What to Pack when Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

When packing for your Mount Kilimanjaro Climb, don’t simply throw items into your backpack where they might easily be dropped. We recommend that you use different plastic bags and dry bags (or stuff sack) so as to separate the different items in categories.

For instance tiny prescription containers, hand sanitizers, sunscreen and lip balm can be placed in one zip lock bag.  This can also be done for cloth accessories such as neck gaiters, huts and gloves.

When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, majority of your personal gear is going to be carried by porters. In the morning as the climbers begin their morning trek, the porters remain behind to clean the campsite and break-down the tents. Afterwards they move on ahead of the climbers to the next campsite where they prepare the evening meal and also boil some water. For that reason, climbers do not normally see their porters again not until their next overnight destination. That is when they will also be able to access their gear that porters will be carrying for them.

During the hike climbers will have their own day packs which will be containing the items that they will be needing through the day. The rest of the items are placed duffel bags and carried by porters. So when you are choosing what to carry in your backpack, the general rule is to only pack the few items you think you will need; Pack light. For instance you won’t need any bug spray while on the higher altitude.


So what is the secret when packing your day-pack?

First and foremost, we recommend that you use a medium-sized backpack, having a capacity of approximately 1,800 cubic inches (which is around 30 liters).

So below we have highlighted some of the guidelines to follow when loading your day pack.

What to wear on your Mount Kilimanjaro Trek?

On your first day of the trek, we expect you to be wearing the following: a cap or a brimmed hat, hiking pants, shirt, socks, comfortable well-fitting underwear, and preferably ankle boots to protect your ankle as you hike for hours.

  • Pack light: when you are choosing what to carry in your backpack, the general rule is to only pack the few items you think you will need. For instance you won’t need any bug spray while on the higher altitude.
  • Keep the load balanced: Well it is always good to have the load balanced. Ensure that the heavier items are placed near the mid-point of your back so as to maintain the center-of-gravity parallel to your spine. Whenever you place the heavier items either on the right, left top or bottom side of your pack, it will either cause you to lean forward or on the sides.
  • Strap up well: In case your day pack has compression-straps, make sure that you have them tightened up so as to prevent the items inside the bag from moving around as you hike.
  • Consistency: ensure that you are consistency with where you place the different items in your bag – say the main compartment, the side pockets or panty pockets. That way you will not have to fumble looking for an item when you need.
Kilimanjaro Summit

What to pack in your Day Pack on Mount Kilimanjaro

Here is a list of the items we recommend that you pack in your day pack.

    • Clothing: have additional layers of clothing and any useful accessories that you will need on the hike such as the rain gear.
    • Knit hat for warmth
    • Sunglasses / goggles
    • Gloves
    • Optional trekking poles
    • Buff Gaiters which are optional
    • Breathable waterproof pants
    • A water bottle
    • Snacks preferably light weight with high calories
    • Electrolytes either powder or tablets (optional)
    • Sunscreen lotion
    • Toilet paper
    • Fit aid kit and medicines in case you are on medication.
    • Camera with additional batteries (this is optional)
    • Hand Sanitizer

Wondering which route to take when climbing Mt Kilimanjaro? Have a look at the most popular climbing routes on Mt Kilimanjaro like the 7 days Machame Route Kilimanjaro.