Do you shower when climbing Kilimanjaro

Can You Shower on Kilimanjaro?

If you’re thinking about climbing Kilimanjaro, you probably have a thousand questions! One of the most asked questions is inquiries about how you can shower and stay clean while on the mountain.

Kilimanjaro does not have any bathing facilities on the mountain, and even if they did, most people wouldn’t use them because the mountain is way too cold for a nice shower!

Even though you can’t take a full shower or bath while climbing, there are still many different ways you can stay clean to ensure you don’t get sick while on Kilimanjaro.


Washing While on Kilimanjaro

Since there are no showers on the mountain, make sure your last shower at the hotel is a good and long one! Most people like to wash their hair and really take a proper shower right before the climb begins so they can feel fresh as they begin the journey.

At the end of each day at camp, the guides and porters will provide you with a big bowl of hot water where you can wash your hands and face. This will allow you to eat with good hygiene and feel at least somewhat clean before you go into your tent for the night.

Most people also like to bring baby wipes or some kind of moist wipes that they can use to freshen up.


Can I Wash My Hair on Kilimanjaro?

Washing your hair on Kilimanjaro is not recommended because it’s very cold on the mountain. Since there is also no electricity, you don’t have a way to dry your hair after washing it. With wet hair and cold weather, it’s much easier to become sick which decreases your chances of being able to summit.

There are some other options for keeping your hair and scalp clean though. Many people choose to use baby powder or dry shampoo to ensure the top of their scalp and hair doesn’t become too oily.


Hygiene While Climbing Kilimanjaro

The thought of not being able to shower for a week or longer can seem scary and gross for a lot of people. However, with the right hygiene products, you can manage to feel fresh and keep your body clean despite not being able to take a traditional shower.

  •  Wash your hands and face daily. At the end of each day, you’ll have the chance to wash your hands and face with warm water. Make sure to really scrub your hands and face as these are the most exposed parts of the body and therefore, the most dirty.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Antibacterial gel or spray is great at killing germs when you don’t have access to water and soap.
  • Use wet wipes when using the toilet facilities. These can make you feel much cleaner compared to traditional toilet paper. You can also use wet wipes to clean your face, armpits, and other body parts that get very sweaty.
  • Make sure not to forget your deodorant. This can keep you from smelling and also keep your underarms dry.
  • Use dry shampoo. At the end of each day, you can use dry shampoo to remove some of the oil from your scalp.
  • Use Q-tips. You can use these to clean your ears and the inside of your nose which can remove a lot of dirt and grime.
  • Make the most of your hotel shower before the climb. Make it a real shower including washing your hair and shaving if you normally shave.


Portable Mountain Showers

Some people consider hiring a portable mountain shower while on the climb so that they can take hot showers at the end of each day. Most climbers do not require this though and those who decide to pay for them, often regret it.

As you get higher and higher on the mountain, the weather becomes very cold. The thought of undressing and showering, even in hot water, is not appealing to most people. It’s also harder to stay warm after the shower after having your body exposed to the cold.

Most climbers are also so tired by the end of the day, that they like to eat their dinner and then crawl into their warm sleeping bag and go to sleep for the night.


The Bottom Line

While there are no proper showers on the mountain, you can still stay fresh and clean by using the provided warm water and soap to wash your hands and face every night. Most climbers also use wet wipes and plenty of deodorant to make sure they feel clean despite not having a shower.

Don’t worry, at the end of your climb, you’ll be taken back to the hotel where you can take a warm shower for as long as you’d like!