Essential packing list for Kilimanjaro
Climbing up the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is not the easiest thing you have signed up for in your life, but it’s manageable with the right preparation. Check out my ‘Packing list Kilimanjaro’ and make your climb as fun as possible.
On average, 10 people die every year climbing Kilimanjaro and thousands get carried down the mountain before even reaching the top.
Have a look through this packing list and check if you have already these essential items in your backpack. If not, you have to buy them – you’ll really need them. They are necessary for survival.
Please make sure you pack your bag with a responsible mind.
I prepared a week before my trip, which is not too bad as I usually have a bad habit of packing a few of hours before my flight (so stressful!)
This time, traveling is a little bit more serious and you should start packing as early as possible.
Enough blah blah … Print out this packing list and start ticking off the equipment you already have hanging around.
- Sleeping Bag*
- Thermal Fleece Scarf & Beanie Hat
- Wide brimmed hat
- Sunglasses* (must cover eyes completely!)
- Nalgene Bottle (can resist boiling water to freezing water)
- Platypus * – water bladder
- Waterproof Jacket* – Gore- Tex or similar with hood
- Fleece x2 (one heavy weight and 1 lighter)
- Shirts x2(NOT COTTON – synthetic materials and specialised hiking tops are best)
- Thermal Glove (a thin inner glove that can fit inside the waterproof out glove)
- Waterproof outer glove / mitten
- Thermal Underwear*
- Lightweight trousers x 2 (NOT JEANS)
- Waterproof trousers*
- Socks 6x (proper hiking sock are best)
- Waterproof hiking boots (worn in)
- Spare shoes for in camp – trainers are fine
- Headlamp* + spare batteries
- Sun cream > factor 25, preferably 40
- Small towel
- Medication (list the medication you take or intend to take)
- Kit bag* – preferably soft as the porters will carry those. It’s highly recommended to put all items in large plastic liner, or even separate out in a few plastic bags to keep everything 100% dry.
- Day rucksack* – around 30 litres for waterproofs / water and any other essentials when walking day to day.
- GoPro HERO3+ spare batteries
- Solar charger USB
Supplementary list (non-essential items)
These listed items are simply things that could make your hike more comfortable or items that are not seen as essential.
- Air mat/Thermarest*– for a more comfortable sleep
- Walking Poles x 2*-very useful on steep grounds and helps reduce stress on knees
- Gaiters (keeps out small stones and water)
- In rucksack water carrier – Platypus, CamelBak etc. The tube leading to your mouth should be insulated otherwise it will freeze on way to the summit
- Gel activated hand warmers (for summit bit, but please note that there is a growing litter problem near the summit due to people discarding these once they’re used. Put the used ones back in your bag if you’re going to use them!)
- High energy bars: you should keep eating all day long; energy bars are a valuable addition to the three nutritious meals that the company will provide you with on the mountain!
- Water Purification Tablet – Water flavouring: boil, filter and then add the water purification tabs (you want to make sure the water goes through these three steps to avoid upsetting stomach because of contamination.)
- Antibacterial wet wipes – always a great addition
- Poncho: great for the rainforest section. Alternatively, an umbrella can be used (a preferred option for guides).
- Personal first aid kit: they provide the first-aid kit, but you may like to bring your own, especially if you are allergic to certain drugs, or require extra items. Knee supports, sanitary towels, blister treatment, oral rehydration sachets, and talcum powder are all potential items you might like to bring with you.
- Plastic bags – to separate dirty laundry and as a failsafe if you do not have a rucksack cover
- Cordial or other water flavouring (this will mask the iodine taste that results from the purification methods).
- Playing cards
- A Travel Journal / Pencil & paper for the trip log!
- High-energy bars and snacks, especially as appetite can be suppressed by high altitude
- Ear- plugs
- Pocket Knife
- Spare contact lenses and/or glasses and/or dentures
- MP3 Player / Ipod for summit night ( 8h of music at least) I prefer this waterproof one (also amazing for swimming)
- Micro SD Card with SD Adapter
- Insurance details (reference + phone number)
- Emergency contact number
* items can usually be hired from the travel company (please double check as every company is a little different)
It’s a very good idea to wear your boots on the plane and hand carry your outer shell/waterproof jacket & medication (if you are taking any). When I flew into Kenya, the airline lost my luggage and I had to wait about one week to get it back. Lucky for me, the climb was later on so I didn’t need it right away.
Let me know if I forgot something important on my Packing list Kilimanjaro, so I can add it to the list
Cheers and take care up there!
Make sure you read about our Kilimanjaro climb and watch my video about the porters of Kilimanjaro.