If you still haven’t decided whether or not you are physically fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro, or you have decided to climb and are now starting your physical training – listen up!
First go to your doctor to discuss any pre-existing conditions that may impact you during your climb. If you are taking any medications on a regular basis, visit with your doctor to discuss whether or not you should take these medications on the mountain and possible side effects at high elevations. If you plan on taking medicine for altitude sickness ask your doctor about possible interactions with your other medications. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS talk to your doctor before you book a climb, and inform your outiftter of any medical concerns that you have. Upscale outfitters can often help accomodate for some basic medical needs on the mountain, and should be able to give you a number of safety options in the event that you need to be evacuated from the mountain. Your outfitter should have guides trained in basic first aid, wilderness survival, and treamment of acute mountain sickness (always ask before you book a climb!).
Since you will be doing mostly walking on the mountain, your physical training should focus on walking. If there are not places near you to hike, you can walk on the treadmill at a steady uphill rate. If you will be carrying any of your own gear you should start hiking/walking with your gear on your back. Most outfitters carry your tents, clothing, and food items. Double check on this, especially if you are climbing with a lower budget outfitter. Most outfitters expect you to carry your personal day pack which should contain any clothing layers you may need during the day, your rain layer, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, and 2-3 liters of water. Some outfitters offer a personal porter to carry those items for you at an additional cost. If you will be carrying any of your own items, load up your water and your gear into your day pack, put on your boots, and start walking ASAP! Expect to walk 5-8 hours a day on your hike.