickness. But that means unfortunatly you will pee a lot. Also, high altitude makes you urinate more frequently and even more so if you are taking Diamox, which is a diuretic. And don´t forget, the higher up the mountain we get, the less vegetation there is to hide behind.
Using a female urinating device is a good option to make it easier during the day when there is no bush or rock to hide behind. These devices let you wee in a similar way to a man: you just turn your back on the crowd, unzip your trousers and push your knickers aside, then wee into the contraption. The funnel ensures your wee comes out in a stream away from your feet. Especially during the cold nights on the mountains when you don´t want to leave your tent, you will probably find such a pee funnel to be a real lifesaver. Don´t forget to bring a bottle to pee in at night.
By the way, we recommend to practice the use of an urinating device beforehand at home.
The toilet tent in camp
Unless you're hiking Marangu Route, which is the only one which provides hut accommodation, we will carry a private portable toilet tent for you on the mountain. You will have this for your exclusive use while you are in the camps. Camps offer public toilets, but those are usually not very clean and pleasant, so you will be happy to have your private solution.
Having your period on the climp
Even if you don´t expect to have your period during the climb, the altitude can mess with your hormones and induce it. So bring enough tampons, panty liners or pads, you never know.
Keeping your body clean on the mountain
You won’t have any opportunities for a proper wash on the mountain. On Kilimanjaro there are no showers available in the camps - unless you choose Marangu Route, the only one with hut accomodation and cold showers. On all other routes you have to be happy with a bowl of hot water that we provide for you for washing your face and hands in the mornings and once you reach the camp after hiking. Using wet wipes for "washing" your body is what most women do.
Also you will not be able to give your hair a proper wash during your Kilimanjaro trek with the bowl of water you get from us. So dry shampoo may be an option for your hair.
Keeping the mountain clean
To help keep the nature of Kilimanjaro National Park clean, please don´t leave toilet paper, wipes etc. on the mountain. Instead pack biodegradable (compostable) disposable bags to put your hygienic rubbish in. You can get rid of these every morning in the camps before heading off. Best are the kind of bags for dog poo, small ones where you just tie a knot to close it.
Note that Tanzania does not allow regular single-use plastic bags to be brought into the country to reduce the plastic waste. So the bags you bring must be biodegradable.