Kilimanjaro File: Reaching the Top of Africa with Just a Backpack


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Kilimanjaro is a spiritual spot for a lot of people, particularly for the native people. However, even the people who summit this peak can experience a deep pious connection when they reach the top of Africa as well as en route.

With its 3 volcanic cones, namely Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo, Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcanic mountain situation in Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. This tallest mountain in the whole of Africa measures 19,341 feet or 5,895 meters above sea level.

Nearly 30,000 people mount the Kilimanjaro peak every year, out of which only three-fourth people are able to reach the apex. You can climb this mountain any time of the year but the best time to climb it is the early fall and summer seasons.

Climbing Kilimanjaro and standing on the roof of Africa is an opportunity of once in a lifetime. People from every corner of the world come to climb this mountain. However, for doing this, you need to be properly prepared so that your attempt is successful.

A lot of travelers are a bit confused about their packing list for Kilimanjaro. They want to know what they should keep and what can they avoid while preparing their packing list to climb the highest mountain in Africa.

Of course, you need to pack light so that you can trek easily without placing much burden on your back. But at the same time, you do not want to leave behind the essential packing stuff for your Kilimanjaro hiking tour.

In such a case, our definitive guide to help you pack light and full for your Kilimanjaro climbing tour comes in handy. It covers everything ranging from water bladders to backpacks and walking boots.


This list includes your upper and bottom clothes that you must pack in for your Kilimanjaro trekking tour.

  • Waterproof jacket:Carry one waterproof jacket that is lightweight and folds easily. The jacket should come with an adjustable hood.
  • Down jacket:You should have one compact and ultra light jacket, which can add up to your layers of clothing.
  • Fleece:A fleece sweater is a stylish way to keep warm and light. You can buy one that comes with additional pockets.
  • Long sleeved tops or thermals:Carry either two long sleeved tops or thermals for that lightweight warmth. You can take one that is attached with a hood.
  • T-shirts or vests: Take at least four t-shirts or vests with moisture-wicking abilities so that they can soak your sweat.
  • Waterproof trousers:Just like you need a waterproof jacket, you need a pair of waterproof trousers. You can buy one that comes with Velcro at the ankles.
  • Zip-off trousers:A zip-off trouser works both as shorts as well as trousers. These 2-in-1 pants come in handy when you want to pack light for your Kilimanjaro trekking trip instead of carrying separate trousers and shorts. You can carry a thin and loose pair of trousers so that you can wear them during hot days and also combine them with thermals if required.
  • Thermal bottoms:Take at least 2 pairs of thermal pants that are lightweight and can keep your legs warm.
  • Ski pants:Ski trousers are loose so they can be worn over your other bottom layers. These provide protection from the wind as well as keep you warm.

Extra clothing support

  • Thick socks:Carry 6 pairs of woolen socks to keep your feet warm. Make sure you buy the right size for your feet; they should not be too big or too small for your feet.
  • Liner socks:These are thin socks that you can wear under your woolen socks in order to soak moisture and avert blisters. You can carry 6 pairs of these as well.
  • Gloves:Gloves are really important in your Kilimanjaro climbing expedition. Buy the ones that are sturdy, but still have a soft lining within. And, if you plan to wear hand warmers under your gloves, buy one size bigger than your actual glove size.
  • Snood, Balaclava, or the like:Buy one to keep your face warm and protect it from cool winds. Make sure it is made of a thin fabric in between and has fleece at the end.
  • Baseball cap or sun hat:Go for one of these depending on what suits you the most.


When climbing a mountain, the most crucial thing is your footwear, which should be as comfortable as possible. They can make your hike successful.

  • Hiking boots:Since you’ll have to walk on uneven terrain, you should get hiking boots that provide great support to the ankles. Ensure that they’re snug and comfortable around the ankles.
  • Other shoes:Apart from boots, you must pack in some other shoes or non-hiking footwear too that can be worn around the camp. A pair of trainers will relax your feet as well as keep your toes warm.


  • Day pack:The day pack you carry must be nearly 30 liters in capacity. Make sure it is spacious and comfortable to wear on your back. If you want a pocket for your water bladder, buy such a bag or the one that has a side zip through which the water bladder tube can pass through.
  • Duffel bag:You can buy a qmedium-sized, waterproof duffle bag, which should be approximately 90 liters in capacity. However, make sure it does not exceed 15kg.
  • Packing cubes: I’m a great fan of packing cubes. One of the great benefits of packing cubesis that they separate your stuff, keep everything organized, and make your valuables easier to find. In order to buy the best packing cubes, you can read their review. All packing cubes are sturdy and durable, but they have different makes.
  • Water bladder:A water bladder is essential when you climb the Kilimanjaro Mountain since you can drink from it on the go. Make sure that the one you buy is a minimum of 3 liters in capacity, durable, and equipped with an insulated tube so that it takes a longer time to freeze during nights, even though you cannot stop it from freezing.
  • Water bottle: This comes in handy when your water bladder freezes during nights and also when you want a hot water bottle that can warm your feet. It should be at least 1 liter in capacity.
  • For-seasons sleeping bag:Carry a sleeping bag that works for four different seasons. Although it will take up space in your luggage, it is quite cozy as well as wit ill keep you astoundingly warm.
  • Roll mat:This is helpful for rolling on the floor so that you are protected from the cold ground. A few tour operators offer these for free or on rent so check out with your trip operator before you buy one in order to save money.


  • Toiletries (such as wet wipes, sunblock, and deodorant)
  • Hand towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Portable power supply

So, this is how you should prepare and pack your bags for your ultimate trek to the Kilimanjaro summit. Now, go ahead and climb to the top of Africa. And, once you reach the top, don’t forget to click amazing pictures, which you can show off to your friends and family.

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