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:
- 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.