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Mount Kilimanjaro in afternoon light.
  More about climbing
Luggage weight
Most of your luggage will be carried by porters. Your maximum luggage weight should range between 15 kg/33 lb and 20 kg/44 lb (your travel company or tour operator will provide the exact maximum weight). If you want to bring more luggage than that, you should inform your travel company or tour operator beforehand, allowing for extra porters to be hired.
Luggage meant for other activities than the climb, for example luggage for a safari or beach holiday, may be stored in a hotel or by the tour operator during the climb.
Tents, cooking equipment etc are provided by the tour operator.
Renting equipment
Mattresses, sleeping bags and some other camping and climbing equipment can usually be rented from the tour operator. Don't expect top quality equipment when renting.
Safari glossary
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Planning your safari:
Luggage list for climbing
The list below, split into Clothes and Other items, is a list of what you may need to bring when climbing the higher East African mountains, such as Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or Mount Kenya in Kenya.

Consider the lists as provisional, for use in an early stage of your planning. Once you have booked a climbing tour, your travel company or local tour operator should provide you a final luggage list, adapted to your actual climb.

You will face freezing temperatures on the mountain. If you are not used to such low temperatures, you should do some reading, to learn how to dress properly in the cold, layering clothes etc.

Bags A soft bag for your main luggage (to be carried by porters). A smaller rucksack for your daypack. Raincovers for the bags are advisable.
Rainwear Hooded jacket and trousers. Wind- and waterproof, breathing.
Warm jacket/parka and trousers For outdoor activities in low temperatures. Padded/quilted.
Sweaters Should fit on top of each other.
Light trousers  
Base layer Long-legged pants/tights and long-sleeved top.
Underwear Sports bras for ladies.
Socks Both thin and thick.
Gloves, mittens Thick waterproof and breathing outer glove/mitten. Thinner inner mitten.
Headwear Hat, preferably wide-brimmed. Also a beanie, knit cap or balaclava/ski mask.
Boots Sturdy walking boots, well broken in. Use them as much as possible before the tour. Bring spare laces.

Wear the boots on the flight to East Africa, or carry them in your hand luggage, as your checked-in luggage may be delayed. You can't replace them on location; broken-in boots are essential to make the climb.

Sneakers Nice to wear in camp.
Other items
Flight tickets

E-tickets are becoming more and more common. If you have one, make sure to bring the actual e-ticket, not just a confirmation of your booking.


The tickets are not needed during the climb. Deposit them in a hotel or with the tour operator.

Booking confirmation and tour itinerary

Check that there is contact information, so that you can get in touch with the local tour operator in case of problems such as flight delays.

Passport and visa

Citizens of most countries need a visa to visit Kenya or Tanzania. All visitors need a passport.


Passports and visas are not needed during the climb. Deposit them in a hotel or with the tour operator.


More about visas and passports

Money, traveller's cheques and bank/credit cards

You need some money for tips to porters and other staff. Traveller's cheques and bank or credit cards are not needed during the climb. Deposit them in a hotel or with the tour operator.


More about money and currency

Travel insurance

A proper insurance is very important. Always carry it with you during the climb. A professional tour operator should not let you join the climb unless you have a proper insurance.

Sleeping bag Warm enough for freezing temperatures.
Ground sheet, mattress An air mattress also works fine. A foam rubber mattress may be rented on location, but may require an extra porter.
Towel Preferably quick-drying type.
Walkings staff, ski/trekking pole May be bought on location.
Sunglasses Against snowblindness. The best is glasses that also protect from sidelight.
Hand warmer There are many different types for outdoor activities.
Water bottle, thermos A soft insulated bottle for water. A thermos for water and hot drinks.
Water purifier There are different types, for example filters and pills. The latter may cause stomach problems. A flavourer with added vitamins can make the boiled water that is provided by the staff more enjoyable.
Headlamp Powerful but lightweight. Don't forget spare batteries and spare bulbs.
Pocket knife  
Small padlock For tent and bag zippers.
Plastic bags For laundry and wet items.
Notepad and pen For notes and diaries.
Camera, video camera Don't forget spare batteries and film or memory cards. Plus film och batterier. Batteries can't be charged during the climb. Save battery power for your summit shots; the low temperatures reduce the battery power significantly.
Something to read, deck of cards, party game For recreation in camp.
Toiletries Everything you normally use.
Medical kit Against malaria, stomach and sleeping problems, aches, sores, colds, altitude sickness. Consult a doctor.

Carry these items in your hand luggage on flights, as your checked-in luggage may be delayed.


Check with the tour operator if there is a first aid kit in the group.

Sun block For skin and lips.
Toothpicks For outdoor meals.
Wet wipes or
For hand hygiene, especially in connection with meals.
Toilet paper  
Earplugs Against noise on flights and night sounds.
Chocolate, biscuits, nuts, chewing gum

For extra energy.


Avoid tobacco (and alcohol) during the climb. It obstructs your acclimatisation to altitude.

Mosquito repellent An important part of your malaria protection. There is no malaria risk above 2,500–3,000 m/8,200–9,800 ft.
Spare glasses, spare contact lenses  
Mountain map  
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Page updated 18 February 2009