The route table would seem to indicate that the daily distances and heights covered are not excessive. The biggest single factor affecting success or failure is therefore not physical fitness but the ability to cope with altitude and the impact of temperature extremes. Whilst training and a good level of fitness is a definite plus, anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be able to manage, but the more you exercise before the expedition, the more you will get out of it.

Given that the biggest barrier to success is altitude the question is what can be done to combat it. The only certainty is the more time you spend acclimatising your body to altitude the better your body will be able to cope with it. This means the longer routes tend to have higher success rates. Beyond this having a positive mental attitude is the key to success: climbing Kilimanjaro is difficult and usually painful and requires a big effort from most people. Being properly equipped, with the right clothing and in good physical condition will help your attitude. On the mountain you need to take care of your body's needs. Your appetite is likely to be affected at high altitude and you will consciously need to make the effort to eat properly. You must also drink enough to keep your urine clear (generally 4–5 litres of water a day). Towards the end you may find high-energy foods useful and these should be brought from the UK, as they are not readily available in Tanzania.

There are drugs on the market, like DIAMOX, that claim to help combat the symptoms of Mountain Sickness however there is some debate as to their safety since no one seems to know whether they treat the cause or mask the symptoms which might be signs of potentially life-threatening Acute Mountain Sickness. You should not take any of these drugs unless you have properly consulted your doctor.

On summit day take your time and take plenty of regular rests, after little or no sleep you will need to stay positive, particularly try and block out the grumbles of other climbers who might be coming down after failed attempts.

One of the most essential pieces of kit is adequate footwear. Equally essential is that they are well worn in and are comfortable so, if you are buying new boots for the trip, then you must do some extended walking with them on prior to departure or you will most likely end up with blisters.