What should you be packing for your Kilimanjaro climb

If you are signing up to one of our Kilimanjaro climbs we will send you our 40 page trip dossier with important information to help you fully prepare and be safe and successful on your Kilimanjaro climb. We have Kilimanjaro’s Number one Guide leading our team on the ground in Tanzania.

This exhaustive list does not have to be followed word for word.  We appreciate that trekkers have their own preference regarding clothing, but we hope this list will ensure nothing is overlooked. Here is a page with a lot of important Kilimanjaro Information. and read some REVIEWS form our trips.

Shorts: (light weight) good for hiking while at lower elevations.  Nylon or synthetic fabrics are best and you will only need one pair.

T-Shirts: We recommend Merino wool or synthetic fabrics (NO COTTON) 2 short sleeve shirts and 2 long sleeve shirts.

Base Layers: Merino Wool Baselayers are recommended, however a synthetic material will work as well.  You will want one pair of warm bottoms to wear under your trekking pants on summit night.  We would also recommend one or two long sleeve Merino/synthetic tops. These will have ‘wicking’ properties to keep you warm when you are cold and cool when you are warm.

Mid Layers:  This is going to be your warm, insulating layer.  This can range from Merino Wool 200+ weight, to fleeces, to light down or synthetic jackets.  You will need just one or two of these layers as they do not touch your body.

Outer Layer:  Heavy down jacket.  You will wear this every night and morning and you will want to have a high quality goose down jacket.  This is an essential piece of your kit to keep you warm in the freezing temperatures. More down is the key. The fill is not important.

Trekking Pants:  We recommend bringing one pair of trekking pants that are quick drying, synthetic material.  The type that can be zipped off into shorts can be helpful.

Fleece Pant:  Every night when you arrive at camp, you will want to change your clothes from your trekking clothes.  We recommend a pair of warm fleece pants or a track suit pant.  You will only need one pair.

Waterproof Jacket:  You need a Gore-tex or similar waterproofing material in an outer wear jacket.  This should be light weight and will help protect you from rain/snow as well as help block the wind. Must have a hood.   This is essential when walking through the rain forest.

Waterproof Pant:  You will need to have one pair of waterproof pants that can be worn over your trekking pant in case of rain/heavy snow.  These can be Gore-tex or similar waterproofing materials. This is essential when walking through the rain forest.

Socks:  We recommend either Merino Wool or a synthetic material (again not cotton) as they will help to keep your feet dry and comfortable.  Usually you will need 3 or 4 pairs of socks for the trek and then we recommend having one pair of liner socks as well as a thicker pair of summit socks for the long, cold summit night.

Gloves:  You will need one pair of warm, waterproof outer gloves plus one pair of smaller liner gloves.  The warmer gloves need to be a warm glove, similar to what you would wear to ski in.  These are essential to keep you warm in the freezing temperatures.  You will also want a thin liner glove to the less frigid temperatures or to wear inside your thick outer gloves for extreme temps.

Sun Hat:  The hat needs to have a brim all the way around it to cover your ears, neck and face from the strong rays of the sun.  You will rely on this to keep you from burning and dehydrating, which could potentially ruin your trip.   You will wear this most days on the trail.

Winter Hat:  You will need a warm fleece or wool hat to keep you warm in the cold temperatures.  You will wear this every night/morning.

Buff/Neck Gaiter:  This is an essential piece of gear to keep your neck warm as well as to cover your mouth and keep in the moisture high up.

Hiking Boots:  You will want to purchase these early and break them in (do not go on the trip with a never been worn pair of boots).  The warmer the better. Your trekking must be waterproof. LEARN MORE.

Lightweight Shoes:  You will want to take your boots off when you arrive in the camp each night.  We recommend a light trail running shoe or trainer (Salomon Quest are ideal).

Sunglasses:  You need a dark, wraparound pair of sunglasses.  Preferably category 3 or 4 to protect against harsh UV rays and ice-glare at higher altitudes.  It is recommended to have a spare pair as well.

Day Pack Backpack:  Approximately a 35 liter pack, for you to carry each day with your daily items/personal documents/camera/money.  This MUST have a hip belt for support/weight loading and should have an inner frame for comfort on your back.

Backpack Splash Cover:  In the case of heavy rains, this cover can go on your backpack to keep the contents of your pack dry.  If you are carrying your camera/important documents in your pack, you may want to bring this, however it is optional.

Duffel Bag/Kit Bag for Porters:  We recommend a duffel bag around 100 liters in size.  This will be carried by the porters and is not to exceed 15kg/33lbs.  This ideally will be a waterproof material (ie. North Face Base Camp Duffel or Patagonia Black Hole Duffels).

Sleeping Bag:  You will be camping throughout the trip, so you must bring your own sleeping bag.  We recommend that it is rated to -15°C (0°F).  You can also bring a liner sheet for your sleeping bag if you know that you run cold.

Thermarest:  This self-inflating mattress is a very important part of your kit for Kilimanjaro.  You will be sleeping in tents every night and you will need to make it as comfortable for you as you can so that you can get a good nights sleep each night.

Sunscreen:  We recommend having a Factor 50 + to protect you from the extreme rays at altitude.

Water Bottles:  We recommend having two Nalgene or similar bottles.  These are a thick plastic bottle that you can fill with boiling water at night to act as a hot water bottle and then drink when you wake in the morning.  You will not be able to do this with metal bottles.

Camelbak:  This hands-free hydration system is essential to keep you drinking plenty of water on the trail.  We recommend a 2 liter bladder that you can fill each morning before hitting the trail so that you can easily sip water all day without having to stop walking.  You will not be able to use this on summit night, as it will freeze.  So you will just bring your Nalgene bottles with hot water in them.

Water Purification Tablets:  Purification tablets to purify the water along the trail.  You will have to treat any cold water that you drink on the trail.

Vitamins/Powdered Drink:  Sometimes the water can get boring to drink, so we recommend bringing some vitamin C or multivitamin tablets/powders to add to your water.

Towel:  A small sports towel that is quick drying is recommended.

Baby Wipes:  There is no option for showers on the trail, so we recommend always bringing a pack of Baby Wipes to keep yourself clean in the wilderness.

Hand Sanitizer:  This is essential to keep your hands clean on the trail.

Head Torch:  Essential for mornings/evenings at camp as well as all night on your summit attempt.

Spare Batteries:  This is for your head torch and your camera.  The cold weather tends to shorten the life of batteries.  If possible, a solar charger is an excellent solution to this problem.

Pocket knife/Multi Tool:  Although this is not essential, it is always handy!

Trekking Poles:  Adjustable poles are always ideal.   These will be helpful on the long way back down the mountain that also has some steps on the trail.

Gaiters:  These are optional, however these can stop scree/mud/snow from getting into your boots.

Lip Balm/Zinc Cream:  This is essential to protect you against the fierce sun.

Toilet Paper & Matches:  This is for when you are on the trail and have to go to the bathroom.  You will either carefully burn the toilet paper or take a small plastic bag to dispose of toilet paper when you arrive at the camp.

Trail Munchies:  Bring a few of your favorites:  chocolates, nuts, sweets, etc. We always recommend to have a special treat like a chocolate bar to eat on your summit night attempt.  This can give you the extra push you may need!

Garbage Bag:  This is a great way to wrap all your clothes/items inside your kitbag to protect it against rain.

Small Mirror:  Not essential, but some people are happy to have.

Book/Diary:  You may want to have a book or diary or cards to use at camp at night when you have down-time.

Camera:  You will want to have plenty of memory cards/film and spare batteries.  There will be no option to charge on the trail.

Cash:  It is best to have USD for tips at the end of the trek.  We recommend approximately $250 for tips.  You will also want to have some spare cash for any extras you may need when in Arusha like for food, drinks, or souvenirs.  You will also need anywhere from $50 to $100 for the Visa entry into Tanzania.  The amount you bring will depend on how much you plan on buying/spending.  We usually recommend at least $200 spending money.

Personal Toiletries:  Everything you need on a daily basis (contact lenses, glasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.).

Small Personal First Aid Kit:  This is just a guide of what we recommend you to bring, you may have other personal items you need to add to your kit:

1). Diamox. for altitude sickness.

2). Painkillers.  Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Disprin.

3). Antibiotics.  Two courses as prescribed by your own GP.  One for chest and upper respiratory tract infections and one for abdominal, bowel infections.

4). Cough Lozenges.

5). Wound Dressing.  One should be sufficient.

6). Triangular Bandage.  One should be sufficient.

7). Melolin Dressings.  Four 10 cm by 10 cm

8). Band-aid/Plasters.  An assortment package of these.

9). Antiseptic Cream.  One small tube.

10). Diarrhoea Treatment.

11). Insect Repellent.  One small bottle of 50% DEET repellent.

12). Foot Powder.  Important for keeping feet in good condition.

13). Anti-inflammatory Tablets.  To bring down any inflammation.

14). Antihistamine Tablets.

*There will be a group medical kit that will contain more of the above plus extensive supplies for a wide range of medical problems and emergencies.  You will need to make sure you have the above and keep your personal medical kit with you daily on the trail.

We are your best resource for getting the right gear for your climb of Kilimanjaro and will be available to you 5 days a week to assist you.  Please feel free to contact us anytime at info@iantaylortrekking.com to set up a time to discuss your gear. If you would like to learn more about climbing Kilimanjaro continue reading.

20 Reasons to Climb Kilimanjaro with Ian Taylor Trekking
Our Top 50 Tips for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro Mountain Guide of the Year 2019