“What equipment do I need for climbing Kilimanjaro?”. The answer is not obvious to most people. Particularly, when they undertake an expedition such as the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time..”

Trekking is simply walking in the hills or the mountains – be it for a day or weeks or more. Certain basic trekking equipment are essential while you're trekking to any parts of the trekking destinations. The items may differ from the area to area and on season to season. The following are the list of the equipment that we suggest you for your trekking in East-Africa Mountains.

Mountaineering Gears

In the following section, we will therefore provide you with a comprehensive packing list for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the result of our thorough research and examination of the topic. The packing list contains all things we found out about via diverse websites and the exchange with experienced mountaineers during our preparations. Overall, the list has proven very useful to us.

The packing list equally applies to both genders as well as all seasons and routes for the climb of Kilimanjaro. We have utilized the things described in the list during our seven-day tour along Machame Route in March. Depending on the number of days you will be en route, you can adjust the number of items of your clothing, equipment etc., respectively.

The packing list for the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro is subdivided into six sections:

  • Clothing
  • Trekking equipment
  • Travel pharmacy & first-aid kit
  • Cosmetics & toiletries
  • Snacks and food supplements
  • Documents and papers.

The web view presented here shows a summary of the packing list. The complete packing list you


Adequate clothing is extremely important for a successful ascent. That does not mean that it needs to be expensive clothing – but in any case, suitable! You require clothing suitable for temperatures between -20 and +25 °C (-4 and +77 °F). You will probably also walk in the rain and snow and through dusty terrains. Wearing several layers thus represents a good guideline regarding the question “How do I dress?”.

An example to dress (from inside out at low temperatures): underwear, thin fleece, thick fleece or down jacket/softshell and windbreaker jacket/hardshell, hiking socks, leggings and trekking pants. Bear in mind that your clothing is fast-drying and breathable. For instance, a softshell (jacket) generally better protects against the wind compared to a fleece, however, is less breathable.

  • Sports socks

    (thin) | 3-4 pairs Breathable, prevention of blistered feet (low cut)
  • Hiking socks

    | 3-4 pairs Insulation of feet and prevention of blisters (high cut)
  • Wool socks

    | 2 pairs Particularly for insulation of feet at night and on summit day
  • Underwear

    | As required Classic, depending on the duration of the hike
  • Thermal underwear

    | 2 sets Vest (if possible, long-sleeved) and trousers (best would be leggings); avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast; e.g. merino wool is very good
  • Short-sleeved T-shirts

    | 3 x Particularly relevant at the beginning and the end of the tour; avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast
  • Long-sleeved T-shirts

    | 2-3 x Particularly relevant at half-time of the tour, and good with a turtleneck; avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast
  • Fleece jacket

    / -vest | 1-2 x Advisable and, if possible, different degrees of heat (to be carried underneath the wind jacket / windbreaker)
  • Down jacket

    (thin) / Softshell | 1 x Comparable with the fleece jacket / -vest (to be carried underneath the wind jacket / windbreaker)
  • Wind jacket

    / Windbreaker (hardshell) | 1 x To be used during the tour and on summit day, should ideally be water-repellent
  • Trekking / Hiking pants

    (thin) | 1-2 x Should dry fast, and have a zipper for detaching the legs
  • Trekking / Hiking pants

    (thick) | 1 x Should be water-repellent, for you wear it on summit day (can also be ski pants)
  • Shorts

    | 1 x Particularly relevant at the beginning and the end of the tour. Swimming shorts are suitable as well
  • Sweatpants

    | 1 x For sleeping and for carrying in the evenings in the camps
  • Rain trousers

    | 1 x To protect from water; can be relevant on summit day
  • Rain cape

    | 1 x It rains from time to time, especially in the afternoons; you should be able to cover your backpack with it
  • Rain gaiters

    | 1 pair To protect your hiking boots from rain and dirt
  • Gloves (thin)

    | 1 pair Can be fleece or leather gloves; rather thin gloves, depending on your personal preferences recommendable
  • Gloves (thick)

    | 1 pair Indispensable, especially on summit day
  • Beanie / Woolly hat

    | 1 x Relevant during the tour and on summit day
  • Hat / Cap |

    1 x Thin, for sun protection
  • Balaclava / Buff

    | 1 x Can complement or replace a scarf and is recommended for low temperatures
  • Scarf

    | 1 x Recommended especially on summit day
  • Tennis shoes or sneakers

    | 1 pair For the camps and the beginning and end of the tour as well as arrival and departure
  • Hiking boots

    | 1 pair Should be ankle-high and of good quality, also water-repellent and worn in
Trekking equipment
You are en route for several days, reasonably far from your usual standards and civilization. When it gets dark at nights, there is not sufficient lighting as there is in towns or in your home. Thus, prepare yourselves well (with adequate equipment, and also mentally) for the hike; if you do so, it will be great!
  • ravel bag or backpack (60-80 liters volume) For storage of your luggage during your tour (not to be taken on the mountain).
  • Daypack (30-40 liters volume) For everything you need daily during your hike on the mountain (you carry it yourself).
  • Rain cover To cover the daypack and protect from rain and dust. It was part of our backpacks (not a must)
  • Sleeping bag Suitable for very low temperatures (up to -10 °C (14 °F)); type “sarcophagus” is recommended
  • Linen sleeping bag Thin sleeping bag that is suitable for high temperatures. We have used it as inner part of the rented sleeping bag
  • Air mattress Self-inflating, as complementation to the provided mats / air mattresses
  • Mat To sleep on; as complementation to the provided mats / mattresses
  • Pillow (small) Recommended, for pillows made of clothes help along only partially
  • Walking sticks / Trekking poles Particularly helpful on summit day and during descent
  • Headlamp For the ascent to Uhuru Peak in the dark and the time after sunset in the camps
  • (Small) Flashlight / Torch For the time after sunset in the camps
  • Sunglasses Should be of good quality and ideally have nose protectors integrated
  • Drinking bottle A drinking bottle is in any case recommended, for it can also be used to clean your hands
  • Hydration pack For direct water supply during the tour (very recommendable, but a second drinking bottle does the job, too)
  • Alarm clock For the daily routine, respectively also component of a smartphone
  • Binoculars
  • Camera Including sufficient films / storage and batteries, for there is no opportunity to charge them
  • GoPro To take shots easily during the tour, and during rainfall and in wind
  • Powerbank For charging your smartphones and other electronic devices during your tour
  • Batteries Depending on the needs of the cameras, headlamps etc.
  • Lighte
  • Pocket knife Can always become of use and you should carry one on you (attention: during your flight, do not place it in your hand luggage)
  • Superglue
  • Plastic bags / Garbage bags For worn clothes and litter
  • Resealable bags / Sachets For toiletries and other small items
  • Padlock To secure bags / backpacks
  • Umbrella Small umbrella is well-suited
  • Thermos flask Recommended to those of you who benefit from hot beverages, for instance on summit day
Travel pharmacy & first-aid kit

Hopefully, you will not need any or only few of these items. Speaking from experience and from exchanges with other travelers, however, we can say that a good first-aid kit is very important for the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. When push comes to shove, this kit will decide if you can continue the ascent or not.

  • First-aid kit Basic equipment, such as compresses / dressing, band-aid, scissors, possibly tweezers, wound-healing agent, disinfectant, tape (Leukotape)
  • Wound and healing ointment For treating abrasions or something similar (e.g. Bepanthen)
  • Pain relief gel For treating muscular and joint pains, also tensions (e.g. Mobilat or Voltaren / Diclofenac)
  • Painkillers Should be two sets, with and without antipyretic properties (e.g. paracetamol); among other things, they help with light symptoms of altitude sickness
  • Antibiotics Broad-spectrum antibiotics, if possible
  • Antiallergic In any case advisable, if you, for instance, react allergic to food (e.g. Cetirizine)
  • Gastrointestinal tract One product against stomach cramps (e.g. Buscopan) and one product against diarrhea (e.g. charcoal tablets)
  • Electrolytes To compensate salt depletion and water loss, e.g. also as dietary supplement during heavy perspiration (e.g. Hydralyte)
  • Insect repellent spray Against mosquitos or other insects (we did not have any problems with insects up on the mountain); against insect bites you can use e.g. Soventol
  • Malaria pills As standby medication to be taken orally if required (e.g. Malarone)
  • Tablets or drops for water purification E.g. Micropur Classic (very recommendable, quantity depending on the duration of the tour; attention: they need 2h to take effect)
  • Clinical thermometer
  • Nasal spray
  • Band-aids for blisters
  • Emergency blanket
  • Emergency blanket Silver-golden blanket for emergencies
Cosmetics & toiletries
…yes, you will need those up on the mountain, for there are definitely opportunities to keep fresh during the hike.
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste.
  • Facial moisturizer.
  • Hand lotion
  • Deodorant / Antiperspirant
  • Razor
  • Dry shampoo
  • Wet wipes | min. 10 wipes
  • Disinfectant tissues | min. 10 tissues As required, can complement wet wipes and disinfectant gel
  • Tissues | min. 2 packs
  • Toilet paper | min. 1 roll
  • Disinfectant gel Can complement or replace a piece of soap
  • Soap Can complement or replace the disinfectant gel
  • Mirror Small, as required
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Cotton buds E.g. Q-tips
  • Small towel For drying the face, hands etc.; should be fast drying
  • Washing glove For washing the face etc.; should be fast drying
  • Sunscreen With a high protection factor
  • Lip balm with sun protection If possible, with a high protection factor
  • Toiletries bag Ideally with a noose to hang up
Snacks & food supplements
During the hike, your body’s energy consumption is higher than usual, especially due to your constant movement and the adjustment of your body to the height. You should therefore make sure to be provided with sufficient nutrition. We practically had a good appetite at all times!
  • Cookies | As required Best would be something nutritious that gives you plenty of energy
  • Chocolate (bars)| As required
  • Cough drops | As required
  • Nuts and dried fruits | As required
  • Dextrose | 1 pack Also glucose or other energizers
  • Energy bars | As required Muesli bars or something similar; we ate 1-2 bars a day
  • Energy gel | 1 pack Can be used as a nutrition supplement
  • Multivitamin supplements |1 pack Should include iron and zinc; additional vitamin supply can especially be useful at increased physical strain levels
  • Ginkgo tablets | 1 pack They are said to prevent altitude sickness
Documents & Papers
Just like on most other journeys, they are very important!
  • Vaccination certificate To present in case of asked for when entering Tanzania (we did not need it)
  • Passport Imperative!
  • Passport photos You can take some to be on the safe side, but they are not required
  • Insurance certificate Health insurance or other
  • Tickets For flights, bookings etc.
  • Credit card
  • Cash At the beginning, we only had USD with us, and later withdrew Tanzanian Shillings at the ATMs; take sufficient cash for tips>
  • Envelope E.g. for safekeeping and distribution of tips
  • Visa To be carried along in case you have organized it before departure; otherwise the process of a visa application on-site is uncomplicated (visa on arrival)
  • Telephone numbers / Addresses Also emergency numbers / contacts

The packing list explicitly addresses the things you require for the ascent of Kilimanjaro. It is to be complemented as required with personal items and utensils (e.g. photos of friends and family, a travel journal, (card) games, earphones, or other things you feel attached to). Items, which you would also pack for another type of journey, and which will stay at your hotel during the hike (e.g. chargers for smartphones, laptops, goggles and such) are to be taken into consideration separately. Pack as much as is necessary and as little as possible, for you can take a maximum of 12 kg plus your daypack (approx. additional 5-6 kg) up Kilimanjaro. This is generally absolutely sufficient. The basic equipment, such as tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag as well as cooking and eating utensils will most likely be provided by your tour operator or you can rent them on site (get this confirmed beforehand). They do not count to your 12 kg of luggage.

Depending on how you are equipped, you might have to spend more or less money on your equipment. But it is worth it! Besides, you can use many of these items in everyday life or for future activities. We have bought a lot of our equipment at Decathlon and Schöffel-LOWA, for instance, as they offered a very good price-quality ratio.

Trekking is simply walking in the hills or the mountains – be it for a day or weeks or more. Certain basic trekking equipment are essential while you're trekking to any parts of the trekking destinations. The items may differ from the area to area and on season to season. The following are the list of the equipment that we suggest you for your trekking in East-Africa Mountains.

Mountaineering Gears

We support you with your travel planning and give you expert advice and access to our local network in Tanzania. In addition, we organize for you your individual journey to Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
Whether alone or in a group, with overnight stays in huts or tents, short or long tours – we offer every kind of travel, individually planned and tailored to your wishes. Our services are geared to the highest standards. We do not organize anything for you that we would not organize for ourselves.