Understanding Emergency vs. Supplemental Oxygen on Kilimanjaro Climb

When embarking on the Kilimanjaro climb, understanding the importance of oxygen can be a lifesaver. In the demanding altitude of Kilimanjaro, being equipped with the right oxygen system can make all the difference.

In this guide, we break down the distinctions between emergency and supplemental oxygen on Kilimanjaro climbs.

Emergency Oxygen on Kilimanjaro

Emergency Oxygen cylinders used on Kilimanjaro climbs

Incorporated in all our Kilimanjaro adventures is a lifesaving 'Emergency Oxygen' system. But what exactly is its purpose?

Primary Usage: The Emergency Oxygen system serves as an immediate response to a range of medical emergencies, especially those related to altitude, like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) on Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.

Descent is Priority: Typically, the first and most effective treatment for altitude sickness is descending to a richer oxygen environment. The emergency oxygen aids in stabilizing the individual during this descent.

Usage Implications: Upon using the emergency oxygen, climbers must immediately descend and refrain from attempting further ascent for their safety.

Professional Supervision: Our trained guides, skilled in detecting symptoms of altitude sickness, carry the oxygen system. While they'll make most decisions about its use, trekkers can also request it as visible symptoms may not alert our guide of all issues. Sometimes, descending without using oxygen proves more effective.

1-Cylinder Package Details:
Our standard package includes a 2-litre lightweight carbon composite oxygen cylinder. It comes with a medical oxygen regulator, medical face-mask, and a handy backpack.

@ 2-lpm: Approximately 2hrs 30mins
@4-lpm: Approximately 1hr 15mins

One Emergency Oxygen cylinder per 5 hikers in a group is always included in all of our full Kilimanjaro packages.

Supplemental Oxygen on Kilimanjaro

Supplemental oxygen for Kilimanjaro climb

For trekkers who want an added edge during their Kilimanjaro climb, supplemental oxygen can be the answer and understanding the pivotal role of oxygen on Kilimanjaro climbs, and the distinctions between the emergency and supplemental systems, ensures climbers make informed decisions for a safer ascent.

How it Works: Unlike emergency systems, the supplemental oxygen offers a measured dose, assisting trekkers at higher altitudes. This system permits trekkers to eat, drink, and converse without hindrance while enjoying the benefits of extra oxygen.

Carrying Requirements: When operational, climbers must carry the system in a provided backpack, weighing around 6kg. Porters transport the system when not in use.

Package Inclusions: The supplemental oxygen set consists of:
2 x Oxygen Cylinders (12-hour endurance each)
1 x Oxygen Regulator
1 x Pulse Dose Delivery System
1 x Silicone Nasal Cannula
1 x Personal Backpack

Every component is encased in a protective Pelicase. Additionally, all guides receive extensive training on the system's operation.

Supplemental oxygen is not recommended or required for most on Kilimanjaro (unless you have known altitude issues or lung related problems).