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KYLE BINGHAM

How cold does Kilimanjaro get?

Temperatures vary considerably with altitude and time of day.  On the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro the average temperature is about 85°F.  At 10,000ft frost can be encountered at night while daytime temperatures range from 40 to 60°F.  Nighttime temperatures on the summit can be well below freezing especially with the strong winds.

What is hypothermia?

Hypothermia is a condition where the body becomes dangerously cold. It can be caused by brief exposure to extreme cold, or by prolonged exposure to mild cold.

Hypothermia occurs when a person’s deep-core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the lowered temperature of the organs inside the body that is important – which an ordinary thermometer cannot measure.

The person may not actually feel cold but if they stay in a cold environment and do little or nothing to keep warm, then they may run the risk of becoming hypothermic or becoming ill with bronchitis or pneumonia. Both are cold-related illnesses.

Danger signs to watch out for:

  • Drowsiness
  • Very cold skin on parts of the body normally covered, for example, stomach or armpits
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Absence of complaint about feeling cold, even in a bitterly cold environment.

If someone finds themselves suffering from any of these symptoms they need to stop and get warm. Extra layers, chemical warmers, or warm non-alcoholic beverages can help.

Hypothermia is serious and unchecked can lead to very serious and life threating complications.

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