Conquer Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa is on a lot of thrill-seekers and adventurers’ bucket lists and in order for the attempted conquest to be successful, there are a number of things you will need.
If you want to be proudly standing on Uhuru Peak and surveying the landscape from this awe-inspiring summit you will probably have a better chance of achieving that aim if you choose one of the best Kilimanjaro guide companies to help you tick this challenge off your bucket list.
In addition to getting the professional guidance required to scale the heights of Kilimanjaro, there are a number of items that should be considered essential for your packing list.
An Overview of What Lies Ahead
The key to a successful expedition is all about preparation. Take the time to understand what lies ahead and what sort of skills and knowledge you will need to conquer Kilimanjaro.
Understandably, in view of the inherent risks attached to such a task, you will not be allowed to travel up the mountain unless you have the Kilimanjaro climb guides by your side. You will need to find a suitable partner and then familiarize yourself with the essentials such as what to pack and what sort of route you will be taking.
It is also important to remember when planning your packing that your gear will usually be separated between a small day pack and a large duffle bag that will be carried by porters. This cannot exceed a weight of 15kg.
Different extremes in temperatures as you progress up the mountain mean you need to have various layers of clothing in your kit.
Your base layer should include a long thermal top for your upper body and some short-sleeved hiking shirts that will probably be adequate for your first few days of the trek when it may be moderately warmer until you ascend to greater heights.
What you need to remember is that layering is essential as it allows you to adjust to different temperatures and conditions. Make sure you cover all of the relevant options with what you pack.
Pack a Fleece Jacket
A fleece jacket will definitely be needed when you progress higher up the mountain and it will be an essential item when you finally make it to the top.
A zip-up version is recommended as it makes it easier to put on or remove. If you choose one with zipped pockets this will also help with storing items like a camera.
Be Ready for the Rain
You should not be surprised to discover that the weather can be very unpredictable in this region and that’s why you need to be ready when the rain starts to fall heavily.
A windproof and rainproof jacket can be used as an extra protective layer and will prove very welcome if the weather suddenly changes from sunny to wet.
Flexible Hiking Pants
You want to be comfortable throughout your journey so it makes sense to choose some lightweight hiking pants.
You might also want to consider a version that comes with a zip option that allows you to convert from pants into shorts.
Pack a Sun Hat
The start of your journey will involve a hike through a densely forested area that is well protected from the sun. However, once you get out into the open it can soon get very hot.
Make sure you have a sun hat in your kit, you will need it.
Keeping Your Face Warm
Next on the list is a thick buff. Buffs are a great solution as they work well as a scarf but also do a good job of keeping your face warm when the temperature drops at night.
You will quickly discover that when you set up camp each night it gets very cold. That is when you will be grateful that you packed a thick buff in your kit.
Keeping Your Hands Warm
Protecting your hands from the elements should be a key priority and that’s why you need to invest in glove liners as well as a good pair of gloves.
Make sure you choose a pair of glove liners that are thin. They will still provide an extra layer of warmth but won’t restrict your movement so that you can still perform tasks while wearing your gloves.
It would also be prudent to include a pair of fleece gloves. Wearing your fleece gloves over your glove liners will ensure that your hands are well protected as you approach the summit and conditions become more challenging.
Another good tip would be to choose water-resistant gloves. The reason for this is that it will be freezing cold at the summit of Kilimanjaro and you will probably need glove liners as well as your fleece gloves underneath to give you the layer of protection needed.
Look After Your Feet
It stands to reason that having the correct footwear for the expedition will be crucial to your comfort and could also have an impact on your success.
It does not pay to take any shortcuts in terms of quality or price when it comes to choosing a pair of decent hiking boots for the mission.
Look for ones that are described as Gore-Tex waterproof and lightweight. These should deliver the right level of comfort and grip that you are going to need during your time on the mountain.
It should be remembered that the terrain is very rocky and uneven, with certain areas that are very slippery. If you don’t have the right hiking boots it is going to create problems that you don’t want to have.
You Might Actually Need a Pair of Trainers
Having told you that you need to invest in a decent pair of hiking boots it is a good idea to pack a good pair of trainers too.
They will prove to be a comfortable option for less challenging parts of the trek and it is good to slip into kinder footwear when you are walking around camp.
The packing list for Kilimanjaro needs to be extensive and fully researched. Once you are confident that you have everything you need you can then look forward to the challenge ahead with a greater degree of confidence and assurance.
These ten things highlighted should be considered essential aspects of your planning, packing, and preparation for what will prove to be a challenging and rewarding adventure.