Packing List for Mount Kilimanjaro trekking in Tanzania

General rule: No cotton on the mountain. Go for wicking fabrics for all clothing and undergarments.


4 pairs of underwear 
1 snow jacket w/hood* 
2 pairs of pants (at least one pair that zips off to shorts)
1 long sleeve shirt
1 light weight jacket (fleece pullover or similar)
1 waterproof jacket (shell)
4 pairs of wool socks
1 pair of light gloves (use most mornings)
1 pair of serious snow gloves (for summit night)
2 pairs of long underwear bottoms (for sleeping and summit night)
2 sports bras
hat with bill or brim
1 seriously warm head beanie
Waterproof pants* (I only used these on summit night, for protection against the wind)


Slip-on shoes with decent grip (You will be glad you have these for late-night trips to the bathroom)
Hiking boots


Daypack backpack (Approx. 20L and designed for use with a Camelbak bladder; use it to carry your camera, water, rain gear, sunscreen, snacks, etc.)
40-60L backpack or duffel bag (holds all personal items plus a sleeping bag and sleeping mat)
Stuff sacks for clothing (makes packing and unpacking each day much less frustrating)
Water bottle (Nalgene or similar)
Camelbak bladder (at least 3 liters)
Sleeping bag rated to 10 degrees Fahrenheit*
Trekking poles*
Gaiters* (I wish I could wear these every day—so convenient)
Headlamp* (Plus extra batteries)
Large rain poncho (this can cover both you and your daypack in the event of a downpour)


Diamox (Prevents altitude sickness)
Cipro and anti-diarrheal (Just in case)
Ibuprofen or Tylenol (Treats mild cases of altitude sickness)
Birth control and/or tampons (I am a huge advocate for the Mirena implant if traveling long-term; removes the need to carry tampons or pills)


Roll of toilet paper 
Face tissues
Unscented, biodegradable wet wipes
Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
Solid deodorant
Lip balm (w/ SPF)
Face wash bar
Face lotion
Extra hair ties
Hand/feet/body warmers
Large and small bandages and moleskin (For blisters, cuts, scrapes)
Antibiotic ointment


Camera + extra battery
iPod for summit night
Kindle or book – Quite a bit of downtime
Optional – Solar-powered device charger


Small, quick-drying hand towel (for washing your face)
Snacks (Almond butter packets, candy, etc.)
Ziplock bags for trash and dirty laundry
Small detergent packets for washing underwear and socks
Clothespins for hanging up wet laundry
USD for tipping guides, chefs, and porters at the end of the trek

Trekking Company Will Supply

Sleeping mat
Filtered water
All meals (which are surprisingly delicious)

* Item can be rented from trekking company. However, I would recommend that you bring your own jacket and sleeping bag as the ones that I rented were quite old and had faulty zippers.

What You Don’t Need

Shampoo + Conditioner – You won’t use it
Bug spray – Bugs are only a factor on the first night, and you will be completely covered
Anti-malarial medication – Again, you will only see mosquitos on the first night
Contacts – Glasses are definitely recommended, as your hands will be perpetually dirty and the air is dry and dusty

Random Tips

If you get cold at night (which you will), use your heavy jacket as an extra blanket on top of your sleeping bag instead of wearing it. Trust me, it will make a big difference.

Practice replacing your headlamp batteries before summit night, as you don’t want to get caught in the dark, fumbling around with tiny screws.

Create a “Summit Night” iPod playlist ahead of time, making sure that it’s at least 8-hours long and will get you to the top! Keep your iPod deep in a breast pocket so it doesn’t freeze.

Try to time your trek so that you summit on or near a full moon. The amount of light makes a huge difference, and you may not even need a headlamp. Some companies charge more for the luxury. Climb Kili does not, and I must say that they were awesome overall!




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