What Equipment Will I Need to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Packing for Kilimanjaro can be intimidating. You know you’ll be halfway around the world and hiking up a remote mountain. There isn’t an outdoor store nearby to grab any last-minute items you forgot. So how do you know what equipment you’ll need to climb Kilimanjaro?

What Equipment Do I Need to Climb Kilimanjaro

Some of the questions we receive are:

  • Will I be warm enough?
  • Can my feet handle all the walking?
  • Will I have enough batteries to last the entire trip?
  • Can I shower on the mountain?
  • Where do I get fresh water?

Don’t worry, that is what we are here for. Below is our complete list of items you should bring on your Kilimanjaro trip. You can also download it here: https://kilimanjarosunrise.com/wp-content/uploads/kilimanjaro-sunrise-gear-list.pdf

Kilimanjaro Equipment List

When reviewing the list, you may see items that seem silly or useless. But trust us, we have been on the mountain several times and we know what is important. Follow our list of what to bring and you’ll be well prepared for your trip of a lifetime.

Mount Kilimanjaro experiences extreme weather patterns. The clothing, headwear, handwear, and footwear on the gear list will enable you to not only tolerate but feel comfortable in cold, wet, windy, and warm conditions. The technical gear we recommend will keep you dry, warm, and safe even the worst environments. Our climbs include sleeping tents, sleeping pads, dining tents, tables, chairs, cooking equipment, food, utensils, and portable toilets (if you choose to rent one).


  • Warm, Waterproof Jacket – Shell
  • 1 Soft Jacket, Fleece or Soft-shell
  • Lightweight Rain Jacket
  • 2 Long Sleeve Shirt, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 2-3 Short Sleeve Shirt, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 Waterproof Pant
  • 1-2 Hiking Pants/Convertibles
  • 1 Fleece Pants (highly recommended)
  • 1 Short (optional)
  • 1 Base Layer, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 3-4 Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 2 Sports Bra (women)

Technical Equipment

  • 1 Sleeping Bag, at least 0° F (Rental: -15° F)
  • 1 Trekking Poles, collapsable (highly recommended)
  • 1 Headlamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 Duffel Bag, 70-90L, for porters to carry your gear
  • 1 Day pack, 30-35L, for you to carry personal gear


  • 1 Sunglasses
  • 1 Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
  • 1 Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • 1 Water Bladder (3 liters)
  • 1 Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night
  • Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags, or Ziploc Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate


  • 1 Gloves, waterproof and windproof
  • 1 Gloves, thin


  • 1 Cap or Hat, for sun protection
  • 1 Beanie
  • 1 Balaclava/Buff, face coverage for wind, sun, and dust


  • 1 Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
  • 1 Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  • 4-5 Socks, wool, or synthetic
  • 1 pair of Gaiters, (optional)
  • Camp Slippers (optional)


  • Toiletries
  • Prescriptions – Malaria tablets, Diamox (optional). Diamox may make you susceptible to sunburn
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellent
  • First Aid Kit
  • Painkillers (optional)
  • Blister kit (optional)
  • Anti-diarrhea tablets (optional)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet Wipes (recommended)
  • Snacks, lightweight, high calorie (optional)
  • Electrolytes, powder, or tablets (optional)
  • Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
  • Hand warmers (optional)


  • Immunization Papers
  • Trip Receipt
  • Passport
  • Visa (available to JRO)
  • Insurance Documents

Available to rent and pay for in cash at the trip briefing

Duffel Bags for Kilimanjaro

Gear Available for Rent

To keep your cost down, instead of purchasing these items you may rent them from us:

  • Trekking Poles
  • Jacket
  • Sleeping Bag
  • ALTOX Personal Oxygen
  • Duffel Bag

Items You Will Not Need

Mount Kilimanjaro is a “walkable” mountain. This means that you do not need technical mountaineering gear to climb it. For this reason, you do NOT need these items:

  • Crampons
  • Rope
  • Ice Axe
  • Harness
  • Helmet

Organizing Your Gear

Weighing Gear for Kilimanjaro
Weighing gear at the hotel

We provide our clients with the above gear list so they do not overpack. Experienced trekkers know, but many novices do not that you cannot bring everything on a trek. In Kilimanjaro National Park, there are weight restrictions on how much a porter can carry. Every duffle, pack, and dry bag is weighed at the Park gates. They are also weighed again at each campsite to ensure more items weren’t added to the porter’s packs. Each bag cannot weigh more than 33 pounds (15 kilograms).

These rules were established by Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) to ensure the safety and well-being of the porters. This is strictly enforced by the Park so that porters are not weighed down with a heavy burden.

Budget operators will try their best to circumvent these rules. We take a KPAP porter with us to monitor the conditions on Kilimanjaro.

The equipment that you do not need each day along the trail will be carried in a duffel bag. We recommend a 90-liter duffel so you have plenty of room. Once we weighed it, it will be placed in a waterproof dry bag to give it further protection from dust and moisture. Clients only need to carry a medium-sized day pack while hiking. A 30-35 liter capacity is sufficient. The day pack will contain items that you’ll need each day during the hike. These items usually include rain gear, a warm jacket, gloves, camera equipment, a hat, water, and snacks. The weight of your day pack will be normally no more than 15 pounds.

Weighing gear at trailhead
Weighing gear at the Park entrance

Any items that aren’t needed on Kilimanjaro such as travel clothing or a laptop, can be safely stored in the hotel.

How to Pack Your Duffel

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what equipment you’ll need to climb Kilimanjaro, start asking for some of it for gifts, watch for sales, and borrow from friends and family. If you stick to this list, you’ll be a lot more prepared and comfortable when you are climbing Kilimanjaro.

Are you ready to book your trip of a lifetime?

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