Mummy says… I have some dreams that I don’t think I will ever fulfil (Never say never though!) One of them is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a successful climb then I have some awesome tips to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – whilst I still dream about it….
It is a good idea to align your mental preparedness with your physical stamina. Physical endurance will definitely be top of your list as you will be hiking between 6 and 12 miles per day for the duration of your climb which can take up to 9 days.
However, if you train adequately and with the right equipment you will be able to achieve it.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is actually not a climb but a hike, and so the best preparation should be geared
toward hiking, preferably through simulated conditions. In addition to your regular gym workouts, you need to go for long walks to stimulate proper muscle development. Here is a practical fitness preparation guideline and tips to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to help your body get into shape for the gruelling hike to the top:
1. Strength and conditioning
• Start by conducting light strength and conditioning training. Target your legs and upper body.
• Do squats and lunges for your legs.
• Stretch your thigh muscles and hamstrings.
• Rope jumps and step aerobics should follow.
• Develop the strength of your stomach and lower back as well as upper shoulders as you will be carrying a heavy pack for up to 7 hours each day.
• Continue doing sit-ups, kettle-bell rows, swings and back, and shoulder flies.
2. Practice hiking daily for a week
The best way to prepare for a strenuous hike is to do a few each day. You can hike for 5 or more hours each day beginning at dawn when your mental state is just right. This way you’ll get to experience what a 7-hour hike on rough terrain feels like. Hike in steep places downward to strengthen your knees and joints as this will come in handy. While practicing hiking, remember to wear different boots each day.
3. Practice walking slowly
Hiking to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is an upward crawl. Your goal should not just be the peak, but an appreciation of the surrounding area, sights and nature. Strolling will synchronise your mental state and your stamina.
4. Learn to breath
Breathing while in a high attitude requires special care, as deep and controlled breathing is the key to success. Inhale five to six seconds through your nose and exhale slowly through the nose. Practice five minutes of breathing each day as you hike. If possible take a few yoga classes to perfect your breathing.
5. Practice carrying loads
You will need food and refreshments for energy while on the hike as well as a portable bed and heavy clothing. So practice carrying full packs with enough rations to sustain you while climbing up and eventually climbing down.
6. Practice satellite telephone communication
If you’re hiking with a group of friends, it pays to practice sending signals through satellite phones. It’s easy to get hopelessly lost in tall peaks.
It all sounds like very hard work, but wow, what an achievement! I can dream, can’t I?
Have you ever achieved anything like this?