Keeping your hands warm on Kilimanjaro
A Kilimanjaro climb takes you through fully five distinct climate zones; it only stands to reason that you’ll need multiple glove/mitten options on your trek. Protecting your extremities such as your hands is the most difficult as they are the most exposed. The principle of layering also applies to your hands warm and comfort.
To ensure your warmth and comfort and covering every eventuality during your trek, we recommend three pairs for any high-altitude climb:
The essential Kilimanjaro Handwear
A lightweight glove is invaluable during your trek; on the lower slopes, liner gloves offer sun protection and help prevent blistering from your trekking poles. As you climb higher, they can serve as an additional layer underneath heavier gloves or mittens.
A necessity for the upper reaches of the trek, especially summit night. Ideally, the outer gloves should also be waterproof, without being cumbersome or too bulky. Essentially you want gloves that provide great dexterity, whilst also providing exceptional warmth, water resistance and durability.
You may prefer mittens, especially if your hands tend to get cold; the greater surface area on gloves, and the fact that fingers can’t “share” the warmth they’re giving off, means they’re inherently less warm. For harsh conditions, mittens with a wind and waterproof outer layer, as well as a removable insulation layer, offer maximum protection against the elements.
If you really suffer with cold hands, we do also recommend taking some hand warmers with you. They warm your hands while in your gloves. We advise using the single use option as they stay warmer longer than the reusable. Please make sure they are environmentally safe and non toxic.