Kilimanjaro is an extreme environment. The trek starts out humid and rainy. As you ascend it becomes hot and dusty during the day and below freezing at night. As you continue to the summit it gets colder and colder.
Kilimanjaro is also a dormant volcano so near the summit there is also pulverized volcanic ash which contains silica. Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth’s crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. It is also used to make products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone.
Crystalline silica are very small particles. At least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand you might find on beaches and playgrounds. This silica can do a number on equipment, like zippers, not to mention your lungs over time. Luckily, you are not exposed to it for very long so it shouldn’t have any lasting effects. We do recommend bringing a neck gaiter to cover your face on the way down from the summit.
Besides everything mentioned above, the mountain also has ice and snow. It can also rain at any point.
All these factors take a toll on the equipment on the mountain. For this reason, we recommend renting the proven equipment that can handle Kilimanjaro instead of putting wear and tear on yours.
The items we rent are trekking poles, sleeping bags, jackets, private toilet tents, and duffel bags. The climb price includes the sleeping pad and tents.
We use only proven backcountry gear. We take exceptional care of our equipment and are meticulous at maintaining it.
Kailas manufactures our tents to our specifications for Kilimanjaro. We clean and inspect them before and after every climb. We repair any damaged equipment. This damage can be items like broken zippers or leaks. If it is beyond repair we take it out of rotation.
Furthermore, the tents unique design wicks condensation from the sleeping area into the vestibule. This allows you to stay warm and dry inside the tent no matter the conditions outside.
Kailas is a climbing apparel and equipment company founded in China, in 2003. It is widely recognized as the most innovative and technical outdoor company in China. They are committed to providing outdoor enthusiasts with ultralight products that help them climb higher, run faster, and trek further. You can see more of their products here: https://kailasgear.com
Not only will you be sleeping in Kailas tents, you’ll also be eating, receiving your trip briefing, and daily health checks in our Kailas Dining Tent. It is much better than the locally made tents that tend to blow over in high winds or leak when it rains.
The two brands we currently use are the K-Way Kilimanjaro Series Sleeping Bag and the Kailas Mountain Alpine Sleeping Bag.
The rating for our sleeping bags is -15 degrees Fahrenheit. If you rent them, you will not be cold while sleeping on Kilimanjaro. They are very comfortable and roomy. They are also long enough for tall people. All of our bags are thoroughly inspected and cleaned when they come off the mountain. If damaged, we stop using them.
Our sleeping bags are down-filled. If you are allergic to down, you’ll have to bring your own. We recommend a 0 to -15 degree sleeping bag like these below.
Sleeping pads are included in the climb price. They are much better than air mattresses that will deflate when exposed to the cold or punctured.
To keep dirt and moisture out of the foam pads they are sewn into a sleeve. We then slip a pillowcase-like cover over them.
Additionally, we inspect every foam pad once it comes down off the mountain. We compare it to a brand-new piece we have in our office. If the foam has reduced its height by half an inch, we shred it and use it for pillows.
We strongly advise our clients to use trekking poles on Mount Kilimanjaro. They will aid with your descent off the summit and for traversing rocky terrain. You can bring your own. However, they may get damaged or damage your luggage. For that reason, we recommend renting them from us. The trekking poles we rent are from proven outdoor companies like Black Diamond and Leki.
Private Toilet Tents
There are three types of toilets on Kilimanjaro. There are the original portable long drop toilets they are moved over an open pit until full. Then they are moved again. There are the permanent composting toilets and there are private toilet tents.
The first two options are not vey sanitary. In fact, the long-drop are now only supposed to be for the porters. Trekkers can use the composting toilets, but they are not very sanitary. It doesn’t look like they are cleaned often. In fact we have never seen that occur.
So as a much cleaner option, we rent private toilet tents to our clients. You can divide the cost between four people. If more than four people want a private toilet tent, we will bring more.
Inside the tent is a portable toilet. One of our porters sets up, cleans, takes down, and carries the toilet the entire way on the mountain. He will make sure that the toilet its on level ground so you don’t fall off and he will make sure it is clean. Please tip him well at the tipping ceremony at the end of the trip.
Duffel Bag And Jacket
Finally, not everyone has or will need a 90 liter duffel bag or extreme weather jacket after climb Kilimanjaro. Why spend the money on it when you can rent one from us. We offer down jackets from small to extra large and will have you try them on at the trip briefing.
We want your experience to be the best it can be and this is reflected in how we meticulously care for our equipment. We hope you will see this when you are climbing Kilimanjaro. Save yourself the the hassle and expense of purchasing all your gear and rent the proven equipment that can handle Kilimanjaro.