This is one of the most important things to do before you even begin anything else, as the wrong gear will leave you uncomfortable and miserable. First, it is important to remember that you will be hitting a number of different climates on your trek, so bringing the right clothing is a must. Most trekkers find that layering up is best, wearing light clothes to start and bringing along thermals and a fleece jumper for the trek up the summit.
The right hiking boots are also critical, and no one should even attempt to do this trek before working their boots in. Blistered feet will be a major disappointment. Insoles are a good idea, as are the proper socks. Most hikers also bring along a trekking pole, which is especially great during the descent. Gaiters and hats are also recommended and will make the trek a much more comfortable one. A sleeping bag, pillow and torch are also musts when gearing up for trekking Mount Kilimanjaro.
The poncho and the gaiters always result in a lively discussion at our Viva Africa Tours office. It causes us quite some energy to convince climbers that a poncho is a very useful item to have. Trust us if you want to leave something at home, because your backpack has no more space – leave that 5th pair of hiking socks behind. The weather on the mountain is unpredictable. A poncho is a light item to pack with big effect.
We are blessed in Tanzania as our days and nights are equally 12 hours long. But this also means it gets pitch dark between 6-7pm no matter what time of the year. A head torch for the evenings is important, but it’s main purpose is on your last ascending day to Uhuru Peak. To experience the sun rise at the summit, we have to leave the campsite at midnight. For the next 5 hours we hike by the light of our head torches. That’s why a pack of spare batteries shouldn’t be missing in your luggage either.
Our guides and porters will provide you with drinking water on your trek. The easiest and most comfortable way of consuming the refreshing liquid is a camel bag. Lashed to your back, with the tube always in reach, you can walk and drink at the same time.
Your big rucksack will be carried by our porters. After every day’s climb they return it to you in the evening. So whatever you need during the day should be packed in your day pack, e.g. camera, sunscreen, poncho, drinking water, snacks etc.
The peak of Kilimanjaro receives quite some snow depending on the time of year. With gaiters to put over your shoes you will ensure that your feet stay dry and increase the chances of reaching the summit.