It’s probably one of the most ridiculous rules on Kilimanjaro. At every camp for six to eight days, your entire group has to sign in on an old scrappy booklet. Normally this wouldn’t be that big of an issue, but it’s frankly a big pain in the ass. At any given camp on the Machame route, you could have up to a few hundred people signing in. Then you are trying to find your entire group – some people might be going for a bathroom break, the others are wandering around, checking out the scenery, or getting water. It’s sometimes difficult to get everyone to sign – a pain for the Camp Warden too.
When I spoke with the Camp Warden and asked him what they do with the data, he told me “Hamna,” which in Swahili means “nothing.” If you look through all the names at each camp, you can read all the nationalities climbing the mountain. You get to see all their careers back in their home countries. Common themes among the jobs are “Elvis Impersonator, Drag Queen, Nasa Scientist, and Homeless.”