I am an over-packer. I tend to think of any situation and pack for it. My bags are often heavy and I usually have enough to share my supplies with others. For our hike of Mt. Kilimanjaro I was concerned about being hungry mostly. Despite not being a big person, I can and often do eat a lot! We received a detailed list from ClimbKili on the items we needed in our pack. I read many blogs and spoke with friends who had hiked Kilimanjaro, and added more to my pack. No matter how much I prepare there is always something I forget or just don’t think I’ll need. Now after the trip I am compiling a list of the top 10 most useful items for Mt. Kilimanjaro.
1. Duffle bag for all the extra clothes and gear. Lucky for us strong porters carried these big bags for us!
We used these but 90L would be big enough for most people.
2. A Buff – face protection from the wind and more importantly to keep the dust out of our mouths and noses.
These Buff’s even have UV protection and bug protection.
3. Wool blend socks– they keep you warmer than cotton even if wet. If you have Merino wool socks they don’t smell either, important on a 7 day hike with no showers or laundry options!
I really love the quality of this company.
4. Chargers for electronic equipment. Extra batteries for cameras are fine to avoid chargers. We were able to have our family track us at home which was amazing. We charged our Delorme InReach with Goal Zero.
We used the Sherpa 50 solar kit while many in our group didn’t need the AC adapter and used the Switch 8 solar kit.
5. Rechargeable lantern, we loved our light weight Mpowerd lanterns. They were perfect in the tent to help with organizing gear in our bags or the nightly journal time. I hung mine on my backpack by day to recharge.
Our review of the lanterns we used shows how much we are fans.
6. Headlamp– good for summit night and trips to the bathroom at night. Hands free is good!
7. Water bottles– our hydration bladders froze summit night so water bottles were necessary. They were also more convenient in the tent versus a bladder.
We used these water bottles.
8. Down coat– very warm and just as important down coats are light weight! Summit night and early morning was very cold, I was happy to be as warm as possible.
My review of the coat I used can be read here.
9. Hiking poles– my knees and joints really appreciate them especially on the way down the mountain!
These are Frank’s hiking poles.
10. Medicine– we used altitude sickness medication, traveler’s stomach meds and pain relief often. The “Kili cold” is common. It is often due to the dust on the trail irritating the sinuses. A decongestant can help. I had not even thought about getting a cold on the mountain. Chapstick was great for wind and sun protection on our lips. My lips were peeling by summit day from the wind burn. I was very thankful for a teammate’s Vaseline for my chapped nose and lips! If you have sensitive or dry eyes bring your eye drops, the dust will only make them worse.
The best packing lists will make your trip more enjoyable and can even help you succeed on a challenging hike. Of course at the end of the day it is your positive attitude that makes the trip a success.
Looking for more hiking and travel gear:
Lifestraw – why we have it on every trip!
Bas Rutten O2 Trainer– how it helped Frank to the summit of Kilimanjaro
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The following gear we received a discount for: Goal Zero rechargers and Overboard duffle bags. The following companies donated gear: Mpowerd, WoolX, Moosejaw and Eastern Mountain Sports. Our opinions are honest and our own. Many of these companies we regularly purchase gear from without discounts.