What to Pack for Kilimanjaro

What to Pack for Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

While Shadows of Africa provides all communal equipment such as tents and food, you’re responsible for preparing your personal belongings and equipment. Below, you’ll find our recommended list of things to pack.

Shadows of Africa recommends that you wear one complete hiking outfit on the plane, including long-sleeved shirt, hiking pants, boots, underwear, and socks. While it is possible to replace or rent many things in Tanzania, there are some things that you may not be able to replace.

  • Mount Kilimanjaro packing list
  • Pile or Wool hat: Bring one that covers ears -- a balaclava is excellent.
  • Shade Hat: Visor hats with good brims are essential for protection from the equatorial sun.
  • Balaclava: Good for additional facial protection. Optional
  • Sunglasses: Essential for eye protection in the tropics and at altitude. Bring a good quality pair, preferably with an IREX protection rating of 100. Attachable side shields are necessary, or bring glacier glasses.
  • Sunscreen: Bring plenty of sun block with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Unless you have spent time in equatorial sun you will probably underestimate the amount necessary, so bring lots. Sunscreen is difficult to find in Tanzania.
  • Lip Balm: With SPF rating of 15 or higher.
  • Bandanas: Tied around the neck, they give good sun protection. Can also be used for cleaning glasses, as wash cloths, etc. They dry very quickly.
  • Long sleeved shirt: Two long sleeved shirts that you don¹t mind getting dirty while on the mountain. Synthetic is best -- no cotton on summit day.
  • T-Shirt: A single, lightweight t-shirt is a good addition. Synthetic, moisture wicking materials are best.
  • Upper Body Layers: For climbing the mountain we recommend you have three warm layers for the upper body. Items must be made of wool, synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably over each other and supply good insulation. A good combination is a long underwear top, a sweater, and a pile jacket or heavy wool shirt. Cotton items do not provide adequate insulation and are completely useless when damp.
  • Rain Jacket: Afternoon showers are common in East Africa, especially on the mountain. Bring a good parka of Gore-Tex or waterproof nylon that has been "seam sealed".
  • Wind Shirt: (optional if you have Gore-Tex rain gear) A nylon wind shell (not waterproof), roomy enough to fit comfortably over all upper body layers. Gore-Tex is good for both this wind shirt and for the rain coat.
  • Poncho: (Optional) Quick and handy protection for body and rucksack. Poor protection in windy rain.
  • Gloves or Mittens: Wool or pile. One pair of heavy mittens and a light pair of gloves work well.
  • Mitten Shells: One pair to go over your mittens. These are for use against the winds sometimes encountered in the crater and on the way to the summit.
  • Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: 1 pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain.
  • Long Underwear Bottoms: One pair. Wool or synthetic.
  • Wool, Bunting or Pile Pants: One pair that fit loosely and is comfortable. These are essential to be worn over the long john bottoms.
  • Rain Pants: Bring a good pair of rain pants of Gore-Tex or waterproof nylon that has been "seam sealed".
  • Wind Pants: (optional if you have Gore-Tex rain pants.) One pair. These are used often on the mountain for protection against wind. They should be breathable nylon and roomy enough to fit comfortably over wool or pile pants.
  • Tights: Lycra types are best. These are comfortable to hike in, help prevent nettle stings, provide good warmth on cool misty days, dry fast and prevent sunburn.
  • Undergarments: Enough for the duration of the trek.
  • Thin Socks: Two pair of synthetic socks to wear under heavy wool socks. These help prevent blisters and keep feet dry.
  • Thick Socks: Six pair of heavy wool or synthetic socks to wear for warmth with hiking boots.
  • Hiking Boots: One pair medium weight hiking boots large enough to be comfortable with one liner sock and one heavy wool or synthetic sock.
  • Gaiters: One pair of either high or low gaiters made of breathable material to keep dirt and snow out of your boots.
  • Tennis Shoes: These are to wear in camp after a day of hiking.
  • Sleeping Bag and Stuff Sac: On the mountain temperatures can get down to zero degrees Fahrenheit at night so bring a warm bag.
  • Sleeping pad: A closed cell foam camping mattress is OK. An inflatable Thermal Rest type is more comfortable.
  • Water Bottle: Two, one liter wide-mouthed plastic bottles.
  • Water Treatment: This is very important. The water in East Africa is not unhealthy although its flora content is different from what you are used to. To keep your system running normally we recommend you bring two bottles of "Potable Aqua" or "Polar Pure", crystal iodine in a bottle, to treat drinking water. Filtration pumps are also effective, but costly and rather bulky.
  • Water Flavoring: Wyle’s lemonade, Tang, Gatorade, etc. These mixes are hard to come by in Tanzania and make treated water taste much better. Double bag these.
  • Frameless Pack: A medium size comfortable pack is adequate to carry personal gear. The pack should fit properly and have a good waist belt. Side pockets are recommended for soft packs. Personal loads with camera gear, water for the day and warm clothes are often between 18 and 25 pounds.
  • Pack Cover: Something waterproof to cover your pack when hiking in the rain. Otherwise bring a large plastic bag to line the inside.
  • Duffle Bag: Medium size with lock for mountain gear. porters will carry.
  • Duffle Bag: Large enough to hold your non-mountain gear. This will meet you at the hotel after the climb.
  • Plastic Bags: Several, to double bag your sleeping bag and clothes on the mountain. It can rain every afternoon.
  • Toiletries: Bring enough for entire trip. Keep simple and light. Few toiletries are available in Tanzania, however, so bring enough for all your needs.
  • Ear Plugs: To block out snoring and hut noise, to ensure peaceful rest.
  • Flashlight and/or Headlamp: Important on summit day and just plain handy in camp. Plenty of batteries.
  • Pocket Knife: Simple Swiss Army type with scissors. • Personal First Aid and drug Kit: Please see recommended list below.
  • Trail Munchies: Although plenty of snack food is provided, trekkers like that taste of home in their pack. Touted as an important accessory by those who have brought them in the past!
  • Hot Drink Mixes: We will provide plenty of coffee, cocoa and tea, but non-caffeinated drinks are not readily available here. Bring a supply of your favorite herbal teas.
  • Towel: For washing up in camp, a small one is fine, or you can use a bandana.
  • Towelettes: Such as "Wash'n'Dries" for general hygiene.
  • Spare Glasses: For contact wearers in dusty conditions and any eyeglass wearer while on vacation.
  • Umbrella: Very useful against rain and sun. Most guides use one.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro medical list
  • We will have gauze, tape, medicated soap, antibiotic ointment, antacid tablets, some antibiotics, pain killers, eye treatments, and anaphylaxis kit, Imodium, Compazine and Diamox. Because of liability problems, prescription drugs will only be dispensed in emergencies. We suggest you bring the following medical items. Please discuss this with your physician prior to coming on this expedition.
  • Intestinal disorders: Compazine. 25mg rectal suppositories, for severe nausea, vomiting. Imodium to decrease diarrhea and cramping. Tetracycline, Cipro or Bactrin antibiotics for initial treatment of severe diarrhea. Activated charcoal has proven to be an effective first stage treatment.
  • Cuts and scrapes: It’s wise to bring a supply of "Band-Aids" to treat those abrasions that sometimes occur.
  • Infections: Antibiotic ointment for cuts and abrasions. Erythromycin or amoxicillin tablets for skin or soft tissue infections.
  • Blisters: It is wise to bring your own small supply of blister treatment items to insure that you avoid letting any blister get out of hand.
  • Headaches: Tylenol and Tylenol with codeine** to help relieve possible altitude headaches. Nothing stronger than codeine should be taken for fear of masking potential severe altitude problems while on the mountain.
  • Insomnia: Halcion** 15mg tablets. In high altitude mountaineering restlessness is not uncommon and sleep is very important. Halcion is a light sleeping pill; we do not recommend using any sleeping pills above 15,000 feet.
  • Diamox** (acetazolamide) 250mg tablets to be taken twice a day from 13,000 feet to the top. This drug is widely used in high altitude mountaineering and is very highly recommended.
  • Health Insurance
  • It is compulsory to have full medical,emergency evacuation and repatriation cover for the period of time you are away.
  • Cancellation and Curtailment
  • You might have to cancel or curtail your safari due to unforeseen circumstances. If you cancel a trip close to departure date for any reason you could lose all that the safari was going to cost you. Should you have to leave the safari early, we cannot refund you the portion of the safari you do not complete. Dependant on the reason for cancellation and curtailment, insurance may cover you for this eventuality. 
  • Baggage & Money
  • Insurance It is advisable to take out baggage and money insurance, especially if you are carrying a large amount of cash or expensive and valuable camera equipment. You should always carry such equipment as "carry-on" luggage. Do not put anything of value in your checked baggage!
  • Claims If you anticipate an insurance claim upon your return, be sure to document as accurately as possible any accident, injury or loss. Doctor’s notes and police reports will aid any claim
  • Rental equipment Shadow Of Africa
  • If your baggage is lost or delayed, please advise us as soon as you land so that we can assist in replacing essential gear. Shadows of Africa can also rent you some of the gear you’ll need for hiking.
  • Oxygen - $100
  • Hyperbaric Bag - $200
  • Portable Toilet and Tent - $150
  • Hat - $5
  • Balaclava/Scarf - $5
  • Fleece Pants - $10
  • Warm Jacket - $10
  • Long Underwear - $5
  • Raincoat/Poncho - $10
  • Rain Pants - $10
  • Gloves - $5
  • Sweater/Pullover - $10
  • Socks - $2
  • Hiking Boots - $20
  • Sleeping Bag and Liner - $20
  • Duffel Bag/Backpack - $20
  • Rucksack/Daypack - $10
  • Hiking Poles - $10
  • Gaiters - $10
  • Torch/Flashlight - $10
  • Sunglasses - $5
  • Batteries - $3
  • Water Bottle - $5
  • Binoculars - $20