On my very first Elephant Hill hike, I met this sensational, reggae-loving, speaker-carrying, jolly human being and I just wanted to hike with him. Throughout the trail…I never strayed far away from his music.
His music, on this treacherous trail was what kept me going. The downside of hiking with Kagz that day was the altitude sickness I incurred as a result of hiking fast. Yes! Not only is this ninja the mountain goat, he is also the driver of the famous “Team Subaru”… In short, he is a force to reckon with.
Mention any trail in Kenya and Kagz has probably been there a couple times. Not once! A COUPLE! He loves the summit like he loves his grill. He loves the mountain like he loves reading. Any opportunity to hike, he is always down for.
Ken recently turned 33 and to celebrate this milestone he summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. A good number of us always thought Kili was one of the mountains Kagz had conquered but very much to our surprised- this was his first Kili hike. To celebrate his birthday, I wanted to celebrate him here because he played a huge role in making me want to challenge myself more.
Kagz Hiking Story in His Words
Why do you enjoy hiking?
Kagz: Hiking is my kind of drug! If you want to get high climb a mountain 😊.It’s also a good way to unwind, keep physically fit and mentally fit to. It has also proven to be a very powerful networking platform and I have made a lot of new friends while at it. It has also nurtured my life skills e.g., being focused on the goal (goal orientation), endurance, leadership, patience. It has also allowed me to travel to new places and have interacted with different cultures.
What’s your favorite part about it?
Kagz: Getting to the summit! Its not a hike if I don’t summit, “if you know you know!”
What’s your favorite type of terrain to hike or favorite features of scenery (i.e. lakes, rivers, valleys, cliffs, etc)?
Kagz: My favorite is forests and lakes. As such aberdares is my go-to hike and Mt. Kenya Chogoria route is my all-time favorite.
Highest moment on the trail?(mentally not elevation)?
Kagz: Lol! I was ready with MASL 😊 One is when I first summited Mt. Kenya, I literally ran toward the summit on sighting the summit board from a distance. The second highest moment is when I recently summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, this was a dream come true. I also carry my two brothers “Jack and Daniel!” and I can say on 6th May 2021 I was the highest person in Africa from another high! He he
Lowest moment on the trail?
Kagz: I rarely have these low moments on the trails and none comes to mind and a first glance.
Mountains are home to me and I’m at my 100% energies when I’m home. As one of my T shirts reads “Born to hike, Forced to work!”
What type of food do you eat?
Kagz: This is majorly dependent on the chef we have on the trail with us. But I can promise you my appetite levels are quite in order, regardless of the elevation! Others would be normal snacking e.g., Nuts, Biscuits, Chocolate and fruits.
Do you prefer to carry lighter packs for higher mileage days or heavier packs for comfort while in camp?
Kagz: I’m a lean packer, I pack strictly from the checklist so my packing is very light. After the guide my bag is the smallest 😊, I even have a portable weighing scale so that I do not over pack. I target under 15kgs for my porters’ bag and under 5kgs for my day park.
What is your luxury item?
Kagz: May be my Salomon boots worth $100 (second-hand price).
What day hikes do you do to prepare for a long trip?
Kagz: I like them served the “Mauano” way! If it’s not killing don’t invite me 😊
Can you name any point while on the trail that you helped/were helped by another hiker you didn’t know?
Kagz: Have helped a lot of hikers by giving them moral support to keep going on the trails and also sharing snacks and painkillers where need be.
What’s your favorite mountain to hike so far?
Kagz: Definitely Mt. Kilimanjaro
How many times have you done big mountains and which mountains were they?
Kagz: Mt. Kenya Thrice and Mt. Kilimanjaro Once
How does Hiking make you feel?
Kagz: Happy 😊
What would you tell a non hiker or a beginner?
Kagz: It’s a very good way to spend your free time. It doubles up for both physical and mental health so you kill two birds with one stone.
What’s your next adventure?
Kagz: Mt Rwenzori some time in July or August and the Everest base camp (EBC) in April 2022. Might also redo Mt Kilimanjaro next year in February before heading out to the EBC.
How old are you and how long have you been hiking?
Kagz: Just celebrated my 33years on earth and Kilimanjaro was my birthday hike. I started hiking while in high school, Njiiris high school which is on the slopes of the aberdares and that where I started my love for the trails. After high school I took a break and only resumed active hiking in 2014.
How often do you hike with your family?
Kagz: Being an outdoor person, I have also tried to introduce my whole family into it and I’m glad they’re loving it. We have done Ngong hills and Kilimambogo and heading out to Elephant hill soon.
What other outdoor activities do you enjoy?
Kagz: I’m also into cycling and I’m a huge fan of camping.
We are in a book club together, I know you’re an avid reader. What’s your favorite book and why?
Kagz: The bigger deal by Sunny Bindra. Everyone should read this book, puts life into context and gives guidance on living a fulfilling life.
Now I know what book to read next.
The hikers community is large and we pride ourselves in simple, but magnificent achievements. I love how every trail presents a different version of us. In my community, Kagz is the Goat! 🐐
He is the guy who never leaves his brother “Jack & Daniel” behind, the guy who’s entire family will show up for every hike geared, the guy who will be blasting chill reggae from his back up, the guy with the orange hiking bag, “team Subaru”, but most of all; he is a kind-hearted man.
Here in the hiker’s community; we celebrate fellow hikers’ milestone. ☺️
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.