Kilimanjaro, it’s an unforgettable experience, one of the seven summits (highest mountain on each continent) is the worlds highest free standing mountain and one of few places on earth you can see 5 landscapes in one place.

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Memories are made here, friendships are born and self worth is found. A place where not just the fittest and strongest survive.

GET IT BOOKED

Do it, don’t sit keep waiting for the right time or a special date in your life. GET IT DONE. Get it booked early anything upto 18 months is quiet normal lead in time, to get ready buy the kit, get fit. And pay for the dam thing! If your fit and have kit then a few months lead in is fine!

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Train, train, train.
For 8-9 days you’ll be on your feet 10 hours a day. Can you do that? Give it a go, walk all day. Miles in the tank speaks volumes, and yes course it’s a mountain but you don’t need a year of climbing big scary dangerous mountains. You can train on local hills and slowly add weight to a bag a 20l pack will do! You can also use a treadmill on incline, but nothing beats being outside.

Breathing will be important to open up the lungs and get quick recovery going you can sprint between lampposts then reduce it to a jog for the next lamppost.

Have you ever?

You’ll most likely be camping for 8 days. So have you done it before? Sounds daft, but sleep is so so crucial to success here.

Get sleeping outside, book weekends away where you can use a camp site as the base to walk from, Peak District and new Forrest are both perfect places to give this a go. You don’t have to have camped for the full duration but do concider a week.

Weight and traveling.

Weight, your tour operator and guide will give you a 15kg weight limit. Your flight will give you a 20kg allowance. Take as much as you can and strip it down and leave it at your hotel. This is a standard practise with the guides to make sure they get the packs light enough for porters to carry, and they do weight the bags at your entry gate to the mountain….

Also in your day pack (hand luggage) carry a days or two of clothes and wear your boots! Just in case they lose your main bag you can still walk and have bare minimum clothing. You can rent everything else there! Also pack your electrical items in hand luggage too! And don’t forget to take spare batteries, it gets cold which drains Battery life. You might even go as far as renting a nice camera, we cannot all afford a posh one!

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Snacks.

Fuelling is ever so important. You shouldn’t be trying to eat weird sports type stuff, unless that’s your normal diet. As you’ve weight to use pack flap jacks, nuts and dried fruit. And maybe electrolytes too, great for keeping your body going….

Sleeping.

There’s nothing more important! SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! As above in in three, get your sleeping nailed, be happy with the kit and make sure it’s warm enough. You can rent a good sleeping bag these days so no issue, but, you need to get some love action with the sleeping matt! Try plenty of different ones, borrow from friends, buy second hand, get the right kit.

Medication/inoculations & Diamox, yea I said it!

Now I’m no doctor or in anyway had medical training, so do seek professional advice here gang. Personally unless you are on medication DON’T take any with you. I personally wouldn’t be happy using Diamox, but, you’ll be paying (or should be) for a suitably medically trained team member to be on the team and they WILL assess and make a decision..

Inoculations, unless you’re well traveled its a fair few jabs to get done and you NEED to get them a few months before you go, so spare the stress and get them booked up quick, also this can be costly so factor this into your trip budget, yes budget!!

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That’s me folks, thanks for reading. I hope some of it is useful. If you’ve not booked yet the big travel companies give an ok service, BUT, fundamentally they use local guides and are just taking a big profit, you can find smaller outfits that do land cost only and use the exact guides and porters. That also gives you control over your flights and when you come and go! Good luck, and if you’ve any questions please drop me a message!

Russ.

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