Ready set, climb
Climbing Kilimanjaro is not your ordinary trip. And what works for you – sailing in the Caribbean or hiking in the Rockies – will likely not transcend to Tanzania. Here are six quick tips to get you prepared.
Health nut—Be in prime physical health before you step up to the mountain. You don’t want to start to climb Kilimanjaro with a bad cold, so baby yourself leading up to the trip. Eat well and drink lots of fluids weeks before the trip so you’re hydrated. Once on the trip let Tusker’s crack guiding team monitor and take care of you. If your toe is burning, or you feel a blister coming on, get it treated quickly; if you’re short of breath don’t hide it.
Conditional approach—Don’t think you will get in shape while climbing Kilimanjaro. You need to be in maximum condition when you arrive. You should be training at least three months prior to strengthen your legs and cardio. Burn off the excess baggage that accrued during the Christmas holiday binge and come to Kilimanjaro in your best shape since you ran track in high school.
Weighty matter—Pack with weight in mind. Take pity on your porters because they have to lug all that extra gear you don’t need to Kilimanjaro base camp. Do you really need all those books and dress clothes? Of course not. Pack the essentials that will keep you cool-warm-dry.
Gear down—We all are victims of high tech overload. It’s tempting to go out and blow $300 on a new pair of hiking boots but if your old stand-by Salomon boots that you’ve worn backpacking for a decade are still serviceable bring them. The last thing you want is the latest high tech clothes and gear that you haven’t tested in the backcountry and have them fail you above tree line on Kilimanjaro.
Mind over matter—Bagging Kilimanjaro is as much mental as it is physical. If you get on the mountain and you’re worrying about your marriage, your kids or your business. it will be like an extra twenty pounds in your pack. Shed as much worry as possible so you focus on what’s really important—embracing the trail, your new friends and getting to the top of Africa. In other words get mentally tough. Success on Kili could shed light on the problems you left behind at lower elevation.
Take that helping hand—No one climbs Kilimanjaro alone, this is not an exercise in macho. The Special Forces that Eddie Frank trains have all learned that the hard way. Part of the reason you booked with Tusker is because of their qualified guides. These are your helping hands that provide the physical and mental help to get you to the top. Early in the trip bond with them so when the going gets tougher they will be there for you.