Packing Checklist for Climbing Kilimanjaro

It’s possible to rent gear locally for climbing the mountain but it’s expensive and the quality is certainly poor for the money you will be spending. If you let us know in advance its possible we can provide some gear to you free of cost. However, the best bet is to bring your own gear (Complete list) . On your first night in Moshi before starting the trek you will be introduced to your guide and he will review your equipment to make sure you are adequately prepared. Climbers heading to the mountain need to be properly equipped for rainy conditions on the way to the summit and freezing temperatures at the summit.

Porters Carrying Gear on Kilimanjaro

Porters Carrying Gear on Kilimanjaro

Keep in mind that gear will generally be divided up while your hiking. The bulk of your gear will be carried by our porters in a duffel bag and you will carry a daypack with the essentials which include snacks, camera, headlamp, poncho, extra layers, sun protection and water bottles.

The follow article describes the equipment needed in full detail. If you want to jump right to our Kilimanjaro packing list you can download as a word doc or pdf.

Base, Middle and Outer Layers
The principle of layering is key here so that you can easily manage your body temperature simply by adding or removing layers.

Base Layers – The base layer is the first layer of clothing you put on and it ideally functions to maintain your body temperature and keep you dry. Fabrics such as merino wool or Capilene which work to wick moisture away from your body are the best. Cotton tends to absorb moisture and hampers your ability to regulate temperature.

  • Moisture wicking long sleeve tee-shirts (2)
  • Moisture wicking tee-shirts (2)
  • Long underwear pants (2)
  • Underwear (3 to 5)

Middle Layers – The middle layer serve to insulate the body from the cold. The best materials for insulating layers in very cold conditions are down and wool otherwise a fleece jacket can make a good insulating layer. It’s preferable to have middle layers with zippers so you can easily zip or unzip to regulate temperature rather than having to remove layers entirely.

  • Heavy Fleece or Down Jacket
  • Long sleeve shirts (2)
  • Sweatshirt (optional)
  • Fleece Pants
  • Trekking Pants (2)
  • Shorts (optional)

Shell or Outer Layer – The shell or outer layer is designed to protect you from the wind and keep you dry. Gortex which is both waterproof and breathable is the ideal fabric for this. Nylon is a cheaper alternative and provides protection but is not breathable so can trap moisture in which you don’t want.

  • Gortex or Waterproof Jacket with hood
  • Rain Poncho
  • Waterproof Pants

Hats, Gloves and Gaiters

Hats – While it’s still warm on the first few days of the trek a wide brimmed hat that offers sun protection is the best. When it’s cold a wool and/or Balaclava is the best option.

Gloves – A light weight glove is good for most early morning and evening on the way up and can be combined with a wool or down mitten for the cold conditions on the summit.

Gaiters – While it’s unlikely you will be hiking through snow gaiters can help keep your socks dry when it’s wet and protect your skin from the dust when its dry.

  •     Wide brimmed hat
  •     Wool hat (Should cover ears)
  •     Balaclava or Ski Mask
  •     Lightwight Glove
  •     Insulated Wool or Down Mitten

Footwear: Shoes and Socks
Shoes – Choice of footwear probably varies to some degree on personal preference. Tennis shoes are suitable until base camp although some may prefer hiking shoes. A pair of sturdy hiking shoes is needed on the summit day to provide ankle support on the steep slopes with loose rocks and to keep your feet warm. Make sure that your hiking shoes have extra room for socks and are not too tight fitting. We recommend breaking in your hiking boots before you come and not to bring a new pair.

Socks – Wool socks provide the most insulation and keep your feet warm. Sock liners are lightweight socks made of a material like Capilene that wicks moisture from the skin. If you are susceptible to getting blisters they can be useful in preventing abrasion between your outer-sock and skin.

  •     Hiking boots with ankle support
  •     Camp shoes or Tennis Shoes
  •     Plastic bag to carry spare shoes
  •     Hiking socks (5)
  •     Sock Liners (optional)

Sleeping Bag
Our team can provide sleeping bags and mats free of cost. However, most climbers are more comfortable brining their own from home. If you are on the Marangu Route you will not need a sleeping pad as they are provided in the huts along with sheets and a pillow.

  •     Sleeping bag rated to  15° C/ 0° f
  •     Sleeping bag liner (optional)
  •     Sleeping bag stuff sack
  •     Sleeping pad

Duffel Bags and Day Packs
Most of your gear will be carried during the day by your porters. You should have a high quality duffel bag that you can place everything except what you need on the trail into. If its raining a lot your duffel bag might get wet on the way up the mountain so consider a waterproof one or packing your belongings in several dry bags inside the duffel.

  •     Duffel Bag for Carrying Your Gear
  •     Day Pack for Carrying what you need on the trail
  •     Waterproof cover for daypack
  •     Drybags in several sizes
  •     Stuff sacks for dirty clothes/shoes

On the Trail
Here are some items you will to keep easily accessible while you are on the trail

  •     Sunscreen
  •     Lip Balm with Sunscreen
  •     Iodine Water Tablets
  •     Water Bottles or Camel Back
  •     Sunglasses
  •     Headlamp with extra batteries
  •     Plastic bags for garbage
  •     High Energy Snacks
  •     Waterproof bags to protect electronics or paperwork
  •     Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
  •     Umbrella (works great in a light rain or to protect from the sun)
  •     Toilet Paper
  •     Trekking Poles (optional)

First Aid Kit and Toiletries
Our team brings along a basic first aid kit but we recommend you also carry the following;

  •     Advil or Ibuprofen
  •     Diamox (for altitude sickness)
  •     Personal Prescriptions
  •     Medical Tape (for preventing treating blisters)
  •     Antibiotics (Cipro for travelers’ diarrhea)
  •     Diaper Rash Cream (Can treat rashes or chaffing)
  •     Basic toiletries (Soap, Deodorant…)
  •     Wet wipes
  •     Panty Liners and Tampoons
  •     Face lotion
  •     Hair brush
  •     Hair ties
  •     Hand warmers
  •     Ear plugs for sleeping

Paperwork and Money

  •     Passport (needed at entry gate for registration)
  •      Money for tips at end of trek

Other Items

  •   Portable Solar Charger
  •  Journal, Pen and paper
Organizing the Gear for Kilimanjaro

Organizing the Gear for Kilimanjaro