Socks or Peanut Butter?

Our Mount Kilimanjaro climb is quickly approaching (68 sleeps) and I find that I am starting to think about all the little things, this includes using up a lot of brain power debating what to pack for the mountain. This challenge is not an easy undertaking (the climb or the packing in my opinion).

There are many nuances to consider when compiling what to bring and that is just when you consider the basics of the climb not even preferences. Here is a minimum of what you need to know when you start making decisions on what to pack:

  • How long? 7 day Unique Rongai route
  • With which guide company? Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  • What does the company provide? tents, food, water, toilet, sleeping mats, basic first aid
  • What will the weather be like? bottom of the mountain +30C, top of the mountain -15C
  • How much stuff am I allowed to bring for a porter to carry? 70-90 liters (44 lbs)
  • How much of my own stuff do I carry everyday? 3 litres of water, and no more than 15-20 lbs (camera, rain gear, some snacks, some ear buds and a iPod if that’s your thing, warm sweater)

Crazy enough the reason I am getting into this ‘what to pack’ thought process is … to get to a discussion on peanut butter! Yup, you read that right! Peanut butter to me as what spinach is to Popeye. It gives me energy, it makes me strong and on a tough hike it gives me back my happy place.

So if this is about peanut butter, why do you have socks in the title? Well, I was trying to get down to the least number of socks possible in my pack so I could justify replacing “sock space” with “peanut butter space”. Yup those are my priorities – or they will be when slogging up and down a mountain for 7 days in Africa.

I was thinking I could get down to wearing the same pair of Smart Wool Hiking Socks for 2-3 days (so bringing only 3 pairs) and wearing the same Wigwam Gobi Liner Socks for 2 days each too (so bringing only 4 pairs).

Well, on my training hike today, I sadly discovered (picture both me and my peanut butter crying at this point) that so few socks is just not going to work.  So glad I tested my quite logical, albeit a bit smelly, theory. Seems that my liner socks stretch out after one wear from the heat and moisture of my clean, very feminine, perfume smelling and super cute feet. Meaning that the seam of the heel part of the liner sits up on my ankle on the second wear and rubs in the worst way between my heel and my boot. Not good! A disaster really after a few hours on the mountain. Doh!

What does this all mean? A few things …

  1. I had to pull over on the side of the BCMC Trail to take off my boots, remove my wool socks, take off the liners and toss em in my pack, put back on my wool socks and then back on my boots. Sitting on a steep trail to balance in bare feet is a real test of my fear of heights and my willpower to stand up and start hiking up again – yes, yes suck it up princess you are about to climb a mountain! {oh and yes you read that right. I am terrified of heights and I am travlling across the globe to climb a mountain. Passion before reason right?!}
  2. I had to go shopping to buy more liner socks so I would have a full 7 pairs; 1 for each day of the climb. Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? Well … hmmm … umm I accidentally bought other stuff too, tee hee. I cannot be trusted at Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) every time I go I add another 2 or 3 things to the list of things I want to do in the world and that list is already pretty darn long!
  3. Finally, and most importantly I will need to downsize my peanut butter jar for the trek. Sob! I may have to go with the smallest container and rock myself slowly in comfort when it runs out on day 5. Sob! If you hear my crying from Africa eat some peanut butter toast in memorandum of my empty peanut butter jar. (mmm PB toast)
Asolo boots and Smartwool socks

Asolo boots and SmartWool socks of amazingness .. liner socks MIA.

On a side note, the BCMC Trail in North Vancouver which takes you up to the top of Grouse Mountain and is a great alternative to the grueling and very busy Grouse Grind is my very new favourite trail ever in the Vancouver area – wow trail, wow workout, wow view! Its a bit longer and more difficult but so worth it!

View from Grouse Mountain Gondola

The view from the start of the Gondola down from the peak of Grouse Mountain.


PS 68 sleeps to go

4 thoughts on “Socks or Peanut Butter?

  1. Peanut Butter is smoothable right, why not make sure you have a extra bladder like container and smooth the peanut butter to a thin layer and form it against your water bladder, still lots of room for socks and you still have flat tube of pack up Peanut Butter!!! 🙂


  2. Pick up some squeeze tubes from MEC or other camping equip store and fill them with your precious PB! That way you can stuff them into smaller nooks and crannies. Also could raid the little packs you get at a restaurant with toast. Even smaller.


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