How to Prepare to Summit Kilimanjaro in 30 Days!

Holy guacamole, I’m crazy! What am I thinking? My New Years resolution was to say yes! Say yes to all the things I want to do. So, if that means training to summit one of the seven summits in 30 days then I’m in! 

For those of you who don’t know, Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa and the tallest free standing mountain in the world. At the top you are above the clouds at 19,341 feet. So, yeah you can say the air is pretty much non existent at that point. But, 6 crazy girls are going to take on this challenge. We will be spending 6 days trekking our way up the Machame route.

Check out the full Kilimanjaro Travel Guide here!

Kyla Cheatley at the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

For training I was lucky enough to find Evolution Fitness in Portland, Oregon — they have a high altitude room! I bought 20 of the one hour sessions with them to help with my training! 

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Every weekend I spent hiking around Mt. Hood, the Gorge, or the Oregon Coast to prepare for this trek. During the week I was in the gym attempting to get my buns into shape. During my one hour sessions at Evolution Fitness the altitude ranged from 10,000 feet to 17,000 feet. On any given day my training looked like:

  • 20 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 MPH on a 20%-30% grade

  • 20 minutes stairclimber at level 10

  • 10 minutes of spin bike

  • jump squats 

  • high knees 

Also I am going to pat myself on the back because I cut out alcohol for the entire month before this, knowing that soon enough I’ll be sipping on a Montucky once again! 

Packing

Now the packing begins. Why didn’t I start this earlier? I was frantically running around my apartment the night before hoping I didn’t forget anything. Here is my packing list with everything I brought!

(The most important part, SNACKS)

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The end result is below for you to use! Thanks Crystal for letting me borrow this duffel from her 14-day trek to Everest Base Camp with Himalayan Wonders. I tried to pack in a 60 L Patagonia Black Hole bag and my sleeping bag barely fit!

My Kilimanjaro Packing List

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Electronics

GoPro 
Karma grip stabilizer 
Extra memory card
Charger for go pro
Extra GoPro battery
Tri-Pod
Goal zero solar charger 
Portable charger 
Apple Watch charger
Phone charger 
Canon rebel camera/charger

Clothing 

1 cute outfit 
Base leggings- Omni heat
Mid leggings- mountain hardware 
1 pair of the KUHL convertible pants
1 pair of REI hiking pants 
3 lululemon leggings 
1 Patagonia goretex pants 
Base shirt- Omni heat 
Mid layer- rei 
North face thermoball puffy
Arcteryx shell 
2 tanks 
Waterproof gloves- mountain hardware 
North face- liner gloves
Wide brimmed hat 
Warm fleece lined beanie
1 Patagonia fleece
2 long dri fit shirt 
3 sports bra 
Undiesssss

Sleeping

Fleece comfy sweats 
Sleeping bag 
Sleeping bag liner 
Inflatable pillow 

Footwear

Hiking boots (duh)
Adidas tennis shoes
Shamma Sandals 
Down slippers for the tent
5 pairs hiking socks 
2 pairs regular socks 

Snacks

Birthday cake one bars 
Snickers bar because hangry 
Nuun tablets for water
Zipfizz 
Gushers/fruit snacks 
Beef jerky 
Trail mix 
Huppy Bars 

Toiletries

Diamox 
Vaseline 
Ibuprofen 
Cold medicine 
Nasal spray
Eye drops 
Sunscreen and brush on block
Chapstick SPF 30 
Sawyer Insect repellent with picaridin (doesn’t ruin your gear)
Summit wipes
Toilet paper 
Panty liners- in case you’re too cold to change and also blood flows at high elevation
Toothbrush/paste
Hairbrush
Shampoo/shower supplies to leave at the hotel 
Travel towel 
QTIPS 
Personal First Aid Kit
Ear Plugs 
Eye Mask 
Hand Sanitizer 


Random

Uno or phase 10/cards
Luci solar lantern
Hand/foot warmers 
Passport
Vaccine documents
Book
Headphones and a kick ass playlist 
Hydro flask (so water doesn’t freeze at summit)
2L bladder
1L Platypus  

A big thank you to our favorite companies for supporting us on this journey!

Huppy Bar
Keep Nature Wild 
Discrete Neck Buffs
Shamma Sandals 
High Tail Designs
Cusa Tea
Thrive Tribe 
That’s It Bars
All Good Products 

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High Tail Designs made us custom fanny packs for our trip!