Mountain Climbing Essentials: What You Need To Carry

Mountain Climbing Essentials: What You Need To Carry

Going Mountain Climbing? First of all, congratulations for embarking on such an adventure. Mountain Climbing will test you and harass you but will no doubt leave you a better person. Also, bravo for seeking out more information on your climb.

Two things will mainly test you on the mountain: the ALTITUDE and the COLD. A lot of injuries, conditions and sickness can be avoided on the mountain if you have the right information on how to prepare for a climb. If you would like to know more about Altitude Sickness just click on this link: Altitude Sickness: HAPE & HACE.

In this post we will list the things you as an individual will need to carry for your climb.

We will divide our equipment list into three categories.

Compulsory: Things we EMPHASIZE you MUST carry. Failure to have one or more things on this list could be detrimental to you and by extension, to your group.

Advisable: This we RECOMMEND you carry, but if you don’t have them and someone else in your hiking group has them then don’t sweat it. However having them will make your climb easier for you.

Optional: These are things that would just be fun to have on the climb.



  • Jersey
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Hiking Shorts
  • Hiking T-shirt (cotton)
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Fleece Pants
  • Fleece Vest
  • Wind Pants
  • Wind Jacket
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Balaclava
  • 1 pair Gloves
  • 1 pair Mittens
  • Sunglasses (UV shield advised)
  • 4 pairs Woolen Socks
  • Hiking Boots
  • (Safari Boots and Timbalands NOT ADVISED)
  • Light Camp Shoes/Sneakers
  • Cap/Sun Hat
  • Face Towel
  • Underwear (cotton)
  • Bandanna
  • 1 set of city clothes
  • Gaiters
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Daypack/Hiking Pack
  • CamelBak/Water bottle (Nalgene advised)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Torch/Headlight + extra batteries
  • Pocketknife
  • Watch (waterproof advised)

Personal Items

  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Emergency Contacts List
  • Notebook with pen/pencil
  • Sanitary Towels/Tampons
  • Wet wipes and Pocket Tissues
  • Toilet Bag
  • Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Comb/Brush
  • Lip Balm
  • Skin Lotion/Vaseline
  • Sunscreen lotion




















  • First aid/medical
    * Pain killers and Altitude Tablets
    * Assorted plasters and bandages
    * Sun protection cream
    * Antiseptic cream
    * Adhesive tape
    * Throat lozenges
* Energy drinks
* Chocolate
* Sweets
* Fruit
* Nuts
* Energy snacks








* Camera (cold and water proof advised)
* Spare batteries
* Video camera (cold and water proof advised)
* Binoculars
* Hiking poles
* Plastic/Waterproof bags
* Cash






Mountain Climbing Essentials: What You Need To Carry

Disclaimer: This post is addressing packing essentials for non-technical climbs such as Point Lenana on Mount Kenya, Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro and Socialist Peak on Mount Meru. Technical Climbs (such as Nelion and Batian) require rock climbing equipment, expertise and guides and as such would require a different list of equipment. This list is specifically be for non-technical climbs.

This post also assumes you have with you a mountain cook who will advise on what main meals to buy, carry and eat.

This list is meant to act in an advisory capacity. Kindly consult your physician and preferred mountain consultant for things you may need to carry specific to your physical condition and hiking group.

If you have a question about items we have listed or something we may have missed out on the list, drop us a comment below. And remember to subscribe to this blog for more outdoor information.


Jeanette Wairimu

Wilderness First Responder (WMA – 09)


Is Your Team Building Working Against You?

Team Building in Nairobi and Kenya is a growing industry and many companies are realizing the benefits of team building. However the industry remains unregulated resulting in phony facilitators and a lack of professionalism even among genuine facilitators creating negative sentiment and misinformation on what team building is and its benefits.

Companies pay for team building and instead end up with just a fun day. The aim of a fun day of games is simply to bond and relieve stress whereas team building is more targeted and structured.

Team Building simply refers to the use of various activities and tasks that can be used to improve social relations and define roles within teams by having participants work on collaborative tasks. While each particular exercise may be geared to bringing out particular qualities in a team, it may also highlight the absence of a certain quality and the importance of cultivating it. Experiential team building varies from traditional learning in that it seeks to have members realize the importance of these qualities while they work together as opposed to spoon-feeding the lessons in a lecture-style session.

It is for this reason that effective team building activities or sessions must involve four key elements:

  1. Goals/Target Lessons/Outcomes – These are the intended lessons or outcomes of each activity done. While there are standard and common goals like communication, collaboration and participation, it is important that this target lessons be listed PRIOR to the team building sessions. It is best to have the training or human relations manager point out the strengths and weaknesses of the team as well as the intended purpose of the team building. The facilitator should then tailor the team building exercise towards these purposes or goals. “One Size Fits All” team building or generic team building is not effective in the long run and may even produce negative experiences. It is therefore important that the ENTIRE team building session have a purpose and EACH activity within the session have intended or targeted outcomes
  2. Debrief Session/Moments – A debrief session is key for participants to share lessons they learnt or observations they made during each activity allowing them to get on the same page about their strengths and weaknesses. It also allows the team to evaluate if a particular activity was successful or not as well as to assess the effectiveness of the team. This is also a great moment to encourage one another as well as commend each other on things well done. Teams may also use this time to come up with strategies on how to work better in the next activity. ANY time a debrief is not done there is an opportunity lost to communicate the targeted outcomes of an activity. Without debrief sessions IT IS JUST A FUN DAY – IT IS NOT TEAM BUILDING.
  3. Reports & Follow-Up – It is key for the team building facilitator(s) to hand in a detailed report after a team building session to management or the HR department. A team building report contains the facilitator’s assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the entire team, observations made during particular activities and recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the teams. Exemplary qualities of individuals may also be mentioned in the report. The report will also contain a summary of lessons shared by the team members during the debrief sessions. As team building facilitators tend to themselves work in teams, it is helpful for them to also receive feedback on their strengths and weaknesses as a team and service provider. It is also important to have follow-up a month, three months, six months and a year after team building sessions to assess their impact on the teams.
  4. Professional Facilitators – These are individuals with the ability to communicate effectively, to manage teams professionally and in a friendly way and to make observations about teams in an objective way. It is imperative that facilitators also possess the confidence to address groups of people and the emotional intelligence to handle any situation that may arise during a team building activity including conflict and confusion. An effective facilitator should also work well with other facilitators and be open and comfortable to receive feedback from others.

Without these four elements the session becomes not only a wasted cost but may also frustrate your team and create more division among them rather than resolve issues already present. In the long run generic and unprofessional team building does more harm than good in a company.

‘Why do I have to go first?’ ‘There’s no I in team, Dave.’

For a quick assessment of the effectiveness of your team building session you may ask yourself these questions: Does the team building session have any impact on the team afterwards? Were any latent issues uncovered and addressed? Is there an honest discourse on the strengths and weaknesses in a team? Are recommendations given during team building taken seriously by both staff and management? Are the individuals clearer on their roles and the importance of their contribution to the team at work? Has the way members handle conflict changed or improved?

If your answers to these questions are not positive TAKE HEART! There is ALWAYS room for improvement and a chance to do things better next time.




Bachiochi, P. D., Rogelberg, S.G., O’Connor, M.S., Elder, A.E., (2000).
The qualities  of an effective team leader. Organization Development
         Journal, 18(1). O D Institute,  ProQuest, LLC,  : Steps to Building an Effective Team. Accessed on 18th April 2016.


TELEKI OUTDOORS – The Leader in Experiential Education

For more information:

VISIT our website at

EMAIL us on

LIKE us on Facebook    FOLLOW us on Twitter    SUBSCRIBE to our blog



10 Rules for Lion Encounters

Who thought I would even need to do such a post? Normally there are rules regarding conduct around wildlife like lions within National Parks and Reserves but in this case we need to hand these lions a code of conduct when they visit us!! Though seeing as lions are not really great readers perhaps we should instead figure out how to behave if you DO stumble on a lion during your morning commute to work in Nairobi.


  1. SNITCH ON THEM. Any time you spot a lion outside the confines of the national park be sure to snitch on them to KWS immediately. The KWS hotlines are +254728331981 OR +254736506052 OR +254770296352 . You may also tweet them @kwskenya
  2. NO SELFIES. Lions aren’t crazy about close contact or being told to smile and look at the camera so avoid trying to take a selfie with any lion. Pictures of lions ought to be taken from a safe distance of about 500 meters.
  3. DO NOT HIGH-FIVE A LION. This is in line with giving lions a wide berth. Even if you COULD convince a lion to give you a high-five the force would instantly dislocate your shoulder and shatter the bones in your hand. A lion delivers up to 180 kilograms (400 pounds) of force with a swipe of its paw. If it misses your hand and hits your head, it would probably break your neck. The same goes for poking or prodding or pushing a lion even with a stick.
  4. STAY INSIDE YOUR VEHICLE. Lions aren’t enthusiastic about human transportation and wont try to ask for a lift or anything. So staying in your car ensures your limbs and innards don’t take a lift inside the lion’s stomach. Animals Bite Force
  5. DO NOT HOOT AT A LION. I mean really guys? Incessant hooting is annoying to the average HUMAN so hooting at a lion can increase its agitation. If it is on the road, drive around it if possible. If not, stay in your car and take those Instagrammable pictures and Snapchat things until KWS have removed them from the road.
  6. IN A STREET FIGHT DO NOT TAKE ON A LION under any circumstances. A lion outmatches a human in strength, weight, speed and fighting experience. Especially if the fight is a NO HOLDS BARRED kind of fight, the lion is at liberty to bite as well as swipe. A lion delivers 425 kg (936 pounds) of force with its bite and this is enough to shatter most of your bones if it gets a hold of them. In fact, unless you have a gun you are sunk. And even with a gun you need to take several shots to take it down.
  7. IF YOU ARE NOT USAIN BOLT don’t think you can outrun a lion. In fact even if you are USAIN BOLT you are better off seasoning yourself with some salt and royco and waiting to be eaten. A lion can run at a maximum of 80KM/HR or 50mph compared to Usain Bolt’s record of 44KM/HR or 27mph. Like I said, you are sunk trying to outrun a lion.
  8. In the words of Senzo “NOTHING, NOTHING BUT PRAYER”. Perhaps God will shut the lion’s mouth like in Daniel’s case or give you more strength like Samson.
  9. DO NOT FEED A LION. While house cats think they are slave owners and your are their slaves, lions are KINGS and you are not worthy to approach it to begin with let alone trying to feed it. Besides it might not differentiate between your arm and the food. I suppose you could give them directions to Carnivore Restaurant. Same applies for petting them. You know how cats bite you right after petting them? Now just remember the bite force for a lion and forget about petting them.
  10. BY NOW you’ve probably figured out I am just saying things so I get to 10 points but now I really have run out of points.

CHANCES are you may not remember all these points yourself when you do meet a lion. A good general guideline is to think like an antelope and STAY AWAY. Although I have seen some pretty foolhardy antelopes on my safaris. It didn’t end well for them.


FINALLY if the lion is cooperating you can tell it to board a Lang’ata matatu at Bus Station and get off at the KWS main gate. Maybe help it with some fare, afterall they live in a cashless society.


#OperationFirstLady: What’s in a Name Part II

The Hungry Traveller

If you are wondering what I mean by part 2 then click on and start with this post: What’s in a Name?

Moving on. So this weekend I saw a tweet that amazed and amused me. Names of First Ladies in East Africa and it looks like I know why I am single. I have been using the wrong hunting grounds all along guys! I need to aim higher!!

Janet Museveni – First Lady UG
Janet Magufuli – First Lady TZ
Jeanette Kagame – First Lady Rwanda

I need to start attending presidential functions you guys, I am just saying. That cannot be coincidence right?

What’s more Jeanette Kagame has the same problem I do of people calling her Janet! Although in her case you can see why. As if I needed anything more to endear me to her. I feel we are soulmates, don’t you? I mean What’s in…

View original post 545 more words

Altitude Sickness – HAPE & HACE

It is with great sadness that it was decided a post on Altitude Sickness on the mountain needed to be done. My training as a Wilderness First Responder does not help anyone climbing if I am not part of the expedition. What would help people is being informed on the risks involved when mountain climbing and how best to mitigate them.

Kindly share this post with anyone you know might be about to embark on a climb on Mt Kenya or Mt Kilimanjaro. Mind you the same risks are involved climbing Mt Meru and Mt Longonot but Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro are in a league of their own when it comes to cases of altitude sickness. I have dropped my jokes, flowery language and funny pictures for this post because this is as serious as it gets. ALTITUDE SICKNESS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.

Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro offer great non-technical climbs for hikers both locally and internationally. Their location on the equator also allows for milder temperatures compared to other mountains of a similar altitude. Their proximity to Serengeti/Maasai Mara and other local national parks allows guests to have a combined climbing and safari package.

While these three factors are good for business and the tourism industry in both Kenya and Tanzania, it may not be the case for the rate of Altitude-related incidents as it translates to more summit attempts by inexperienced and untrained hikers. Despite not being in the top 100 highest peaks both mountains have acquired a notoriety for altitude-related incidents.


As one goes higher in elevation the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere reduces. For most people who live at sea level and up to 2000 meters an ascent beyond 3000 meters results in mild hypoxia. Hypoxia is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues in the body. This results in edema due to capillary dilation and leakage.


High Altitude Cerebral Edema is caused by capillary leakage of fluid into the brain. This presents as brain swelling and increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP).


Mild HACE – Mild Headache, Fatigue, Nausea

Moderate HACE – Severe Headache and Vomiting

Severe HACE – Mental status changes and Ataxia


Mild HACE – Oxygen, rest day, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Acetazolamide

Moderate HACE – descent of 500 meters, consider Dexamethasone

Severe HACE – Immediate descent of more than 500 meters, PROP, Dexamethasone.

It is important to note that a patient in severe HACE is not likely to survive without aggressive intervention.



High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is the result of pulmonary artery constriction causing pulmonary hypertension. This has the effect of forcing fluid to leak from capillary beds into the lungs into the alveoli and swelling of lung tissue.

HAPE tends to develop several days after arrival at moderate altitudes of 3000 to 4000 meters.


Mild HAPE – dry cough, mild Shortness of Breath on exertion

Moderate HAPE – persistent cough, crackles on auscultation, SOB at rest, low grade fever

Severe HAPE – mental status changes, respiratory failure, blood-tinged sputum, marked crackles


Mild HAPE – oxygen, rest day, hydration and food, acetazolamide

Moderate HAPE – immediate descent of 500 meters, consider nifedipine

Severe HAPE – PROP, immediate descent of more than 500 meters, nifedipine or tadalafil.

Moderate HAPE can quickly (5 hours) turn into severe HAPE which ultimately results in respiratory failure and death. Pulmonary edema may persist for several days after descent and require hospital observation and treatment. Unlike HACE, severe HAPE is seen at moderate altitudes (2800-4000 mts)


Capillary dilation and leakage can produce edema anywhere in the body e.g. hands/ feet. Swelling in the gut can produce diarrhea. Edema in the mucus membranes of the nose & sinuses can mimic the congestion of a cold or sinus infection. Altitude will make the symptoms of a pre-existing illness worse.

Altitude Illness Risk Factors


– Past history of altitude illness

– Respiratory depressants

– For AMS, AGE < 50

– Rapid Ascent

– Lives below 1000m

– Genetic predisposition

– For HAPE, exertion and cold air

– For HAPE, preexisting respiratory illness

– Sudden drop in atmospheric pressure



Altitude Sickness is always a risk when climbing above 3000 meters above sea level. It is therefore recommended that inexperienced hikers be accompanied by a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) for prevention and early detection of symptoms. Rate of ascent must also be monitored and a day of acclimatization is highly recommended.  5 days climb is recommended for Mt Kenya and 7 days for Kilimanjaro to allow the body to adjust to the altitude. Treatment of Altitude Sickness especially moderate to severe cases is always a race with time and must always be treated as an emergency situation.

On the brighter side if the mountain and the body are treated with the care and reverence they deserve then ascents will usually be a successful, wonderful and priceless experience.


Jeanette Wairimu

Wilderness First Responder (WMA – 09).

What’s in a Name?

I read Magunga’s post Let Me Introduce Myself and I thought that’s a pretty rad idea, writing a post around your names. Figured I should give it a go. Here goes.

A lot of you that have followed my blog The Hungry Traveller over the last few years know me as JnttNemo. This also applies to those that follow me on twitter. JnttNemo is short for Jeanette Wairimu.

My ID reads Jeanette Wairimu Njenga but like some class of spy, different people know me by different names. Today I will try and consolidate (is that the right word to use?) all of them.

I was born on July 1st 1989 on a cold day at Aga Khan. You would think what with my being born in July I would be a fan of cold weather. Allergies, a history of asthma and the inability to be fat took care of that. I love the sun, I love being warm and I love places I don’t have to wear a sweater. I digress though.

My parents had agreed and intended to only call me Wairimu Njenga. After my paternal grandmother and father respectively. First name for whut! for who! This elaborate plan was stopped in it’s tracks when whoever is in charge of registering names wouldn’t allow my father to execute said plan. The new father was told he HAD to put in a first name. The first name that came to mind belonged to a woman who had supported and encouraged them and went by the name Jeannette. My father dropped one ‘n’, filled in Jeanette.


However when I was taken home my first name was left at the hospital and forgotten the way you leave umbrellas on buses because it is not raining and you don’t need it anymore. So I came home Wairimu Njenga and remained so for another ten years. In school teachers would ask for my first name and I would hang my head like a dog that’s eaten some homework and say “I don’t have one”. Teachers would insist and I would go home and ask for the umpteenth time about a first name and would be told “you don’t have one”.


Can you imagine growing up not knowing you have a first name? When ALL your friends and relatives have them and some even have two? And this is not 2015 Nairobi where people think it is cool to just go by one name. This was Nanyuki in the 90s and British vibes still hung in the air like that scent of fish you fried last week that won’t leave the kitchen even after you’ve baptized said kitchen with all the lemons and their mothers. And it is not like I needed one more thing to make me stand out and not fit in growing up.

Because of an eating disorder I was always skinny. Because of genetics I was taller than most of my classmates. Because of even funnier genetics my hair refused to grow and I sported a boy cut most of those years. And finally because I had started school earlier I was always the youngest in my class. Throw in the lack of a first name and you had a kid that stuck out like a sore thumb. (This phrase amuses me because thumbs stick out whether they are sore or not. Why not just say “stick out like a thumb”?)

Fast forward to class 4. We are going for some class trip. The kids must be registered with their official birth names. The parents must give a copy of the birth certificates to the kids to pass on to their teachers. So I ask for mine. My mother rummages through that drawer that all parents have and contained all important documents. You know the drawer I am talking about. It is the drawer you yourself could not be rummaging through or you’ll receive a beating. You see (for those whose parents didn’t have such drawers) this drawer contained birth certificates, title deeds, car log books and the map to the Garden of Eden for all I care. I don’t know because I couldn’t rummage through it. Of course now I have a folder for the same purpose but I can neither confirm nor deny that the said map was handed down to me. Back to the main story though.

My mother hands me my certificate. I read the names on it and hand it back to her. “This is not mine” I say to her. She looks at the certificate again and hands it back to me assuring me it is. “But it says JEANETTE” I say to her. And like it is the most obvious thing in the world she says “Yes, that is your first name”.

My reaction? —-> O______________________o

I cannot describe properly the feeling at that point. It was a mixture of surprise, shock, excitement and confusion. What I can tell you is that I carried that certificate to my school like I was a Nobel Laureate and this was the proof of it. My life changed. Well not really but in some ways it did. I got a new struggle.

Remember this is 90s Nanyuki. I went from being the girl with no first name to the girl with a first name no one gets right.

Jenet. No. Jynette. (pronounced “Gin-Net”) No. Janet. No. Janette. No. And of course there has always been that person who thinks they’re so smart and funny calling me Gillette. You can’t even begin to imagine how many times I have heard that joke. The teachers to make their lives simple and save face with their students baptized me Janet after only one school term. ‘Janet’ became like a cold you can’t seem to shake off even with all the lemons, gingers, honeys and all their grandmothers. Eventually I gave in. And anyway back then Janet Jackson was still relatively popular. I got brainwashed into even introducing myself as Janet Wairimu. Once again the name “Jeanette” was forgotten.

Unfortunately I still carried my name like a consolation prize. Certificate of participation.

And my relatives and family still just called me Wairimu. None of this new name business.

Fast forward to nearly eight years later. I am not in class 4 anymore but in Form 4. We are registering for our national exams and yes, as you guessed, we must use the names appearing in our birth certificate. So I filled in the correct Jeanette Wairimu Njenga and promptly got summoned to the Headteacher’s office to explain my misconduct. You would think I had put something as ridiculous as AirWrecka or Paciphique from the way my teachers handled the whole thing. The birth certificate was produced and I was acquitted. Kenyan High Schools were really some class of jail system where you just happened to get an education while serving your sentence.

My classmates thought I was putting on airs by labeling myself Jeanette when I was really Janet to them. My birth certificate didn’t convince them. Not for the first time in my life I was teased for my name. My real names. You would think they would have teased me for having used Janet instead of my real name. You’d be wrong. This time it pissed me off, however. I insisted to everyone who would listen that my name was Jeanette and YOU BETTER NOT FORGET IT OR MISPRONOUNCE IT.

I was admitted to college as Jeanette Wairimu Njenga and so I have remained for the last couple of years. If you’ve ever wondered why a girl like me can have an identity crisis remember I was born Jeanette Wairimu, raised Wairimu Njenga, brainwashed into Janet Wairimu and now assert myself as Jeanette Wairimu Njenga.

Let me throw one more spanner in the works. My extended family has traces of Maasai blood. So my immediate family all have Maasai names. I am Enjipai. This means happiness and truthfully I have always been an outwardly happy baby.

So I am really Jeanette Wairimu Enjipai Njenga. Enjipai does not however appear on any of my documents including my birth certificate so it is even harder to sell. You just take my word for it.

It is 2015 as I write this and I now have a business of my own: Teleki Outdoors. a business that offers team building, safaris, mountain climbing, and home stays. And a few people have started to call me something else: Ms Teleki. To be honest I don’t mind this particular nickname. I am very proud of Teleki Outdoors and what it is becoming. And it is actually why I wrote this post.

So let me introduce myself.

My name is Jeanette Wairimu Enjipai Njenga. One of two founding partners and Lead Facilitators of Teleki Outdoors.

Call me Ms Teleki if you like but make sure you like our page on Facebook –> Teleki Outdoors and subscribe to this blog because this is only the first of many exciting stories I will be telling here and you really don’t want to miss out. Leave your comments on this post on the comments section below.

You can also follow us on twitter @TelekiOutdoors and visit our website at

You may also email me on for any inquiries or quotations for any of our services.


Part 2 of this post was published on the 7th March 2016. You can read it here: #OperationFirstLady: What’s In a Name Part II

Achievement Unlocked: Caught a Cheetah

The Hungry Traveller

Today we begin with a quote. And a funny photo.

“Anyone who says he is not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water” – Mahatma Gandhi


It’s totally not related to my post. Also not related is the fact that tomorrow is Concours D’Elegance!!! but that’s a post for another day.

Today let’s talk about this:


In case you missed it, this is the story.  Two cheetahs had been killing off dude’s goats. About 15 of them. Dude has enough, decides something needs to be done. So as he is sipping tea (WHAT THE HECK WAS IN THAT TEA!!!?) he spots the cheetahs killing off another goat. Dude calls his boys and they….wait for it…..CHASE DOWN AND CATCH THE TWO CHEETAHS!!!

coffee minion whaaaat

Yeah, you read that right. They chased down the cheetahs and caught them. What have YOU done with you life lately?

View original post 494 more words