Some people have asked me, "What kind of gear do you need?" My favorite purchase, clearly, is the boots. (In the picture, my Asolo boots are in the front, and Dr. Benza's are the solid leather boots).
I had to research and purchase a variety of things. Here are some examples: sleeping bag that can keep me warm (and alive) in below 0 degrees F, trekking poles, a pack and hydration system (so you can constantly sip water), water purifier system, many pairs of smartwool socks and liners, a breathable windproof waterproof hard shell jacket with performance fleece insulating layers, hats, a balaclava (picture: "ski mask"), hiking pants (superduper stretchy for climbing), waterproof cold weather pants (also stretchy), gaiters (not the lizard, picture: 1980's leg warmers that are waterproof to keep snow and rocks out of your boots), goggles, supergood gloves with liners, insect repellent with DEET (say no to malaria), blister kits, medical kits, rope, environmentally safe toiletries, spf 45 sunblock (not much air to shield you from equatorial sunrays), and much much more.
Layering. I now am the proud owner of multiple layers of performance long underwear (wicks moisture away from your skin). Apparently, "cotton kills." Cotton absorbs moisture and holds on to it (think: bathtowel). I wore a cotton sweater on one 6 hour hike; it was soaked and I was really cold. ...Lesson learned. Since we will hike from jungle to artic, and it can be 15 degrees at night yet 60 in the day, we must use layers to temperature control ourselves. Goal is: stay dry.
This weekend I researched some geeksquad-headlamp websites before buying my own. I'm pretty excited about it and will test it out during my 7mile night hike on Thursday.
Tomorrow..... well tomorrow is the official Vaccine-day. There are many infectious risks in Tanzania... Call me pincushion.