My Kilimanjaro Packing List

My Kilimajaro Gear and Three "Must-Haves"

Below is my list of gear that I took on Mount Kilimanjaro. As part of my logistics, research, and planning, I put together a spreadsheet which I could use as I packed for the trip.


#1 Gaitors

I found these invaluable to keep rocks and dirt out of my boots. Mount Kilimanjaro is dry and dusty in the summer months. Very few hikers, porters, or guides were on the mountain without them.

#2 Bandana/Buff/Neck Gaitor

Another piece of gear that most probably wouldn’t think of or buy ahead of time but a buff is an invaluable piece of gear. It’s very versatile: it can cover your neck, cover your mouth and neck, or cover the back of your neck and back of your head.

#3 Good Hiking Boots

The only thing getting you to the top of this mountain are your feet. Do not underestimate how a good pair of boots will help you on Kilimanjaro. Go to a retailer and have your foot measured, use an in-sole (I use SuperFeet Orange), and break. them. in. I used a pair of three-year old Vasque boots that were very well broken in. Others on the mountain had blisters and other sores from their newer, less worn-in boots. Een if it takes 2 or 3 returns to get it right—make sure you have the best possible boots for you before you leave. Your feet will thank you.

Packing List

General Clothing

    •    3 shirts: long and sort sleeve

    •    2 pairs of climbing shorts

    •    4 pairs of underwear

    •    Walking shoes

    •    Flip Flops

    •    Shorts to sleep in

Hiking-Specific Clothing

    •    Winter beanie

    •    Bandana

    •    Balaclava

    •    Hat

    •    Gloves - summer (20 degrees)

    •    Glove - winter (0 degrees)

    •    Synthetic shirt - long sleeve (2)

    •    Synthetic shirt - short sleeve (3)

    •    Fleece

    •    Puffy jacket

    •    Shell bottoms

    •    Waterproof shell top (lightweight)

    •    Waterproof shell pants (lightweight)

    •    HIking shorts (3)

    •    Long underweare (2)

    •    Hiking pants (2)

    •    Tennis shoes

    •    Hiking boots

    •    Wool socks (6)

    •    Gaitors

    •    Sock liners

Food and Water

    •    Nalgene bottles for water for summit day (so it doesn’t freeze)

    •    Water purification tablets

    •    Goo and Clif Bloks / energy bars

    •    Hard candy

    •    Butterfingers

    •    Water flavor powder

    •    Hydration tubes (lower on mountain / not frozen temperatures)

Hiking Gear

    •    15L daypack

    •    60L pack for porters

    •    Headlamp

    •    Spare batteries for headlamp

    •    Knife/multi-tool

    •    Compass

    •    Whistle

    •    Tape

    •    Sunglasses

    •    Glasses case

    •    Maps

    •    Trekking poles

    •    Inflatable pillow

    •    Sleeping bag (0 degree)

    •    Sleeping pad - insulated

    •    Duct tape


    •    Soap

    •    Shampoo

    •    Toothbrush

    •    Toothpaste

    •    Deodorant

    •    Tissues

    •    Ear plugs

    •    Bath towels

    •    Toilet paper in plastic bag

    •    Quick-dry outdoor towel

    •    Wet wipes


    •    Emergency Supplies

    •    Diamox (altitude)

    •    Advil in plastic bag

    •    Medical insurance documents

    •    Moleskin

    •    Band-aids

    •    Pre-wrap

    •    Sunscreen

    •    Anti-malaria tablets

    •    Bug Spray

    •    Cough drops

Phone / Electronics

    •    Cell phone

    •    International data plan

    •    Scanned documents on flash drive

    •    Ear buds for plane

    •    Wall charger

    •    Plug adaptor

    •    Disposable camera (Kodak Fun Saver)

General Accessories

    •    Plastic bags

    •    Single-use laundry supplies

    •    Small lock for lockers

    •    Power strip

    •    Trash bags

    •    Notebook

    •    Pens


    •    Notify credit card company of international travel

    •    Notify bank of international travel

    •    $100 US cash for emergency


    •    Passport

    •    Tickets, reservations, flights, etc.

    •    Driver’s License

    •    Photocopies of passport and driver’s license (in case you lose them)

    •    Extra passport photos (in case you lose it)

    •    Guidebooks, maps, itinerary printed

    •    Vaccine certificate

    •    Entrance visa

As a journalist-turned-designer, the driving interest in my work is to unify the ethical and documentary obligations of journalism (storytelling) and its common ground with the projective, forward-thinking obligations of the design fields (futuretelling)."

Jonathan Knight