Kilimanjaro packing list:
When you start planning a trip to Kilimanjaro, first you need to get good high-quality gear because having good gear is vital. The weather keeps changing rapidly in Kilimanjaro so from perfect sunshine it can get to heavy rain just in minutes. Higher on top it can even be snow. The ground might be frozen or really muddy and slippery. Also, you can’t take your suitcase full of clothes, you need to be able to manage with just bare minimum. Which means that you need to choose the right materials. Bad gear might just end your trip or at least uncomfortable. Here is a list what you need with you to make your climbing experience a good one.
1. Let’s start with feet.
You need good waterproof trekking shoes. Size should be bigger, so you can fit 3 sets of socks in it and you need some space for your toes when coming downhill. From my Vaude shoes, I had size 38 when my actual size for example from my running shoes would be 36.
Every day you will climb you need a fresh pair of socks, I had one set of thin socks and thicker on top of those. For peaking day, you would need woolen socks. My tour was 7 days so double socks for each day, I had 14 pairs of socks. You need to keep your feet dry so you don’t get blisters or rash.
7 piece of nickers and for ladies at least 4 sets of a sports bra.
4. First layer
I would recommend merino-wool. It will keep you warm and also dry when you sweat, it won’t start to smell like synthetic fiber or technical clothes. You need at least two sets of the first layer. I had this Vaude turtleneck shirt and it is so good looking shirt that you can just wear it, as it is. High neck will cover you from the cold wind and wool also is breathable and warm. This became my favorite shirt.
5. Hiking pants
Choose the one that is at least water repellent and that you can open the sleeve up or even make them shorts. Layering your clothes is the key here, you can feel warm at one second and cold on the next. Pants need to be adaptable because you can’t really change your clothes while on a trek. You can take some clothes off and also add more. I had Vaude’s hiking pants, which proven to be a really good choice, they change from pants to shorts in minutes. They also fit nicely, has a little spandex on them and I have to say they look nice as well.
If the weather is stable so it’s not hot nor cold, tights are a perfect choice. I had tights that have patches of waterproof fabric on the butt and knees so when you sit on the ground you don’t get wet. Was a good choice to have these tights from Vaude. I didn’t freeze my butt and my knees were dry all the time. This also works perfectly as a second warm layer under your hiking pants.
7. Peaking pants
You don’t really need padded pants for any other day except the peaking day. At midnight you can have from -10 to -28 degrees Celsius and on the top, you will also face a freezing wind.
8. Fleece shirt
Preferably a whole set with fleece pants as well for the peaking day.
9. 2 in 1 Jacket
In this jacket, you have a light down jacket inside and waterproof shell jacket on top of that. This is a perfect combination and practical. Light down jacket is useful on a break and at nights when it’s cold. Shell Jacket you can use during the day and for the peak day, you wear them both.
It will rain every day in the mountains.
Preferably Marino wool. This bandana that I had was the most useful piece of gear I had with me. It will cover your forehead, ears, and top of your head from the sun as well as from the wind.
Good and thick woolen beanie, it will come handy every day in the mornings and nights when it’s cold or even when you sleep.
I recommend getting a sun cap that has the extra piece of fabric on the back to cover the back of your neck. Sun is burning hot in the mountains. I had one from Vaude and it was really good, you don’t want to have anything too tight around your head. This is loose and it also has the piece of fabric that you can put down if the sun is behind you.
You need at least 2 t-shirts. The beginning of the tour it’s warm so a couple of good t-shirts is good to have with you. You can also use them as layers if you feel cold.
15. Softshell jacket
It adds to as one layer or it can just be your jacket at the beginning of the tour.
Thin for the hiking part and thick ones for the peaking day.
17. Water Bottle
You have to carry your drinking water by yourself so it’s good to have at least two 1,5 litter bottles attached to your backpack at all times. Staying hydrated is important because of the high altitude.
I recommend having sunglasses with those side guards as well. Sun is really bright and you might get so-called snow blindness in the mountains which is a risk on its self.
19. Helmet hat of buff
You need to cover your face from the cold wind especially on the peaking day.
20. Sun lotion
UV protection 50. Everything lower than this is useless. In the mountain you will get burned, you need to protect yourself from the sun.
21. Hand sanitizer
Taking care of your personal hygiene in the mountains was not a problem, but the toilets there are at the level of a festival toilet. That means that the hand sanitizer is useful after every visit there.
22. Small hand towel
This is for the morning and evening wash.
23. First Aid Kit
First aid kit and of course pain killers. Mountain sickness pills are also recommended but not necessary.
Most important gear is the day pack. Even though the backpack needs to be light, you want to make sure that it has good straps. Otherwise, it starts to give pressure to your shoulders and you will end up with sore neck and back after one day of hiking. The backpack also needs a steady waist belt and chest belt to keep the straps in place. Then hard support on the lower back and net on top so your back doesn’t sweat. Days are 5-15 hours long and the backpack is on you at all times so this is something you should put effort to. This backpack from Vaude was a perfect 10 and light to carry.
In the peaking day, you start your journey to the top at midnight and the trail is narrow so headlamp will give you light to stay on the track, but also free hands to work with.
For me the power bank is a necessity, I need to keep my electronics charged. Camera for the pictures and phone for emergencies. There are no sockets in the mountains and as a traveler, I know many places that power bank has been a savior.
I trusted on this Kilimanjaro trip to Vaude’s gear and all the choices proved to be functional and good. Clothes fit perfectly on me and they were fast to dry. Shoes I took straight from the box and they didn’t give any blisters or rash during the whole week. Vaude has a really good price-quality ratio. Usually, the high-quality gear is expensive but whit Vaude, this is still friendly for everyone’s wallet. Whit these gears from Vaude, my trip was pleasant and just pure perfection.
Stay on the edge and Smile!!