Climbing Mount Kili is a rigorous adventure and knowing the ultimate packing list for Kilimanjaro climb will be a great help. That’s why we at Eagle Safaris made this guide so that you will pack the right things for a successful Kili climb.
The coldness, the elevation, and the mountain’s changing weather conditions are only some of the challenges you’ll face. Nonetheless, these challenges are bearable as long as you have packed the right gear along with other climbing essentials.
So, what are the ultimate packing list for Kilimanjaro climb? Among the ultimate packing list for Kilimanjaro climb, are warm clothing, footwear, headgear, and other essential equipment that will be discussed further below. To dive more into what you should pack, see our extensive list below.
Ultimate packing list for Kilimanjaro: Clothing
Due to the altitude of Kilimanjaro, the mountain can create its own micro-climate, making the weather changeable above cloud level. This means that you’re exposed to a variety of elements, and your body will undergo an immense temperature change from 18°C in the rainforest and -5°C on the summit.
However, the -5°C can drop quickly with the wind. But, this is tolerable as long as you have the right clothing and other climbing essentials.
The trick here is to wear layers of clothing that can easily be removed or added, depending on the changing weather conditions. So, without much further ado, here are the pieces of clothing that you need to pack:
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
Make sure to opt for a breathable outer layer to prevent moisture from seeping and keep you dry inward. It’s also best that your jacket has a hood and can fit other fleece layers, as well as lightweight.
Worried about the weather? We have you covered.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Thick fleece
A thick fleece or a down jacket is vital for summit night or evenings on the mountain. This is because the temperature can drop significantly during the nighttime.
Apart from the fleece jacket and the lightweight down jacket, you may also need an outer shell over the top to keep you warm during the biting cold temperature at night.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Insulated gloves and mitts
Having insulated gloves are a must in keeping your hands warm during the cold weather on the mountain. It would be preferable to have both fleece gloves with waterproof outer and thin inner gloves.
These two will be vital on your Kilimanjaro climb, but a pair of mitts would be best in keeping your hands warm during the summit day.
Our training guide will help you plan.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Midlayer fleeces
Midlayer fleeces are good for insulation. It’ll provide you extra warmth, particularly during summit night.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Base layers or thermals
Base layer clothing or thermals are essential items that add a necessary warmth during cold evenings and summit nights. If you’re a woman, it would be best to bring some leggings for the first few days of trekking.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Hiking tops
When it comes to upper wear, it’s best not to go for cotton. Instead, opt for quick-to-dry trekking tops and bring with you two to three pieces to prevent overpacking.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Several pairs of underwear
One of the most necessary items you need to bring is your underwear. It’ll keep you hygienic during your journey up the mountain.
Bring some pairs of clean underwear with you and opt for synthetic or merino wool material—a softer and thinner wool version. The merino wool has a natural odor resistance, wet insulation, moisture-wicking, and most importantly, fast drying.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Trekking shorts or trousers
Quick-dry, quality shorts or trousers are preferable on your Kilimanjaro adventure. Trekking trousers have several compartments and can be converted into shorts for a more comfortable hike.
Take at least two pairs of these trousers with you for a more comfy trek.
Now, let’s talk about footwear.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Footwear
Nothing is more important than a safe and comfortable trek, and footwear is one of the great contributors to your comfort and safety. Comfortable and fitting footwear will prevent you from foot pain and blisters along your climb up the mountain.
Moreover, make sure to cut your nails short before setting off on your African adventure. It would also be helpful to take blister pads with you just in case and change your socks daily for your hygiene.
When you go trekking, leather boots are the best. Just ensure they’re well-covered in dubbin to lock out water. Opting for fabric boots will get you in trouble once you’re drenched in the rain.
Make sure the boots you choose have proper ankle support and possess a stiff midsole to prevent getting bent too much.
Due to the varied condition and terrains of the mountain, you may need to switch shoes in between. Bring camp footwear with you and change your boots when you reach the camp, letting them air out.
You may bring camp shoes, such as lightweight shoes or sandals, as you’ll use them during your toilet visits.
Spare footbed and laces
Some terrains in Kilimanjaro can be pretty ruthless, so a spare footbed and pair of laces can be a great comfort. It’ll save you if your current footbed gets damp.
Another must-have item on your climb is trekking socks. Bring at least five pairs for five consecutive days and special woolen-mix socks as they’re the warmest. However, check first if they fit snugly in your boots.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Headwear
Protecting your head from the heat of the sun is a must while you trek to prevent sunburn and sunstroke. Thus, bringing hats and other headgears with you is a must.
A brimmed hat can help lessen your exposure to the harsh heat of the sun. It must be worn during sunny days to protect yourself from potential heatstroke or sunburn.
UV rays are particularly strong in the mountain as you ascend. Thus, you’ll need UV glasses for eye protection.
Packing list for Kilimanjaro: Equipment
For your equipment, you may need to pack the following things:
The sleeping bag is one of the most essential things to pack for your night’s rest. It’s best to go for a four-season sleeping bag right away instead of three seasons to better prepare for the cold.
Collapsible trekking poles
Trekking poles are essential tools that help greatly during your descent. It’ll support your knees when you go down the mountain, provide balance and improve endurance.
Concerned about your safety whilst trekking? Our Health and Safety Guide will be of some use.
Inflatable camp pillow (optional)
An inflatable camp pillow is a great comfort boost, but not a necessity. However, if you want to get comfier during your sleep, you may bring this one.
Headlamp with few extra batteries
A headlight is essential when you go to the loo at night and head out for the summit at around midnight.
As you might already know, there are no charging facilities in Kilimanjaro, so bringing a few extra batteries for your headlight is a must.
70L to 90L duffel bag
Your duffel bag will be used for your equipment. This will be carried by the porters that will be with you.
30-35L day backpack
This will be used to carry your gear.
When you’re on Mount Kilimanjaro, there’s nothing to worry about regarding your nutrition. We’ll assign a cook for you and ensure to offer nutritious foods for a successful climb.
The food in the expedition includes easy-to-digest food yet is good in furnishing you with energy and appetite. Expect a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and of course, water.
Breakfast on Mount Kilimanjaro may include the following:
- hot chocolate
Meanwhile, lunch and dinner may consist of the following:
- soup pasta
For more on the food available, check our Food and Water guide.
On Kilimanjaro, there are no bathing facilities or showers. However, there’s some hot water available at camps for washing your hands and face to at least keep you clean somehow.
For your hygiene kit, you may opt to bring the following:
- Travel-sized toothpaste
- Dry shampoo
- Hairbrush (small)
- Face towel
Safety | first aid & travel documents
For your safety, it’s a must to have the following essential items with you:
For first aid
Since altitude drugs have side effects, make sure to consult a doctor before using them. One of the popular altitude drugs is Diamox. This is used to prevent and reduce altitude sickness symptoms like tiredness, headache, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Bring along with you Imodium or Lomotil in case of diarrhea, antibiotics for infection, headache painkillers, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Oral rehydration sachets
These items will help you restore the salt that you’ve lost while hiking, keeping you rehydrated.
This can help you combat eye irritation due to dust.
Getting sunburned is pretty serious at high altitudes. So, having something to protect your skin is a must. Bring along sunscreen with you, preferably with high SFP and a waterproof one to prevent frequent reapplication.
Bandages, plasters, and zinc oxide tape
These are some of the essentials when you get some cracked skin or small cuts.
Be sure to check our Health And Safety guide for more information.
Travel documents & others
This is a must-have while traveling. Travel insurance gets you covered just in case the unthinkable happens, like losing your passport, baggage, and other essential things such as medical emergencies.
Make sure to keep a paper copy just in case you can’t use your phone.
The airport security will ask for your flight details, so it’s best to keep a paper copy of it to have a smooth travel experience
Money will surely save you while traveling. Thus, bring some cash with you, along with credit cards, to ensure you won’t lack anything while being in a foreign land.
Our planning FAQ may be of use whilst planning your successful climb.
Photocopy of your passport
Snap some pictures of your passport and get a photocopy of it before heading out to your Tanzanian adventure. This is to ensure you’ll have something to show to the authorities in case of loss or theft.
For more on Passports and Visas, we have prepared a guide just for you.
Bring a water bottle with you during your trek to keep you hydrated. Opt for an insulated water bottle to keep it from freezing on summit day.
You will get a penalty from the mountain rangers if you bring a plastic water bottle to the mountain as its use is now considered illegal.
Planning your Food and Drink is key.
If you easily get cold, bringing hand warmers and putting them within your mitts can be beneficial in giving you extra warmth.
You’ll use this during your stay in the hotel in Tanzania to charge your phones and cameras before heading out for the climb. Choose a G plug adaptor as this is the type of adaptor that works in the country.
A Pee bottle is essential to prevent you from getting out of your tent when you want to pee at night.
How cold does mount Kilimanjaro get?
Mount Kilimanjaro’s weather can alter from very hot to extremely cold within the same day.
The temperatures on the mountain depend more on the altitude and the time of the day. It doesn’t undergo temperature changes every season due to its closeness to the equator.
Furthermore, the base of Kilimanjaro has an average temperature of 70°F to 80°F or 21 to 27°C. Meanwhile, the summit—Uhuru Point can vary between 20°F and -20°F (-7°C to -29°C).
Expect the temperature to fluctuate as you ascend to the five ecological zones.
Conclusion: Get ready for your Kilimanjaro adventure!
Now that you know what to pack for your Kilimanjaro climb, make sure that you’re healthy enough for this endeavor. It would be best to let a doctor check if you’re capable physically to do this challenge.
You may also get a prescription for altitude drugs to help you with your climb once the doctor finds you healthy enough for the trek to Kilimanjaro. However, this doesn’t stop here.
Make sure that you’ll undergo at least two to three months of training and cardio exercises to ensure success in climbing the highest peak in Africa!
Now that you’re reading for your Kilimanjaro adventure, contact Eagle Safaris today to start planning your life-changing climb up the tallest freestanding mountain in the world!