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Kilimanjaro Packing Guide

based on a 6-7 day trek on the Rongai Route

Top Layer
1. Antisweat hiking t-shirts (2)           Smartwool Merino Base Layer  (
men's) or Black Diamond Genesis T-Shirt
2. Merino wool long sleeve shirt (2)   Smartwool Merino 250 Crew Base Layer Top  
3. Fleece jacket                                    Columbia Women's Benton  Springs Full Zip  

4. Puffy down jacket                          REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0
5. Silk cami top (summit night)          REI Co-op Silk Camisole
6. Gortex waterproof shell                  North Face Ladies Apex Barrier     Soft Shell Jacket 
7. Bras (several)

Note: Keep one base layer set clean (or wear a as PJs after washing) for summit night.

Bottom Layer
1. Light weight hiking pants (2)           Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants 

2. Fleece pants                                     REI Co-op Hyperaxis Fleece Pants
3. Thermal leggings                             REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Tights
4. Rain pants                                        REI Co-op Essential Rain Pants
5. Underwear (one/day)


1. Hiking boots (lightweight, H20 proof) Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots - Women's  
2. Warm camp shoes                          North Face ThermoBall Traction Mules V Womens
3. Smartwool hiking socks (4)           Smartwool Classic Hike Extra Cushion Crew Socks  (men's)
4. Liner socks (2-3)                             REI Co-op Silk Liner Crew Socks

5. Summit night socks                       Smartwool Classic Mountaineer Maximum Cushion Crew Socks
6. Gaiters (depending on route)         Pike Trail Leg Gaiters
Note: Ensure your boots are thoroughly broken in.
Note: Wear hiking boots on the plane- they would be hard to replace if luggage is lost.
Note: Getting out of hiking boots into soft, warm, cozy camp shoes felt incredible.


Head & Hands
1. Warm merino wool beanie              Smartwool Merino 250 Beanie
2. Merino wool buff                              Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Multifunctional Headwear

3. Waterproof hat                                 Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat
4. Polarized sunglasses (2)                Suncloud Zephyr Polarized Sunglasses
5. Balaclava                                          Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Hinged Balaclava

6. Very warm mittens                          Black Diamond Mercury Mittens
7. Glove liners                                      Black Diamond Lightweight Screentap Gloves

8. Very warm hat                                 C.C Thick Cable Knit Fleece Lined Beanie

9. Sunhat or baseball hat 

Note: Summit temperatures can be extremely cold (-20F degrees and windy).


Other Must-have Gear
1. Large 95L waterproof duffle bag  North Face Base Camp Duffel - Large
2. Day pack (25-35L)                         Osprey Sirrus 24 Pack
3. 2L Water Bladder                         Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir - 2 Liters

4 Large 32oz Water Bottle                Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle - 32 fl. oz
5. Sleeping bag liner                          Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme Sleeping Bag Liner
6. Sleeping bag rated to 0F (suggest renting) 

7. Headlamp and spare batteries      Petzl Tikka Headlamp
8. Hiking poles (suggest renting)     TrailBuddy Trekking Poles - Lightweight, Collapsible Hiking Poles
9. Waterproof day pack cover

Note: Weight limit for porters is 15kg (33 lbs).
Note: You cannot carry on hiking poles-they must be packed in checked bag. Cover the sharp tips.
          I suggest renting the poles.

Note: Your hydration hose line will likely freeze on summit night, even if you try to blow the water out of the line back into the reservoir. I recommend a Nalgene bottle, stored upside down in your backpack.

Other Useful Gear
1. Inflatable pillow                             Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow
2. Filter water bottle                          LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Water Filter System - 33.8 fl. oz.
3. Hydration Tablets                          NUUN Sport Hydration Tablets
4. Energy Gummies                           PROBAR Bolt Energy Chews

5. Spare packable duffle                   REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel – 50L
6. Compression sack for sleeping bag  Lightweight Compression Stuff Sack

7. Extra stuff sacks                             Ditty Sack - Set of 3

8. Packing cubes                                6 Set of Various Colored Packing Cubes 
9. Luggage finders                             
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth Tracker & Item Locator

10. Hand warmers                              HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmers

11. Hot water bottle                             Rubber hot water bottle
12. Luggage locks                                SURE LOCK TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks    
13. Packing tube (for summit certificate)

14. Notebook and a few pens
15. Extra boot laces
16. Book(s)
17. Gallon zip lock bags (to store camp shoes, dirty clothes, important paperwork etc.)
18. Mask for plane (some airlines are still requiring it)
19. Eye mask, ear plugs and pillow for plane flight and base camp.

Note: Packing cubes really helped keep the duffle bag organized.
Note: The compression pack for the sleeping bag will help free up a lot of space in the duffle bag.
Note: A spare, lightweight, packable duffle was perfect for all the clothes and other items that
need to be left at the hotel while climbing.
Note: I think the hot water bottle should be an essential item. I rented one, but you can bring one.


1. Cell phone and charger
2. Cell phone waterproof case and lanyard
3. Powerpack                                       Anker PowerCore 20,100mAh Portable Charger Power Bank
4. Garmin InReach and charger        Garmin InReach Explorer
5. Headphones (wired)                       VC Earclip Earbud Sport Earbud Earclip
6. Headphones cell adapter              Samsung USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

7. Universal adapter                            Travel Adapter, Universal All in One Worldwide

8. FitBit or watch                                Fitbit Versa 4 Fitness Smartwatch 

Note: Extend your powerpack and cell phone battery life by keeping them in your sleeping bag at night.
Note: Your cell phone will likely freeze on summit night unless you keep it inside your jacket. Protect it from moisture (sweat) with a protective case.
Note: Listening to an audiobook on summit night can help immensely. Due to lack of internet, download a book ahead of time. Use wired headphones (one less thing to charge). Headphones that hang on the ear are less likely to fall out. I suggest only putting the headphone in one ear so that you can still hear your guide.


1. Moleskin                                      Dr. Scholl's Moleskin Padding
2. Sunscreen (2)                             Neutrogena or Supergoop! PLAY Everyday Lotion, 2.4 oz - SPF 50 PA 

3. Lip balm SPF 30 (2)                   Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment and Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm
4. Travel mirror                               Magnifying Compact Travel Mirror
5. Face cleaning wipes                 Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Towelette Singles
6. Body wipes                                Goodwipes Really Big Body Wipes
7. Anti-chaffing Product               Bodyglide for Her Anti-Chafing Skin Protectant 
8. Face moisturizer

9. Body/hand lotion

10. Glasses/contacts/saline (if needed)

11. Rewetting drops (the air is very dry)

12. Panty liners/pads

13. Toilet paper (in zip lock bag)
14. Hairbrush or comb
15. Nail clippers and nail brush
16. Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
17. Deodorant
18. Q-tips

19. Shampoo, Conditioner, Razor, Soap (for use at hotel)
20. Swimsuit (if your hotel has a pool)

Note: Trim nails short to prevent toenail loss on decent.
Note: Keep reapplying sunscreen-the rays at elevation are intense. 
Note: I preferred the body wipes and face wipes over washing with water. I felt cleaner (antimicrobial) and liked the fresh scent.


1. Diamox (need Rx)
2. Generic antibiotics (need Rx)
3. Any personal prescriptions
4. Excedrin (really helps altitude headaches)
5. Pain medication (Tylenol, Aleve etc.)
6. Sudafed
7. Benadryl (or for allergies/allergic reaction)
8. Imodium (or other anti-diarrhea medication)
9. Vitamins
10. Magnesium/Potassium (helps with cramps)
11. Malaria prevention medication

Notes: I'm not a doctor, but personally I think it is a good idea to have Diamox on hand, even if you don't use it. In the U.S. Diamox requires a prescription. I suggest testing it first (before your trip) to make sure you don't have any adverse reactions. I experienced tingling fingers/toes and increased urination. I only took it the night before summit night (at 14,500') and on summit night.
Notes: I prefer not to take anti-malaria medication, and I did not encounter a single mosquito while climbing. There were a few mosquitos at the hotel. If you will be doing a post-hike safari/trip to a malaria zone, check with your doctor. Use insect repellent, long sleeves, pants, and stay inside at night.
Notes: I had my doctor give me some broad-spectrum antibiotics. I never needed them, but felt more comfortable having them on hand, just in case.

Don't forget
Flight information
Tour company information
Travellers' insurance information (I used World Nomads)
Tanzania visa (you can buy 3 months ahead of time online for $100)

Covid vaccination card (one airport asked for it)
Yellow fever vaccination proof (depending on which country you are coming from)
Note: Keep a second copy of your important papers either on your phone or a in a separate bag.

Consider displaying your hard earned certificate.


Gear Gallery

                                                                    To buy or not to buy?
If you are like me, I initially had trouble justifying the cost of purchasing all this gear. I never spend this much money on myself. However, the more I thought about it, I didn't want to take the chance that after all the training, and the cost of the trip, a simple gear failure (e.g., too cold, blisters etc.) would ruin my trip and/or prevent me from summiting. Furthermore, I rationalized (trust me, I had to do a lot of rationalizing) that I will be able to use this quality gear for all my other outdoor activities.  :)

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