If you’ve signed yourself up to take on the once-in-a-lifetime climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, then you’re probably wondering what you’re going to pack. So what exactly do you need to climb up Africa’s highest mountain? As you’ll have likely come across numerous articles on what to pack for Kilimanjaro, we thought it might be easier if we try and condense everything you need to know about what to pack for the trek in these simple categories below. Note that the below are only packing essentials that we recommend are a must for the Kilimanjaro trek, but there are other items and essentials such as walking poles that you may also find useful.
#1 Tip: Avoid clothing made up of cotton. Cotton may be soft to the touch, but will take a long time to dry in high altitude settings. Your best bet is to wear breathable and synthetic fabric.
- Quick-drying T-shirts– Aim for at least 2-3 long sleeve quick drying T-shirts which are light and easy to wash.
- Underwear – Pack long underwear pants (a pair for each day you are trekking)
- Thick hiking/walking socks – Thick socks will not only keep you warm as you trek up the mighty Kilimanjaro’s changing climate (you will experience up to 4 different climates the higher you get – be prepared!)
- Fleece – Essential for keeping warm under your jacket.
- Waterproof jacket – Keep protected from the rain and snow with a light waterproof jacket.
- Hiking boots – The key thing to look for here are a pair of durable boots with a good grip for when you’re climbing up those steeper slopes. Hiking boots over a pair of trainers are also better designed to support your feet and ankles when climbing and walking for long periods of time. If buying a completely new pair, make sure to break them in a few days before you set off on your Kilimanjaro trek!
- Gloves – It is recommended that you take a pair of inner and outer gloves for your trek to Kilimanjaro. Why two pairs you ask? Inner gloves contribute towards keeping your hands warm, while a good pair of outer gloves/mitts that are water resistant will help in freezing temperatures.
#1 Tip: Always opt for a quick drying towel over a regular one as they are designed to easily absorb moisture, which is perfect when you are travelling between campsites.
- Altitude sickness tablets – If you aren’t used to climbing and hiking regularly, then chances are your body will be affected by the sudden altitude as you climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. Altitude sickness tablets will therefore help your body to acclimatise to the conditions as you trek each day, but remember to speak to your doctor first!
- First aid kit – You never know when you may need a spare bandage or plaster if there are any minor injuries along the way. Always be prepared. ESPECIALLY when climbing up Kilimanjaro.
- Snacks/Energy bars – Aim for bars made out of natural ingredients that are packed with high protien and fiber to keep you fuller for longer.
- Hand sanitiser – Pretty self explanatory, but also very useful to have in general when there’s little access to bathrooms and toilets.
So what are you waiting for? Get packing for that next big adventure! Check out our Kilimanjaro tours for a chance to be a part of the action.