Kilimanjaro Kit List
The following description of clothing and equipment for Kilimanjaro is based on years of experience and will suffice for virtually all trekkers attempting to climb Kilimanjaro with us. However, we would strongly recommend that you avoid buying your Kilimanjaro kit at the last minute and that you aim to spend a weekend in the hills testing your gear before flying out to climb with us.
PDF Kilimanjaro Packing List
Download our printable Kilimanjaro equipment checklist 📥 (with links to recommended models). This details exactly the same items as are listed below on this page, but makes it easier to pack your rucksack or holdall, and day sack, when preparing your kit in advance of travelling to Tanzania.
Buying Clothing and Equipment
Please read reviews if opting for an alternative to what we suggest on our PDF Packing List, as while some lower-cost alternatives may be entirely acceptable, equally, you may be considering an item of substantially inferior or inadequate quality. If you're in any doubt, simply send a link to the product via WhatsApp to us and ask our opinion on a specific item that you're thinking of buying.
Before you spend what could become quite a significant sum, note that we are able to hire out some of the specialist clothing and equipment that you may need. To see a list of what we hire and its price per day, please download our Kilimanjaro kit hire order form. Many climbers hire sleeping bags and summit jackets as these save luggage space / weight, and significant purchase cost.
Recommended Clothing & Equipment
Baggage and Sleeping Kit
- Large holdall, 70-90 litres capacity (for kit carried by porter)
- Day sack, 25-45 litres (for personal use on mountain; ready-access items)
- Sleeping bag (-10°C / 14°F "comfort" rating, or colder)
- Waterproof rucksack liner or heavy duty plastic sack
- Elasticated waterproof rucksack cover - not strictly necessary, but advised
- NB: sleeping mattresses are not required as we provide these for you - except on Lite and Superlite Series, in which case we recommend Thermarest
Clothing for Climbing Kilimanjaro
- Sweat-wicking T-shirts / vests
- Fleece (Polartec 300 grading or similar)
- Insulated down jacket or similar
- Down mittens or similar
- Lightweight gloves for non-summit days
- Thermal Long-Johns or compression tights for summit night
- Lightweight walking trousers (avoid jeans or heavy cotton as they chafe and dry slowly)
- Underwear (lycra shorts and / or briefs are usually better than boxer shorts which gather and chafe)
- Very good quality hiking socks and thin liner socks. (We advise that socks should be at least a size too small otherwise they stretch and bunch causing blisters)
- Breathable lightweight waterproofs (jacket and trousers).
- Waterproof walking boots, sturdy and worn-in. A Gore-Tex membrane or similar is advised. While Alpine or C3 boots are not required for Kilimanjaro it is important that your boots have good ankle and arch support and good deep read patterns.
- Calf gaiters
- Goretex Mountain Cap or Woollen Hat
- Wide brimmed sun hat to protect face, ears and neck
Hygiene Related Gear for Use on Kilimanjaro
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Lightweight travel towel
- Flat packed Wet Ones, travel wipes, or similar, for personal hygiene on the mountain.
- Kleenex tissues in plastic travel pouches or toilet paper
- Hairbrush / comb
- Sanitary products
- Lip salve with UV protection
- Vaseline, to prevent chafing skin and heel friction blisters
Health Related Items for Kilimanjaro
- Malaria Tablets (if you choose to take these. Most will seek advice from their GP. Note that some anti-malarial courses need to commence several weeks before departure)
- Factor 30+ sun cream
- Sun barrier cream white / blue for nose and ears
Documents Needed When Travelling to Kilimanjaro
- Passport (with additional 6 months’ validity after proposed expedition return date)
- Tanzanian Entry Visa. (If flying to Nairobi and taking the bus to Arusha Kenyan visas can be bought on arrival at Nairobi airport.)
- Air Travel Documents
- Cash in US dollars in denominations of $10 and $20 and $1 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc)
- Credit Card (recommended for eventualities only)
- Travel Insurance Documents
- Vaccination Certificates (Yellow Fever, if visiting a ‘risk zone’ prior to entering Tanzania)
- Traveller’s Cheques are not recommend as they are subject to very poor conversion rates in Arusha.
Other Things Recommended to be Carried When Climbing Kilimanjaro
- Energy gels for summit night
- Optional but recommended: Mountain Fuel (inter-meal energy supplements and recovery drinks)
- Compact digital camera (the Canon G7X is used by our founder) and spare memory cards
- Sunglasses with UV-filter lenses
- High energy snacks (Cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts)
- Spare contact lenses and fluid, if worn
- Watch - ideally, with GPS features to track your route for later analysis.
- Head torch with spare batteries and bulb for summit night & tent admin
- Water Bottles & Camelbak. Your total water carrying capacity should be 3 litres
- Optional but recommended: Nuun hydration aids (portable electrolyte replacement tablets)
- Water purification tablets / Iodine drops
- Ear Plugs and blindfold (to aid sleep on afternoon before summit night)
- Plastic bags (for dirty washing, wrappings, etc.)
- Telescopic walking poles optional
- Mobile phone. There is signal reception on most parts of the mountain. It is a good idea to unlock your phone before you come out so that a local sim card can be used.
- Optional but recommended: a good, strong, thermally efficient Blizzard 3 Layer Survival Bag. We recommend all climbers consider possessing one of these when navigating on the hills at home, especially when training alone or in small groups while preparing for Kilimanjaro. Additionally, on Kilimanjaro, perhaps 10 - 15% of climbers complain to their guides of being cold in their sleeping bags, despite using a bag that is rated for minus 20 degrees C or lower. This is because the body generates less heat when there is relatively little oxygen available. Having one of these bags will reflect much of that precious heat back to where it’s needed.
Personal Small First Aid Kit to be Carried by Each Climber on Kilimanjaro
- Pain Killers (Ibuprofen)
- Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you choose to use this.
- Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
- Compeed Blister Pads
- Loperamide Diahorrea Tablets
- Any medication you normally use
- Loperamide Dioralyte sachets or similar rehydration packs.
Note that your guide will carry a more comprehensive medical kit containing additional Acetazolamide, Ibuprofen, Anti-inflammatory gel, bandages, Loperamide, Amoxycilin, Oral Dexamethasone, and several other items.
We will carry an emergency oxygen canister if requested but this is not normally advised unless opting for an Excel Series climb. Where a climber has specific health concerns that they or their doctor anticipate being exacerbated by exposure to high altitude, or if he has a history of heart disease in the family, we would advise that he requests that we carry emergency oxygen.
Supplementary Packing List for Western Breach Climbers
Please note that the following items may not be deemed to be necessary by all climbers and indeed many of our own staff and leadership often will not use any of these items, unless current conditions are known to be particularly adverse. We present the following for the benefit of those who wish to err on the side of caution with respect to maximising personal protection against known seasonal risks that occur on the Western Breach, including rock-fall, sub-surface ice that forms after meltwater run-off refreezes and makes traction difficult, and occasional deep snow that collects in some re-entrants. Those booking to climb via the Western Breach are asked to read our dedicated website, where these risks are discussed in greater depth.
- Articulated 12 / 14 point crampons (particularly if climbing during the wet season)
- Anti-balling plates (silicon slabs usually supplied with crampons; prevent snow sticking)
- Ice-Axe - fairly straight and long is recommended, though your guide will cut steps for you
- Helmet (rock-fall should be considered a risk throughout the year)
- Diameter of 9 millimetres climbing rope (a 30 metre length suffices for 4 climbers)
- Rope should not be considered strictly necessary, but is preferred by some groups of climbers that are already accustomed to moving together in the hills
- Basic Climbing Harness - only recommended for those who already own one and prefer to use it. Risk of high-exposure falls is very low on the new Western Breach route, and our own staff generally tie on without a harness, if using a rope.
Note that for UK-based climbers, hardware such as karabiners, ropes, helmets, slings, and harnesses can be purchased from Zero G Climbing. Good ice axes and crampons can be obtained from Mountain Works.
A superb bag for Kilimanjaro. While only 25 litres is strictly necessary, the extra 10 litres is massively useful for stowing warm gear when the sun is up and we're descending from the summit.
This is a bag of superb quality and is ideal for climbers who want to do extended, multi-day treks during their training phase.
While substantially inferior to the more robust, larger Ortlieb dry bag that is preferred by soldiers encountering hostile conditions, if you’re not planning more adventures after Kilimanjaro, this bag ought to suffice to keep your stuff dry within your holdall or rucksack while you climb Kilimanjaro with us.
If your pre-expedition Kilimanjaro training has consisted of cardiovascular exercises primarily, such as running, cycling and swimming and you do not intend to use weight when training in the hills to simulate the fatigue of high altitude, then you don’t really need a large capacity rucksack.
Many rucksacks have a built-in rainproof cover sewn into the lid or the base of the bag. If you use a decent rucksack liner it’s not essential to use a rucksack cover, however, it is nonetheless advised as it is advantageous to ensure that your rucksack remains reasonably dry so that it does not become frozen and brittle at night when the temperature drops below zero.
Sleeping bags are the most commonly hired out items of equipment that Team Kilimanjaro supplies to climbers, because for many climbers there is no need to have a sleeping bag capable of keeping you warm at minus 10 degrees Centigrade, except for two or three nights you spend at very high altitude on your Kilimanjaro climb; and having bulky luggage when travelling by plane is sometimes awkward.