Marvelous Mountaineering: What to Pack for a Kilimanjaro Hike

Are you getting ready for your first Kilimanjaro hike? Hiking Kilimanjaro is a dream for many casual hikers, but it’s a big journey. You need to make sure that you have everything that you might need on your trip. 

Not sure what to pack? We’re here to get you started.

Keep reading to learn about a few of the most important things that you’re going to need while you’re hiking up Kilimanjaro. 


First, you’re going to need a bag. 

When most people decide to do an Mt Kilimanjaro hike, they do so with professionals leading the way. Most of the time, this means they have someone helping them with their bags.

If this is the case for you, check on bag regulations through the hiking guide service that you’re using. They may require specific weights or bag types. 

You want to make sure that your bag is waterproof and large enough to contain everything that you need. It’s helpful to practice packing your bag a few times ahead of time to make sure that you’re able to get everything in and out without a struggle. 


The Kilimanjaro hike length is extensive. Make sure that you have all of the clothing that you could potentially need while you’re on your journey. It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. 

Pack one or two light short-sleeved shirts for your base layer of clothing. It’s helpful to have something light on underneath, even if it’s cold. You’ll also need one or two lighter long-sleeved shirts.

Bring a weatherproof jacket with a hard outer shell, as well as a plush insulated jacket to keep you warm. You’re also going to need a soft jacket, like a fleece pullover.

Make sure that you’re keeping your hands and feet warm. You’re going to need a thick and waterproof pair of gloves (or mittens), as well as several thick pairs of socks. Wool socks are perfect for this. 

Have extra socks so you can layer them, and so you never have to walk in wet socks for too long. 

For your shoes, it’s a good idea to have a pair of trekking boots as well as a pair of trainers. The boots are best for while the hike is happening and the trainers are good for rest periods. 

We also suggest both one warm beanie and a hat with a brim (to protect your eyes from the sun). 

Sleeping Gear

You’re going to need somewhere to sleep while you’re on your Ultimate Kilimanjaro hike. 

Start with a sleeping bag. For most of the year, standard sleeping bags are fine. If you’re going to hike during winter, make sure that your bag has extra insulation to protect you from the elements. 

Pillows are optional, but they help. Choose a small travel pillow or consider bringing an empty pillowcase and stuffing it with your unused clothing. This way, you don’t have to take up extra room.

Make sure that you’ve brought appropriate sleeping clothes. Wear something lightweight. 


Don’t forget that you’re still going to need hygiene items while you’re on your hike. While some things will be provided by your hiking guide service, you’re going to want to bring a large supply of toiletries with you.

Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as a small bottle of soap or hand sanitizer. You’re not going to have time or space to bathe on your trip, so it’s also helpful to bring dry shampoo and wet wipes. It’s also a good idea to bring several small microfiber clothes. 

Keep your skin safe with a moisturizing lotion or healing ointment, as well as sunscreen. Even when it’s cold, the sun is still going to burn you. 

Don’t forget to bring deodorant. 

Tech Devices

When you’re on your trip, you’re not going to have access to outlets for your devices. Make sure that you have everything fully charged when you leave. 

You’re going to need your phone, a GPS, and a flashlight. Headlamps are also helpful. Keep in mind that your phone won’t have service or Wi-Fi while you’re hiking. It’s a good idea to bring a camera for your trip as well, so you can capture all of the amazing sights. 

You should charge several power banks so that you never have to worry about your devices losing power. 


Your guides will have many first-aid items for you already, but it’s still helpful to bring a few extra supplies. 

If you take any medication, make sure that you bring it with you. This includes psychiatric medication, pain medication, medication for chronic illnesses, and even an EpiPen. 

It’s a good idea to bring eyedrops with you. With the wind and cold temperatures, it’s likely that your eyes will feel dry and uncomfortable while you’re hiking. 

Other Miscellaneous Items

So what about things that don’t fit into distinct categories? There are several items that you’ll want to include in your bag once you already have the basics. 

First, make sure that you have a water bottle or thermos (or several). It’s a good idea to have one for hot liquids and one for cold liquids. 

It’s a good idea to have hand warmers. You can buy these for an affordable price, and they’re easy to use and store in gloves to keep your hands feeling toasty. 

While it’s not necessary, it’s helpful to bring trekking poles. These will help you stay upright and move through your hike. If you struggle with knee pain or instability, these poles will make your descent easier and safer. 

If you want to entertain yourself during rest periods, consider bringing a book or a small game.

Are You Ready for Your Kilimanjaro Hike?

Your Kilimanjaro hike is right around the corner! Have you already packed your bags?

When you’re going on a hike with professional guides, it’s helpful to reach out to them ahead of time to ask if they have any recommendations. Remember, these seasoned professionals have led many newcomers over the years, so they know all of the top tips and tricks.

Have fun on your hike!

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