kilimanjaro (packing list)

How Should You Prepare for Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro?

kilimanjaro top of africa

Please read this carefully and make sure you have gathered everything before you depart on your trip.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a majestic mountain, located in Tanzania, East Africa. For many adventure-seekers, climbing Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience. However, before embarking on this journey, it is crucial to prepare adequately, and one of the essential factors to consider is how to pack for the climb. In this blog post, we will discuss the essential items that you should bring with you to ensure a successful and safe climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro.


When packing for Kilimanjaro, it is essential to bring clothing that will keep you both warm and dry. Kilimanjaro’s weather can be unpredictable, and temperatures can drop significantly during the night, so it is recommended to bring a waterproof and breathable jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, and waterproof pants. It is also essential to bring comfortable hiking boots that are waterproof and provide ankle support to prevent injuries.

In addition to warm clothing, it is also recommended to bring clothes that provide protection from the sun. The intense African sun can cause sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Therefore, it is recommended to bring long-sleeved shirts, sun hats or caps, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.


In addition to clothing, there are specific pieces of gear that you will need for the climb. A sturdy backpack is essential to carry your belongings and supplies. It is recommended to bring a backpack with a capacity of at least 70 liters. You will also need a sleeping bag that can withstand temperatures as low as -20°C, a headlamp, trekking poles, and a water bottle or hydration system. It is essential to note that you will not need to bring a tent or cooking equipment as these will be provided by your tour company.

When selecting gear for your Kilimanjaro climb, it is essential to choose high-quality equipment that is durable and reliable. Cheap or low-quality gear may not withstand the harsh mountain conditions, which can put your safety at risk. Investing in high-quality gear will ensure that you have a safe and successful climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Health and Safety

Finally, it is crucial to bring items that will ensure your health and safety while climbing Kilimanjaro. Medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and altitude sickness medication are recommended. It is also essential to bring a first aid kit, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun. Additionally, it is essential to bring water purification tablets or a water filter to ensure that you have access to clean drinking water.

When climbing Kilimanjaro, it is important to take your health and safety seriously. The high altitude and harsh mountain conditions can put your body under stress, which can lead to altitude sickness and other health problems. Therefore, it is essential to take the necessary precautions and bring the appropriate health and safety items to ensure a safe and successful climb.


Climbing Kilimanjaro is an adventure of a lifetime, but it also requires adequate preparation. Packing appropriately for the journey is crucial to ensure a successful climb. By bringing the essential clothing, gear, and health and safety items, you will be well-prepared for the adventure ahead. Remember to research the specific requirements of your tour company and consult with them before packing to ensure that you have all the necessary items for your climb.

Following these guidelines will help you to pack smartly and safely for your Kilimanjaro climb. With the right gear and equipment, you can focus on enjoying the stunning views and the sense of accomplishment that comes with climbing one of the world’s most iconic mountains. So, prepare well, pack smartly, and enjoy the climb of your life!

This list covers what gear you will need to bring, physical training, Tanzania entry requirements (passport & visa), immunizations and vaccinations, and travel insurance. The most important thing that you can bring to help you succeed in summing Mt Kilimanjaro is a positive attitude. The golden rule here is to pack as lightly as possible. You will have a porter carrying a lot of these items, but it is important to pack lightly so they can carry additional items that will be necessary for the climb. Plus, you don’t want to be stuck with a lot of heavy baggage that you probably won’t use.

We will provide at no additional cost communal equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.). Below is a gear-list of required, recommended and optional items for you to bring on your climb.

Technical Clothing:

  • 1 light to Medium Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood (It is very likely to rain on one or multiple days of the climb)
  • 1 Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down (to keep you warm when the sun isn’t shining)
  • 1 Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell (We recommend this for layers to help you keep warm without getting too hot)
  • 2 Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
  • 2 Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
  • 1 Fleece Pants
  • 1 Shorts (optional)
  • 1 Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
  • 3 Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
  • 2 Sport Bra (women)


  • 1 Brimmed Hat(for sun protection)
  • 1 Knit Hat (for warmth)
  • 1 Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)
  • 1 Bandana (optional)


  • 1 Warm Gloves (waterproof recommended)
  • 1 Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)


  • Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces (If you purchase new boots please make sure to hike in them at least 5 or 6 times prior to leaving for Tanzania, new boots cause blisters!)
  • Lightweight shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  • 3 Hiking Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
  • 3 Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
  • 1 Gaiters, waterproof (optional)
  • 1 Lightweight ice grips for shoes like yaktrax (You will only need this if it snows and you will NOT NEED crampons)


  • 1 Sunglasses or Goggles (Very Important! – The sun is extremely strong at 14,000+ ft, 4000+ Meters)
  • 1 Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
  • 1 Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
  • 1 Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • 1 Water Bladder (Camel back type, 2-3 liters)
  • 1 Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
  • 1 Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (optional)
  • Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate1
  • Two Person Tent (Optional! We will provide a high quality 3-season tent for you, however, if you have a tent you love and it is high quality we you can bring it for your personal use.


  • 1 Sleeping Bag rated at a minimum of -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees F), 
  • 1 Lightweight / travel pillow / inflatable pillow
  • 1 Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
  • 1 Trekking Poles (recommended)
  • 1 Head lamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 Backpack or Duffl bag, for porters to carry your equipment
  • 1 Small to Medium Day pack, for you to carry your personal gear (The porters will carry most of your gear and clothing, this bag is for water, a camera, snacks, sunscreen, etc.)

Other Toiletries Prescriptions and Visa Requirements

  • Sunscreen (At Least 30 SPF)
  • Prescriptions (Diamox High Altitude Medications, Other Personal Medications)
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellent, containing DEET (You won’t have mosquitos after the first 2 days because they do not live at the higher altitude).
  • First Aid Kit (Antibiotic cream, adhesive bandages) 
  • Ibuprofen or Pain Reliever
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet Wipes (recommended)
  • Energy Bars, Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
  • Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

PaperworkTechnical Clothing:

  • Trip Receipt
  • Passport
    Visa (Can be purchased upon available at JRO, Very Important please bring US Dollars!)
  • Immunization Papers (Immunization Papers Will Be Checked Upon Arrival at JRO Airport)
  • Travel Insurance Documents.

The most common mistake that climbers make when climbing Kilimanjaro is that they over pack and bring way too much gear.

Be selective in what you bring with you. Please note that our porters are limited to carrying (15 kg or 33 lbs) of your personal belongings.  The porters will carry almost all of your personal gear between campsites.  The majority of your personal items should be placed into the backpack or duffel bag, including the sleeping bag, but it is OK to pack the sleeping bag separately if necessary. If you rent a sleeping bag from us, note that the bag weighs is 3 kgs. And this weight does count against the 15 Kilos or 33 lbs. Our porters will place your duffel bag with your belongings and sleeping bag into a large, sturdy, waterproof bag with a roll-top closure.  You will have access to your belongings at the campsites every night.  The porters typically will arrive to the next campsite before you arrive so you will have your access to your belongings except when you are hiking. 

If you have excessive weight, you will be required to hire and pay for an additional porter. It is rare to require an extra porter and should happen only in special cases, such as for carrying extensive photography equipment. If you require an additional porter please advise us so we can make additional accommodations and bring additional food for the additional porter. You are expected to come prepared and bring everything you need; however, we do rent warm sleeping bags and trekking poles on location. 

We understand you might be coming from a Safari or another part of Africa and will have additional baggage with you. All extra luggage items that you do not need for your climb, such safari clothing, Zanzibar gear and equipment will be securely kept at the hotel. 

Please note that plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed in the park, due to past problems with litter. Please bring a Nalgene bottle, water bladders, or similar devices. 

Please bring enough capacity to be able to carry 3-4 liters of water with you at all times. Please keep in mind that Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,241 ft tall (5895 Meters) and drinking alcohol and high altitude do not mix well.

We will celebrate your successful climb to the top of Kilimanjaro with beer and alcohol at the hotel, after the climb.  

Unfortunately checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are most essential to your climb. If your luggage is lost or delayed; most clothing, gear and equipment can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, but there are some things that you might not be able to replace.

We recommends that you wear one complete hiking outfit on the plane, including a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, socks, and hiking boots. Your carry-on baggage, you should bring your small backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, insulated jacket, fleece pants, toiletries, medications, camera and all governmental paperwork. Airline regulations do not allow you to carry trekking poles on the plane. Make sure you do wear/carry your hiking boots; wearing a different pair of boots on your climb, will likely cause blistering.

We work with professionals only and we will be prepared to get you to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and back to the bottom safely.  We have professional guides that know the mountain very well and most of them have summited Kilimanjaro over 100 times.  You can sleep easy knowing that you have selected Chacha Tours Africa and we will be ready and excited to share this amazing adventure with you!

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