Kilimanjaro Packing List and Tips

A Kilimanjaro packing list that you can use during the actual packing of your bags is included in the free Kilimanjaro climbing guide.

What Kilimanjaro gear is essential and why is explained here: Kilimanjaro equipment list.

There are more things you may want to pack for Kilimanjaro, beyond that essential equipment.
The printable Kilimanjaro packing list in the free guide includes them all: essential gear, should haves, nice to haves and the luxuries.

Below are some tips and ideas for packing for Kilimanjaro.

If you have suggestions or tips for what to pack and how to pack it, for the flight, for travel around Tanzania or for the hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, use the form at the bottom of the page to add to this Kilimanjaro packing list!

List of packing tips for the flight and for Tanzania

  • Pack essential gear in your hand luggage. It's the only way to make sure it arrives on time. African airports are notorious for losing luggage.

    Any equipment that you can NOT live without in the first day or two should be in the passenger compartment with you.

  • Wear your boots on the flight! Shoes are very valuable items in Tanzania. Your boots are the single most important item that you can NOT afford to lose. You can not wear in another pair of boots in a few days.

    (It's easy to recognise other Kilimanjaro climbers in the airports and on the planes. They all wear trekking boots.)

  • Any gear that would break your heart to lose should stay home.

  • If you fly from or via the US you are not allowed to lock your bags. Pack sensibly. Anything of value should go on the bottom of the bag. On top you can place underwear, socks, journals and maps...

  • Theft is not really a problem unless you encourage it. Usually it is opportunistic. Most people in Africa are very poor, and if you flaunt your belongings they can't resist. So don't.

  • Pack all the sunscreen and all the mosquito repellent you will need, and some extra. Neither is easy to find in Tanzania. (For obvious reasons. Tanzanians don't need sunscreen.)

  • Rechargeable batteries are better for the environment, but you may not be able to recharge them while in Tanzania. (Do get a world adapter for power points, they have an ecclectic variety of them. If they have any, that is.) Get batteries as well, for back up. Batteries are available everywhere in Tanzania.

List of packing tips for Kilimanjaro

  • Pack everything you really need, and nothing else! Most people take far too much. You are only allowed to take about 15 kg up the mountain anyway (or you will have to pay for an additional porter).

    Most people end up not using much of what they brought. For example toothbrush, toothpaste, a little soap and a mini towel are all the toiletries you'll have use for! Oh, and deodorant.

    Anything you don't need can be left at the hotel. (Get a written receipt.)

  • Talking of towels, don't take the beach towel you brought for Zanzibar up on the mountain. Once it's wet it won't dry again and you just don't need it.

  • Take some clothes pegs or other strong clips. Then you can attach items to the outside of your pack during the day, to dry in the sun.

  • Socks: you can rinse them at night and dry them on the outside of your pack during the day, or by wrapping them around a hot water bottle at night, see below.

  • Water bottles: even if you plan to use a camel back when hiking, do get at least one bottle that can double as a hot water bottle. It's great in the sleeping bag at night and can also help to get the moisture out of the clothes you've been wearing during the day. Just wrap them around the bottle and put the lot in the bottom of your sleeping bag.

  • Make sure you can wear all your clothes on top of each other: two pairs of thermals, then the thick fleece over the thin fleece and your windbreaker/down jacket over the top of that. Same for the pants. You'll need it all on summit night!

  • Don't carry any water on the outside during summit night. It will freeze. Protect it somehow. (Insulation or clothing.)

  • Get good batteries like Duracell for higher altitude. They are the only batteries that will work in the temperatures at the summit. The cheap local Tanzanian batteries won't. (My rechargeable batteries don't work below freezing point. If you plan to take yours, test them.)

  • During the climb to the summit carry your camera and batteries on your body to keep them warm.

  • You need take enough money for tipping your guides and porters, but leave all other valuables in the hotel safe. Get a written receipt for it!

  • I am a light sleeper and always sleep with ear plugs anyway. The camps on Kilimanjaro can be noisy. If you are easily disturbed by noise, take some ear plugs. (And get used to using them before you leave. Wearing them does take a bit of getting used to.) You do need to sleep!

Kilimanjaro Equipment List

What it takes to climb Kilimanjaro

Add to the Kilimanjaro Packing List
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