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One of my goals or ‘new year resolutions’ this year was to do more camping, through hiking, and just get comfortable spending more nights up in the mountains in different conditions. It might sound pretty basic but it involves traveling with suitable camping and sleeping set-ups. I also need to do research on weather and be prepared with food and other logistics for overnight trekking, all while having no home base.

I wanted to finish the year having spent many nights up in the mountains and be comfortable with camping, logistics, maps, and other elements of the experience that are unfamiliar when getting used to the process. I did a couple of longer hikes in Madeira like the Caminho Real 23 and the Madeira Island Ultra Trail which were a great start and gave me more than 10 nights up in the mountains self-sufficiently.

I then headed off for 9 days of camping and trekking on my Mount Kilimanjaro expedition, although this one was with porters and guides who took care of all the logistics. Nonetheless, you are still up there living and learning about life overnight in the mountains. A big part of my desire to level up when it comes to overnighting on peaks is the ability to witness and capture sunrise and sunset moments without dangerous hikes down in the dark.

This week I organized two treks, which I requested overnight camps for both. I carried all my own gear on both treks and had incredible conditions, which wouldn’t have been possible if not for overnighting on the summit. The first trek was Mount Longido and the second expedition was to Mount Hanang. On both treks, it isn’t common to camp on the summit as both have rocky peaks but with some persistence, I convinced them to give it the green light. With rocks to hold the tent in place, it turned out to be a great idea and the guides loved it!

I’m glad to be spending more time up in the mountains. It involves putting in the effort of carrying up the gear, planning, logistics but the reward is definitely worth it for sunsets and sunrise moments above the clouds. These are some of my favorite moments from Mount Longido and Mount Hanang from my overnight camping trips this week.