Suggestions for What to Bring–from those who have been there!
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• Clothing Materials
Synthetic clothing made for hiking and exercise is essential for this expedition. These materials are lightweight, sweat-wicking, and warm in cold and wet conditions. Examples of quality fabrics for mountain climbing include polyester, polypropylene, Capilene, wool, fleece, and Gore-Tex. Cotton clothing (with the exception of city clothes and possibly underwear) should not be packed.
For this trip bring clothes that can be easily layered so you can shed clothes as you get warm and add layers during breaks. Over the course of this trip you’ll be hiking at three degrees from the equator, up to 19,000 feet of elevation. We will encounter a wide range of temperatures and so both summer and winter type clothes are necessary.
• Seek advice
For items like hiking boots and daypack, it is very important that they fit well and are comfortable. A good way to ensure proper fit is to purchase the item at a reputable outdoor outfitter, where knowledgeable staff can help you pick the right size, etc. (EMS, REI are two reputable chains).
• Test your Gear
Don’t let Kili be the first place you use any of your gear! Especially hiking boots and your backpack should go on every walk or hike you do to make sure they do not cause pain or blisters after extended wear. Boots especially need to be well broken-in before the climb.
Gear & Supplies
• Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Bag -10 to 0 degrees F rated synthetic or down lightweight, compressible sleeping bag.
• Wes Favorites: Big Agnes bag with insert insulated sleeping pad
• Anna’s favorite: Sierra Design’s -20 Women’s-specific bag. I sleep cold at night, so I always bring this if I’m at all worried about it being too far below freezing!
• Sleeping Pad
Insulated sleeping pad, such as a Thermarest brand, choose a style and size for your preferred comfort level.
• Kelly’s Favorites: Thermarest Neoair All Season comfortable, warm, a bit pricey but worth it if you have trouble sleeping on the ground.
• Anna’s favorite: Thermarest Prolite 4. An all-around winner – light, not bulky, reasonably-priced, and super comfy
• Trekking Poles
(Optional): Great knee saver for downhill
• Kelly’s Favorites: Leki Corklike Poles
• Hydration Pack
Water bag with plastic tubing (such as Camelbak or Platypus brand) is a convenient method for drinking while hiking. Capacity of at least 2 liters recommended. Alternatively, a couple of heavy-duty, leak proof water bottles (such as Nalgene brand) can be brought.
• JTs Favorites: Nalgene water bottles somewhat less convenient than a water bag, but indestructible (won’t puncture or be damaged from freezing) and allows you to see you’re drinking an appropriate amount of water throughout the day.
• Water Bottle
One heavy-duty water bottle of 1 to 1.5 quart capacity is needed for the summit hike and during the night.
• Anna’s favorites: I keep a Camelbak but also pick up 1.5 quart Gatorade bottles before I leave town for hiking trips, hold water great and can be recycled at the end to save space in your luggage (and they don’t have to be washed!)
• Water Purification Tablets
(Optional): Water will be filtered during the trip, water purification tablets or liquids (Iodine or Aqua Miura) are useful in case of pump leaks.
• Wes Favorites: Bring them and use them
• Anna’s favorites: Iodine tablets work well for me, especially if you treat with PA Plus, a taste remover
• Head Lamp and Spare Batteries
Useful for early morning and reading in your tent.
• Anna’s favorite: Black Diamond Spot headlamp – bright, many settings including red, and a good, durable head strap
Toiletries and Supplies:
Soap, toothbrush, medications, etc.
• JTs Favorites: If you decide to bring soap, bring Dr. Bronners Magic Liquid Soap it is nature-friendly and can be used as soap, toothpaste, dish detergent, shaving cream, etc.
Small, quick-dry wash cloth and/or camp towel
• Toilet Paper
This is provided while camping but you may prefer to use a roll of your own brand.
• Hand Sanitizer
• Pain Relievers
As needed for sore joints
For blister protection.
• Ace Bandage or Brace:
If prone to sore knees or ankles.
• Spare Prescription glasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses
Spare Prescription glasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses
30 SPF at least, sun is much more intense near the equator and at high elevation.
• Sunscreen Chapstick
30 SPF at least
• Glacier Sunscreen or Zinc Oxide
Provides extra UV protection at high elevation
• JTs Favorites: Dermatone circular tins wont freeze, great protection
• Insect Repellent
Should include 35% DEET or more
• Glacier Sunglasses
Sunglasses with 85% UV absorption and side screens to block UV
Gear Storage Materials
• Plastic Bags
Variety of sizes for organizing clothes and gear in duffle bags and keeping things dry.
• Nylon Stuff Sacks
Useful for compressing and storing sleeping bags, pads, and down jackets.
• Anna’s favorites: OR-brand compression sacks – lightweight, durable, and save a ton of space
• Heavy-Duty Garbage Bag
Used to line and waterproof the duffle bag
• Outfit – Casual city clothes that are dressier or at least cleaner than hiking clothes, can be left at the hotel during the trek. Natural fibers feel great after a week of synthetic hiking garb!
For hotel pool
• Swiss Army-type Pocket Knife
• Reading and Writing Material
• Powdered Drinking Mixes
Such as Gatorade for flavoring water and keeping up electrolyte levels.
• Your Favorite Snack Food
EAV supplies plenty of excellent food, but if there is anything in particular that you might crave, snacks can be great motivators for tough climbs!
In case you have a snoring neighbor
• Repair Kit
With needle, thread, patches, a couple extra straps and buckles, and safety pins
• Sleeping Pad Repair Kit
For fixing holes that may pop in an inflatable sleeping pad.
Below you will find the recommended clothing for the trip. Exact numbers of each item are not listed, but be sure to include at least one of each and more based on the expected weather conditions, personal preference, and weight restrictions (25 pounds for the duffel). Remember clothing should be synthetic and easily layered.
Synthetic is easier to wash and dry and doesn’t retain smell, though some will naturally prefer the feel of natural fibers.
• Synthetic Long Underwear
Light or medium-weight top and bottom
• Wes Favorites: Smart wool long underwear comfortable, warm, and not smelly
• Anna’s Favorites: REI brand long underwear – comfy, affordable and lasts forever
• Long Sleeved Synthetic Shirts
For daily wear in cool weather.
• Wes Favorites: First Ascent polypropylene hoodie warm and great for the sun
• Anna’s favorite: Patagonia R1 quarter zip hoodie: nice fitting, blocks wind, and comfortable in a wide range of temperatures
• Kelly’s Favorites: Ibex wool hoodie great temperature regulation and no smell
• Short-Sleeved Synthetic Shirts
For general daily wear in warm weather.
• Kelly’s Favorites: Sierra Designs polyester tank tops
• Heavy Sweater/Light Jacket
Lightweight fleece or wool jacket
• Kelly’s and Anna’s Favorites: Patagonia Nano-puff hoodie, very warm and light
• JTs Favorites: North Face Mid-weight Fleece, comfortable and warm, can be made wind-resistant by wearing your raincoat on top.
• Full Length Hiking Pants
For daily wear, may be the type that zips off into shorts
• Wes Favorites: EMS nylon zip-offs cheap, durable, disposable
• Synthetic Over Pants
Mid-weight fleece or synthetic pants for colder conditions and camp
• Hiking Shorts
For daily wear in warm weather.
• Heavy Duty Hiking Socks
• Wes Favorites: Smart Wool warm, comfortable, and low-itch
• Kelly’s and Anna’s Favorites: Darn Tough made in Vermont, don’t wear out
• Light or Mid Weight Socks
Light or Mid Weight Socks
• Liner Socks
For wear under heavy socks if blisters are a problem for you.
HEAD AND HAND WEAR
• Sun Hat
One with a wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off.
• Balaclava or Snow Hat
For cold weather
• Bandana or Buff
Prevents sunburn and doubles as a hand towel.
Anna’s favorite: Classic Buff headwear – durable, multi-use, and come in tons of great patterns
• Waterproof Gloves
• Glove Liners or Light Gloves
Glove Liners or Light Gloves
FOUL WEATHER GEAR
• Warm Jacket
Mid-weight down or synthetic fill jacket (10-12 oz. of down or 15-20 oz. of fiberfill or heavy-weight fleece jacket).
• Wes Favorites: EMS mid-weight down, puffy coats (with hood) cheap, warm, and durable
• Rain Jacket:
Gore-Tex rain jacket/wind-protection layer.
• Wes Favorites: LL Bean Gore-Tex (with hood) cheap, warm, and durable
Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
• Waterproof Daypack Cover
Waterproof Daypack Cover
• Protective Camera Case
• Wes Favorites: Bring two cameras if you can, I use a Canon G12 and a Canon Elph 310 HS
FOOTWEAR AND GAITERS
• Hiking Boots
Mid-weight, sturdy, properly fitted footwear. These boots should be waterproofed and broken-in during training hikes, wear them as much as possible before the trip. These boots should be made of leather and/or synthetic waterproof materials.
• Anna’s favorites: Asolo TPS GV 520 Hiking boots. Comfortable right out of the box, durable, totally waterproof, and not too heavy. Been using these for 10 years!
• Wes’ Favorites: Asolo leather boots with Gore-Tex liner
• Kelly’s Favorites: Merrill synthetic/leather boots, Vibram soles
• Camp Shoes
Tennis shoes or other comfortable shoes for wearing around camp.
• Kelly’s Favorites: Crocs so comfortable, protect your toes and no one around to tell you how ugly they are! Plus, they are easy to get in and out of wearing hiking socks.
• Anna’s favorite: $5 flip flops from Old Navy or a dollar store. Good around camp in warm weather, let your toes air out, and perfect for travel, showering, whatever!
Knee or ankle length gaiters to keep pebbles and water out of your boots.
• Anna’s favorites: Outdoor Research Crocs gaiters for knee-length
• Two Duffel Bags
One bag for your Kilimanjaro gear and one for your city clothes. The Kilimanjaro duffle should be about 14 x 30 with a combination lock. It should be able to fit your sleeping bag and cold weather gear. Please do not exceed 25 pounds for this bag, that is the amount your porter can carry. You do not need a frame pack for Kilimanjaro, porters will carry your duffel on the climb in a waterproof bag.
• Wes Favorites: LL Bean lined duffels cheap, effective, and durable
• The daypack
The daypack is what you will be carrying up Kilimanjaro and should have a capacity of 1500 to 2000 cubic inches. It is important that this bag fit you well and is comfortable to wear all day. Please use the bag when hiking or training before the trip. If you have purchased a new one, have it properly sized and fitted at an outdoor store with knowledgeable sales attendants. Your bag will carry your essentials on the trail including your water, sunscreen, camera, raincoat, wallet, passport, etc. Aim for a weight of less than 11 pounds.
• Wes’ Favorites: LL Bean Bigelow daypack works as a carryon, cheap, durable
• Kelly’s Favorites: North Face Akila 40 Lightweight pack great size, fits close to the body, many pockets for small things, the light weight is a bonus but not essential for this trip.
• Anna’s favorite: Deuter and Gregory are my favorite brands for packs. Get one that fits right!
• Combination Locks for your Duffel Bags
Combination Locks for your Duffel Bags
• Bag Tags
• General Tips
• Gear & Supplies