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

Mark Whitman

If you search for a Kilimanjaro Packing List, the web returns a number of results, many of which leave you more confused and overwhelmed than when you started.

I know that the devil is in the detail. This is why,  a few years ago I set out to produce a complete and reliable Kilimanjaro gear list.

On this page you'll find a complete list of everything you need to bring to climb Kilimanjaro, as well as a complete downloadable packing checklist. I'll also talk about renting gear and give you a few tips on less-common items that will make your trek more comfortable

Let's jump in!

climb kilimanjaro summit

Get a Kilimanjaro trek quote

These are the companies I recommend...

Kilimanjaro Gear List

trekking poles

Some of the essentials for hiking Kilimanjaro are boots, gloves, quick dry hiking pants and good trekking poles.

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 or Black Diamond)


  • 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
climb kilimanjaro summit

Get a Kilimanjaro trek quote

These are the companies I recommend...

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.

Do Trekking Operators Provide Gear For Climbing Kilimanjaro?

All operators should provide tents as part of the package. Some operators will also provide the main, essential gear items as part of their trip price. This is usually sleeping bags, mats and possibly even duffel bags. This can be a huge perk as a proper sleeping bag or mat is an expensive item to buy if you don't already own one. It's worth finding out if any gear is included while you are getting quotes for your trek.

What Items Can I Rent To Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

You can rent most gear items for your Kilimanjaro trek either from your trek operator or from some of the gear shops in Moshi or Arusha. The quality and variety of this gear can vary dramatically. At a minimum you should bring your own layered clothing (including base layers and an insulated hiking jacket), worn-in hiking boots, warm gloves and a beanie, and a water bottle. It is easy to 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.

hiking boots

It's not a good idea to rent boots to climb Kilimanjaro. Make sure your own pair is waterproof and well worn in, I'd also suggest wearing them on your flight to Tanzania (that way you are guaranteed to arrive with them!).

Extra Items For Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 

If you are wondering what you need to climb Kilimanjaro, these items may not be the first things to come to mind. Although not essential, the following items are nice to have on your trek;



Powerbanks come in various capacity, check your phone battery to see how much mAh you will need to recharge a few times.

These days, keeping your phone charged is pretty much a necessity. Make sure you pack a power bank (or two) to recharge your battery during the trek. No doubt you will want to take loads of photos along the way!  

If you have a Tanzanian sim, you may even notice that you pick up cell signal on some parts of the route. Thanks to a recent initiative by the Tanzanian government, there is even WIFI on the summit! Although, I didn't actually test how reliable this is.

Dry Shampoo & Washcloth

toiletries camping dry shampoo wash basin

I strongly recommend bringing wet wipes and a wash cloth to basin-bath and at least wash your face after trekking.

Toiletries are probably the furthest thing from your mind when packing. I suggest thinking about them carefully though as there are no showers on Kilimanjaro. Most trek operators will provide you with a basin with a little water to wash-up in the afternoons and first thing in the morning. With this in mind, it's worth bringing a washcloth and small travel towel to use during these basin baths.

For those with long hair who are dreading going 7-8 days without washing it, don't forget to pack a can of dry shampoo. Being able to freshen up a little is a luxury you will appreciate when on the mountain!

A Book Or Games

On most of the routes, you will be arriving at camp with a good few hours of daylight left. Many people use this extra time to nap. However, if you struggle to fall asleep, it's worth packing a book to read or puzzle book (word searches, suduko etc.) to pass the time. A pack of cards can also be a fun way to bond with your trekking team.

Heating Cream 

If you're worried about your fingers freezing on summit night, this may be useful to have! I was a little skeptical when a fellow hiker pulled out a tube of heating cream, the type of stuff used by athletes to prevent muscle injury. All doubts were extinguished after rubbing some on before putting on my gloves in the morning. The cream helps your fingers warm up fast and keeps them warm during icy mornings. Fair warning, it can make your hands sweat. 

This is a great hiking-hack if you have poor circulation or are particularly sensitive to the cold. It's also good to have to use on sore muscles.

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 sleeping 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.

How Should I Pack For My Flight To Kilimanjaro (JRO)?

You may have heard from others who have done the trip that you need to pack your essential hiking gear for Kilimanjaro into your cabin luggage. This has merit as unfortunately, it's not unheard of that your luggage goes missing or is delayed on route to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

If you are scheduled to start a group trek the day after you land, a luggage delay is going to wreak serious havoc with your trip. For this reason, we advise packing essential items into your hand luggage which is likely also your daypack.

When I travel for a hike, the following items are in my hand luggage (just in case!); waterproof shell jacket, pair of trekking pants, thermal base layers, 1 or two hiking tops, underwear and a couple pairs of socks.

I also always wear my hiking boots on the plane. Bring along some travel slippers for comfort if it's a long flight.

It may seem like a lot to fit in however, if you roll your clothing into tights bundles, you will find that you can fit a surprising amount into a 20-30l backpack. No need to try fit all your gear in hand luggage but it does give you some peace of mind to have the basics with you. Worst case scenario, you will be able to hire additional kit from the local operator.

Note: Trekking poles are not permitted in cabin luggage, leave those in your main bag.

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

kilimanjaro airport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  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.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Discover Kilimanjaro's Best: Get quotes from companies I recommend