kilimanjaro local guides


Equipment for climbing Kilimanjaro:
Although we touched on this above, it is worth elaborating on. The equipment for climb Kilimanjaro used for your climb is very important to your comfort and safety.

You won’t be very happy in an ancient tent that leaks. Gear takes quite a battering on the mountain, and it isn’t just used for your climb.

You want an operator who regularly checks and updates their equipment. Complaints about tiny, leaking tents from budget operators is commonplace. Is the tent going to be big enough for the two of you – and your kit?

You don’t want to be storing your bags outside in the rain and cold. Most reputable operators use high-quality 4-season, three-man tents, for each two-person sharing.

Do they provide a mess-tent for meal times? It may seem unimportant that you eat your meals as an outdoor picnic, but as you climb higher and it gets colder, this gets less appealing.
And what if it is raining? Sitting in your tent trying not to spill soup all over your down sleeping bag is not a pleasant way to dine on the mountain.

If you are renting gear – is this good quality gear or simply stuff that’s been donated by previous climbers?
You may feel like saving money and not buying that expensive down jacket, and you can rent one. If it’s some old cheap thing that hasn’t been cleaned in ten years, you’ll soon regret that decision.

Kilimanjaro Machame Route 7 days
  1. Clothing
  2. Trekking equipment
  3. Travel pharmacy & first-aid kit
  4. Cosmetics & toiletries
  5. Snacks and food
  6. supplements
  7. Documents and papers.
Trekking equipment
Travel Pharmacy & First Aid Kit

Adequate clothing is extremely important for a successful ascent. That does not mean that it needs to be expensive clothing – but in any case, suitable! You require clothing suitable for temperatures between -20 and +25 °C (-4 and +77 °F). You will probably also walk in the rain and snow and through dusty terrains. Wearing several layers thus represents a good guideline regarding the question “How do I dress?”. An example to dress (from inside out at low temperatures): underwear, thin fleece, thick fleece or down jacket/softshell and windbreaker jacket/hardshell, hiking socks, leggings and trekking pants. Bear in mind that your clothing is fast-drying and breathable. For instance, a softshell (jacket) generally better protects against the wind compared to a fleece, however, is less breathable.
• Sports socks (thin) | 3-4 pairs
• Breathable, prevention of blistered feet (low cut)
• Hiking socks| 3-4 pairs
• Insulation of feet and prevention of blisters (high cut)
• Wool socks | 2 pairs
• Particularly for insulation of feet at night and on summit day
• Underwear | As required
• Classic, depending on the duration of the hike
• Thermal underwear | 2 sets
• Vest (if possible, long-sleeved) and trousers (best would be leggings); avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast; e.g. merino wool is very good
• Short-sleeved T-shirts | 3 x
• Particularly relevant at the beginning and the end of the tour; avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast
• Long-sleeved T-shirts | 2-3 x
• Particularly relevant at half-time of the tour, and good with a turtleneck; avoid cotton, for it does not dry fast
• Fleece jacket / -vest | 1-2 x
• Advisable and, if possible, different degrees of heat (to be carried underneath the wind jacket / windbreaker)
• Down jacket (thin) / Softshell | 1 x
• Comparable with the fleece jacket / -vest (to be carried underneath the wind jacket / windbreaker)
• Wind jacket / Windbreaker (hardshell) | 1 x
• To be used during the tour and on summit day, should ideally be water-repellent
• Trekking / Hiking pants (thin) | 1-2 x
• Should dry fast, and have a zipper for detaching the legs
• Trekking / Hiking pants (thick) | 1 x
• Should be water-repellent, for you wear it on summit day (can also be ski pants)
• Shorts | 1 x
• Particularly relevant at the beginning and the end of the tour. Swimming shorts are suitable as well
• Sweatpants | 1 x
• For sleeping and for carrying in the evenings in the camps
• Rain trousers | 1 x
• To protect from water; can be relevant on summit day
• Rain cape | 1 x
• It rains from time to time, especially in the afternoons; you should be able to cover your backpack with it
• Rain gaiters | 1 pair
• To protect your hiking boots from rain and dirt
• Gloves (thin) | 1 pair
• Can be fleece or leather gloves; rather thin gloves, depending on your personal preferences recommendable
• Gloves (thick) | 1 pair
• Indispensable, especially on summit day
• Beanie / Woolly hat | 1 x
• Relevant during the tour and on summit day
• Hat / Cap | 1 x
• Thin, for sun protection
• Balaclava / Buff | 1 x
• Can complement or replace a scarf and is recommended for low temperatures
• Scarf | 1 x
• Recommended especially on summit day
• Tennis shoes or sneakers | 1 pair
• For the camps and the beginning and end of the tour as well as arrival and departure
• Hiking boots| 1 pair
• Should be ankle-high and of good quality, also water-repellent and worn in


You are en route for several days, reasonably far from your usual standards and civilization. When it gets dark at nights, there is not sufficient lighting as there is in towns or in your home. Thus, prepare yourselves well (with adequate equipment, and also mentally) for the hike; if you do so, it will be great!
• Travel bag or backpack (60-80 liters volume)
• For storage of your luggage during your tour (not to be taken on the mountain)
• Daypack (30-40 liters volume)
• For everything you need daily during your hike on the mountain (you carry it yourself)
• Rain cover
• To cover the daypack and protect from rain and dust. It was part of our backpacks (not a must)
• Sleeping bag
• Suitable for very low temperatures (up to -10 °C (14 °F)); type “sarcophagus” is recommended
• Linen sleeping bag
• Thin sleeping bag that is suitable for high temperatures. We have used it as inner part of the rented sleeping bag
• Air mattress
• Self-inflating, as complementation to the provided mats / air mattresses
• Mat
• To sleep on; as complementation to the provided mats / mattresses
• Pillow (small)
• Recommended, for pillows made of clothes help along only partially
• Walking sticks / Trekking poles
• Particularly helpful on summit day and during descent
• Headlamp
• For the ascent to Uhuru Peak in the dark and the time after sunset in the camps
• (Small) Flashlight / Torch
• For the time after sunset in the camps
• Sunglasses
• Should be of good quality and ideally have nose protectors integrated
• Drinking bottle
• A drinking bottle is in any case recommended, for it can also be used to clean your hands
• Hydration pack
• For direct water supply during the tour (very recommendable, but a second drinking bottle does the job, too)
• Alarm clock
• For the daily routine, respectively also component of a smartphone
• Binoculars
• Camera
• Including sufficient films / storage and batteries, for there is no opportunity to charge them
• GoPro
• To take shots easily during the tour, and during rainfall and in wind
• Powerbank
• For charging your smartphones and other electronic devices during your tour
• Batteries
• Depending on the needs of the cameras, headlamps etc.
• Lighter
• Pocket knife
• Can always become of use and you should carry one on you (attention: during your flight, do not place it in your hand luggage)
• Superglue
• Plastic bags / Garbage bags
• For worn clothes and litter
• Resealable bags / Sachets
• For toiletries and other small items
• Padlock
• To secure bags / backpacks
• Umbrella
• Small umbrella is well-suited
• Thermos flask
• Recommended to those of you who benefit from hot beverages, for instance on summit day

Hopefully, you will not need any or only few of these items. Speaking from experience and from exchanges with other travelers, however, we can say that a good first-aid kit is very important for the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. When push comes to shove, this kit will decide if you can continue the ascent or not.
• First-aid kit
• Basic equipment, such as compresses / dressing, band-aid, scissors, possibly tweezers, wound-healing agent, disinfectant, tape (Leukotape)
• Wound and healing ointment
• For treating abrasions or something similar (e.g. Bepanthen)
• Pain relief gel
• For treating muscular and joint pains, also tensions (e.g. Mobilat or Voltaren / Diclofenac)
• Painkillers
• Should be two sets, with and without antipyretic properties (e.g. paracetamol); among other things, they help with light symptoms of altitude sickness
• Antibiotics
• Broad-spectrum antibiotics, if possible
• Antiallergic
• In any case advisable, if you, for instance, react allergic to food (e.g. Cetirizine)
• Gastrointestinal tract
• One product against stomach cramps (e.g. Buscopan) and one product against diarrhea (e.g. charcoal tablets)
• Electrolytes
• To compensate salt depletion and water loss, e.g. also as dietary supplement during heavy perspiration (e.g. Hydralyte)
• Insect repellent spray
• Against mosquitos or other insects (we did not have any problems with insects up on the mountain); against insect bites you can use e.g. Soventol
• Malaria pills
• As standby medication to be taken orally if required (e.g. Malarone)
• Tablets or drops for water purification
• E.g. Micropur Classic (very recommendable, quantity depending on the duration of the tour; attention: they need 2h to take effect)
• Clinical thermometer
• Nasal spray
• Band-aids for blisters
• Emergency blanket
• Silver-golden blanket for emergencies

Cosmetics & toiletries
Snacks & food supplements
Documents & Papers

…yes, you will need those up on the mountain, for there are definitely opportunities to keep fresh during the hike.
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Facial moisturizer
• Hand lotion
• Deodorant / Antiperspirant
• Razor
• Dry shampoo
• Wet wipes | min. 10 wipes
• Disinfectant tissues | min. 10 tissues
• As required, can complement wet wipes and disinfectant gel
• Tissues | min. 2 packs
• Toilet paper | min. 1 roll
• Disinfectant gel
• Can complement or replace a piece of soap
• Soap
• Can complement or replace the disinfectant gel
• Mirror
• Small, as required
• Earplugs
• Sleeping mask
• Cotton buds
• E.g. Q-tips
• Small towel
• For drying the face, hands etc.; should be fast drying
• Washing glove
• For washing the face etc.; should be fast drying
• Sunscreen
• With a high protection factor
• Lip balm with sun protection
• If possible, with a high protection factor
• Toiletries bag
• Ideally with a noose to hang up

During the hike, your body’s energy consumption is higher than usual, especially due to your constant movement and the adjustment of your body to the height. You should therefore make sure to be provided with sufficient nutrition. We practically had a good appetite at all times!
• Cookies | As required
• Best would be something nutritious that gives you plenty of energy
• Chocolate (bars)| As required
• Cough drops | As required
• Nuts and dried fruits | As required
• Dextrose | 1 pack
• Also glucose or other energizers
• Energy bars | As required
• Muesli bars or something similar; we ate 1-2 bars a day
• Energy gel | 1 pack
• Can be used as a nutrition supplement
• Multivitamin supplements |1 pack
• Should include iron and zinc; additional vitamin supply can especially be useful at increased physical strain levels
• Ginkgo tablets | 1 pack
• They are said to prevent altitude sickness

Just like on most other journeys, they are very important!
• Vaccination certificate
• To present in case of asked for when entering Tanzania (we did not need it)
• Passport
• Imperative!
• Passport photos
• You can take some to be on the safe side, but they are not required
• Insurance certificate
• Health insurance or other
• Tickets
• For flights, bookings etc.
• Credit card
• Cash
• At the beginning, we only had USD with us, and later withdrew Tanzanian Shillings at the ATMs; take sufficient cash for tips
• Envelope
• E.g. for safekeeping and distribution of tips
• Visa
• To be carried along in case you have organized it before departure; otherwise the process of a visa application on-site is uncomplicated (visa on arrival)
• Telephone numbers / Addresses
• Also emergency numbers / contacts
The packing list explicitly addresses the things you require for the ascent of Kilimanjaro. It is to be complemented as required with personal items and utensils (e.g. photos of friends and family, a travel journal, (card) games, earphones, or other things you feel attached to). Items, which you would also pack for another type of journey, and which will stay at your hotel during the hike (e.g. chargers for smartphones, laptops, goggles and such) are to be taken into consideration separately. Pack as much as is necessary and as little as possible, for you can take a maximum of 12 kg plus your daypack (approx. additional 5-6 kg) up Kilimanjaro. This is generally absolutely sufficient. The basic equipment, such as tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag as well as cooking and eating utensils will most likely be provided by your tour operator or you can rent them on site (get this confirmed beforehand). They do not count to your 12 kg of luggage.


Kilimanjaro Machame Route 7 days
  1. Public or Private toilets

    Some operators give their clients private toilet tents with a chemical toilet.
    This is a matter of personal preference. The public toilets at the camps are not a pretty place to be. They are the “long drop” variety, do not flush and the smell can turn the strongest of stomachs.
    But the provision of a private toilet is another expense. Most of the high-end operators provide this as standard. It’s up to you to decide how important it is for you.

    Travel Insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro Considerations
    Always read the small print. Yes! We said it. We have become accustomed to not reading “the small print” because it’s boring. It won’t be so boring if you accidentally purchase a policy designed for sitting on the beach when you intend to climb a very high mountain!
    When you are buying travel insurance for your trip to Kilimanjaro, it’s important to check that the policy you select covers you over 6,000m. It needs to provide for the activity that you are undertaking. Which is high-altitude trekking.
    We like World Nomads, because they seem to understand that not every vacation involves sitting around doing nothing!

    What to Expect

    What’s the food like? What’s it like sleeping in a tent? What does an average day comprise? How much walking do I actually do each day? Where do I go to the bathroom?
    For any medical issues, please seek advice from your Doctor or other healthcare professional. Questions? Feel free to ask.