20 most effective ways preparing to climb Kilimanjaro

Here are 20 most effective ways preparing to climb Kilimanjaro.  I have personally climbed Kilimanjaro more than 30 times over a 12 year period. I really want to see people have the best available information when deciding how to approach their Kilimanjaro climb.

20 most effective ways preparing to climb Kilimanjaro

I will list the 20 most effective ways to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro in order of important. As you start ticking off the your list of things that need to be done in your preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro. Everyone has different concerns and questions so feel free at ant stage of reading this information to PICK UP THE PHONE and speak to me or EMAIL ME NOW. Make sure you have the right itinerary and acclimatization first then everything can be worked out from there.

Have a minimum of 8 days on the mountain

1). Pick a minimum of 8 days climbing Kilimanjaro. If you are signing up to a group trip with random people you need a minimum of 8 days on the mountain. Really everyone should have a minimum of 8 days on the mountain. Any less an you run the high risk of getting AMS (high altitude sickness). Your chances of success go down drastically if you spend less days on Kilimanjaro. Having the best acclimatization should be your number one concern.

Strength and endurance are so important for success

2). Specific physical conditioning is really important. You are not running a marathon, you are hiking up and down the side of a big mountain with weight on your back. Some days are longer than others. Check out the daily distances on out 8 day climbs. Your endurance training and leg strength is far more valuable than fitness. You are not running a marathon so no need to be running. No problem mixing up your training but running should not be your core focus. You need to put on a weighted back pack, building up the weight you will carry and we training 4 to 5 times a week. We will walk and talk you through the best way to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb.

Understand the daily elevation gains

3). Understand the elevation gains so you can prepare correctly. If you are trying to build a training plan that works for you. You need to understand the elevation gains for each day of the trip. Think about this a little more. If you have the daily distances, daily elevation gains on on your Kilimanjaro climb, daily hours hiking per day, you will be able to build a training plan that works for you. Yes you will have 30% to 50% less oxygen getting to your muscles so the best way to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro is put your muscles under more pressure at sea level. The best way to do this is keep adding weight into your back pack even when you are in the gym on each training session. You should increase the weight month on month.

Build the right training program

4). Build the right training program. So this is just a follow up on number 3. You need to be building up your preparation 3 to 6 months ahead of your climb. If you do not have access to hills and mountains you need really focus on how you are going to get the strength and conditioning for the climb. Why not get a FREE CONSULTATION!  today and start getting professional advice from experts. All our staff have climbed Kilimanjaro multiple times.

Having the wrong gear can ruin your trip

5). Make sure you have the right clothing. Having the right sleeping bag and air mattress is really important on Kilimanjaro. You will need to be getting as much sleep as possible. You will spend a lot of time in your mountain hard wear Trango 4 tent, so it is really important to be as comfortable as possible. You need the right layers, down jacket, gloves, trekking boots, back pack and smaller key items. Watch our Kilimanjaro packing video.

Be very comfortable in your trekking boots

6). Break in your trekking boots. It is really important to buy the right trekking boots early and then break them in. I like the La Sportiva Trango GTX trekking boots. I prefer a more rigid sole on my trekking boots. The Trango boots are lightweight warm, water proof and really solid all round trekking boot that I can use trekking to Everest Base Camp, in the Alps, Morocco, Inca trail and lead into bigger mountains.

We serve you the best food to fuel your climb

7). Having the right food is really important. On an Ian Taylor Trekking climb you are served 3, 3 course meals per day. We have an amazing chef who works with us on all our climbs. The chef and and his support team of 4/6 staff produce amazing food each day. We have developed a menu over the past 10 years that works well for our the daily demands on Kilimanjaro. Trust me, fueling your Kilimanjaro adventure would quality food is really important. Check out our menu.

Make sure you have the right vaccinations

8). What vaccination should you be getting. You need to have some shots and be protected against malaria. Your doctor will recommend certain medication that you will need to bring with you on your Kilimanjaro climb. We include all medications required in our 45 page dossier which we share with you on signing up.  Check out our list of recommended vaccinations needed for your Kilimanjaro climb.

Watch footage from each day on the mountain

9). Watch our footage from each day on Kilimanjaro. We have put together some raw footage from each day on the Lemosho route up Kilimanjaro for you to study. Watch Day 1 and see the rain forest and route up to Big tree camp at 2,800m. Watch Day 2 and see the amazing light through the rain forest before coming up onto the Shira plateau to Shira camp 1 at 3,500m. Watch Day 3 as we cross the amazing Shira Plateau. We cross the emergency evacuation road, then pass Simba camp and continue past ground cell trees and up into Shira camp 2 at 3,850m. The view back down to the shira volcano is truly spectacular, especially at sunset. Watch Day 4 as we move up out of Shira camp 2 crossing over 2 ridge lines before reaching the Lava Tower at 4,600m enjoy an amazing lunch before dropping down 700m into Baranco camp at 3,900m. Watch Day 5 as one of our group climb up the baranco wall and cross Kilimanjaro to Karanga camp at 3,950m. Watch Day 6 as you make the short 3 hour hike up to high camp and rest before the long summit night and day. Watch Day 7 as you head off at midnight aiming to be on the summit of Kilimanjaro by 7am in the morning. We would hope to be back in high camp by 10/11am before resting, packing have lunch and continue back down the mountain to Mweka camp 3,100m. This is a long day. Watch Day 8 and the final hike back down through the rain forest to the Mweka gate. We have our final lunch at the gate and then return to Arusha in the Afternoon.

The best tips for climbing Kilimanjaro

10). Get the best tips available before going to Kilimanjaro. We have worked on these Top 10 Tips for 12 years now. Here are our TOP 50 TIPS for climbing Kilimanjaro. We have put over 2,000 people on the summit. These are the tips that work, time and time again. The two main reasons people are not successful climbing Kilimanjaro are 1). Lack of proper acclimatization 2). Lack of proper physical preparation. There are other things that come into play but there are the 2 key factors people miss manage in their decision making and preparation.

Hydration is so important on Kilimanjaro

11). Hydration on your Kilimanjaro climb is important. You need to be drinking water and hydrating prior to the climb and then drinking 4 to 5 liters per day on the mountain. READ MORE about why hydration is critical in low oxygen environments. Making sure you are well hydrated, staying out of the sun and not getting sun burned are all really important things to remember on your Kilimanjaro climb. I always use a sun hat and stay as hydrated as possible. When I wake up in the morning usually at 6am I try and drink 1 liter of water by the time I head for Breakfast at 7am or at least before the end of breakfast. While I am at breakfast our amazing staff will take my camel Bak 2 liter hydration system and fill it. I will try and drink 2 more liters before lunch. At Lunch I can get another liter or 2 liters to drink. I like to be finished my hydration by 4pm each day.

Going really slow is important each day

12). Getting the pace correct can make all the difference climbing Kilimanjaro. Our team knows how to get you successfully to the summit of Kilimanjaro and back down with energy to spare. This does not mean you can show up unprepared. You need to come fully trained and prepared for this climb. Trust me coming down is a lot harder than going up so leg strength is super important.  We can help you get the right training information for your Kilimanjaro climb. Think about physical activity at sea level. You can train hard and then go home rest and 100% oxygen helps your body, muscles recover so you can get up again the next day and train again. On Kilimanjaro with 30 to 40% less oxygen and less than 50% oxygen getting to your muscles above 18,000 feet. You need to minimize damage each day on the mountain. So the pace we move at and heart rate you maintain on the mountain is so so important. Let all the other people pass you by. You are trying to get from point A to point B doing as little as possible. You need to keep as low a heart rate as possible. Minimize the the damage to your muscles on a daily basis. Acclimatize slowly and you give yourself the best chance of making it safety up and down Kilimanjaro.

We pay our team correctly

13). It’s official, Ian Taylor Trekking have the best Mountain Guide on Kilimanjaro. You need to consider having the best available team in support of your climb. Pick a team who pay their staff correctly. We have the same team on the mountain for 8 years now. A number of our staff have been on our treks and climbs in the Himalaya’s. Each staff member knows us and we know them. We have trained our staff over years and they get continued education and support from us. We also pay our staff and guides more than other companies who say they do. You can just ask our staff for yourself. This costs more and we only want to run ethical trips that help our staff support their families and get ahead. We have hundreds of people contact us monthly looking to join our team on the mountain.

You should have oxygen with you at all times

14). Have oxygen on your Kilimanjaro climb. You need to have access to oxygen each day and high on Kilimanjaro. We have one bottle of oxygen per 5 people. We carry this all each day and throughout the climb. Every trip I am on, there is always a number of other teams and people looking to use our oxygen because their team did not bring any.  You absolutely need bottled oxygen on your Kilimanjaro climb and you should not climb with a team who does not have any. You also need to be evaluated each day, twice a day for heart rate and oxygen levels. On our Ian Taylor Trekking climbs we test your oxygen saturation in the morning at breakfast and in the evening at dinner time so we can evaluate how you are adapting to the lack of oxygen in your body and minimize the risk to you on Kilimanjaro. This is really important from day 1 on the trip.

The Lemosho route has emergency road access

15). Have emergency evacuation access. The Lemosho route has the best emergency evacuation road on Kilimanjaro. This evacuation road is situated between Shira camp 1 3,500m/ 11,482 feet and Shira camp 2 at 3,850m/ 12,631 feet. It is a great asset to have this available. Our treks have Flying Doctor coverage and we can get you off the mountain as quickly as possible on this western side of Kilimanjaro. On day 3 we get up to 4,000m/ 13,123 feet. We will be checking your oxygen saturation daily, but if you are not coping with the lack of oxygen in your body we will see real indicators at this elevation and if you need to be taken off the mountain. We can get you to a hospital very quickly from here. This is a really important safety factor you need to consider and need to have on your Kilimanjaro climb.

Have a high level of support on summit night

16). Make sure you have 1 to 1 support on your summit climb. We sometimes need to help other teams on Kilimanjaro.  These teams bring minimal support for their people and when people get in trouble we have to help where possible. We have a maximum of 10 team members per group. Having smaller team aids in safety on Kilimanjaro. We will have 1 guide and support staff heading to the summit for each climber heading to the summit. You need to have this support just in case you or team members are struggling to get down the mountain as quickly as possible. You need need to have this safety measure in place and minimize the risk you are taking on Kilimanjaro.

Join small groups. We have a max of 10 people

17). Join a small group. Small teams means you are better looked after and issues and concerns on the mountain can be managed better. Smaller teams means you will have better access to our staff and our world class guides can get you know you better and spot altitude related issues a lot quicker. Our guides will be able to spot subtle changes in your behavior and be able to react  quickly. Smaller groups means are more relaxed, safer and more enjoyable experience on Kilimanjaro. We have found a maximum of 10 people makes a more successful and more enjoyable and positive overall experience for each team member.

Seek out professional advice

18). You need to have the right information from professional before you go. Having access to people who have climbed Kilimanjaro on all routes, different times of year and have helped over 2,000 people to the summit is really important. When you sign up to an Ian Taylor Trekking team you will have access to Ian and staff 5 days a week. They will answer all your questions, help you get excellent training advice and ready to assist you with professional first hand information which can mean the difference between success and failure.

The right breathing techniques are important

19). Practice the right breathing techniques needed for high altitude trekking. This is easier shown than me trying to write about it. Think about it like this. Your body, muscles are being starved of oxygen on Kilimanjaro. So you need to force oxygen into your body. The right technique is, deep breaths through your nose and breath out through your mouth. You do not need to be doing this every step and it will vary from day 1 to summit night. This technique requires focus and trust me you will need this technique throughout your summit night to make sure you are giving your brain, lungs, heart and body enough oxygen to reach the summit and get back safely below the danger zone above 18,000 feet.

Contact our team today for the best available info

20). Contact me today. I can help you get all the information you need for your Kilimanjaro climbing adventure. I have helped train our team on the ground over the years. I have climbed Kilimanjaro over 30 times and Ian Taylor Trekking have helped well over 2,000 people reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. We have the team, service, set up and only run quality, safe Kilimanjaro climbs. Drop me an E-MAIL TODAY, pick up the phone and I can help you take the right steps to the summit of Kilimanjaro.


All you need to know about climbing Kilimanjaro
Training for Kilimanjaro: The best information and preparation
Climbing Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho Route