Megan Devenish is the Development Manager for Classic Tours, a company which organizes travel tours exclusively for charities. I caught up with her recently for a chat about her experiences climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro tends to present a different challenge to everyone, for some it would be the lack of toilets, some the food, while others grapple with the physical aspect of climbing. Her favourite Kili charity climb provides an emotional challenge as well; it’s called Open Challenges – all the participants get to support the charities of their choice instead of everyone climbing for just one cause. Megan thinks the Open Challenge is really special because people from all walks of life and all ages and backgrounds come together for a wide variety of causes – hospices, helping dogs in India, tackling poverty, etc., but despite their different backgrounds, everyone walks with one goal in mind – to help others. They each have fascinating stories of how they achieved their fundraising and went about training for their climb, and she found it a very emotional and uplifting experience.
Something that really stood out for Megan was the story of a mother and son who were climbing to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of a second young son.
The experience is so profound for some people that upon their return from the mountain, they have the confidence to change careers, get a divorce, gain closure after a great loss, and generally get on with their lives. Something that really stood out for Megan was the story of a mother and son who were climbing to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of a second young son. The security and support they received from the group before, during and on the way down from the climb was literally a life-changing event for them.
Life-changing issues aside, Megan thinks one of the secrets of a successful climb is to pack as lightly as possible –but always leave room for a medical kit. She wouldn’t travel without one. Painkillers, plasters, Compeed blister dressings – a lifesaver for blisters that may develop during such a strenuous hike , Vaseline for chapped dry skin, a good antiseptic and bandages, you will find all of those and more in our Nomad Mountain Trek medical kit. Drinking water isn’t an issue as Megan assured me they use the pure water coming from the mountain which is then boiled. You could then toss in some water purification tablets if you like as an extra precaution.
The weather in Tanzania is greatly influenced by its geographical location, but the best time to visit is from January to early March or late June to early October. There is more snow at the summit in January to March. Megan will be making the climb again in about three week’s time.
Way to go Megan!