Kilimanjaro Packing List

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Kilimanjaro
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Porters

  • The porters will carry your backpack or duffel with all your other gear.  You just carry a day pack with the things that you need for the day.
  • The pack that the porters carry on Kilimanjaro is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds). Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $15/day, so weigh your luggage ahead of time.
  • You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters.

Packing Advice

This packing list is just a recommended guideline for your reference. Everything is optional for you to choose from.

  • In your day pack, take along water, snacks, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain jacket and pants at a minimum. Add any other items you might need during the day because you may not see the porters until the end of your trek for that day. Your guide can give you good advice on what to pack that day.
  • It is best to leave all unnecessary valuables and jewelry at home.
  • Print a copy of your reservation and place it inside your checked baggage for identification purposes while you are traveling.
  • Bring double extra sets of batteries as cold weather shortens their life.
  • Carry critical trekking gear on the airplane in case baggage is delayed.
  • Bring money for tips along with you on the mountain.

More Advice:

Clothing

As with all hiking and camping adventures, you will want to dress in layers — to be able to take an outer layer off when you get too warm…and put a layer on when you get chilled.  You want your inner layer to be wicking — no cotton. Next layer should be insulating and warm, and the top layer should be water proof but breathable. You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and for sleeping. Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly.

Your clothing should be lightweight, breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying, preferably moisture-wicking and non-cotton.

Wrap clothing in waterproof plastic bags.

Expect temperatures to be 80-90 degrees F and humid at the bottom, and below freezing on the summit (and possibly much colder if there is wind).  It can be chilly at night even at lower elevations.

  • Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
  • Shorts, mid-thigh or longer
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Sweater, jacket, windbreaker
  • Rain jacket and/ or rain poncho
  • Sun hat with brim and chin strap
  • Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)

Cold Weather Clothing

  • Down jacket or parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind)
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Waterproof/rain/shell pants
  • Long underwear
  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)

Footwear

Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!

  • Hiking boots, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle-support — not too light and not too heavy
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • Hiking socks for warmer conditions
  • Wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture
  • Gaiters (for mud and scree)

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (Rated -10 degrees F/-25 degrees C or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • A sleeping pad is provided at no charge, but some people like to bring a second one.

Baggage

  • Large duffel bag or backpack with rain cover, for porters to carry (80 liters or larger)
  • Day pack and rain cover, for you to carry
  • Waterproof plastic bags for organizing gear and dirty clothing (Ziplocs and garbage bags work)
  • Packing cube, compression bag, stuff sacks, clear toiletry bag for airplane
  • Money belt, security pouch, document organizer
  • Make sure all your luggage has your contact information

Electronics

Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible). Remember to set the date and time on your cameras.

  • Headlamp or flashlight, extra batteries
  • Camera, lenses, memory disks, batteries, charger/power cord
  • Video camera, memory disks, batteries, charger/power cord
  • Tripod (travel size)
  • GoPro, memory disks, batteries, charger/power cord
  • Lens cleaning cloth

Toiletries

  • Soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Hairbrush, comb, mirror, hair ties
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Deodorant
  • Moist towelettes (handy-wipes)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Small towel and washcloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Shaving supplies
  • Nail clippers, nail file
  • Insect repellent
  • Q-tips
  • Sewing kit
  • Feminine products
  • Cosmetics

First Aid

You really only need one first aid kit in your travel group, so coordinate with your travel companions.

  • Prescription drugs
  • Malaria pills (if necessary)
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Aspirin
  • Band-aids/plasters
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Throat lozenges
  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines
  • Melatonin, Acetazolamide, or other sleep aid
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Diarrhea medicine (Imodium AD or similar)
  • Ace bandage
  • Antibiotics (talk to doctor)
  • Diamox for altitude (talk to doctor)
  • Ginger and Ginkgo can be helpful for stomach problems

Other

  • Trekking poles
  • Sunglasses, straps
  • Eyeglasses, contacts/case/solution
  • Binoculars
  • Pocket knife
  • Notebook, lots of pens, envelopes for tipping
  • Books, playing cards, games, crossword puzzles, frisbee, football, kite
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Duct tape (can be wrapped around water bottle)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Cash, credit cards (including some small bills, U.S. dollars must be newer than 2006 with no tears)
  • Guide books, maps, language books
  • Small umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season or even for sun shade
  • Salt, pepper for bland food, flavoring for coffee
  • Gifts for guides and local children
  • Banner/flag/sentimental item to hold up in an important place, Santa hats for your holiday photo
  • 2-3 Water bottles and/or Camelbak (no disposable water bottles)
    • Bring 3 liters of bottled water for the first day of hiking.
    • Guides will boil water or use steripens for water sanitation for you along the route.
    • To prevent water from freezing on coldest days, keep your water and tube inside your jacket. For Camelbaks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.
    • Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.
    • Write your name on your bottles and bladders to easily identify whose is whose.

Hints for summit day

A few more packing tips for summit day:

  • Keep your camera and water bottle inside your jacket
  • Don’t forget to put on sunscreen when the sun comes out — on your lips too!
  • Keep drinking water.
  • Wear layers that you can remove and won’t be embarrassed to be seen in (maybe wear shorts over your long underwear).
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