Planning Mt. Kilimanjaro: The Gear

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in  ,      6 years ago     1165 Views     Comments Off on Planning Mt. Kilimanjaro: The Gear  

Although not a technical climb, ensuring you have the proper gear to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is abslutely essential. It is a several day hike up the side of an inactive volcano, with some routes traversing the cradle of the extinct Shira crater, up a very high "wall" out of the crater and then continuing up to the summit of Uhuru: Africa's highest peak.

Most tour companies that you communicate with will send you a list of suggested items to bring along. Below you will find a list of said items. After this list I have provided a sampling of the gear that I have taken with me. Upon completion of the climb I will return to this page and write a review of how the use of this equipment faired on the climb.

Suggested List of Gear & Supplies Needed for the Trek
balaclava sleeping bag liner
boots, hiking sleeping mat
bootlaces socks, wool & regular
earplugs x 3 sets sunhat
gaitors sunglasses (polarizing)
hat, fleece sunscreen
hat, wool t-shirt x 3 (antiwicking)
jacket, fleece thermals
jacket, winter trekking pants x 2
moleskin walking sticks x 1 pair
raingear water bottle (platapus)
sleeping bag (-10°c) water purifying tablets
Antibacterial Soap Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Deodorant Travel Towel
Moist toilet towels Waterless Soap
Toilet paper
Medical Kit:
Antiseptic / Antibiotic Cream Elastic Joint Supports
Anti-malarial Ibuprofen / Naproxene
Bandages Immodium
Bandaids lip balm (chapstick)
Compeed (blisters) Rehydrating Solutions (Dioralyte)
Diamox (?) Throat Drops

Here you will find a list of things I am taking on the Kilimanjaro Trek. Once the trek is over I will review the items and provide any feedback that may be helpful for others who come across my blog and are planning on making a similar climb (or other climbs, too).

Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking Boot
Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking Boot
Review: I really found these boots to work well. I had worn them in pretty good prior to leaving. They were comfortable, waterproof and great ankle support. I did not develop any kind of blisters while wearing these, so in my books they are an A+ winner

White Sierra Insulated Pants
White Sierra Pants
Review: I only had to wear these on summit night. They, along with my long johns, trekking pants and another layer over top provided excellent warmth. I thought they were pretty comfortable, too.

Calvin Klein Men's Body Long John Pant, Black
Calvin Klein Men's Body Long John Pant
Review: I only needed to wear these on summit night. Coupled with the other layers they provided great warmth.

REI Lightweight Merino Wool Hiking Crew Socks
REI Lightweight Merino Wool Hiking Crew Socks
Review: I've used these socks countless times. They are warm and comfortable.

Trekmates Karakoram Gore-Tex Gaiters
Trekmates Karakoram Gore-Tex Gaiter Pair
Review: I can't recommend taking gaitors on this trek enough! These gaitors provided great protection to my pants & boots from having dust, mud and water entering them.

Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Sleeping Pad
Review: This mat provided adequate amount of cushion on the trek. Coupled with my sleeping bag, sleeping liner and this mat I was able to have a decent amount of sleep most nights.

REI Roadtripper Travel Duffel Large Bag
Review: I did not end up using this bag. But I did take it and leave it with my tour operator.

PacSafe 85 Secure Bag Protector
PacSafe 85 luggage security
Review: This worked well. I only used it on the flight from the US to Nairobi to help protect my bag's contents from theft.

REI Crestrail 48 Pack
REI Crestrail 48 Pack
Review: This bag was definitely large enough to carry my day contents. It might be a little bit too much bag, but was mostly comfortable and I never felt fatigued from carryying it.

The North Face Blues II Beanie
The North Face Blues II Beanie
Review: I wore this hat most days when the days were cool and also to keep the sun off my head. Although I had taken another hat for sun protection, between this hat and my buff, I had more than enough protection from the beating African sun.

66° North Surtsey Hat
Review: I bough this hat back in 2008 while I was in Iceland. It's been one of the warmest hats I've ever had. It's sure to help on summit night.

Seirus Combo TNT Headliner Balaclava
Seirus Combo TNT Headliner Balaclava
Review: I only needed to wear this summit night. I helped keep the biting cold off my face as well as to warm my breath. But some times it did get a little too hot.

CamelBak UnBottle Insulated Reservoir -
100 fl. oz (3L)
CamelBak UnBottle Insulated Reservoir
Review: This, coupled with the thermal control kit below, allowed my water to always stay in the liquid state. I had also put a vegan electrolyte solution in the water to help keep it from freezing.

CamelBak Antidote Thermal Control Kit
CamelBak Antidote Thermal Control Kit
Review: Never had a real problem with freezing fluid with this combination. Summit night was the only time it got hard to drink through the straw, but it was still able to be done.

Grabber Hand Warmers
Grabber Hand Warmers
Review: I only used these on summit night. They worked, OK, but it took them a really long time to activate. But inside my gloves they provided some degree of warmth.

North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag
Review: This bag is probably not ideal, but it was comfortable enough. I would have choosen a sleeping bag that was rated for a lower temperature, however, coupled with the sleeping bag liner below it was quite warm.

Thermalite Reactor Sea-to-Summit Sleeping Bag Liner
Review: Can't recommend taking a sleeping bag liner enough. It helps keep your body warm inside the sleeping bag on those super cold nights!

Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking Poles
Review: I have used these poles previously and found them to be worth every cent. They're sturdy and collapsible. They lock tightly into place so you can adjust the height based on whether you are going uphill or downhill.

Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
Review: Never needed to use these.

Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purifyer Tablets
Review: Didn't need to use these. My trekking company provided me with enough boiled water each day that purifying the water was not needed.


I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.