Complete Kilimanjaro Packing List

Complete Kilimanjaro Packing List

Packing for the Kilimanjaro trek can be challenging. How much should you carry? What type of backpack can you bring? And what should you buy in Tanzania? I had all of these questions leading up to my Kilimanjaro climb. Use this Kilimanjaro packing list to prepare for your climb to Africa’s highest summit.

Complete Kilimanjaro Packing List

I purchased the majority of my gear for the Kilimanjaro Trek before I departed for Tanzania. Individual packing lists will vary but the essentials will remain the same. I recommend purchasing the essentials before you leave and below you will see everything I purchased for my trip with Kandoo Adventures.

I also highly recommend the company I am climbing Kilimanjaro with- Kandoo Adventures. They are very professional and run a great operation.

You can save $50 off your Kilimanjaro trek by telling them Triphackr sent you. Just inquire on their website and let them know!

More Info: Kandoo Adventures

Jump to the end to see my complete Kilimanjaro packing list or browse by section below.

  • Trekking Backpacks
  • Camera Gear and Accessories
  • Hiking Boots and Socks
  • Tea House and Lodging Gear
  • What to Buy in Kathmandu
  • Trekking Shirts
  • Trekking Pants
  • Jackets and Other Outerwear
  • Long Underwear and Base Layers
  • Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear
  • Other Essentials

Which Backpack is Best for Kilimanjaro?

Unlike Everest Base Camp (and other treks around the world) you must have a guide and porter for Kilimanjaro. This means you only need a small to medium sized daypack with enough space to carry daily essentials. Your porter will carry the rest.

I carry the 28 liter pack on the left from Osprey. It has enough room for my heavy down jacket, a lightweight long-sleeve shirt, GoPro, Camera, and backup batteries. The larger 38 liter pack is another great option if you need additional space. Just don’t over pack your day pack.

28 liters was plenty of space for my daily trekking gear and 3 liters of water.

Kilimanjaro Camera Gear

This is going to vary for each person but the key is to pack light. I switched from my Nikon DSLR to a lighter Sony A7ii. Every gram matters when you’re trekking all day and the Sony A7 series offers a lighter camera that shoots amazing images and video (full Sony A7ii review coming soon).

You will need backup batteries and you will want to pack light. A small point-n-shoot, light DSLR, or a GoPro are great. Small or light tripods are also great additions. Below you will see the camera gear you will want to consider for your Kilimanjaro trek.

Solar Power and Portable Batteries

You will not be able to charge your camera or phone during the climb without proper equipment which means you will need to be prepared. Backup batteries for each camera is a great way to start but even fully charged batteries can day after a few days in the cold. GoPro batteries and phones can easily be charged by portable USB power packs. You may need special charger for your DSLR or camera to charge using a USB cable.

Solar chargers are also a great option during treks. Strap the power cells to your daypack and charge your gear in your tent in the evenings. I recommend Voltaic solar chargers for trekking. You can get away with the 4W charging system but the 6W Solar Charger will charge more cameras and pack a bigger battery.

The Canon s120 takes great photos and is a perfect lightweight solution. The Sony a7ii is an amazing camera and is also lightweight compared to most DSLRs. It has a small body and is easy to carry.

The Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip proved to be one of the best items I packed. You can use it to attach your camera to your shoulder strap while you’re trekking. This is great for when you aren’t shooting or when you need to use trekking poles on the trail.

Best Hiking Boots for Climbing Kilimanjaro

Before arriving in Kilimanjaro you should break in your hiking boots for weeks during your training. You don’t want to develop blisters on the trail and want to be sure they are comfortable. Look for lightweight and comfortable hiking boots that offer a lot of stability and comfort. My boot of choice: Scarpa Men’s Kailash GTX Hiking Boot

Scarpa Boots were recommended to me by a friend who makes 30, 40, and 50 day treks. I had zero blisters when wearing one or two pairs of socks on the trek.

Also See: Everest Base Camp Training Guide–It is very similar to Kilimanjaro training

Hiking Socks

Comfortable hiking socks are key to a comfortable and enjoyable climb. Pack merino wool socks. They reduce odor and can be worn over and over again. I carried one pair of heavy merino wool socks, 2 medium weight hiking socks, and 1 light weight pair of socks.

Best trekking socks: Icebreakers | Smartwool | Patagonia

Trekking Shirts for Kilimanjaro

A shirt you can wear everyday on the trek up Kilimanjaro is important. Cotton t-shirts are not good for hiking. Investing in merino wool shirts is a great idea. Just like merino wool hiking socks the shirts will last for the duration of the trek. I packed two Icebreaker Tech T Lite shirts , one long sleeve shirt, and a merino wool sweatshirt.

Trekking Pants for Everest Base Camp

Kilimanjaro trekking gear may vary slightly based on the time of year. Shorts may be acceptable on the firs day or two if you easily get hot while hiking. Some routes ascend Kilimanjaro faster than others meaning you will need to layer up faster. Check your route and the altitudes to determine if you need much heat gear. The key is to layer up so you can take off what you need as you climb Kilimanjaro and heat up during the day.

Hiking pants are great but running tights and shorts make a nice combo.

Jackets for Kilimanjaro Trek

A good jacket is essential for your trek up Kilimanjaro. If you are traveling with a company your tour group will might supply a warm down jacket for you (ask to confirm).

I was supplied with a large down jacket but I carried a light down jacket and light-weight zip hoodie.

Evening and Sleeping Gear

On the trek up Kilimanjaro you are going to work up a sweat and get a little dirty during the day. You are going to want clean and comfortable clothing to wear in the evenings in your tent and inside your sleeping bags.

My nightly gear: Long sleeve merino wool shirt, wool long underwear, warm socks, and a sweatshirt.

Long Underwear, Base Layers, and Rain Gear

This gear is similar to what you may wear in the tea house. The difference for me as the long underwear or base layers I wore during the day were lighter than what I wore in the evenings at the tea house.

Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear for Kilimanjaro

You can purchase basics in Moshi but this isn’t like Kathmandu where there is knockoff gear and cheap gear readily available. Don’t rely on picking up gear in Tanzania.

My daily gloves were light weight gloves and that is what I wore the majority of the time.

Buffs are one of the best purchases you can make and the cheapest. They are versatile and can be worn on your head, as a scarf, or to keep the dust out of your face. Pick up a couple of buffs for your Kilimanjaro trek.

Other Kilimanjaro Essentials

There are a lot of little things that are important for your Kilimanjaro trek.

There is a lot of down time on any trek and having a Kindle was great in the evenings. The battery lasted throughout the trek and helped me fall to sleep nightly.

Dry bags are great for protecting cameras, hard drives and even laptops. Backing up a hard drive can only be done with a laptop or at internet cafe. Bring multiple memory cards for shooting each day so if you lose one you don’t lose everything.

I actually carried a Macbook Air because we were shooting a ton of photos and videos. Losing our footage was not acceptable but I don’t recommend the extra weight.

My Complete Kilimanjaro Packing List

Trekking Backpack

Camera Gear and Accessories

Hiking Boots and Socks

Sleeping and Evening Gear

Other Essentials

Trekking Shirts

Trekking Pants

Jackets and Other Outerwear

Long Underwear and Base Layers

Gloves, Hats, and Rain Gear

What Did I Pack My Kilimanjaro Gear In?

I always carry my GORUCK Echo 16 liter backpack and also packed a Base Camp Duffel from The North Face. The small Base Camp Duffel is 42 liters-close to the maximum for a carry-on bag.

If you are required to bring a porter bag I recommend a The North Face Base Camp Duffel. This bag has more than enough room and will allow you to pack your empty daypack, boots, and other basics inside before you arrive.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Large

>The North Face Base Camp Duffel – Large<


More Info About Climbing Kilimanjaro

I also highly recommend Kandoo Adventures. They are very professional and run a great operation.

You can save $50 off your Kilimanjaro trek by telling them Triphackr sent you. Just inquire on their website and let them know!

Book Your Trip to Kilimanjaro


I have been traveling to over 100 countries by using the methods I share on this site. My goal is to maximize every trip and make the most of my adventures. Join me on Instagram.

  • Mary Davis

    Your post is truly nice !
    This back packing list is quite helpful, and according to your experience this things carrying at the time of Kilimanjaro tour is very important.

    Thanks for sharing.