Living just outside Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains allowed us an enjoyable summer of hiking to prepare for our hike up Kilimanjaro. We did no overnight hikes but completed short hikes after work during the week and longer hikes on the weekend.
Shadows of Africa was very good about providing us information on what we needed to bring and what we had to do.
It is important to read all correspondence carefully and probably have two people read it to make sure nothing is missed. For travelling to East Africa it is necessary to get a variety of vaccinations. Shadows of Africa was very helpful in informing us of the vaccinations. We contacted our local health unit not our doctor to get the vaccinations. Our health unit also provided us with some antibiotic medication in case we got sick (we all did) and diamox for dealing with altitude sickness.
We did not need much new equipment for the trip. Siobhan did not have an appropriate backpack. Since we were not going to carry all our gear, only what we needed each day, we purchased a 35L pack with good padding, since we would be hiking for 7 days. We also purchased 1L wide mouth water bottles to supplement our water bladders that we used. To keep our feet warm in the evening and morning we purchased puffy booties. The booties were a big hit with everyone and we are still using them.
To save on space we rented a couple of puffy jackets and sleeping bags from Shadows of Africa. It can be very cold at the last camp and on the approach to the summit and we did not have the appropriate gear. Laura sleeps cold, so she brought a sleeping bag liner with her for extra warmth. Our sleeping bags were only rated for -7C and it can be -15C at night in August at altitude.
After rechecking our equipment list, we packed everything up into duffel bags and headed to the airport.