Awesome! You’ve booked to climb Kilimanjaro! You’re so excited (and you’re bank account that much lighter) then what happens, you get the itinerary complete with a Kilimanjaro packing list as long as your arm and you think “How am I going to afford ALL THAT too?”
It’s the same with any big trek, especially if you’re going to altitude. The company you’re going with are covering all bases, so if you don’t have and you need it, it’s your problem, not theirs. Fair enough. But think, how much weight can you take – there is a weight limit for the porters. What can you afford – you will need to spend a fair amount on some things, so prioritise. And don’t forget, you can often rent items when there. I went to Kilimanjaro with Intrepid and they offered free sleeping bag hire, saved me a couple of hundred quid. How often am I going to need a four season sleeping bag? Hiring was the best option.
Then you get to an outdoor shop and ask for help. You tell the staff that you’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro and they agree with everything on the list! And you begin to think, maybe I should take everything? I had one staff member trying to sell me the most expensive Down Jacket, it was over £500! No way could I afford that to wear once! But she was convinced there was no way I could summit without it! Maybe if I was climbing Everest I would’ve taken it…
So without further ado, here is what I took (and what I would advise you to take):
My Kilimanjaro Packing List
First the bags, I took a day pack of 26l and a big bag of 75l. In these bags I took:
- Underwear – 12 sets (just incase);
- Socks – 12 pairs:
- Merino Wool x 2 pairs;
- Knee Length x 2 pairs;
- Hiking Ankle Length x 3 pairs(can layer these with knee length if need be);
- Thin Ankle Length x 5 pairs (can layer these with knee length if need be);
- Waterproof (and Windproof) Coat;
- Waterproof (and Windproof Trousers);
- Base Layers (top and bottom) – two sets:
- Merino x 1 (for summiting);
- Polyester (and so cheaper) x 1;
- Hiking Trousers – 3 sets:
- General x 1
- Zip Off (so become shorts for warmer parts) x 1;
- Winter Trek x 1;
- T-shirts x 4:
- Short sleeved x 3;
- Long sleeved x 1;
Note: The waterproofs were NOT the easy to roll up small versions, I wanted to make sure they weren’t thin.
- Hiking Boots;
- Sandals (for at the hotel).
- Balaclava (for summiting);
- Fingerless Gloves;
- Ski Gloves;
- Wooly Hat;
- Sun Hat
Note: I did not take Sunglasses, as I wear glasses and these have reaction lenses, so I would of course advise sunglasses if you do not normally wear these.
- Trekking Roll Mat;
- Minimal Toiletries:
- Body Spray;
- Hair Brush;
- Hand Sanitiser
- Head Torch;
- Water Bottle;
- Lip Balm;
- Notebook (you may not need this, but I wanted to keep a diary so I could later blog);
- First Aid Kit;
- Rehydration Sachets;
- Malaria Tablets;
- Diamox (for Altitude Sickness);
I rented a few things from the Intrepid. These were:
- Sleeping Bag (free with Intrepid);
- Extra Water Bottle;
- Hiking Poles.
It’s important not to see the packing list that you are given as ‘set in stone’, or the one I have made! Use your common sense and prioritise. Look if you can rent some things if you don’t think you’ll use them again. Pretty much everything I took, I used and have used since. I’m glad that I didn’t get a Down Jacket to use just once and glad I didn’t take spare batteries for my camera or head torch, I didn’t need them.
Prioritise things that are waterproof and will keep you warm. You’ll need to spend a bit on these items so that they are decent. But they don’t have to be the most expensive. My lifesavers were merino wool socks and base layers.
Would you take anything different? Less or more?
Or eead About My Kilimanjaro Adventure!