Packing for Kilimanjaro is a serious task. Weight is the most important limitation as many airlines will tack on fees for overweight luggage (be sure to check your airline’s luggage policy). More importantly: Porters are limited to carrying no more than 15 kilograms (33 lbs.) so you’ll have to either carry any excess items in your day pack or sacrifice some things, but this is more than enough if you pack properly. Conversely, if you don’t pack enough you run the risk of being too cold/hot, wet, or extra stinky and dirty the whole time. How much and what you pack depends entirely on your tolerance to cold temperatures, the time of year you climb, how much dirt and sweat you can abide by before the need to wash overwhelms you, and hiking comfort preferences.
A few notes on the most important items for my women’s Kilimanjaro packing guide include:
Hiking boots should fit well and be broken in before beginning your climb. Make sure they have enough room for thick/multiple pairs of socks. I recommend boots over lower shoes since you may encounter mud and snow.
Camp Shoes or Slippers
At the end of the day, all you want to do is take off your shoes and let your feet breathe. I opted to bring warm slippers, but slides could work well if you don’t mind the cold. Otherwise, a pair of comfy sneakers will allow you to explore the camps unhindered.
I opted to bring one pair of durable leggings and one pair of regular trekking pants. Convertible pants are also a great option for adding versatility. My personal favorites are the Fjallraven Trail Tights and prAna Halle Pant.
** If you’re on a budget REI Used and Steep and Cheap often have these for a fraction of the cost.
It’s recommended to bring 1 looser bra for summit night. Some people experience shortness of breath and a looser bra will make it a little less constricting.
I left a big range for underwear because I prefer clean underwear every day. However, I was able to wash and dry mine a few times early in the trip. But getting them dry is never guaranteed. For this reason, wool or anti-microbial underwear is recommended.
One lightweight, UV protection buff is great for the warmer zones and can be raised to protect from dust. A fleece/wool buff or balaclava is optional for summit night where you’ll encounter some bitter temperatures.
My personal recommendation is to bring a variety of sock weights. I prefer to use medium weight and bring some wool sock liners for added warmth on cold days and summit nights. I had a separate pair of thick socks for camp and sleeping.
Packing for a Kilimanjaro climb requires careful consideration of weight limitations, climate conditions, and personal preferences. It is essential to pack efficiently to ensure that porters do not carry too much. While weight is a crucial factor, it is equally important to strike a balance between being adequately prepared and not overpacking. Ultimately, the items to pack depend on personal preferences, tolerance to cold temperatures, and comfort requirements. By considering these factors and following my guidelines for women’s Kilimanjaro packing guide, women embarking on a Kilimanjaro adventure can ensure they have the necessary essentials for a successful and enjoyable climb.
About the Contributor
Taylor Enzweiler is an outdoor enthusiast known for her deep-rooted love for nature and a plethora of exhilarating pursuits. She immerses herself in the world of canyoneering, backpacking, rock climbing, and kayaking, constantly seeking the thrill of exploration.
She is a part of the REI Trailblazer program and has earned a reputation as an early adopter of innovative gear. Her unwavering commitment to her craft has attracted the attention of prominent outdoor gear and clothing companies. As a trusted gear tester and product endorser, she plays a vital role in evaluating and endorsing top-tier equipment, enhancing the outdoor experience for enthusiasts worldwide. Her collaborations with renowned brands have cemented her position as a respected authority in the field.
Enzweiler embodies the spirit of adventure and has dedicated herself to exploring the great outdoors. Her passion for outdoor pursuits and her invaluable contributions to the industry make her a beacon of inspiration for fellow enthusiasts and a guiding light for aspiring adventurers.