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Prior Planning & Preparation

The act of going on an Expedition is the culmination of prior planning and preparation.

Seven months ago, with my good buddies Roy & Dave signed up to join me on Kilimanjaro, we started training and talking about our “Kili” trip. So began, for us and our superstar GO Members who joined us for the ride, many hours of circuit training developing cardiovascular fitness; hill sessions for endurance supplemented by the odd squat or three; every conceivable exercise with a battle rope and TRX; and of course numerous km of Nordic Walking…

Early morning sessions...

Gaining experiencing of life on the trail for my companions was found for Dave on the Cotswold Way during the 5 hottest days in English meteorological history; whilst Roy joined me in the Cairngorms in the depths of winter for mountain Bothy adventures in thigh deep snow.

Now, with our days of training almost complete, apart from clocking up the k’s every day, we are busy prepping kit ahead of impending departure next week to Nordic Walk to the “Roof of Africa” – Kilimanjaro.

Selecting the right kit is a minefield…we arrive to daytime temperatures in the mid 30’s; a week later as we trek closer to towards the summit at 5985m it’ll be -15C!

With a specific weight limit for the kit to take on the hill, choosing the right balance between staying cool and warm is a tight one. In my mind, every piece of kit should be part of the big picture, either standing alone to keep you cool or as part of a layering system for colder climes!

Part of the issue as you get higher is you walk slower! Our normal 6km pace at sea level will be given over to a very modest 1km/h on summit day…if not slower! Combine this with the effects of altitude; our bodies won’t be generating heat as readily, so keeping warm will be a necessity rather than a luxury!

Of course, layering up is essential, as is the fuel we will consume! Hydration is super-high on the agenda to help us counter the effects of altitude, as is whatever food we manage to stomach; and given that one side effect of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is reduced appetite anything we can eat will be essential. In addition to the excellent catering we will enjoy from our Tanzanian crew; high calorific snacks, readily available during each days walking will be great for morale as well as energy levels.

With a week to go and with training tapering prior to departure we still have final preparation to focus on; yet we now have an eye keenly looking forward to the next phase of the plan.

Pen y Fan mountain training day...next stop Kilimanjaro!

Thank you everyone for your support…

Steve

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