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How I Hiked 33kms With a 10kg Backpack

Ssonde stop point for photo opportunity

So yesterday was yet another achievement for my preps for the #HamzaToTheSummit hike on Mt. Rwenzori.

Like i’ve been telling you guys that this hiking thing is a mind game 70%.

The day before I couldn’t imagine that I will make it through with a 10kg backpack on me.
I shared this picture across my social media accounts asking you guys to wish me luck. Luckily, you did.

Thinking if i could make it through
Thinking if i could make it through


But still, deep inside me, I knew it’s going to be such a challenging hike. I remember sharing a picture of my backpack in our hiking group asking if anyone is going to join in. And yes, the group fitness lead, David joined in with also a 10kg backpack.

10kg backpack and ready to go
10kg backpack and ready to go


If you’ve seen the video clip I shared on social media where i talked about the guest hiker who went through with us for 33kms, she was with the Dad, David.

Read: Why i want to hike Mt Rwenzori this November 2020!

Anyway, back to the story. I still couldn’t believe that I’m taking on myself for the 33kms hike with such a heavy backpack on me for the first time. The previous hike which bytheway was through the same trek, I did go with a 7kg backpack for the first time and, to be honest, I felt it was abit doable. It didn’t feel that heavy.

Now, after adding several more booklets and my sleeping bag into my backpack and now totalling 10kg, it really got heavy. I tried holding it up on my back and it crossed my mind that there are high chances that i’ll not make it through the whole trek.

You see, most of the blogs i’ve read about hiking with a backpack of similar weight, they advise that you do a 10 to 15km hike which can take about 2hours.

However, I went extreme. It’s dangerous and I risked injuring my back more so that i’ve not been doing this for quite some time. But regardless, I did anyway.

So, I set off at 6:00am to go catch up with the team at the meeting place. Before I knew everyone was there and it was time to set off. About 15 of us showed up with the guest hiker being 9yrs and doing it for the first time and the “mama” of the group being 60yrs so eagerly looking forward to summiting Rwenzori. I’ll write more about her in one of the coming blogs.

Before setting off

There we went, through the first 2hrs, I honestly felt like the backpack is heavy for me and it was hurting my shoulders.

And to make matters worse, the hiking route was going past my home area. To be exact, we passed by the access route to my place. It’s just like 20meters away. It felt like this is the perfect moment to go and dash off some baggage to make something like 7 or 8kgs.

And since I was among those at the lead, I could still take this opportunity to reduce the weight and move on.

5mins past home
After about an hour in the trek, passed by home nearly 20meters away.


However, I had to be honest with myself. I remember when I was setting off, I asked a hiking buddy if I could share part of my backpack content with them just in case I couldn’t handle anymore.
She gracefully agreed to help out. She actually asked if I had added some contents that I could simply drop off en route in case it went from worse to worst.

Read: Hiking the 7 Hills that Makeup Kampala

I responded saying that I have some of my interesting booklets included and a sleeping bag. It was to make up weight and not to sleep, lol.

As we trekked even further, my knee pains resurrected and the bottom part of my feet on the right leg. The pains are continuous the more I keep moving. It became unbearable, which lead me to apply a diclofenac spray and a bandage.

Dynaper stray
Dynaper stray for pain relief


It kinda reduced and helped me to keep on track and move even further. Thanks to my hike mates that could help in advising and waiting for me as I applied these quick fixes to help me complete the hike.

On our 30min break at the water point, it was nice to see everyone come through and had quick refreshments and chit chat as we also waited for those still bit at the back. This was after nearly 18kms in.

Water point enroute
Water point enroute 33km hike. Foto: Aggrey Nshekanabo


We then proceeded to attack. Remember I now had 3 burgages, the backpack, the knee pains and pain at the bottom of my right feet.

There were all reason to give up and jump on a boda boda back home just like a few of the fellow hikes do. But deep inside me, it went like, sonny, you have got this. Finish what you started.

There we went, deep down to places like Kiwango-Nabusugwe-Papati-Natonko-Kiwologoma-Bulindo-Mulawa-Kira-Kyaliwajjala and back to Naalya. Sorry, I miss some of the names simply because that’s another job for the mind, yet i’ve to concentrate on the trek. Lol.. It’s a stupid reason anyway.

Back to the finishing point
Back to the finishing point


In closing, like i’ve told you before, the last 5-7kms are the hardest and most challenging. Thank God this time round the weather was on our side but that can’t beat the fact that you’ve done 33kms already with a burden of 10kgs on you.

I finally found myself through the hike, I got to the starting/finishing point with Harriet Apio the 60yrs old hiker. She was still, steel and going. We had very interesting conversations on our way to the summit at Naalya Motel.

33km hike track
There you go with the track results.


So glad to know from her about how the blog posts have encouraged others to join the hike and how great it is that I share these rants. Like I said, i’ll write about this in the coming blogs.

Finally, I’m coming to realise that we all have that ability to go beyond what we think we can. The hiking thing purely is a mindset game.

Hopefully, I’ll keep the spirit high, the focus on and look forward to attacking the Margaritas 30days from today. I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to see my hike mates make it.

What else have I not mentioned, what questions do you have regarding this blog or my preps for hiking Mt. Rwenzori. Hopefully, you enjoyed this long read.

#HamzaToTheSummit #ReuseablePads

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Kwehangana Hamza


I am a digital content designer and publisher working with a top digital agency in Kampala, Uganda. I started blogging out of my passion for learning & sharing.

Through this blog, I share tech and digital tips i’ve uncovered and hoping they be of great value to you.

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