Tips for Mountain Climbing

Should you use Supplemental Oxygen on Kilimanjaro?

We do not administer bottled oxygen in an attempt to relieve low oxygen saturation or difficulties breathing to help a climber reach the summit.

This can mask the symptoms of a more dangerous condition and can

We carry emergency oxygen on Kilimanjaro and medical kits on all climbs.

Kilimanjaro’s altitude is a significant challenge, but climbers do not need supplemental oxygen to climb Kilimanjaro or reach the summit. To reach to the summit you use the acclimatization method of  walking slowly “pole pole” climb high, sleep low.

The more days you spend on the mountain the better chance of getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro. As part of our commitment to safety, we carry supplemental oxygen tanks and oxygen masks on all our climbs.


However, there are some tour operators/companies who advertise the use of a “personal oxygen system” to assist climbers on Kilimanjaro. Besides the fact that you would look more like a hospital patient than a trekker, there are serious reasons why using oxygen in this manner is NOT advised.

In cases where a climber is experiencing severe symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), we may use an oxygen mask to deliver supplemental oxygen to quickly relieve

symptoms to help them safely descend to a lower altitude.

For High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) there is only one cure – descend as quickly as possible. Our team will accompany you on your descent to a lower elevation, and we carry an emergency stretcher for the unlikely event that an injury or medical condition means you can’t walk.

Oxygen can help temporarily, but either not climbing higher (forfeiting the summit attempt) or descent are the only safe options for trekkers with symptoms of AMS, HACE or HAPE.


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