The Essential Kilimanjaro Packing List

I‘ve been wanting to create a packing list for Kilimanjaro for sometime – it’s been on my blog post list since I launched this blog. So why has it taken me so long? Well, I wanted to make a solid, detailed list with well over 20 items and that as a list in a blog post would be pretty long and hard to follow. So I needed a good platform to create the list on – and now, with Kit, I’ve got one.

Kit is this awesome site that allows users to create product lists, follow creators, and discuss each item with other users. Think Twitter, but for shopping – it’s pretty sweet, and with it, I’ve created my Essential Kilimanjaro Packing List. The list consists of 27 items, covering jackets, boots, sleeping bags and everything in between. Below you can see an overview of the list, click on each item to get more information and a link to buy the product. You can also see the list on Kit here. With each item I’ve made a comment as to why I chose it, how you use it, and other details. If you sign up to Kit then you can reply and we can get talking!

The list follows the rules of the layering system, a way of regulating your temperature using multiple layers of different weights and fabrics. It can get very hot trekking Kilimanjaro, it can also get very cold. During the first few days you’ll be lathering suncream on your arms, legs and neck. But once you reach the final days you’ll only be putting suncream on your cheeks, because every other piece of you will be covered – it gets cold.

At it’s simplest level, the layering system consist of 3 layers:

1. Base layer – The base layer helps to regulate your body temperature and wick away moisture from your skin. It’s important that this layer is lightweight and breathable, and not cotton.

2. Mid layer – The mid layer is used to trap the warmth your body generates. This layer is wether dependant and it’s beneficial to have different mid layers made from different fabrics to accommodate for weather difference. Mid layers can be a fleece, a softshell or even a down jacket.

3. Outer layer – Your outer layer is your protective layer. Outer layers are commonly hard shell jackets to protect yourself from the wind and the rain, however in cold and dry conditions your outer layer may be a down jacket. Again, similar to your mid layer, your outer layer is weather dependant.

The list contains multiple mid layers and outer layers, this is for a reason, it is not an either-or situation. By having multiple variants of each layer you are able to be reactive to the weather and adjust what you’re wearing respectfully.

Examples of how you use your layers:
  • Hot and dry = Base layer
  • Hot and wet = Base layer + hardshell
  • Cold and dry = Base layer + fleece mid layer
  • Very cold and wet = Base layer + heavy fleece + hardshell
  • Very cold, dry and windy = Base layer + light fleece + softshell + down jacket
  • Very cold, windy and wet = Base layer + light fleece + down jacket + hardshell

The most important thing is to know your gear and to be prepared, as long as you’re prepared, nothing can go wrong (hopefully)! If you need any further guidance, sign up to and follow me at Matt’s Travel Blog to ask questions about each item – let’s get talking!


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