Months ago I wondered if I could hike from Kampala city to Entebbe airport with ease. But even to make it a little bit of fun, how could it be if I hiked the same distance but with a 7kg backpack?
Well, for all mountaineers, that’s their daily food. You’ll have to hike a mountain with 8-12kgs on you. It can be in any form but commonly put into a backpack. It would contain your supplies as you go up the mountain.
And as for me trying to forge my way into hiking the Rwenzoris this November, it can’t be any different. Like I told you in my previous writings. I’ve to prepare myself both mentally and physically.
Back to the story
So after my first and longest hike ever, where I did 42kms across all the 7 hills that make up our great city Kampala, I made up my mind that for the next hike, I’ll try to make it bit more fun and challenging.
And before two weeks could elapse, my hiking friends at Rwenzori Tutambule setup a hike that could go across my village in the eastern part of Kampala about 15kms from the city centre.
Roughly 10 of us set off for the already planned hike which was estimated to be nearly 35km from our starting point and return. However, this time round, I made up my mind to have a backpack with me though I didn’t decide on how heavy it should be.
Early in the morning before the alarm went, I decided that I would pack up my sleeping bag and a couple of textbooks from my shelve. Before I knew, the backpack weighed 7kgs.
We set off for the hike and with minimal effort, I found my way through 20kms at our first water point. It usually takes about 30mins to cool off but also to wait and catch up with colleagues still at the back. We nearly spent 45mins at this point however, I made up my mind not to put off my backpack during hike.
On getting up to resume with the pending would be 15kms, I started feeling the pinch of having a 7kgs backpack on me. All my colleagues had no weight added on them and I released how unfortunate I’m.
For the 15km, we hiked through villages of Ssonde, Kiwango, Nabusugwe trading centre, Natonko, Kiwologoma, Bulindo, Mulawa and back to -Kira which was our starting point.
I’ll be honest with you, the very last 5km were the hardest for me. I started to feel every bit of being dragged behind by my 7kg backpack. I had no option of dumping off some kgs since all that was in was still important and relevant to me. Yes, they’re personal belongings.
For a while, I couldn’t wait to sight the next slope. Every hill dragged me down and the backpack dragged me back. I started to feel my shoulders in the areas the backpack straps sit.
The other 42km hike, my toes were cooked to barely bursting with blood-formings at the tips. No, it’s not because of the shoes. It’s because one of my toes is way longer than the others and it makes it prone to almost every hiking struggle. But…
This time around, all my toes where okay and it was the shoulders. Its is nearly 15hours after the hike, but I still do feel pain in the shoulders, joint pain in my right leg which I had to tie a bandage to get pain relief and complete the hike. Of course, I know it will go but I have to learn to expect that such will happen.
Finally, it’s starting to click that I have some chances of hiking Mt Rwenzori. With a few full-body in house exercises I do, hiking, cycling and jogging. More so, hiking with some weight on you and not giving up is kinda a green flag for me.
I’ll now prep my body and mind for the next hike. I’ll probably try and do 10-12kgs and see how it goes. This time around, I’ll make sure I can dispose off some weight if it goes beyond worse.
This whole thing is about FOCUS. I would never know that hiking 32kms with 7kgs on you is very possible more so if you’re a beginner with zero hiking experience.
The very last 5kms being the most challenging have taught me to focus on myself and listen to my body then keep my eyes on the ground. This keeps me in motion and builts up and keeps your pace.
For my #HamzaToTheSummit hike on Mt Rwenzori, I hereby declare this prep hike a success but needing even more brainpower and focus. In the next one, I do better.
Please, don’t forget to read why i want to hike Mt Rwenzori.