Pack list for Mountain climbers

Essential items for a successful summit.

Essential items

  • backpack, duffel bag or other soft bag ca. 65 l + (recommended: waterproof duffel bag)
  • warm sleeping bag (comfort temperature minus 10 degrees C (Kili) / minus 7 degrees C (Mt Meru)
  • inflatable isolation mattress (not necessary on Marangu route and Mt Meru)
  • day pack with hip straps (approx. 35 l)
  • warm clothing for temperatures up to minus 20 degrees C (Kilimanjaro) / minus 5 degrees C (Mt. Meru), (or layers of several
  • thinner ones, worn “onion-style” recommended)
  • rainproof gear – either a trouser and jacket set or a poncho with gaiter set
  • good, worn-in hiking boots
  • spare pair of shoes i.e. trainers or crocs
  • a pair of very warm socks
  • warm hat “Balaclava”
  • warm gloves, scarf
  • gaiters recommended
  • (head-)torch
  • walking poles
  • (insulated) water bottles (min. 3 l total capacity), “camel bags” are not recommended for the summit stage as they tend to freeze and block
  • waterproof luggage cover
  • first aid / medical kit
  • sun hat / sun glasses (UV proof) / sun screen (grade 30-50)
  • energy snacks: power gel, muesli bars, chocolate etc…
  • copies of all important travel documents (passport, tickets, insurance etc.)
  • money belt
  • wet wipes
  • scissors / nail clipper / nail brush
  • spare camera batteries and solar charger
  • ear plugs (snoring fellow climbers etc…)


Drugs such as DIAMOX are DEFINITELY NOT recommended and highly questionable as a prophylaxis against altitude sickness. They should only be taken on prescription and under supervision of a professional doctor or, as a therapy treatment against severe altitude sickness and on the DESCENT ONLY.

Personal tips from Debbie

  • Please be aware that plastic bottles are now forbidden on the mountain tours. Bring your own refillable durable water bottles with, ideally: 2 x 1 litre water bottles and 1x 1 litre thermos flask. The water bottles can ‘double-up’ as a hot water bottle for the cold nights on the mountain. Please make sure that they come with reliable lids so they do not leak when you pop them into your sleeping bag! If you have cold feet at night it is impossible to fall asleep.
  • Bring a small pillow with as it is important to always keep the head higher than the rest of the body. This will keep the pressure away and might help to hinder possible headaches in the higher altitudes.
  • For the night ascent to the peak: a very good warm pair of gloves and socks/shoes will prevent the body from freezing even if the clothing you are wearing is very warm.
  • Depending on your body weight, make sure that a minimum of 3 litres of liquid is drunk throughout the day on the mountain (approx. 60 kg body weight – 3 litres water) but don’t drink too much after 6 pm as you will not be able to sleep well due to nightly visits to the toilet. Do not drink any caffeine after 4pm even if you drink it at home, the altitude may have side effects preventing you from having a good night’s sleep.
  • Drink well, eat well & sleep well: the key to a successful ascent.
  • There is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothes!