Kili Gear and Clothing Guide
Some of the items you will only need for one day but you will need them that day (like the ankle gaiters). Also, it does snow and rain from time to time on Kili. So, better to have something and not need it then to need something and not have it. FYI – I like to be prepared.
What’s Below – You have lists for clothing, gear, optional items, what can be rented and tips from REI. If you would like more expert advice on ‘How To Buy’ from the experts at REI – Click Here.
I have added some links (from REI) to items that you may not know. Look for the italicized words.
PLEASE NOTE: High altitude tents and foam sleeping pads are provided.
Boots – Midweight and Comfortable. (Trail shoes if you’re more comfortable in them). Ultimately, you want a comfortable and warm shoe/sock system. One that will work in the lower/warmer altitudes to the colder/higher altitudes. My three summit nights on Kili all were around Zero degrees with the wind.
Camp shoes – some comfortable closed toe shoe that is not your boots. Allows the boots to wear out and give you some comfort and warmth during the downtime in camp.
Socks – 4 to 5 Lt. Trekking socks; 2 Med. to Heavy Trekking socks (depending on how cold you get). This is based on six days on the mountain plus a pair of socks for in camp.
Sock liners – Optional. Used to help wick sweat away. Can help if you blister.
Ankle or Leg Gaiters – You will need these for the summit day. The trail from our summit camp to the summit is almost entirely made of scree (small loose stones). The gaiters will keep the rocks/stones from entering your boots.
Shorts – Optional. It can be pretty warm the first two days and the last day. Convertible Hiking Pants would work well.
Pants – Fleece Pants work well for the medium altitudes. Or wear thermals under your Convertible Hiking Pants (or something along those lines).
For the summit a Gore Tex outer layer or heavy waterproof pants.
Underpants – Normal and a pair of thermal long john’s
UPPER BODY – Wear layers! I wear four layers on the summit night.
Sports Bras – wicking and quick drying
Short Sleeve Shirts – Optional. Same as above with the shorts. It can be warm in the lower altitudes.
Long Sleeve Shirts – You will need Light and Medium/Heavy weight shirts – for night time in camp and for first and second layers. Sweatshirt/polartec/fleece for your third layer.
Coat – Fleece (you can use this as a third layer) and an outer ski jacket of parka (preferably with a hood)
Poncho – In case we get caught in rain or snow. You don’t have to spend too much money on this.
Gloves – liners and wool or ski gloves. A combination that can keep you warm to -20F.
Hat – whatever you like to wear to keep the sun off your face. Ski hat for the higher altitude.
Neck Gaiter and/or Balaclava – For the summit day. A balaclava that covers the neck, face and can be pulled over the head. I really needed this on my third climb. When the wind suddenly picked up and the temps dropped I couldn’t pull it up and over my head fast enough. I ended up with a little wind and frost burn on my cheeks.
GEAR (a list of what can be rented will be at the bottom of this page)
Walking Sticks – Optional. Keep in mind that the summit is only half way. We ascend over 4 days but descend in 2. Therefore, the descent can be steep at times. If you think you may have knee issues on descent then use these.
Head Lamp or Flashlight – You will need this. There aren’t any exterior camp lights at night. Only the stars and the moon. Full moon on the second night of the climb.
Day Pack – Needed to keep items ready and available for your trekking. Your porters will either be ahead of you or behind you so you won’t be able to have them carry items you might need during the day. (See more info below)
Water bottles or Hydration Bladder – Whichever you prefer. The hydration bladder works well with a day pack and can be purchased as a combination or on its own. Also, some sort of insulation for your water system on summit night. The tubes and bottles freeze if left unprotected. I have insulation on my bladder tube but found it will still freeze at the high altitude. My recent summit I kept the bladder inside my coat and had the insulated tube peak out of my coat. That was also my coldest summit and it worked well for me.
Duffle Bag – This is for the bulk of your items and what the porters will carry. It can be a raft bag or Duffle Bag as long as it is soft sided. Soft side is easier for the porters to carry and easier to ‘mold’ into a carrying shape. Sixty liters should be the maximum size. The bigger the bag the more you bring.
Stuff Sacks – Optional. I use these to keep my Duffle Bag items organized. Your Duffle Bags are protected but I use water proof bags for my own piece of mind.
Sleeping Bag – A bag that can go down to around +10 degrees. Add a fleece lined sleeping bag liner to keep the bag clean and add 5 to 20 degrees of warmth. The inside of your tents at our highest camps may be in the teens (in the wee hours of the night).
Sleeping Bag Liner – Optional. Helps to keep the inside of your sleeping bag clean. Depending on the bag it can add up to 20 degrees of additional warmth to your sleeping bag.
Pillow – Optional. To keep what I pack to a minimum, I use my sleeping bag sack filled with clothes. I did buy a special sack that is fleece lined on the inside. Turning the sack inside out gives me that soft and fluffy feel. 🙂
REI calls it a Pillow Stuff Sack.
Sunglasses – The light always shines brightest for those on top.
Water Purifier or Iodine Tablets – Optional. Water is boiled and cleaned for us. These items would only be needed if you feel you should have a backup. Add some flavored electrolyte powder to cover the iodine taste.
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS (Most of this can be shared)
‘ Duct Tape
‘ Ellipse Toggles
‘ Safety Pins
‘ Sewing Kit
‘ Shoe Laces
‘ Spare Bulbs (for head lamp)
‘ Straps (you can purchase straps of any length)
‘ String (nylon – 24″)
First Aid Kit
‘ Binoculars (every now and then we come across some Blue Monkeys)
‘ Biodegradable Detergent/ Soap
‘ Battery charger
‘ Camera Bag
‘ Camera Cleaning Kit
‘ Camera Film x 5 or digital card
‘ Camera Lens Filters
‘ Camera Lens
‘ Ear plugs and/or Eye Mask
‘ Elecrtrolyte Powder (flavored)
‘ GPS w/ altimeter
‘ Lip Screen
‘ Insect Repellent (I haven’t used it on the mountain but I still carry it)
‘ Snacks: Energy Bars, Sports Bars, Goo (best at higher altitudes – bars tend to freeze)
‘ Sun screen
‘ Swiss Knife / Utility
‘ Toilet Paper (for your day pack)
‘ Watch w/ Altimeter
ITEMS YOU CAN RENT FROM OUR TREKKING COMPANY IN ARUSHA
Costs are in US Dollars and are for the entire climb. Items can be reserved in advance but you will pay the Trekking Company directly once in Arusha.
North Face Daypack: 25.00
Duffel Bag (80-120 liters): 30.00
Sleeping Bag: 40.00
Head lamp: 10.00
Trekking Pants: 10.00
Snow Pants: 10.00
Wind and waterproof jacket: 15.00
Down Jacket: 25.00
Warm Hat: 10.00
Trekking Socks: 5.00
Hiking Boots: 25.00
Water Bottle (1 liter): 5.00
Hiking Poles (2): 15.00
Private portable toilet (per group/per climb): 140.00
You can rent these in small groups if you like.
You can also find gear to rent in sports stores here in the U.S. before you go.
(A Great Source of Information)
* TEN ESSENTIAL “SYSTEMS”
1. Navigation – Map, compass (not too necessary on this trip but important during your training)
2. Sun protection – Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and lip balm
3. Insulation (extra clothing) – Hat and gloves; lightweight jacket, extra layers
4. Illumination – Head lamp and spare batteries
5. First-aid supplies For you and your gear; whistle
6. Fire Lighter or water proof matches
7. Repair kit and tools
8. Nutrition (extra food)
9. Hydration (extra water)
10. Emergency shelter – Emergency blanket or shelter
Midweight hiking/backpacking – These boots are designed for on- and off-trail hiking with light to moderate backpacking loads. They are more durable and supportive than lightweight hiking boots, but they are still intended primarily for short to moderate trips over easy to moderate terrain.
Designed for trail use, these packs tote the Ten Essentials and more. Some are set up to haul climbing tools or snowsports gear. Many offer water bottle pockets and/or a sleeve for a hydration reservoir (usually sold separately) and an exit port for its sip tube.
These days, almost all backpacks feature an internal-frame design. The body-hugging nature of an internal frame enhances your balance and freedom of movement. This is ideal for many activities, such as mountaineering, skiing, scrambling and hiking in rough terrain. Whatever your pack model, you should put about 80% of the load where it can be most efficiently carried: on your hips. To do so, most packs offer suspension systems with padded, contoured shoulder straps, load-lifter straps, a sternum strap and a padded hipbelt.