Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro
Our bags were thrown in bags and carried off.

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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

Like it?  Pin it

Top 10 Most Useful Items for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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.


girls vs globe linkup banner

Travel Notes & Beyond

About Cathy

Cathy (aka “Wildcat”) is not your typical travel/adventurer. Whether it is traveling across the globe or exploring her beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire, this mother of 4’s curious nature has led her to find adventure everywhere she goes. Her blog was first started to chronicle the training and journey to the “Rooftop of Africa” – Mt. Kilimanjaro. Since that time, has expanded to highlight everything connected with the unique and fascinating adventures a Wildcat can find. She shares with her readers tips, advice, and encouragement to find their strength and inner “ROAR”.
Like it? Please share it...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook17Pin on Pinterest27Share on Google+0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0

35 Comment

  1. Nikki says: Reply

    LOVE THIS! This is my go to for when I EVENTUALLY decide to brave it. Love the guy with the eggs in his head! And thank god for the porters. They really are amazing. I truly truly respect what this guys are willing to put themselves through for a dollar. It’s remarkable.
    Nikki recently posted…The Traveller vs Tourist Debate (And Why It’s a Load of Crap)My Profile

    1. Thanks Nikki! They are incredibly strong and are the reason I was able to summit! They really are the most essential!

  2. Superbly comprehensive list! Will save for the future as Kili is on my to do list so fingers crossed I will get to try out your must haves! 🙂

    1. Thank you Stephanie! I highly recommend this life changing experience.

  3. Lynn Hapke says: Reply

    I love your articles, it truly made me feel like I could experience some of the amazing pieces of your trip! Even though I just know I won’t be climbing Kilimanjaro, I find this list very helpful for my Girl Scouts 🙂

    Keep on blogging my friend!!

    1. Thank you Lynn! Keep roaring with the Girl Scouts, never know where it will bring you!

  4. My parents made the summit recently and I just read your list to them – all agreed!
    Steph of Big World Small Pockets recently posted…Found! The Best USB Car ChargerMy Profile

    1. Congrats to your parents, your parents are clearly adventurers like you! Glad to hear they agreed:)

  5. Aparna says: Reply

    I’m an overpacker too and I totally overpacked for our 4 day Inca trail hike. I hope I can find the courage to do Mt.Kili some day!

    1. If you did the Inca I think you could do Kilimanjaro! The altitude is the hardest part, it is mostly a mental challenge. Do you have a packing list for Inca trail? Machu Picchu is on my wish list!

  6. Anda says: Reply

    Wow, Mount Kilimanjaro! This was quite an adventure. I envy you for the experience, but not for the effort. Just thinking about this hike makes me tired and hungry, but all those eggs… are you kidding me? Is that all you eat there? Eggs?
    Anda recently posted…The Weekly Postcard: Genoa, the Town of Mormon PioneersMy Profile

    1. There were lots of eggs, crepes even more. The food was wonderful, I’m not sure how the chef made half of what he did on the mountain! It was quite the effort especially summit night but well worth it. It was a life changer that I highly recommend:)

  7. Congrats! What a great list….although, I’m not sure I’m up for it. I would love to do this.

    1. Thank you, it is not a technical hike- I do think many people can do it:) Much more of a mental challenge!

  8. Jess says: Reply

    Oh wow! Now that is an adventure. Definitely not a challenge I’m up for, but I’ll armchair travel there any day.

    1. It isn’t for everyone:) I love hiking so it was the next big challenge. It is fun to follow some adventures on the armchair though:)

  9. After reading this list, especially the ‘no showers’ bit, I think I will stick to civilisation. Do you think it would be possible to pack a bath?
    Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields recently posted…Seven things you need to know before you visit Alaska.My Profile

    1. We had baby wipe showers nightly:)

  10. Essie says: Reply

    I have ALWAYS wanted to climb Mt Killimanjaro, but everyone thinks I’m nuts bc of my asthma. Even reading your warnings about wind and cold (things not great for asthmatics) I still want to do it. What’s with the crocs though? Wouldn’t hiking boots be better?

    Found you from the March Girl Vs Globe link up.

    Essie @ The Wandering Thistle

    1. Essie, could you try a hike local to you that has high altitude to see how you would do? I wore hiking boots, the crocs were at camp:)

  11. When I climbed Kili, a couple things I found that were essential were an extra pair of shoe laces and Body wipes (closest thing to a shower you’ll get on the mountain!)!

    1. Nice additions! I never thought of shoe laces- that would be bad if one broke! I normally have one in pack to tie things if I need to but never really think of the laces breaking:) When did you climb Kili? We did the body wipe showers nightly too:) Love the name of your blog btw!!

  12. Joe says: Reply

    A very helpful post Cathy!

    Can’t really add to it, but for me it’s all about preparing for four seasons in one day, ergo you need both a fleecy hat AND a sunhat, for example. Oh yeah and sweets are a good way to win friends and influence people enroute – not essential, perhaps, but certainly good for energy and morale!
    Joe recently posted…Istanbul – One of the World’s Great CitiesMy Profile

    1. Thanks Joe:) Chocolate is always necessary for me!

  13. David says: Reply

    WOW! That one looks like an epic trek! Kilimanjaro has been in our bucket list for a long time now. Me thinks it’s time to pack and go! And your packing list will come in handy.
    Thanks Cathy for the motivation!

    1. David it is an amazing life changer! You should read day 5 and summit day under Africa section- I still get goosebumps reading it:) I highly recommend the trip!

  14. […] Ready to hike Kilimanjaro?- here is our top 10 items to pack […]

  15. […] RoarLoud Tip: Top 10 Most Useful Items for Kilimanjaro […]

  16. […] No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is always a need for luggage, bags, anything to make lugging your stuff around the globe a little easier. In the case of rugged duffel bags, you can’t lose with the Overboard Waterproof Duffel. It is huge, durable, and 100% waterproof (not resistant..waterproof). We used these for when climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. […]

  17. […] Pack for this hike with our guide! […]

  18. Dash says: Reply

    So insightful and eye opening to read. I really had no idea about the conditions of the climb or equipment needed. if I ever… do you have any good resources for preparing for the climb. For example, how many miles to hike a week, etc.?

    1. We share our training routine in this blog: We hiked at least once a week, usually the most challenging mountains we could find. I don’t think you can over train for Kilimanjaro:)

  19. […] Follow up blog on what to pack for hiking Kilimanjaro can be found here! […]

  20. Anne says: Reply

    What fantastic tips. I wear contact lens and would have never even thought of th dust! May sound like a dumb question, but did you get much signal?

    1. We talked to lots of people who did the trip and dust is the one many didn’t plan for. My nose was very irritated on the way down. Vaseline was great for sore noses! We did get good signal at times, the guides knew where to stand to get the best signal. The GPS was better than our phones though.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge