Kilimanjaro Climbing Welcome

Kilimanjaro Climbing Welcome


We regularly are asked by climbers and trekkers what they should pack. It is essential to prepare well to ensure you have a successful climb. Most of the items noted in our Packing List are required so please read carefully. We have an additional wonderful Packing List that includes photos of each recommended item. If would like us to send it to you, contact us.

General Considerations

Less is more! It is important to bring the essential gear discussed below, but it is more important to refrain from bringing items that are not recommended. Items to stay away from are cotton socks, jeans, multiple pairs of shoes, and heavy sweatshirts. Look for items that are moisture wicking and quick drying fabrics as opposed to cotton fabrics. The new base layer clothing lines are excellent and highly recommended. They are also lightweight.

STAY AWAY FROM COTTON FABRICS AND JEANS – they hold moisture and so will make you damp and, therefore, cold!


Solid Hiking Boots

Boots should have high ankle support with a solid Vibram®, or equivalent, sole. Gore Tex®, or other waterproofing, is recommended to have for wet days as well as added insulation. Be sure to break your boots in at least 4 WEEKS prior to departure.

Additionally, bring a spare set of laces.

Down Parka*

An 800 fill down 800-fill-power down and a polyester shell fabric that’s extremely tough and durable, lightweight, windproof, down proof and water-repellent. Your jacket will be worn at the higher camps and on summit day.

*OPTIONAL: if you have a good waterproof jacket + all other layers mentioned then this item is optional. For those that get cold easily seriously consider adding this item

2 pairs long or short sleeve shirts for the trail

Your trekking shirt is what we should wear early in the climb in warmer climates. The shirt is moisture wicking, lightweight, and designed for multi-day hikes.

Warm hat/Beanie

This fleece or wool hat is ideal for evenings and will be valuable in the event of cold weather and temperatures on the summit. The hat should be tight fitting with minimal loose ends.

Lightweight gloves

Fleece gloves are essential. Look for gloves that are Polartec® 200 weight with a leather reinforced palm. For more protection wind proofing is available and will add an extra layer of warmth.


The balaclava provides added warmth on summit day and colder evening. The balaclava should be of synthetic or wool material, light weight, and close fitting.

Sun hat

Your sun hat should be worn at the lower camps and should provide ample coverage for the face. A ful-brimmed hat (e.g. Tilley Endurables) is good for added shade and increased sun protection. Additionally, a neck scarf should also be considered to protect the back of the neck”.

Waterproof breathable gaiters

Your gaiters should be lightweight and durable. Look for Gore Tex lined with the ability to fit over your boots. Velcro or adjustable sides for easy access is recommended.


Your sunglasses should have 100% UV protection and should reduce glare as well as visible light. The frames should be lightweight with a wrap-around design for enhanced grip and staying power.

Additionally, side shields are recommended to block peripheral light.

Head lamp

Petzl® and Black Diamond® make several models of small and efficient headlamps. Look for ones that have multiple lighting levels, LED bulbs and uses AAA batteries.

* Please bring at least 3 sets of spare batteries to ensure ample lighting on your summit attempt.

Camp shoes (Teva, Crocs, Sandals)

These are great for around camp after a long day on the trail. These can also be used for creek crossings that may be higher than the boot. Flip flops work well in warmer climates but are not as effective during cold nights.


Hydrators are ideal when hiking for several hours because they enable you to drink slowly and frequently. 2-3 liters is a good size and should fit easily into your pack. All Camelbacks® come with a bite valve, or on/off switch, as well as a large access port for filling. You must bring a NEOPRENE SLEEVE for the hose to prevent freezing.

Note, your tube will freeze anyway, please bring at least1 if not 2 wide mouth water bottles (see below).

Sun Screen

30 SPF or higher is recommended as well as waterproof and sweat proof. 8 ounces will be plenty and we typically carry one with 45+ SPF for our faces and a 30 SPF for other exposed areas. Banana Boat, REI, Kinesis and All Terrain are good options.


2 wide mount water bottle*

A 1-liter water bottle is essential for hydrating at lunch, around the camp, and refilling throughout the day. Stay away from glass and heavy metals and look for lexan® for durability.

* For males a third water bottle should be considered for use as a urine bottle/potty at night and must be labeled accordingly.

Dry Bag

A 20 liter + dry bag is great for ensuring your personal items are safe in case of rain. Cameras, wallets, money, and any other valuables can be kept dry at all times. I use mine to double as a pillow by filling it with clothes and wrapping it in my fleece jacket.

Pack Cover

The pack cover is an additional item we recommend everyone carry in case we encounter heavy rains. The pack cover should have a drawstring cord and elastic edges to fit firmly over your bag. A 40-liter cover will work well on any daypack.

Camp Towel

The camp towel should be of a polyester nylon blend that dries quickly and compacts tightly in your pack. The large (50 X 27 inches) is a good size and can be used to wash up at the end of the day. Stay away from house or beach towels. 

Legal bag weight and Porter Care

Your group will employ porters directly through Boutique Safaris. Porters are legally regulated to ensure they are treated well. We all must take care of them. The maximum legal load a trekking porter can carry is 20 kg on Kilimanjaro. Bags are weighed at the park gates by the authorities and if your bag exceeds 20kg, it will have to be split into two bags. Many trekkers take far too much ‘stuff’ with them and you should aim to travel light. If you want to take more, be prepared to hire another porter. Weigh your bag BEFORE you leave home. If you bag weight exceeds 20 kg, you will either have to reduce weight or hire a second porter at your cost.


Questions about clothing?


Should you have any questions, please email