All communal equipment such as tents and cooking gear is provided by the mountain operator. All personal equipment is usually provided by the trekkers, as detailed below.
Duffle bag or soft kit bag: x1: in which porters carry your main equipment
Small backpack: x1: 30/40 litre, for you to carry
Rain cover for small backpack: x1: optional
Plastic bags: x10: to keep your gear dry
Sun hat : x1: with a wide brim for shade against the sun
Woolly hat: x1: for warmth, preferably Balaclava type
Scarf or bandana: x1
Sunglasses or goggles: x1 pair: against snow-blindness
Poncho: x1 :
Hooded waterproof jacket: x1: good quality, waterproof and breathable
Four seasons duvet jacket : x1: thick insulated jacket
Warm upper body layers: x3: to fit over each other
Upper body under layers: x3: preferably synthetic
Sports bra: x3: not usually necessary for men
Waterproof outer gloves: x1 pair: good quality, waterproof and breathable
Thin under gloves: x1 pair
Gel-activated hand warmers : x2: for the summit attempt
Waterproof trousers/pants: x1: good quality, waterproof and breathable
Fleece trousers/pants: x1
Lightweight trousers/pants: x2: to fit over each other
Short trousers/pants: x2 T
Thermal under trousers/pants: x2: to fit over each other
Hiking boots: x1 pair = A special note about hiking boots. Your boots need to be well broken-in and of proven quality. This is the one item of your kit which we would have serious difficulty in replacing should you lose them. Please wear them on the plane and do not let them out of your site before you set out for the mountain.
Gaiters: x1 pair :
Spare laces: x1 pair
Trainers or trekking sandals: x1 pair: for use around camp
Thick socks: x3 pairs: woollen or synthetic T
Thin socks: x6 pairs: woollen or synthetic
Hiking accessories: Walking poles: x1 pair
Sleeping bag: x1: must be four seasons, fleece liner is optional
Inflatable sleeping mat: x1: repair kit essential
Foam sleeping mat: thin: x2
Foam sleeping mat: thick, 75mm/3"
Water bottle: metallic SIGG type 1 litre: x2
Water bottle: bladder Platypus type: x1 . Note that the metal drinks bottles can also be used as hot water bottles. If you bring a tube drinking apparatus then the tube will most likely need to be insulated to protect against freezing.
Water purification pump: x1
Water purification tablets: not required
Cordial or other water flavourings:
Snacks and energy bars: optional
If you do bring water purification tablets, then we recommend iodine rather than chlorine. If you bring water flavouring then we recommend Redoxon type vitamin C tablets.
LIGHTING & ELECTRONICS
Head torch: x1: powerful but lightweight
Spare torch batteries: x4 sets
Spare torch bulb: x2
Personal oxygen kit: optional
Pencil and paper
Camera: with lots of spare memory and batteries. If you do bring camera equipment then make sure you bring plenty of memory cards and batteries.
Games and cards
Towel: x1: can be the lightweight quick-dry type Toiletries
Soft toilet paper: x2 rolls
Spare contact lenses /glasses
Sunblock : for skin and lips: factor 15+
Lip balm: preferably with sun protection
Tailormade Africa travel itinerary
Insurance documentation: with a 24hr emergency number
Map: usually available at the trailhead
PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
All climbs are equipped with a full medical kit. Trekkers are also encouraged to bring their own small medical kits containing the items on the list below and any other medication specific to your own health requirements:
Wound dressings , Antiseptic wipes, Sticking plasters: Band-Aid or similar, Blister kits ,
Joint supports for knees, ankles etc.
Ladies sanitary towels
Malaria tablets: all treks begin and end in malarial areas
Insect repellent: DEET based: not needed on the mountain
Antacids Cold cure sachets: Lemsip or similar
Diarrhoeal medicine: Imodium or similar
Oral rehydration salts
Painkillers: paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. Carry any essential medicines onto the plane to prevent problems in the event of lost luggage. Aspirin and paracetamol are recommended as they thin the blood and help prevent blood clots. Strong painkillers are not recommended as they can suppress respiration. Ladies please note that altitude may affect the menstrual cycle, so bring appropriate materials. All contact lens wearers should take care to remove the lenses at night as the eye needs to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. The rarefied conditions of altitude reduce oxygen levels and in extreme cases corneal oedema can develop.
PERSONAL BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Once on the mountain, you will carry your own backpack with the few lightweight items that you may need, such as clothing layers, cameras and snacks. You should usually try to keep this below 5kg or 12lbs per person. The remainder of your personal gear will be carried between camp locations by porters. You should make this available in a strong but lightweight bag, so that it can be combined with others inside a larger porter bag. The weight of this portered gear is limited by your personal baggage allowance. This allowance is given per person, but in reality we average it across the group, so you may be able to coordinate with other members of your group to take advantage of any unused allowance.
You are free to leave any gear that you do not need on the mountain at our base and it will be delivered to you when you descend from the mountain. If the weight of your gear exceeds this amount then you have three choices: If you know in advance of making your initial booking that your baggage requirements will be substantially over the allowance, then you can let us know and we can pre-book an additional porter or porters at around USD 30 per porter per night. If you arrive at the pre-trek briefing before the trek and your gear is found to be over the limit, then you can either choose to leave some items behind or you can pay for us to provide an extra porter at around USD$30 per porter per night.
The African Walking Company maintains a modest store of equipment for rental. We cannot guarantee the availability of any items, so we recommend that guests pre-book at the earliest possible convenience, usually at the same time as booking a trip. Payment is made locally.
Four seasons duvet jacket : Rental price : US$60 . These thick insulated jackets are Mountain Equipment Annapurna down jackets, which are available for hire in 3 sizes, chest measurements as follows:
Medium 40 to 42 inch or 102-107 cm
Large 42 to 44 inch or 107-112 cm
Extra large 44 to 46 inch or 112-117cm.
Walking poles : Rental price : US$10 . Walking poles are collapsible so when you are not needing them, they can be carried on your daysack. Poles are very useful when trekking Kilimanjaro particularly on the descent. Universal size.
Four seasons sleeping: Rental price : US$45 . Sleeping bags come in one size suitable for all people up to 1.88m or 6'2" tall. The sleeping bags are synthetic four season bags and are supplied with a cotton liner. They are manufactured by Mountain Equipment or Vango.
Foam Sleeping Mattress: Rental price : US$30 . These sleeping mattresses are made of 50mm think high-density foam covered with water resistant material, so provide a greater level of comfort than thinner inflatable types. Some people bring an inflatable mattress as well to lie on top of the foam. The relatively high price is due to the porterage requirement rather than the cost of the item itself. The weight of these foams mats are not counted in your 15kg personal allowance.
An additional store including a wider range of equipment is also kept in order to cover for emergency situations, such as luggage being lost by airlines. Although we are usually able to get hold of enough decent gear, especially when the customers have two nights in a hotel before the climb, we cannot guarantee being able to do so.
Most trekkers want to at least get a snap of them at the summit. Many take the opportunity to keep a photographic or video diary of the trek. It is important to realise the limitations of your photographic equipment. Almost every camera these days has some level of digital functionality, even where the end photograph is still recorded on film. Digital equipment is notoriously sensitive to low temperatures. Check the equipment specification.
Kilimanjaro gets colder the higher you go, so the main issue challenge for cameras is the summit itself. The temperatures on top are usually around zero early in the morning, in which case most equipment should be fine. But at certain times of the year, notably, May/Jul temperatures can drop much lower, in which case your best bet is to keep your camera stowed away inside your clothing and only bringing it out for the occasional photo opportunity.
In all cases, it is worth keeping your spare batteries close to you in order to keep them warm. You should also note that at lower temperatures, battery life falls away rapidly, so you need to bring plenty of spares. There are many photo stories of Kilimanjaro that don't make it all the way to the top for this reason. We also recommend that you bring all photographic film, video cassettes, memory cards and batteries from home as supplies in Tanzania are not reliable. A polariser or neutral density filter is recommended.
It is absolutely essential that all trekkers climbing Kilimanjaro have full travel insurance. The climb operator, African Waking Company, will not take trekkers to the mountain if they do not have adequate insurance cover and no refunds will be paid. It is critical that your policy specifically and explicitly covers high altitude trekking to the summit of Kilimanjaro. If it does not then please get an additional letter from the insurance company making this point absolutely clear. Also, make sure that the cover includes all medical and repatriation costs.
For our personal cover here at Tailormade Africa, we use a UK based insurance broker which specialises in adventure travel. Their standard travel policies include both high altitude trekking and scuba diving. For single trip insurance, you can expect to pay around US$100 to US$200 per person. Although the insurers are local to us here in the UK, they will cover travellers originating from anywhere around the world and we are happy to put you in touch with them.