Mount Kilimanjaro view point

Mount Kilimanjaro summit packing list

A full breakdown of what to pack for the Mount Kilimanjaro summit (Machame route) with MEC Adventures. Remember to come prepared for your time in the evenings eating and relaxing, too.

Travel essentials

Make sure to bring these documents and must-haves:

  • Passport (should be valid for at least six months from start of trip, with photocopies)
  • Travel visa (for all countries visited that require them, with photocopies)
  • Vaccination certificates (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
  • Sufficient medical and travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Critical medication
  • Credit and debit cards
  • The local currency in various denominations
  • Itinerary, ticket and reservation info

Luggage and organization

This is a super active trip, and you’ll be on the move most of the time. It’s important to pack as lightly as possible.

Two packs will be useful: one larger bag (like a duffle) that the porters will carry inside large, canvas duffle bags; this bag should not be more than 15kg (33lb.). As well, you need a day pack, which should not be more than 5kg (11lb.). Make sure to check the trip details page for the most up-to-date information on weight limits and dimensions.

Clothing

You’ll be trekking up Africa’s highest mountain, which means you’ll be going through different climate zones. Make sure to pack to prepare for a number of weather scenarios: hot and sunny; cool, misty, cloudy, foggy and rainy (you’ll go through a section of rainforest); windy, snowy and cold. You might even experience all these conditions in a single day.

In the lowlands, it can be up to 35°C in the shade. In the highlands, it will be below freezing and might also be rainy and foggy. You’ll want to bring clothing layers – base-layers, mid-layers and outer layers – so you can adapt to the conditions (learn how to layer to stay warm). Choose quick-drying synthetic or merino wool clothing that’s lightweight, breathable and wicks moisture. Leave the cotton at home.

It gets extremely cold near the top of Kilimanjaro, and you’ll start hiking your final ascent to the summit near midnight – and you’ll be hiking at the coldest time of the day. Also, you’ll only be a few hundred kilometres from the equator and at altitude, so it’s super important to bring sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and clothing) so you don’t get sunstroke.

A number of items are available for rent when you arrive; see the trip details page for info on gear rentals and pricing.

Footwear

Hiking gear and personal care

Optional travel items

Any electronics (like cameras) need to be protected from the severe cold; store them in a warm pouch or an inside pocket of your clothes. Also check the manufacturer’s rating for temperature range, battery life in the cold, water tightness and altitude range.