How to prepare for your Mount Kilimanjaro Climb
Mount Kilimanjaro attracts a great number of trekkers every year. However, reaching the “Roof of Africa” demands both mental preparation as well as physical fitness. An average climbing day on Mount Kilimanjaro includes walks of six to eight hours. However, there are a few factors that make it a tough challenge including the altitude, degree of ascent and the temperature – remember you are walking from Equator to Antarctica!
Mental preparation is essential when being high on the mountain – especially when you feel exhausted and facing periods of discomfort because of the weather and the temperatures. In order to reach the summit, you must be able to adapt to a whole new range of conditions and circumstances. If you don’t enjoy trekking than forget the idea to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro just because you want to thick it off your Tanzania holiday list. In this case a day-hike would be a suitable alternative.
Training under similar conditions is the most efficient way to get fit for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Try to do as much up-and-down-hill walking as you can. Also practice hikes in the rain as well as under different temperatures. Start with walking a few hours while slowly increasing the duration and intensity. By walking frequently your body is getting used to the rhythm and your muscles adjust. Ideally you should wear the same gear that you want to wear during your climb – especially your hiking boots.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro does not require any technical or mountaineering skills; however, your choice of equipment is important. You must be prepared for all eventualities and the different stages of the mountain trek. We will provide you with an equipment list of what to pack as there is a tendency to take far too much cloths on the climb. Remember your porter is restricted to not carry more than 15 kg.
Being mentally and physically fit as well as having the right equipment will definitely help you with your trek, but it will not be a guarantee that you will reach Uhuru Peak. Adapting to the altitude is the greatest challenge. If you are living somewhere near mountains, climb them to expose your body to altitude and see how you adjust. Maybe also option to undertake an acclimatization trek for example on Mount Meru.