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Kilimanjaro Packing List – What Do You Need To Climb Kilimanjaro (+ PDF Download)

Mark Whitman

A cursory search for a Kilimanjaro Packing List on the web returns a number of unsatisfactory results.

We know that for our readers the devil is in the detail, so a few years ago we set out to produce a complete and reliable Kilimanjaro gear list.

On this page you'll find what equipment you need to bring to climb Kilimanjaro, as well as downloadable packing checklist. 

Let's jump in!

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Kilimanjaro Gear List

Here is a quick list of all the gear that you need to pack for your Kilimanjaro trek. We've included links to our personal recommendations.

You can also download this Kilimanjaro packing list pdf.


  • 4-5 Pairs of Underwear
  • Top and Bottom Base Layer - I recommend Smartwool or Icebreaker - Men's and Women's.
  • 3-4 Short Sleeve and 1-2 Long Sleeve Trekking Shirts - Men's and Women's
  • 1-2 Pairs of Hiking Trousers - Men's and Women's
  • 1 Polartec Fleece Jacket - Men's and Women's (I like the Helly Hansen or The North Face fleeces)
  • 1 Insulated Winter Jacket - Men's and Women's (Columbia do a cheap and cheerful option, otherwise go for Marmot, The North Face or Arc'teryx.
  • 1 Insulated Trekking Pants - basically hiking pants with a fleece inner.
  • 1 Wind Shell Jacket - Men's and Women's
  • If your wind shell jacket isn't waterproof then get a lightweight rain jacket instead - Men's and Women's


Hands and Walking

  • Lightweight Inner Gloves - Men's and Women's
  • Warm Outer Gloves / Mitts - Men's and Women's (I recommend Eiger, Black Diamond, Outdoor Research or The North Face)
  • Adjustable Trekking Poles - here are some good options (I recommend Leki, Black Diamond Alpine or in the UK - TYTN


  • Mid-weight hiking boots – Men's and Women's (I recommend Salomon, Merrell, Columbia or Keen)
  • 4-5 Pairs of trekking socks – Men's or Women's (I recommend SmartWool or Darn Tough)
  • 1 Pair of warm/thick trekking socks - Smartwool is best!

Bags and Daypack

Sleeping Accessories

General Accessories


  • Camera
  • GoPro (optional)
  • Solar Backpack Charger (optional)
  • Spare Batteries and Camera Memory Card
  • Kindle with Back Light (optional)

Other Bits and Bobs

  • Energy Bars
  • Energy Drink Supplement
  • Zip Lock Bags for Important Possessions (Passport, Money etc.)
  • Trekking Towel
  • Toiletries, including one roll of toilet paper
  • Passport, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
  • Small Lock for your Duffle Bag

Plan your Kilimanjaro trek

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Kilimanjaro FAQ

What do you need to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Your Kilimanjaro gear list should include layered clothing (including an insulated jacket and warm gloves), good quality hiking boots, a 4-season bag, headlamp and water bottle. But these are really only the basics. To understand exactly what gear you need to take and why, use the links below to navigate to each section of our Kilimanjaro kit checklist.

Can I rent Kilimanjaro gear in Tanzania?

Yes you can rent equipment for Kilimanjaro from tour operators or from local gear shops in Moshi and Arusha. The quality and variety of this gear can vary dramatically. At a minimum you should bring your own layered clothings (including base layers and an insulated hiking jacket), worn-in hiking boots, warm gloves and a beanie, and a water bottle. You can hire hiking poles and a sleeping bag, so if you don't have these items and you don't want to purchase them, then hiring is a good option.

Do I need to bring a tent and camping gear for Mt Kilimanjaro?

No, tents and camping gear are provided by all tour operators as standard features of a Kilimanjaro trek. The better operators on Kilimanjaro use high quality 2-man tents from manufacturers like Mountain Hardwear and The North Face. Operators also use large mess tents which come fully equipped with tables and chairs for trekkers. All of this gear is carried by porters up and down the mountain. It's the reason why Kilimanjaro treks have such large support crews (see Kilimanjaro porters).

Do I need any specific Kilimanjaro kit for the Western Breach?

The Western Breach is the most technically challenging approach to Kilimanjaro. It was closed for a short period in early 2006 after a fatal rockfall claimed the lives of three trekkers. It has however re-opened with a new and safer route configuration, and is steadily growing in popularity.

For trekkers interested in this route, we recommend reading our Western Breach route guide.

There are some specific Kilimanjaro kit requirements for the Western Breach that you should be aware of. Many of these items are not mandatory, however should conditions on the Western Breach be adverse you may need the following:

  • Climbing helmet to protect your head from the potential risk of falling rocks
  • An ice axe and point crampons – it is unlikely that you will need these items, however if you are climbing during the wet season (see Kilimanjaro weather) it is likely you will encounter sub-surface ice from refrozen meltwater and deep snow. Usually your guides will have the correct gear to cut steps on these sections (we recommend you confirm with your tour operator exactly what gear you will need for the Western Breach)

It is very unusual to need rope or a climbing harness. Again we recommend you confirm with your tour operator which Kilimanjaro kit list they recommend you bring should you decided to climb the Western Breach.

More Kilimanjaro guides:

Tags: Kilimanjaro kit list, Kilimanjaro packing list, Kilimanjaro gear list, Kilimanjaro equipment list, Kilimanjaro gear, Kilimanjaro equipment

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  1. Hi, I am in Tanzania now giving a fundraising workshop to an NGO.
    This was a last minute trip and i would like to climb Kilimanjaro. I was already on vacation when I planned this and did not have any climbing gear with me. Any chance I can climb Kili starting this weekend? Can I find the gear somewhere? Is it too late?
    It is not everyday one comes to Tanzania so I would like to make the most of this trip. My flight back is from Nairobi on July 15.
    Thank you
    PS i am in good physical shape.

    1. Hi Marie-Claire, you should be able to find a local operator in Moshi or Arusha who would be willing to take you. There are gear rental shops in Arusha so you should be able to get all the kit you require. Cheers!

    1. Hi Shaun, no, I wouldn’t make any changes, although you may want to bring an extra pair of underwear / socks.

  2. Hi, everybody!

    I would like to find out how fit I am for a 7-day Móchame trekking
    I am 54 years old – 58 kg
    Go to the gym 2-3 times a week.
    Like going in foot.
    No health complaints

    1. Hi Evelina, you sound like you are fit enough to tackle Kilimanjaro. The key, in addition to physical fitness is mental endurance. 7 days hiking at high altitude is tough work. Summit night is a real mental challenge. If you are strong mentally then I think you have a great chance to summit Kili. All the best!

    1. Good point Charles, I’ll add this. All tour companies should provide their guides with complete first aid kits as well.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you for this spectacularly comprehensive gear list. I run, hike, and ski a bit, so I think I may have almost all the recommended clothing already. My one question is regarding the “warm jacket” aka “core jacket.” I’ve got a hooded GoreTex waterproof ski shell which I planned to take for wind and rain protection. For summit night, I planned to wear the shell layered on top of a fleece, plus my underlayer. Will this be sufficient, or is there any reason I would need anything more?

  4. OMG, this post is such a win find! It wasn’t exaggerating when it said it’s the complete packing list for Mt Kilimanjaro. So detailed and informative. I can literally use this to check all the things I’ll bring when I climb the mountain. Sounds like you have been there for many times. How many times did you climb the Kilimanjaro? I can definitely use this as a reference or forward to a friend who will climb the mountain for the first time.

  5. What if you hike during the summer when the weather is warm, would you still need to pack winter wear? Does it get really cold at night or with the elevation?

    1. Hi Tatiana, yes, you will need warm clothing for the higher elevations on Kilimanjaro, regardless of season. Above 3,000m the nights are cold and the days above 4,000m can also be very cold. Summit night is particularly cold. I recommend reading my guide on layered clothing and make sure to take a four season sleeping bag.

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