Hiking gloves come in handy when embarking on a daring adventure to climb some of Africa’s most formidable peaks, such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Meru, Rwenzori, or Ol Doinyo Lengai, you may have heard the old adage that proper preparation prevents poor performance. In this case, one of the most crucial elements of your preparation should be the inclusion of gloves in your gear list. These seemingly small pieces of equipment can make a world of difference in ensuring a successful and safe ascent.
One of the most essential things we often have in our bag is hiking gloves. While climbing the rock, they keep our hands warm, clean and shield us from potential scrapes.
Therefore, it is advised to carry them at all times, regardless of the season. The temperature might drop quickly if you are going to walk further up in the mountains. With a pair of them in your backpack, you won’t have to worry about having chilly fingers.
1. Protection from Harsh Elements
Climbing in Extreme Conditions
Ascending these iconic African mountains presents adventurers with a multitude of environmental challenges. At high altitudes, temperatures can plummet drastically, even in the middle of the day. With gloves, you’ll have a crucial layer of insulation that protects your hands from the biting cold, preventing frostbite and discomfort.
Shielding Against Abrasions
The rugged terrain, rocky paths, and sharp edges of rocks can easily lead to abrasions and cuts on your hands. Gloves act as a barrier between your skin and these abrasive surfaces, reducing the risk of injuries that could hinder your progress or pose severe health concerns.
2. Enhanced Grip
Securing Your Grip on Success
Success in mountaineering depends significantly on maintaining a secure grip, especially when navigating steep inclines or tricky terrain. Gloves offer an improved grip on ropes, rocks, and other surfaces, ensuring you can confidently ascend and descend without slipping or losing control.
3. Thermal Regulation
Managing Temperature Extremes
Climbing these African giants involves traversing various temperature zones, from the scorching heat of the lowlands to the freezing cold at higher altitudes. Gloves are versatile in this regard, providing warmth when needed and allowing breathability when the temperature rises. This adaptability is crucial for comfort and safety during your ascent.
4. Protection from Sun and Wind
Shielding from UV Rays
At high altitudes, you are closer to the sun, which means increased exposure to harmful UV rays. Gloves with UV protection can shield your hands from sunburn and reduce the risk of long-term skin damage.
Guarding Against Windburn
The strong winds at high altitudes can lead to windburn, which can be painful and damaging to your skin. Gloves act as a barrier against the chilling mountain winds, keeping your hands comfortable and free from windburn.
5. Hygiene and Sanitation
During a climb, it’s essential to maintain hygiene to prevent infections or illnesses. Gloves can help you handle equipment, food, and other items without direct contact, reducing the risk of contamination and ensuring your well-being throughout the journey.
6. Protecting Against Frostbite
Frostbite is a severe concern when climbing in extremely cold conditions. Your fingers are particularly vulnerable to frostbite, which can lead to tissue damage or even amputation in extreme cases. Wearing gloves significantly reduces the risk of frostbite by maintaining proper circulation and warmth in your hands.
7. Better Dexterity
While gloves provide protection, they don’t compromise your dexterity entirely. Modern mountaineering gloves are designed to offer a balance between protection and the ability to handle equipment, ropes, and other necessities with precision.
When tackling the formidable heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Meru, Rwenzori, or Ol Doinyo Lengai, don’t underestimate the significance of gloves in your gear selection. These versatile pieces of equipment offer protection from harsh elements, enhance your grip, regulate temperature, shield against the sun and wind, maintain hygiene, and protect against frostbite. With gloves in your arsenal, you’ll not only increase your chances of reaching the summit but also ensure a safe and memorable mountain climbing experience.