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How did I prepare for Kilimanjaro ?

Fitness: 

  • Plenty of Cardio for at least 6-months. By the time I climbed the mountain, I was ready to run a full marathon.
  • If running is not your thing, then biking and swimming are good. But, from my personal experience, swimming alone won’t cut it.
  • I hiked almost every weekend at nearby trails. If you don’t have access to the trails, you can use the treadmill at an elevation with a 10lbs backpack every weekend for a good 4-5 hour walk at a 3-3.5 miles per hour speed would do the trick. Again, I hiked for “almost” every weekend for at least 3-months in advance to the trip.
  • I personally didn’t do much of a weight training. But, I felt bad that my leg muscles were not strong enough while I was at the mountain.

Vaccines:

Pre-trip preparation has been a little exhausting for me. Today, I took some of the vaccines needed. Even though my insurance covers the travel vaccines, I have the toughest time getting appointment with my clinic. So, I decided to break it down this way:

  • Yellow Fever Vaccine (Required) – At a travel clinic that doesn’t take insurance for $110
  • Polio (Recommended) – At a travel clinic for $60
  • Hepatitis B (Recommended) – Given that this one requires 3 sittings over a period of time, I skipped it.
  • Hepatitis A (Recommended)- At Mclean Chest Pharmacy that takes insurance
  • Typhoid (Recommended) – Oral pill from Mclean Chest Pharmacy

Gear:
I made countless number of trips to REI and spent considerable number of hours on their website reading reviews and comparing products before I finalized my list. Here goes it:

Cold Weather Gear

Mountain equipment

For the full list, I used these videos as a baseline on top of the list provided by my trekking company.
I took Diamox with me but didn’t really use it.  But I did take Malaria tablets.

Also, I decided to hire a satellite phone for emergency purposes.

For my experience on the mountain, check out the article here.