Gear List

The gear list and deciding the quality of the gear was driven by planning for the worst case scenario, our personal comfort levels as well as being based on testing in ‘like’ conditions during training.  For example, I am susceptible to cold hands and feet, therefore I took extra precautions, such as using Heat Pads and liner gloves (which, incidentally, were a life-saver on summit day).  You decide on what is best for you, not solely on what other people tell you and what is on this list.

In terms of climate, we used -20C temperatures, strong winds and rain as the worst case scenario.  This may vary depending on the time of year of climb, but err on the side of caution.  At 5,000m at 3am on summit day, it is too late to discover you don’t have the right gear.  Most summit attempts are started around midnight and from 3am the temperature drops dramatically.

Kilimanjaro treks have a wide range of temperatures and gets more extreme at altitude, so the best clothing is a lot of thin layers. Such clothing is easier to adjust as the temperature fluctuates and is more effective than a few thick items of clothing.  Special attention should be made to the fabric of base and middle layers; these garments should be constructed of moisture wicking material that effectively pull sweat away from the body to keep you dry.  Cotton is a very poor fabric for trekking and should be avoided.

Basic On-mountain List

Item

Minimum

Qty

Other Info
Duffel bag

1

For porter to carry gear, approx 75-90 litres.  Large enough for all trekking gear and clothing
Daypack

1

Around 30 litre capacity.  Plus rain-cover and/or waterproof liner if the backpack is not waterproof.The Osprey Talon 33 is a perfect size and is highly recommended, or something else of equivalent capacity and functionality
Boots

1

Waterproof mid-weight semi-stiff hiking boots.  High ankle and broken in with plenty of toe room for downhill.  Also consider options for preventing and treating blisters, eg liner socks, body glide, hiking wool, blister packs etc
Long sleeve thermal tops

3

Various weights.  Merino is particularly good in terms of weight to warmth and does not smell
Hiking pants

1

One with zip-off legs, to convert to shorts is ideal
Thermal Leggings

2

One lightweight, one heavyweight.  These can be used for camp wearing and sleepingMerino is particularly good in terms of weight to warmth and does not smell
Underwear The quantity based on personal preferences
Hiking socks

4

1 clean pair for night time
Sun hat

1

Wide rimmed
Sunglasses

1

Sunscreen SPF30
Lip balm/chapstick One with sunscreen is ideal
Down jacket

1

Outerwear pants

1

Waterproof/windproof/breathable
Raincoat with hood

1

Waterproof/windproof/breathable
Beanie/toque/balaclava

1

Fleece or wool hat and/or something to wrap around your face on summit night when can be bitterly cold at altitude
Warm gloves or mittens

1

Sleeping bag

1

Headlamp + batteries Fresh batteries for summit day, plus spares.  The Petzel Tikka 2 is excellent and highly recommended.
Personal hygiene and toiletries Travel wet wipes (approx 6-10 per day), toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturiser, anti-bacterial gel/spray, soap
Towel

1

Light pack towel for drying off after a body wash
Watch

1

With alarm.  You do have to stick to a timetable, and being prompt and on time is necessary
US Dollars For tipping, in small currencies, $1, $10, $20 and $50s, and for purchases off-mountain.  Do some research, take extra if you can but don’t get caught short
Drink bottles or bladder system Total capacity at least 3L.  If using a bladder system, fit an insulation cover on the tube for summit day to prevent water freezing
Medical supplies Anti-malaria pills, Diamox, Ibuprofen

Optional On-mountain List

Item

Minimum Qty

Other Info
Long sleeve shirt

1

Technical hiking shirt with collar to keep sun off neck
Polar fleece

1

Hiking pants

1

A spare for post-hike around camp wearing
Sunglasses

1

Thin liner gloves

1

Essential only if prone to cold hands
Liner socks

1

Spare shoes

1

For wearing around camp, something easy to slip on and off.  Take off shoelaces for easy entry and exit.  It is tricky slipping into shoes from a tent.  Eg old running shoes or old low ankle boots etc
Sleeping bag liner

1

Pillow case

1

Used for stuffing spare clothes to make a pillow
Aftersun cream

1

Shoelaces

1

Dry sacks Waterproof and in various sizes.  Compression models are great to reduce size.  Handy for separating dirty and clean clothes and keeping everything organised
Storage bags

5

Zip-lock style, very handy for organising and separating bits and pieces
Chux cloth

1

An alternative to a facecloth for a body wash, this is easy to dry
Hiking pants

1

The spare is for post-hike around camp wearing and as a backup
Gaiters

1 pr

Spare spectacles

1

If you wear glasses
Heat pads

4

Two for the hands and two for the feet
Hiking poles

2

Some people consider this an essential item
Other stuff Eye cover for sleeping, ear plugs.  On summit day, you will need to rest during the day and it can be full sunshine and noisy in the camp.
Camera Spare battery, spare memory if required
Energy bars, gels and snacks Quantity and variety based on personal taste, but try to get the most carbohydrate for energy, protein for recovery and electrolyte for water retention.
Spare water bottle As backup
Thermal flask Or thermal covers for water bottles to minimise freezing on summit day
Liquid replacement/rehydration such as gastrolytes etc
Medical and First aid supplies Diarrhoea: Immodium, Magnesium (upset stomachs), nausea pills (Valoid), painkillers, anti-inflamatory, topical anti-biotic for insect bites (fucicort), Rehydration/electrolytes, abrasions, blisters and cuts, antiseptic cream (Betadine), flu and colds, eye drops, insect repellent
Various Toe clippers, tweezers, swiss army knife for keeping the toenails and cuticles trimmed and clean etc
Small luggage lock To lock zippers if security is an issue in the camp
Water purification tablets

Women’s Items

Item

Qty

Other Info
Sports bra

2

Pee Funnel

1

Eg Go Girl, She Wee etc
Pee bottle or bucket

1

A small bucket, with it’s wide opening is more practical and easier to use at night in the tent.  It is a cheap option and can be discarded at the end of the trek.  Very useful if taking Diamox, which increases the visits to the toilet at night
Tampons Just in case, the altitude can affect cycles
Contraceptives

Travel Documents

Valid passport and visa

Airline ticket

International health card with immunizations (Yellow fever)

Travel insurance

Medical insurance

US$ cash / Travellers Checks / Credit Card

Money belt for passport and valuables

Here is a downloadable Gear List: Gear List

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