Royal Rangers across the nation and around the world often find new and exciting ways to "live the adventure" of the Christlike life. Roger Davis, a Royal Rangers leader from Hope, Arkansas, joined his two sons, Chris and Phillip, on an adventure of a lifetime climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain peak in the entire continent of Africa. Here's their story.
"Our adventure began in July 2015. Phillip invited me and his brother to join him on this great adventure. After selecting a tour company and making the arrangements, our strength and endurance training program began. For five days a week for an entire year, we lifted weights and did cardio workouts to get our bodies into shape for our Kilimanjaro adventure. We got yellow fever and hepatitis vaccinations, and we purchased malaria pills and Diamox pills, which help with altitude sickness, to take with us. After a long year of preparations, we were finally ready!
"On Sunday, September 4, we arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. After an overnight stay, we took a van down to Arusha, Tanzania, where we rested for a day before the hike began. We decided to take the Lemosho 8-day hike because it is the most successful for intermediate hikers. The additional days on the trail allowed our bodies to adjust to the elevation as we ascended through five climate zones. On the first day, we hiked through a rain forest/jungle and saw several monkeys. By the third day, we were hiking above the clouds. By the fourth day, my body began feeling the effects of the altitude-nose bleeds, headaches, and upset stomach.
"We hiked each day with 28 lb.-packs full of our gear. Throughout the trip, our porters/guides did an amazing job; they would carry 30 lbs. of our additional gear and made sure we ate enough carbs to have energy for the hike. After reaching camp for the day, we would rest for a short time. Then, the guides would take us on a 2-3-hour acclimation hike. They explained that we needed to hike to a higher elevation than the camp and then sleep at the lower camp elevation because this would help us rest better at night.
"After seven long days of hiking, summit day finally arrived. The guides woke us up at 11:00 p.m. after about four hours of sleep. We packed our gear, had a quick snack, and left for the summit at 12:30 a.m. The goal was to make Stella Point at 18,885 ft. by sunrise. Then, we moved on to make Uhuru Peak at 19,341 ft. by 8:00 a.m. That was a very long, hard 14-hour day of hiking.
"We made it down safely with no injuries or serious altitude side effects. It was an amazing trip with my two sons-a trip we will never forget."
We salute Roger, Chris, and Phillip for their adventurous spirit in living out the Christlike life. If you or your group has experienced an adventure you'd like to share, contact the Royal Rangers national office with details.