Climbing Packing Guide

Climbing Packing Guide

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.  Wrap clothing in waterproof plastic bags. In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants and jacket 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. Bring double extra sets of batteries as cold weather shortens their life. Carry critical climbing gear on the airplane in case baggage is delayed. You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters.


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:

Shorts, mid-thigh or longer

Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)

Short-sleeved shirts

Long-sleeved shirts

Undergarments, socks

Sport bras for women (roads can be bumpy)

Sweater, jacket, windbreaker

Rain racket and pants or rain poncho

Sun hat with brim and chin strap

Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)



Long underwear

Fleece jacket or wool sweater

Fleece pants

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)

Down jacket or parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind)


Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!

Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, 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 bag (Rated -10 degrees F/-25 degrees C or colder is recommended)

Sleeping pad and repair kit


Large duffel bag or backpack with rain cover, for porters to carry

Day pack and rain cover, for you to carry

Waterproof plastic bags for storing clothing and gear (zip locks are great)


Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible).

Headlamp or flashlight

Camera, lenses, filters, memory disks (you will not be able to download)

Video camera, tapes





Soap, shampoo, conditioner

Shaving supplies

Nail clippers, nail brush

Toothbrush, toothpaste

Moist towelettes (handy-wipes)

Hand sanitizer


Hairbrush, comb, mirror

Small towel

Toilet paper

Facial tissue


Lip balm with sunscreen

Insect repellent


Feminine products


Sewing kit


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

Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin

Band aids/plasters

Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment

Gauze bandages and tape

Throat lozenges


Diarrhea medicine


Ace bandage

Melatonin or other sleep aid

Malaria pills (talk to doctor)

Antibiotics (talk to doctor)

Prescription drugs (talk to doctor)

Diamox for altitude (talk to doctor)


Sunglasses with straps

Eyeglasses, contacts, solution


Pocket knife

Notebook, pencil and pen

Playing cards, games, books, Frisbee, football, kite

Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods

2-3 Water bottles and Camelback (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 sensitization for you along the route.

To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water and tube inside your jacket. For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.

Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.

Trekking or ski poles