What gear and other items do I need to climb Kilimanjaro? | Fair Voyage


What gear and other items do I need to climb Kilimanjaro?

You’ll need a lot of gear to stay warm, dry and safe during your Kilimanjaro climb. Here’s a complete checklist of everything you’ll need (download PDF), including required gear, additional items that we recommend as well as optional items that you may wish to bring.

Many items can normally also be rented locally in Tanzania (except for cross-over tours starting in Kenya). If you do not see a price list with available gear for your Tour (or anything you need is missing), please check with us before booking your climb.

Kilimanjaro tour booking confirmationPrint or save electronically.
Flight ticket(s)Print or save electronically.
Additional hotel reservations (if any)Print or save electronically.
Airport transfer arrangements (if any)Carry emergency contact number in case of no-show.
Other tavel arrangements (if any, e.g. safari tour)Print or save electronically.
PassportMust be valid for 6 months.
Passport photocopyStore separately from passport and/or electronically.
Medical & travel insurance detailsPrint or save electronically.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable)Required for immigration to Tanzania if travelling from/via a country with risk of yellow fever.
Medical and first aid
Anti-malarial medicationPlease consult your medical expert. Malaria is a potentially lethal risk that requires preventative measures.
Anti-diarrhea drugsPlease consult your medical expert. Travel diarrhea is a common ailment.
Anti-nausea drugs (recommended)Please consult your medical expert. Nausea is a common AMS symptom.
Pain killers (recommended)Please consult your medical expert. Headache is a common AMS symptom.
Cold remedies (recommended)It’s easy to catch a cold on the mountain.
Sore throat lozenges (recommended)It’s easy to develop a sore throat on the mountain.
Electrolytes / Remineralization tablets (recommended)To replenish lost electrolytes due to strenuous physical activity and high water consumption.
Plasters for random cutsTo keep any wounds clean and prevent infections.
Plasters or Moleskin for blistersBlisters are a common pain for many Kilimanjaro climbers, especially if you are not used to your hiking boots.
DEET-containing insect repellent (optional)Not required on Kilimanjaro (no mosquitoes), but recommended before and after your climb in Tanzania.
Permethrin-containing insect spray (optional)For clothes & other materials because DEET may damage them. Not required on Kilimanjaro, but recommended before and after your climb.
Antihistamines (optional)If you are allergic to insect bites.
Prescription medication (if any)You may want to take photos of all medication leaflets and save electronically for ease of reference.
Anti-bacterial ointment (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required; can be sourced locally after your climb if required.
Water purification tablets (optional)Not required if you book your climb through Fair Voyage or with a good operator who provide adequately treated drinking water.
Gauze (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required. Good operators would have this in their first aid kid for emergencies.
Adhesive tape (optional)Sometimes listed on other packing lists, but not required. Good operators would have this in their first aid kid for emergencies.
Personal care and sanitation
Ear plugsHighly recommended to improve your sleeping quality as campsites will be noisy (snoring, talking).
Toilet paper1 roll is enough if your tour includes a private toilet tent and your operator provides paper.
Wet wipesUseful also as “storable” toilet paper (leave no trace).
Hand sanitizer
Toothbrush and small toothpaste
SunblockHigh risk of sunburn at increased altitudes.
Lip balm with sun protection
Thick cream (e.g. Vaseline)To protect your skin against dry air and wind.
One-time expanding towels (optional)Highly recommendable, especially in combination with an insulated bottle (keeping hot water overnight) for a warm wet towel in the morning.
Anti-odor/Refreshing spray (optional)Less for your body, more for your hair that may start to smell after few days.
Dry shampoo/baby powder (optional)Baby powder works wonders to remove grease and oder; commercial dry shampoo rarely is as effective for an entire week.
Other toiletries (optional)E.g. hairbrush, tweezers, nail file, nailbrush, small mirror, etc.
Paper tissues (optional)
Cloth tissue (recommended)Tie one to your glove for summit night so you can quickly wipe your nose without exposing your fingers to the cold.
Prescription glasses / contact lenses (if any)You may also need eye drops if you tend to have dry eyes.
Pee bottle for overnight (optional)
WOMEN ONLY: Panty liners (recommended)
WOMEN ONLY: Sanitary pads or tamponsThe strenuous physical activity and high altitude may interfere with your natural cycle.
WOMEN ONLY: FUD (optional)FUDs have been made known by some female bloggers. We do NOT see the need for them. Listed for completeness only.
Waterproof jacket – 1x
Insulated jacket – 1x
Mid-layer jackets – 2xFleece or merino.
Long-sleeved thermal shirts – 2-3xIf merino, 2 is enough (body-odor resistant).
Short-sleeved shirts – 2x
Waterproof pants – 1x
Hiking pants – 2-3x
Mid-layer fleece pants – 1x
Long thermal underwear pants – 2x
Underwear – 3x or moreIf merino, 3 is enough (body-odor resistant).
WOMEN ONLY: Sports bra – 2x or more
Hiking boots
Thick hiking socks – 2xYou could also use ski socks.
Thin hiking socks – 2x or moreWe recommend at least one pair for every 2 days.
Gaiters, waterproofRecommended for any season: Against dust when it’s dry, against mud when it’s wet.
Thermal insoles (recommended)Recommended for summit night.
Heating badges for toes (optional)Heating badges tend to be unreliable. We’d rather recommend that you invest in high-quality thermal socks and insoles.
Spare laces (optional)
Flip flops for camp (optional)
Sneakers/comfortable shoes for camp (optional)Sometimes recommended, though many climbers will find it’s too cold and dusty. Handy for shower before/after.
Brimmed hat (sun protection)
Knit hat (warmth)
Balaclava / Windproof ski maskHighly recommended for summit night; make sure it is windproof which makes a big difference.
Bandana (optional)Very versatile. If you have, you may want to bring 2.
Cap (optional)You’ll likely want to hide your hair after a few days. Note even your hats/caps will get dirty (dust!) so you may want to bring a spare head cover.
Warm gloves or mittensFor summit night. We recommend mittens which are more effective than finger-gloves to keep warm.
Mid-layer fleece gloves (recommended)Recommendable as third layer for summit night, as well as for other cold days and nights.
Glove linersRecommendable as third layer for summit night, as well as for other cool days and nights.
Heating badges for fingers (optional)Heating badges tend to be unreliable. We’d rather recommend to invest in high-quality gloves and mittens.
SunglassesMake sure they are 100% UV blocking and wrap-around for side protection.
Water bladder (camelbak, 2-3l)Recommendable for hiking to make sure you keep drinking frequently to stay hydrated (note: water bladder will freeze during summit night so you will want to have at least one water container alternative)
Nalgene or Alu bottle 1lOptional if you’re also bringing a water bladder and thermos
Insulated bottle (Thermos) (recommended)Great for summit night to stay warm, hot drink in tent & washing with expandable towels.
Stuff sacks (recommended)Great to keep your gear tidy in your duffel bag. IMPORTANT: Avoid single-use plastics bags as they are banned in Tanzania.
Small waste bag (optional)E.g. non-woven bag; to store your waste during the day (incl. sanitary wet wipes). IMPORTANT: Avoid single-use plastics bags as they are banned in Tanzania.
Towel, light-weight (optional)
Bag lockTour operators cannot assume liability for any items lost or stolen. To prevent theft, it’s best to keep your unattended bags securely locked.
Poncho (optional)You may not need it, but it’s easy to carry as it does not weigh a lot.
Safety pins (optional)You may not need it, but it’s easy to carry as it does not weigh a lot.
Sleeping bagIt’s best to rent from a reliable operator, if you don’t already have one rated for freezing temperatures.
Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping mattressOften provided by Operators as part of your package, but not always; please double-check.
Trekking polesCan also be rented locally.
Head lamp
Spare batteries for your head lampBatteries drain quickly in the cold. Make sure to keep your batteries in your sleeping bag overnight.
Duffel bag (or big backpack)Most operators state duffel bag, but will accept backpacks. Please check with your tour operator.
US dollarsFor tipping, visa, rentals, souvenirs and other purchases
Snacks / comfort food (optional)Nuts are great for high-caloric energy.
Phone (optional)You may want to add a travel package to save roaming costs, or obtain a local SIM card upon arrival.
Camera (optional)
Camera spare battery (optional)Note that batteries may break or drain quickly in cold temperatures.
Book(s)/E-reader (optional)
Small notebook/Pen and paper (optional)
Solar power charger (optional)
External battery pack (optional)Solar panels may be more reliable as batteries tend to drain quickly in cold temperatures.
Phone and camera charging cables (optional)
Power adapter (UK style) (optional)For your travels in Tanzania before/after your climb.