Kilimanjaro kit list

Three climatic factors must be considered when packing for a Kilimanjaro climb. Most people expect it to be very cold at night, and it is also important to bear in mind it might be very wet and drizzly at lower altitudes, while the tropical sun can be very fierce at high altitudes.

Clothing:

climbing kilimanjaro packing kit

Bring plenty of warm clothes, including at least one windproof and waterproof jacket, plenty of layers to wear underneath it, insulated vests and undergarments, hiking trousers, two pair of waterproof gloves (one heavy and one lightweight), a balaclava or beanie, one change of inner socks and thick hiking socks per day, a scarf or neck gaiter, and a wide hat that offers good protection from the sun. Hiking boots should be 100% waterproof and ideally have good ankle support and be properly worn in. Carry a second pair of lighter waterproof shoes for the evenings.

Luggage and bedding:

It is customary for operators to allocate one porter to every client to carry up to 15kg of gear. This is ideally carried in a large, solid waterproof duffel bag or rucksack to protect clothing and other items from getting wet. Porters usually hike separately from their clients, so you also need a waterproof day pack to carry all items you might need access to during the course of a day’s hiking. All reputable hiking companies will supply tents as required, and arrange porters to carry them, but you will need to check in advance whether sleeping bags and ground-mats are supplied, or you must bring your own. If the latter, you emphatically need a four-season sleeping bag designed for temperatures of -20°C, and should also bring a high quality ground mat.

Other gear:

Essentials include high UV sunglasses to protect your eyes from the tropical sun and and a head torch to use around camp at night. Light sleepers might like to carry earplugs. A pair of adjustable trekking pole will not only reduce the risk of slipping and injuring yourself, but it also reduces the impact on your knees during steep descents. Bring a waterproof bladder or water bottles with a total capacity of 2 litres to carry with you during the day, bearing in mind that disposable water bottles are quite rightly banned on Kilimanjaro. Binoculars are often essential for identifying birds and getting a close look at other wildlife, but they do add to the weight. Bring twice as many batteries as you need, as they tend to lose charge quickly in freezing conditions.

Camera gear:

Dedicated photographers carrying serious wildlife lenses for a safari leg of a visit to Tanzania will find little use for them on Kilimanjaro (a 28-70 zoom or similar should suffice for most situations on the mountain). And they will either need to carry surplus camera gear themselves, or entrust it to a porter, in both cases with some risk of it getting wet or receiving rough treatment. The better option is to leave excess camera gear locked up somewhere safely for the duration of the hike.

Medical kit:

A good medical kit is essential. It should include pain killers (for instance paracetamol), an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen, more plasters than you could possibly need (a few foot blisters are de rigueur on a Kili hike), high factor sunblock, a chapstick for your lips, and plenty of wet wipes. Acetazolamide can be prescribed to reduce the risk of altitude-related problems.

Food and snacks:

It is customary for meals to be included in a Kilimanjaro tour, but these should be supplemented by a stash of light and portable energy-rich snacks. These might include energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, biscuits, glucose powder and the like. These items are sometimes available at the huts on the Marangu Route, but at vastly inflated prices.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 1

Moshi, arrival
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 2

Find your feet to Machame Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 3

A nice day to New Shira Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 4

Up to Lava Tower and down to Barranco Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 5

Over the great Barranco wall to Karanga Valley
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 6

To Barafu for a few hours rest
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)


day 8

Celebrations
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 9

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

Popular Kilimanjaro National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Landscape | Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

For the average climber, Machame is probably the most reliable route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the roof of Africa...

Mountain View | Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro (13 days)

Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro (13 days)

Summit two of Tanzania's iconic mountain ranges in under two weeks...

You might also like

Highlights of Kilimanjaro

Mount Meru: A dormant volcano that rises to 4,566m some 50 km west of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is Africa’s fifth-highest massif, and the three-day hike to its summit could be viewed either as a budget alternative to Kilimanjaro or a tempting aperitif for hikers who want to acclimatise to high altitude conditions. Protected within Arusha National Park, Meru supports a similar sequence…

Climbing Kilimanjaro solo

Credit: My Life’s A Movie The main advantages of a solo Kilimanjaro climb are that you have total control over your route and walking pace, and that there is no risk of having to abort a summit because a fellow hiker succumbs to altitude sickness or wants to turn back. Disadvantages are that the price per person will be relatively high, since many of the logistical costs of putting…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in September

Credit: Bookmundi Dry and relatively warm weather can be expected, making September ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro in climatic terms, though extreme cold and possibly high winds are normal in the alpine and arctic zones. September coincides with summer holidays in Europe and North America, so the mountain tends to be very busy. Avoid the Marangu or Machame Routes in preference for the…

Who should climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an activity suited to relatively fit and adventurous travellers. The round trip takes five to 11 days, depending on which route is used, and it involves long days hiking on steep footpaths at high altitude, and sleeping in subzero conditions under canvas or in simple mountain huts. Solo travellers, couples, families and groups of friends all regularly tackle the…

Why climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Not only is Kilimanjaro the highest peak in Africa, reaching an elevation of 5,895m (19,340ft) above sea level, but it is also the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, a long-dormant volcano that towers almost 5km (3 mi) above the hot and dusty ash-strewn plains from which it rises. Viewed from the base, Kilimanjaro’s distinctive silhouette is one of Africa’s most breathtaking…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in October

Subzero nocturnal temperatures are normal throughout the year at higher altitudes, often exacerbated by wind. Nevertheless, October is a very good month to climb, with relatively dry and warm weather, and it is generally less busy than August or September. The short rains may start to kick in towards the end of the month, but after four months of dry weather, this shouldn’t be a…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2