How to Pack for Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

by Jackie
Published: Updated:
How to Pack for Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

Getting ready for the Mount Kilimanjaro climb? It is easy to pack your luggage for the climb, especially if you have the proper gear. We planned a few months in advance with procuring gear. It helped that our trip was around the holidays for sales!

Your tour operator will provide a list of things to bring, so definitely use the list as reference. If you forget something, such as hiking/trekking poles, sleeping bags, pillows, etc, your tour operator can procure for a nominal rental fee.

Our tour operator provided the sleeping mattress, sleeping tents, mess tent, and portable toilets (may be an extra fee).

Check out what we brought for our 7 days/6 nights (originally a 8 days/7 nights) trip:

Positive attitude! This is the most important. If you have the mindset to complete the Summit, then you’ll reach your accomplishment. Nothing will hold you back.


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Tops & Jackets

  • Wool/moisture wicking t-shirts (quantity: 2-3)
  • Wool long sleeve base layer shirt
  • Light windbreaker
  • Rain jacket (waterproof shell)
  • Mid-layer fleece jacket (Patagonia R1 is awesome!)
  • Secondary insulating jacket (We used the Patagonia Nano Puff )

*Tour guide recommended 5 layers for the upper body on Summit Day.


  • Hiking pants (1-2 pairs)
  • Rain pants
  • Wool base layer bottoms (1-2 pairs)

*Tour guide recommended 4 layers for pants on Summit Day. We didn’t use snow pants as they would be too heavy and hard to walk in.

Socks and Shoes

  • Gaiters
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Moisture wicking/wool hiking socks; thicker pair for Summit Day (2-3 pairs; ie: Smartwool Hiking Medium Crew)
  • Walking shoes (Any casual shoes to walk around the campsite)


  • Moisture wicking underwears (2-3 pairs)
  • Bras (Ladies, use sports bras for more comfort) (3 pairs)
  • Hat
  • Scarf, buff, balaclava, or something to cover the face (It is windy on Summit Day.)
  • Large duffel bag for porters to carry (We used the Patagonia Black Hole 60L and packed light. You may want a Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 90L or larger.)
  • Daypack/backpack (20L to 30L)
  • Rain cover for the daypack/backpack
  • Hydration pack, insulated water bottles, or water bladders (Anything that holds 3 liters of water and will not freeze on Summit Day. Single-use plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.)
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping bag silk liner
  • Pillow
  • Packing cube (Organizing clothes is easy!)
  • Headlamp and batteries (Test your batteries before you leave. We used the rechargeable Black Diamond Iota Headlamp – Black.)
  • Hiking poles (We rented these.)
  • Gloves (Waterproof and warm for Summit Day and lighter gloves for morning hikes/rain.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera and back-up batteries
  • External battery pack / power bank for charging (optional)
  • Electronics and charging cables
  • Small microfiber towel


  • Snacks
  • Feminine products and pantyliners (Ladies, these are great if you can’t find toilet paper in the middle of the night to use the restroom and also prolongs your undies usage.)
  • Water purification tablets or filtration system. We used Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets. (Not necessary as the water is from the mountain and is clean, but it provides peace of mind.)
  • Garbage bags or plastic baggies
  • Locks for duffel bags for extra security
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Sunscreen
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • First aid kit
  • Tissue and toilet paper (Place this in a plastic bag so it doesn’t become wet)
  • Medication (ie: Diamox; malaria isn’t necessary on the mountain)
  • Wet wipes and anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Notebook and pen
  • Extra luggage if storing at the hotel or at your tour operator’s facility
  • Clock or a phone with an alarm
  • Cell phone (If you want to make a social media post, there was data network access when descending the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and at Mweka Camp.)

Have a great time!

If you’ve hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, what is one item that you couldn’t live without? 

How to Pack for Mount Kilimanjaro Climb


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