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T-minus 17 days before I leave for Tanzania!

I am now working on making sure I have everything on my packing list before I take flight. I can’t imagine exiting the plane in Tanzania realizing I forgot something at home and running up to the local Target to get it. Nope! That ain’t happening.

Speaking of lists, the other day I asked my daughter, M’Kayla if she had any concerns about me climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Without hesitation, she said, “Yes, hold on, I have a list…let me get it!" Minutes later, she came back with several pages of our copy paper attached by a white binder clamp. As it turned out, the pages were empty! I got a great chuckle out of what this clever child of mine presented to me and it relieved some of my stress. If she’s worried, then I’ll worry.

To the contrary, there’s a huge list of tangible and non tangible items on my list that I don’t have much more time to acquire. Did you read the intro? I only have 17 days to go! I have been gathering items from a standard list sent to us from the tour company that will take us to the top of Kili, but my concern is what’s not listed. Read on because I’ll be asking you to help me with my list.

Here some important things to note: I’ll be carrying critical climbing gear on the plane with me, and especially my boots in case my baggage is delayed. If you know me, you know I’m always looking for ways to give back so my plan is to leave items of warm clothing and even my shoes to give to my guides and porters. They need these items more than I will need them when I'm done reaching the summit. Another good part about making this contribution is that I’ll be coming back home much lighter. There's no better gift than giving to those in need, and this is for a great cause.

I’ll take this opportunity to insert my fundraising goals. I have a long way to go to reach my goal. Therefore, I am humbly asking everyone reading this post to find it in your heart to help me raise money for causes that are dear to my heart, an end to Alzheimer's and helping the people of Tanzania access clean water. To those of you who have already contributed to the cause, your big heart is greatly appreciated; thank you abundantly for your support and generosity!! Here's how you can help too:

As part of my training, I have tested out my gear in very inclement weather. My favorite training locations have been in Arizona, Las Vegas, and the Indiana Dunes in Portage, IN. I’ve been training with the support of family and my dearest friends, while catching up on some girl time. It's been an amazing training experience! I don't know what I would do without my tribe!! We have mainly been hiking on the sandy beach of Lake Michigan, trekking over 250 stairs, while taking in the breathtaking views. Who knew the winter was this spectacular on Lake Michigan? It’s also not as cold as one would think! If it is, that must mean I'm appropriately dressed. If I can get my winter gear on point in our brisk cold arctic temperatures here at home, then I can get it right on the mountain.

As I discussed in the last blog, there will be at least five climate zones, from warm sunny days, humid forest and lower slopes, to the bitterly cold summit zone, with rain, wind, glaciers, ice, and snow. I recently read this quote:

With this being said, I need to be prepared for all Kilamangaro weather conditions and I better get it right because I HATE BEING COLD AND WET! I’ve tested out my gear during training. Some things I have pushed to the side because they will either frustrate me, or take up much needed space. My huge duffel bag aka my “survival kit” will be carried by the porters; but I’ll be carrying my own daypack during the trekking day. The heavier my daypack, the harder the climb. I need essentials only and no dead weight please.

Back to the list...

I have been talking to lots of people, especially my clients and friends who have been extremely motivating, offering a great deal of invaluable advice, ideas, and suggestions for mountain climbing! Some things I never would have thought of on my own. I have even been gifted by amazing clients with several items that I have already packed, and can't imagine climbing without. They were also not on the list along with the mini bluetooth speaker that I just purchased when I need to listen to quality sounds, like Beyoncés Renaissance album, to help power my climb. She's helped me tremendously in training! Additionally, I also picked up a portable solar panel to keep my gadgets charged. This is critical for all the vlogging I plan to record. Before I leave, I will have completed the setup of my YouTube channel to indulge all those interested in this one time epic experience. More to come on that.

To conclude this blog post, here’s my ask. Along with needing your help to reach my fundraising goal, I need you to help me prepare by dropping a comment below on what else you think I need to bring. Any other suggestions or ideas that you can share would be great!

Thank you for everything, especially reading my posts! I’ll be back with another one next week so stay tuned to stay connected.

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