Climbing Kilimanjaro Gear List

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Climbing Kilimanjaro Gear List
Climbing Kilimanjaro Gear List

Here is my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list here if you’re planning on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and need some tips. Some of the gear I purchased myself and then I borrowed quite a lot of stuff too.

I realize now that I ended up having quite a lot of North Face gear. I had actually never worn any North Face gear until this trip, but their equipment worked very well for me. I especially liked the hiking boots; they fit my type of feet perfectly.

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Jacket

One of the most important pieces of clothing on your climbing Kilimanjaro gear list is the jacket. I wore was this North Face Arrowood Triclimate jacket. You want to get a good jacket with a hood that’s wind and rainproof. It can get extremely windy at times on the mountain, and you’re always regulating your body temperature. If I were not wearing my jacket during our breaks, I would immediately put on my jacket, even if it was just a 15-minute break. Because with that type of wind, your body quickly cools down as soon as you stop moving.

Kilimanjaro Day 6 Summit Day Uhuru Peak_
Kilimanjaro Day 6 Summit Day Uhuru Peak

Hiking Pants

I brought with me five pairs of hiking pants for the trip. The ones I brought were quite thin, but windproof which was perfect. They are very similar to these Nonwe hiking pants on Amazon. I was not cold or warm wearing them, but they worked great for me.

Many in our group would wear shorts, and if you prefer to wear shorts, there are many hiking pants that convert to shorts. These are quite nice since you have to regulate your body quite a lot since the weather can change quickly throughout the day.

Pants For Summit Day

For summit day I wore these  during the day. I only had them on for a few hours in the morning, but I’m really glad I brought them. It was really cold the first few hours on summit day! I also had on a fleece pants and then thermal underwear. The fleece pants I wore are similar to these fleece pants from Russell Athletic.

Hiking Shirts

Next on my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list is hiking shirts. I wore polyester shirts very similar to these long sleeve shirts from Vapor Apparel. I had some really thin ones and some slightly thicker long sleeve shirts as well.

If you sweat a lot, you’d want to bring a few extra of these long sleeve polyester shirts. I had six shirts which were enough for me, but a team member ran out and had to hang his sweaty shirts from his backpack for them to dry. This works well if you don’t mind the smell of wearing them again. Most of my clothes I would wear multiple days, and it was no issue I felt since I did not sweat very much. I would just pick the least dirty and smelly one!

I recommend long sleeve shirts like those I mentioned above, so you don’t have to worry about getting sunburned on your arms. But if you sweat a lot then you’d want to bring polyester t-shirts and put on lots of sunscreen lotion.

Kilimanjaro Day 2 to Shira Camp
Wearing a long sleeve polyester shirt

Thermal Shirt

For summit day I wore Merino Wool Thermal for upper body which kept me really warm for summit day. That’s the only day I wore these thermals because it was not that cold during the daytime, and the jacket was enough to stay warm. But for summit day it’s freezing cold and you want four layers on, starting with a thermal.

Thermal Pants

The thermal pants I wore are similar to these thermal from Duofold. I only wore thermal pants on the last two days, one being summit day which is why you absolutely want good thermals to stay warm!

Neck Buff/Warmer

A neck buff is very useful, and I wore them every day, and I would highly recommend you include it your climbing Kilimanjaro gear list. I mainly wore the neck buff so I did not have to put sunscreen lotion on my neck! I had these really thin neck buffs that worked so well for me. They are similar to the neck buffs you find here on Amazon.

Neck Buff For The Descent

You also really would want to have a neck buff on the descent from Stella Point. It’s extremely dusty, especially if you’re right behind someone. Each step you take tons of dust flies up in the air in the face of the person behind you. I bought a N95 medical mask as I did not want my sinuses to react to the dust. I had seen videos before I left of how dusty it was! The thin neck buffs I listed above from Amazon would work fine as well. Just depends on how sensitive your sinuses are to dust. A few people did comment on the N95 mask I wore and wish they would have brought it as well! The final campsite we camped at was also really dusty, and lots of people were coughing…

Wearing a Neck Buff
Wearing a Neck Buff

Summit Day

For summit day I wore a much thicker neckwarmer like this one from Turtle Fur and it kept me warm. On summit day I actually wore a neckwarmer like the one from Turtle Fur AND a balaclava like this one from Tough Headwear. Yeah, I went all out and didn’t want to get cold and it kept me warm! Wohoo!

Gloves

Next, on my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list, are the gloves. I wore these gloves from North Face. They were perfect for the days when it was colder or windy. It gives better grip for holding the trekking poles also. I would always have them in my pocket in my jacket in case I wanted to put them on in the afternoon.

Summit Day

For Summit Day I wore another pair called Marmot Windstopper Convertible Gloves. I borrowed these from a friend, and they worked very well for me. I used them on top of the gloves I mentioned above from North Face, as I don’t think they would have been warm enough by themselves.

Headlamp

A good headlamp is a must for your climbing Kilimanjaro gear list. You really want to have a good headlamp with you since at night it’s pitch black. When you’re inside the tent, you have to have the headlamp on to see anything at all. I used the  which worked just fine.

Only issues I have with this one is that sometimes it would turn itself on by itself if the on sensor accidentally touched something in my bag. The on and off sensor is on the front, and if you swipe your finger in one direction, it turns itself on. Luckily, the battery lasted the whole week and I did not have to change batteries. I noticed it’s a little difficult to take the cover off when I tried it at home, and I can’t imagine what it would be like inside a tent if you don’t have any other light on! If I were to go again I’d probably get the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp as it has buttons instead.

Headlamps at night during dinner

Sunglasses

I wore these Julbo Montebianco sunglasses with a Cat 4 lens and I was super happy with them. I had never heard of Julbo before until I starting researching online. Julbo makes the best lenses for being at high elevations and therefore ideal for mountaineering. I purchased the Julbo Montebianco model since they fit my face quite well and I can also use them when not on a mountain. When I used a beanie together with the Julbo glasses, there was no chance of any sunlight getting in. The Julbo Montebianco sunglasses also include a small plastic piece that attaches to the side of the glasses to help cover the side of your eyes.

At the top of Kilimanjaro, the elevation is almost 6000 meter (20k feet) therefore you absolutely want to protect your eyes.

Wearing Julbo Montebianco Sunglasses
Wearing Julbo Montebianco Sunglasses

Backpack, Day Pack

Next, on my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list is the backpack which they referred to as the “day pack.” The duffel bag was the “mountain bag” that the porters would carry to each campsite.

A good backpack is essential to bring along since you will be wearing it every day for hours and hours. You want to find one that fits you well with excellent back support. Everyone has a different level of comfort, therefore I would recommend to go to a hiking shop to try on a few different styles of backpacks. Make sure the straps are tightened correctly when you try them on so you can test the back support. I used this Talon Osprey backpack and it was super comfortable and perfect for this climb.

Duffel Bag, Mountain Bag

You’ll have a second bag, the mountain bag, that a porter will carry for you. Yes, they will carry this 18kg bag on their head and make it to the next campsite in half the time it takes for you to get there! They are very strong and fit.

In your mountain bag, you want to keep all your gear that you don’t need during the day. It’s limit of 18kg (40 lbs) for this mountain bag which they measure on the first day. Here is a very popular duffel bag from North Face on Amazon. Size large would be perfect.

Trekking Poles

Next, on my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list are the trekking poles. I borrowed these Black Diamond trekking poles from a friend. These poles were awesome, and I had no issues with them. When purchasing trekking poles, I recommend getting a pair that has “flip locks” so you can quickly change the height on the go. When you go uphill, you want to have them a little shorter than when you go downhill. The “flip lock” trekking poles are quite common, but there are many less expensive versions without the “flip lock.” The main difference is that these other versions tend to be more challenging to adjust while you are walking, and you might have to make a full stop. I’m glad I had the “flip locks,” though I didn’t adjust the height very often during the climb.

Black Diamond Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Trekking Poles

GPS Tracker

We brought a GPS tracker along on the climb. We used the DeLorme Insight Explorer GPS and it worked really well. There is a link to a website that you can share with friends and family where they can track you on a map. They will be able to see the route you are taking and where you are located each day.

SMS Messages & Email

You can also send SMS messages and emails using this GPS. You can also see the elevation among many other features. I have not seen many others list these on their climbing Kilimanjaro gear list, but it’s a pretty cool little gadget to bring on a trip like this.

We set it to send a signal every 30 minutes to try to save battery. We also turned down the brightness on the screen to save battery and had to charge it every 2-3 days.

inReach Explorer GPS
inReach Explorer GPS

Batteries

Before I went on this climb I was a little concerned about having enough battery for my phone and camera. I had heard that in such cold temperatures the batteries easily drain and go flat, but when I would read other climbing Kilimanjaro gear lists I would not find much information on batteries.

I did not experience the batteries drain or go flat because of the cold weather, and I was, therefore, thrilled I had plenty of battery for the full trip. I did wrap my phone and camera in a thick sock at night and placed them in my sleeping back. I didn’t do that with my external power-bank though.

Anker Batteries

I purchased the Anker PowerCore 26800 and it was hardly drained at all even though I charged my phone and camera battery every day. I didn’t take that many pictures and videos, therefore my iPhone 6s in airplane mode had excellent battery life. I usually had about 50% of battery left each evening. If I was to go again I would purchase a couple of the Anker PowerCore 10000 since it’s smaller, lighter and therefore more practical to carry around and use at home.

Camera

If you watch the videos I took from the climb you can see that I mainly used the Sony HDRAS300 camera to record videos. I did use my iPhone as well for videos.

I mainly took short video clips that usually were about 10-30 seconds, and the video clips turned out great. Especially with the beautiful blue sky in the background! I recorded video clips each day of our climb and you can see them on these posts about climbing Kilimanjaro.

For my type of use, the Sony HDRAS300 camera worked really well. It’s small and light, and the battery life was excellent. It rarely went lower than 50% after a day. I did have an extra battery with me but never had to use it.

Solar Panel Charger

I abrought a solar panel charger on Kilimanjaro, but I didn’t have to use it since my Anker PowerCore battery was plenty to charge my camera and phone. But if you think you’ll need a lot of battery to record videos and take pictures then you might want to bring a solar panel charger. I brought one very similar to this one on Amazon from Anker 21 Watt Dual USB Solar Charger.

Direct Sunlight

This type of solar panel charger charges the devices when it’s in direct sunlight. It’s perfect for when you are at campsite or resting. But when you’re walking your devices will only charge when in direct sunlight and stop again when in the shade. The charging will start and stop all the time and from what I heard, this is not good for batteries. If you want to hang the solar panel charger on your backpack while you’re walking, you might want to get a solar panel charger with a solar power bank like this one from Dizaul on Amazon .

Pulsoximeter

If I were to go again, I would add a Pulsoximeter to my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list. These are quite inexpensive, and you can measure the amount of oxygen that is in our body. It also measures your pulse.

My oxygen levels were quite high and usually stayed at around 94%. The higher we got, the lower it did start to drop, and at Stella Point, the amount of oxygen in my blood was 78%. I did not know about these Pulsoximeters before I went, or I would definitely have purchased one. I would probably get this  available on Amazon.

Checking the oxygen levels in our body using a pulsox
Checking the oxygen levels in our body using a pulsox

Hiking Boots

Since we would be hiking 5-7 hours each day, I knew I wanted a lightweight hiking boot. But I needed it to also keep me warm on summit day. On summit day we hiked about 14 hours in total and it was really cold in the morning.

Comfort & Fit

I tried an a bunch of hiking boots in search of the “perfect” hiking boot for my. I ended up getting the Litewave Fastpack GTX from Northface.

It’s really difficult to recommend a hiking boot, because everyone’s feet are different. You just have to try on as many as you can, go with the one that feels the best to the type of feet you have and then make sure you break it in properly before the trip.

Handwarmer In The Hiking Boot

The Litewave Fastpack GTX from North Face are definitely not the warmest hiking boots, but they worked very well for me. It was only the last day, summit day, that I did get a little cold. But I used a handwarmer inside each of my boots and my feet stayed warm! Since it warms up quickly during the day, I was able to remove the handwarmers after a couple of hours.

I really like these hiking boots as they are actually very close to wearing sneakers. They are super light and have a good grip. I ended up purchasing the low-top and mid-top from them since they fit my feet so well.

Low-Tops On Kilimanjaro

I actually first purchased the Litewave Fastpack GTX low-top after reading about a girl that hiked Kilimanjaro using just her sneakers. I thought well, I’ll just go with these since they are super light, good grip and they fit my feet so well! They didn’t have the high tops in that store, or I would have purchased those instead…

Later I watched videos of the Kilimanjaro descent on Youtube and realized I’d be an idiot for wearing low tops and “winging it” thinking “Oh I’ll be fine” because the descent from Kilimanjaro summit is 2-3 hours of sliding down the mountain. It’s pretty steep and kind of like sliding down a ski slope in fresh powder. You really don’t want low-tops for this part it really won’t be a pleasant experience.

The girl I read about had been in Africa for work and had not planned on hiking Kilimanjaro, but ended up just randomly going, so that’s why she used sneakers since it was all she had with her at that time.

Terrain On Kilimanjaro

Now it is fully possible to climb Kilimanjaro with low-top shoes. The terrain is not that challenging, and there is a path to walk on each day. The reason why I did not wear the low top shoes is that I did not want to roll my ankle with a low-top shoe. At many areas, there are large rocks and extremely uneven terrain. It’s at these places you have to be careful because it’s easy to sprain your ankle.

I, therefore, decided to use the high-top boots every day and wore the low-top boots around the campsite now and then. On summit day going down Mount Kilimanjaro, you really have to wear a high-top hiking boot. It’s extremely challenging to walk down as you slide most of the way.

2 Pairs Of Hiking Boots

You do want to bring two pairs of hiking boots. It’s nice to have a backup hiking boot that you also can wear around the campsite. We had excellent weather, but if it were to rain, then you definitely want another hiking boot in case you main hiking boot gets wet.

Many people get one lighter boot like the Litewave Fastpack GTX from Northface and then a more heavy duty boot like these Asolo Power Matic from Amazon for summit day when it’s especially cold.

Microspikes

The final item on my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list is microspikes. The trekking company we went with said to bring microspikes for the trek. The microspikes I used are like these microspikes you can find on Amazon. Before we left, many people told us that we didn’t need microspikes to climb Kilimanjaro, so we were a little confused about it.

Microspikes To Use In The Rainforest

But the microspikes are not for the ascent, but for the descent. Actually, they microspikes are only for the final part of the trek down the mountain when you’re in the rainforest. It’s wet and often rains, therefore, it’s quite muddy at times and it can be very slippery. This is where it’s really nice to have microspikes.

With microspikes on, we walked at a normal tempo and did not have to be as careful at the slippery parts. Those without microspikes, would have to walk very slowly and carefully to get through these parts. You don’t absolutely need them, but you’ll be really glad you brought them!

Thanks for checking out my climbing Kilimanjaro gear list! I hope this will help you find the right gear if you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro. It’s a life change experience that you will change your perspective on life.

Here is a video from Day 6, Summit Day. It was pretty awesome!

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The last 15 years, I have been living in various countries around the world. It's been amazing learning new languages and meeting so many interesting and wonderful people of all kinds of backgrounds. I enjoy writing about these experiences, as well as helping people discover what is in their heart to do.

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