Kilimanjaro Packing List
If you are wondering about your Kilimanjaro packing list, below is a comprehensive list of suggested clothing and other items to bring along on your trek.
All mountain treks have a wide range of temperatures so the best clothing is a lot of thin layers. Such clothing is easier to adjust as the temperature fluctuates and is also more effective insulation than a few thick items of clothing.
Sleeping and carrying equipment
- 30-40 litre daypack (to ensure that all layers of clothing and other personal kit can be carried)
- Duffle bag or soft kitbag for porters to carry on the mountain (not suitcases)
- Waterproof bags of various sizes to protect equipment you want to ensure is dry (e.g. sleeping bag and books) and for your day pack (Not plastic. They are not permitted in Tanzania)
- 4 season sleeping bag (especially for high camps on Kilimanjaro where the temperature can easily drop to below zero). Consider a fleece liner if you really feel the cold
- Sleeping mat for camping trips but not for huts. Can be made of foam, or alternatively, an inflatable mattress (with repair kit!).
- 2 x 1 litre water bottle or equivalent
- Purification equipment. Boiled drinking water is provided but you might want to use iodine or chlorine for further purification. Bring powdered juice to take away the taste if you use chemicals! Filtration pumps are excellent, though costly.
- Walking boots that are worn-in and have proven quality (leather strongly recommended)
- Thick socks and maybe also thin socks or sock liners to wear under the thick socks (this often helps to prevent blisters).
- Trainers or trekking sandals to wear in camp.
- Gaiters can be very helpful in wet conditions and to stop scree from getting inside your boots.
- T-shirts. At least some synthetic as cotton dries poorly and does not provide very good insulation.
- Trousers (loose and comfortable). One pair should be thick and warm.
- Thermal underwear is recommended for both upper and lower body if you feel the cold.
- You need a minimum of 3 warm layers for the upper body for evenings and for summit day ascents. Many combinations of warm layers are possible with recent developments in outdoor clothing but we strongly recommend a good quality down jacket.
- 4 seasons down jacket (especially important for Kilimanjaro).
- Fleece jacket or equivalent windproof jacket.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers. There can be short but heavy showers even in the dry season.
- 2 pairs of gloves/mittens (1 thin, 1 thick).
- 1 sweater that can be worn under fleece and down jacket if necessary
Head and face
- Sunglasses (essential for summit days to avoid snow blindness).
- Sun cream with a high factor. The equatorial sun combined with the altitude is a very powerful combination even if you are used to the sun.
- Lip balm, preferably with sun protection.
- Towel and toiletries.
- Favourite snacks. Snacks are provided on all treks, but you might have something special you really like. Especially good for summit days.
- Head torch. Practical in camp and very necessary on the summit day. Remember to bring lots of batteries and to allow for evening reading.
- Camera and film or batteries
- Pocket knife (always handy to have!).
- Reading material and games/cards.
Group medical kits with instructions are provided on all climbs. Senior local guides have had first aid training. We pay special attention to avoiding altitude sickness by maximizing acclimatization and do not carry oxygen cylinders.
Personal medical kit
We recommend that your Kilimanjaro packing list includes a personal medical kit for the most basic needs.
- Aspirin for headaches and mild pains. Aspirin is particularly good on the mountains because it also thins the blood, which helps acclimatization at altitude.
- Blister kits or plasters.
- Imodium for severe diarrhea.
- Malaria tablets. Malaria is obviously not a problem on high mountains but all mountain trips begin and end in malarial areas.
- Knee support if you have any sort of knee problems; the descents are steep and sustained on all mountain climbs.