Kilimanjaro Packing list

What to pack for Kilimanjaro climbing

Kilimanjaro Packing list

Kilimanjaro gear recommendations

When considering what to pack for Kilimanjaro, keep in mind that many trekking tour operators are likely to provide much of the gear you’ll need on hand to rent (and this may even be included in your tour cost) but that doesn’t mean you can afford to be relaxed when it comes to packing. 

The most common mistake that climbers make is that they over pack and carry too much gear, so the best tip is to be careful in what you take with you. 

Suggested items to pack:

  • Waterproof jacket: Possibly one of the most important items to pack, make sure you select the right jacket to suit the conditions you will be hiking in. 
  • Waterproof pants: Opt for a light pair that can be unzipped to reveal a shorter length that can be worn around the base of the mountain where it will be warmer. 
  • Broken in hiking boots: Do not purchase a brand new pair of hiking boots and only wear them on your Kilimanjaro expedition, as this will result in terrible blisters and make for an uncomfortable journey. A sturdy pair of hiking boots might be expensive, but they are worth the investment as they’re designed to last, protect your feet, and give your ankles and back better support.
  • Insulated jacket: Some jackets are made to cater to both warm and cool weather with a waterproof shell, so depending on your preference, a warm padded jacket should do the trick under your lighter waterproof jacket. 
  • A light fleece jacket: You won’t always need to wear a large waterproof jacket, so for those warmer moments during your trek, a light fleece jacket will keep you warm without feeling as if you are being weighed down by bulky clothing. 
  • Long sleeve tops in a light, moisture-wicking fabric: Under all of your layers, it is likely that you will sweat. To stay fresh, consider packing tops with moisture-wicking fabric to keep cool and stay fresh for longer.  
  • Gaiters: Worn over the ankles, gaiters are used to cover or protect the lower leg and prevent snow or rain falling into your shoes. 
  • Sunglasses: Ditch the fashion sunglasses and pack a pair of goggles or sunglasses with a UV filter to protect your eyes. 
  • Thin gloves: Thin gloves can protect your hands from the wind even if the sun is shining, or they can be used as an extra layer under your thick gloves. 
  • Thick gloves: You’ll need a waterproof pair in the event of rain or snow.
  • Hat or cap: Both a cap and beanie are worth packing to protect your face from the sun and from cool temperatures at night. 
  • Quick-dry towel: Consider a thin, light towel that dries quickly and does not take up much of your pack. 
  • Packing cubes or stuff sacks: Once you’ve started using packing cubes or stuff sacks to help separate your clothes, you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without them in your life. 
  • Trekking poles: While not essential for all hikers and trekkers, trekking poles assist with balance, especially on the descent, to take some of the pressure off your knees or joints.
  • Headlamp: Don’t forget to pack spare batteries.  
  • Sleeping bag: An expensive sleeping bag might seem like an unnecessary investment, but often, the best sleeping bags are light and will keep you warm at night. 
  • Toiletries: When packing toiletries, aim to pack as little as possible in order to keep the weight of your pack down. Only pack the necessities!
  • Energy snacks and supplements: These are not mandatory, but are a great option to consume on the go and keep your energy up during the day.
  • Personal prescriptions: Make sure everything is labeled and protected in waterproof containers. 
  • Water purification tablets: While these might not be totally necessary, it never hurts to be on the safe side.
  • Insect repellant: For your own personal comfort, there are a number of repellants you can carry with you. 
  • Hand sanitizer or wet wipes: These are great for a quick fix to wipe your hands and are available in small, travel-friendly sizes. 
  • Camera: If you want to capture memories to last a lifetime, make sure that your camera gear is protected with waterproof casing where possible to reduce the chance of any damage during your trek. 
  • Small first aid kit: Your guide or team of porters and chefs will be carrying a full first-aid kit, but it doesn’t hurt to include the odd bandage or plaster. 
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