In “loo” of public bathrooms


Our beloved orange outhouse

Our outhouse location at Lava Tower

At last count, I had 52 mountain climbing books.

I have read and re-read every one. To my knowledge, only three of them mention “going to the bathroom”. It is a subject that doesn’t often get discussed. This always puzzled me because everyone has to go sometime…

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In some of the books Messner and Kammerlander are climbing 70 to 80 degree faces without protection just using toes and finger tips. In others Scott and Haston are forging new routes up the southwest face of Mt Everest. Nobody says a thing about it, not even “look out down below…”

So when I began my research into with whom and how to climb Kilimanjaro the outfitters that boasted about having their own outhouse helped me narrow the field. I had read that the “public” outhouses were places to stay away from. I confirmed this by investigating the situation for myself when I was climbing the Lemosho Glades Trail and the Western Breach.

I had chosen Tusker Trail & Safari as my outfitter. They had one porter whose job it was to carry and prepare the “loo” for my son and me. As you see pictured above, our orange relief station measured 3’ X 3’ X 6’ and included a plastic seat with collapsible legs. What the picture doesn’t show is the window we could look out of at the ever-changing mountain scenery. It was a little touch of civilization that helped make 11 days on the mountain a bit easier.

The lady from Holland that wandered over to use MY outhouse in Big Tree Camp should consider herself lucky I can’t speak Dutch, although my son and I did have quite a laugh joking about what we could have done while she was in there.

Whenever you decide to research a Kilimanjaro climb, consider if your outfitter carries an outhouse…you will be glad to have it.