Safety when on the mountain
Kilimanjaro is a non-technical climb but goes to very high altitude so safety measures need to be taken very seriously. It is important to climb Kilimanjaro with an experienced leader and crew who are rigorously trained in high altitude issues, bring the necessary medical equipment, and have the skills to monitor their clients on a daily basis as well as having the backing of an experienced team on the ground who can handle all types of evacuations.
Our Exclusive Wilderness Trails climbing guide are the most experienced on the mountain, our reputation after 30 years of running expeditions is what sets us apart from the rest of companies. All Trip Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders and their high mountaineering training goes far beyond the normal scope of just this wilderness specific first aid. Our leaders are trained to identify and carefully monitor developing high altitude issues and discuss them with you continually.
They understand the importance of gathering all your health data when evaluating potential altitude sickness not just relying on single factors such as the daily collected pulse oximeter data. For additional security we carry a Gamow bag which is a hypo baric chamber and oxygen on all ascents to aid in safe and expedient evacuation to lower altitude, day or night even in adverse weather conditions.
Kilimanjaro Climber’s Packing List Guide
- The pack that the porters carry is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds)
- Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $5/day
- Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double sealed if possible)
- Wrap clothing in plastic bags
- In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants, and jacket at a minimum.
Add any other items you might need during the day, since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
- You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters or donations to the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society.
- You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the Hotel for no extra charge.
- Day pack, for you to carry
- Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
- Plastic bags
You want your inner layer to be wicking – no cotton
Your next layer should be insulating and warm, and your top layer should be water proof but breathable.
You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and for sleeping.
Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly.
Kilimanjaro may be near the equator, but it gets cold up there!
- Shorts, for first and last day only
- Pants, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
- Short-sleeved or t-shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
- Long underwear
- Fleece jacket or wool sweater
- Fleece pants
- Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures well below freezing plus wind)
- Rain jacket, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
- Rain pants, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
- Sport bras, for women
Cold Weather Accessories
- Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
- Wool or pile hat
- Balaclava or neck gaiter
- Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)
- Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!
- Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle-support – not too light and not too heavy
- Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
- Hiking socks for warmer conditions
- Wool socks for colder conditions
- Sock liners to wick away moisture
- Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
- Sleeping pad and repair kit
- Tents are supplied by Exclusive Wilderness Trails at no extra charge
- Foam sleeping pads are provided by us at no extra charge (Thermosets is highly recommended, however)
- Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
- Get 3 litters of bottled Mineral water before the trip (Provided by us)
- Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use recommended Water purification Tablets for water sanitization.
- To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.
- Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.
- Water filter or iodine purification tablets
- Sun hat with brim
- Money ($400 or more in cash and/or travellers cheques, including some small U.S., Euro, or Tanzanian bills)
- Ski or trekking poles
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera, film, tripod
- Video camera, tapes
- Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
- Notebook, journal and pen
- Pocket knife
- Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
- Playing cards, games, books, Frisbee, football, kite
- Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
- Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
- Sewing kit
- Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
- Alarm clock
- Swim suit for hotel swimming pool
- Toilet paper (and baggie to carry used paper while on trails)
- Small towel
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Handy-wipes (moist towels for cleaning)
- Hand sanitizer
- Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
- Comb, mirror
- Yellow fever certificate
- Tanzania Visa
- Medical insurance
- Address book
- Vaccination records
- Airline tickets
- Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
- Maps, guidebooks
- Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and traveller’s cheques numbers.
Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.
- Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin
- Throat lozenges
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
- Bandages and tape
- Diahrea medication
- Ace bandage
- Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
- Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
- Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
- Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
- Diamox (talk to your doctor)
Packing for your flight to Africa
- U-shaped neck pillow (blow-up)
- Walkman and music
- Eye shades, ear plugs
- Melatonin or other sleep aid
- Critical climbing gear (in case baggage is delayed)