Kilimanjaro Equipment and Packing List

Kilimanjaro equipment and packing list

We recommend that all clothing (and anything you do not want to get wet) be packed in water proof sacks or plastic so that it does not get wet if it rains!!
It is ideal to pack your Kili Trekking gear in a duffle bag as close to these dimensions as possible: 40x18x18 and right around 33 pounds (15 kg). This makes it easier for the porters to carry!!
You do not have to get everything as it appears on the list – this is just recommendations!

Base Layers

Remember, do not wear cotton! It does not dry at high altitudes and can chafe. Wear fabric this is breathable, synthetic, and moisture-wicking.

  • Moisture wicking long sleeve tee-shirts (2)
  • Moisture wicking tee-shirts (2)
  • Moisture wicking sports bra tank – two-in-one is a space savor! (1)
  • Moisture wicking sports bra (1)
  • Long underwear pants (1)
  • Underwear (3 total, 2 that are moisture wicking)

Did you know you go through five temperate climates in just a few days? Be ready with lots of layers and pack lightly for all seasons. Before leaving, test that you can actually wear your clothes over each other.

Middle & Outer Layers

  • Mid-weight, moisture-wicking Smartwool long sleeve shirt (1)
  • Sweatshirt for warmer sleeping (1)(optional)
  • Fleece windwall jacket (1)
  • Waterproof hard shell jacket with hood (1): breathable and water-resistant
  • Fleece pants (1): I only wore these summit night over long underwear and under my waterproof pants
  • Convertible shorts-to-pants hiking pants (1): you will wear these everyday
  • Waterproof pants (1): worn over fleece pants summit night
  • Gloves or mittens: warm, waterproof recommended
  • Medium gloves: something warmer than glove liners, but not as heavy as summit gloves
  • Glove liners: thin and synthetic, to be worn under gloves for added warm and protection from frostbite
  • Knit hat (that covers ears)
  • Balaclava
  • Sun hat with brim or bandana (I used bandana)


  • Ankle high supportive hiking boots: break these in before the climb
  • Shoes for lounging around camp: you’ll want to give your feet a break from the boots, I used Keens because they were easy to slip on over socks
  • Spare plastic bag to hold your dirty camp shoes
  • Hiking socks (3) pairs: Smartwool suggested
  • Sock liners (2) pairs: pack thin, synthetic—they stretch and cause blisters if too small

What I Rented

Rent what you don’t already own or need to own after the climb.

  • Insulated down parka
  • Walking poles: these were my BFF— seriously, I don’t know how people climb without them
  • Sleeping bag: warm, four-season sleeping bag. -15° C/ 0° f
  • Warm, thick winter gloves
  • Gaiters: try them on first, apparently not one-size-fits all (I learned this the hard way)
  • Balaclava
  • Toilet tent: it is so worth your money
  • Sleeping pad
  • Duffel bag

Sleeping & Carrying Equipment

  • Medium sized daypack (25-30 liters):  used to carry essentials needed during the day like clothes, water, raincoat, warm clothing, camera, and food
  • Daypack rain shield cover: some daypacks already come with one
  • Sleeping bag liner (brought but never used)
  • Dry sacks: I had a 4L, 8l, 16L, and 32L Sea to Summit bags to stay organized, or you can also use plastic bags to protect equipment from rain


Do not carry any water on the outside of your pack on summit night, it will freeze. Protect it with insulation or under clothing.

  • Platypus water bag: ideal so you don’t have to stop to drink
  • Camelbak 32 oz water bottle (as backup)
  • Water filtering iodine chemical tablets

Personals & Toileteries

  • Basic toiletries: soap, deodorant, tooth brush, cotton Q-tips, floss, hairbrush, toothpaste, etc…
  • Bug spray: Deet 25-50%
  • Toilet paper: you can buy travel packs from Target or take the cardboard out of a roll and store in plastic zip lock bag
  • Feminine hygiene cleansing wipes
  • Wet wipes: used for “showering” and cleaning hands and face—bring more than you think you need, and then some (inexpensive drugstore ones work fine)
  • Anti-itch cream for bug bites: the mosquitoes are only in the rain forest and are enormous
  • Face cleanser: I found it easiest to use Neutragena face wipes
  • Sun screen and lip protection, SPF 30+
  • Contact solution & case
  • Dry shampoo (optional)
  • Nalgene bottle to pee in: the last thing I wanted to do was leave the warmness of the tent in the frigid night air to go to the toilet tent
  • Go Girl or a pee funnel: for use with the Nalgene pee bottle  (didn’t wind up needing either, but glad I had it)
  • You are climbing a mountain, not entering a beauty contest. No need to bring makeup.
  • Panty liners to keep underwear fresher longer

First Aid Items

  • Advil: this helps with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), I took two every morning and never ached or got sick
  • Mini first-aid kit that includes ace-bandages, blister kit (tape, neosporin and band-aids), antibacterial cream, antibiotics for travelers’ diarrhea, antihistamines, cold and flu medications, throat lozenges, and altitude medications. (I wrapped the ace bandage over the Bandaids; this was a savior)
  • Back-up emergency meds: Ciprofloxacin (travelers diarrhea & bladder infection) and Azithromycin (aka z-pack),  Immodium for anti-diarrhea, Pepto-Bismol
  • Malaria tablets: I took generic Malarone
  • Diamox (Acetazolamide): This prevents and combats altitude sickness, I took the generic brand and showed no symptoms of AMS. The only person in my group who got sick summit night was the one who did not take Diamox. Note: It is a diuretic—To avoid needing to pee during the bitter cold night, I hydrated enough during the day so I could cut myself off from drinking water at 6pm. *hydration is crucial so do not limit water intake if you have not drank enough yet.