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Chemone Prepares to Climb Kilimanjaro! By: | 2012-06-25
A year ago, the Kilimanjaro idea sparked! I was hooked! It stuck in my mind and there was nothing anyone could do to make that thought disappear. What was initially just another tick off the old bucket list has become a reality and an encouragement to live life to the fullest!
After starting with a consistant and strict walking plan to get me going, my mind was starting to get focused, from there I went onto a gym plan and with that trying to fit in as many day hikes and any outdoor walking activities as possible. I downloaded a Kilimanjaro “get fit” programme off the internet and took some ideas from it as to what the focus needed to be.
When I started my gym plan, I also signed up for personal trainer sessions to help me keep pushing myself to stay focused for my challenge ahead! One thing I learnt is that it is not going to be mainly about strength and stamina, but about the endurance and the mental will to keep going, slowly and monotonously. Unfortunately, altitude sickness is not something you can prepare for so for that, we will have to wait and see.
I have also put a picture of Kilimanjaro up on my fridge, on my mobile phone, on my laptop, on my work PC, and every time I look at those pictures I visualize the summit, and I visualize my goal, I believe that the mind is much stronger than one thinks and with determination and will power you will and can overcome any obstacles that lie ahead of you! Positive all the way!
I have been doing a lot of reading about altitude sickness and other symptoms which you can experience on your climb, how other people have commented on their climbs and what temperatures and terrains I will be experiencing. These are all just things which I have found useful to myself and to build up some more knowledge on what to expect and what to look forward to.
I have also been looking up at what the best snacks would be to take with me, as some people say you don’t really feel like snacking at most times while on your walk, so I was thinking of taking things which will be more useful. One of the things I have read up which is a lot to my liking is beetroot, and beetroot juice.
“Beetroot is helpful in creating healthy red blood cells and helps to maximize the amount of oxygen being carried on the red blood cells. It also increases the efficient uptake of oxygen and during exercise it helps that less oxygen is required – leading to far more stamina and staying power, less fatigue, higher endurance and increased stamina, which provides more vitality and energy. The magnesium contained in the juice can also help to ease muscle tension, stress and anxiety.”
Doesn’t that just sound wonderful!! Every little bit helps I guess.
With regards to packing and my equipment, I will be hiring most of my things such as gators, sleeping bag, walking sticks. I have my own rain jacket and pants, and will be off to the shops soon to be buying last minute things like thermal underwear, socks, an extra fleece and a pair of those hiking pants where you can zip off the half of the pants for when you get hot, thought those would work out very well as you can just keep them in your backpack, definitely want things in my backpack. A balaclava or small solid little head scarf which you can pull over your mouth and cover your neck with is also essential.
Other things to consider which are very necessary to buy and to do before I leave will be things like sunscreen, sunglasses, extra socks incase you get really wet, hat, gloves, extra camera batteries, headlamp/torch, altitude sickness tablets (optional) Malaria Tablets (optional) yellow fever vaccination (compulsory). You should always get pre-departure information from the company you are booking with to help you with information on what to pack and always find out whether you can get your visa at the point of entry or if you need to pre-apply.
This is what I have been wrapping my mind around for the last couple of months. Besides that, the emotion, excitement, nervousness and a little bit of fear is also dawning on me now and it is an amazing feeling! Such a goal and dream to set into motion and work towards, it is really something surreal to take into account and I know I will never be able to truly tell you what I am feeling until I am on my way.
I can’t wait for the day I can finally start my trekking blog and share with you all of the adventures that come my way, nearly time for the journey to begin.