• Matthieu Piekarski

Kilimanjaro Checklist

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

With the event fast approaching and hopefully your training well underway, it is time to slowly equip yourself and most importantly get used to the equipment you will be using during this adventure. I have gathered from numerous sources, items that are both mandatory and optional throughout the trip. In addition at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to an interactive checklist I have made to facilitate yourself in getting everything together. Without any further ado, let us begin:


The particularity of this trip lies in the fact that we will be trekking through 4 different climatic zones. The key is to have flexible equipment whether we will be battling through rain at the bottom or snow at the top, or non (let's hope the latter will be the case).

Logically, the higher we will ascend more layers will we add and take off as we descend. It is crucial that you feel comfortable with what you are wearing and that it ensures will help you combat the various climatic changes.

Please avoid any Cotton from your clothing, as it is heavy, takes longer to dry off and moisture has a hard time to pass through various layers.

  • Underwear (Synthetic or Wool): I take into account one per day of the trek, even though there will be some nights where we won't be able to change clothes. I'd rather have more than not enough. For ladies, this includes also a sports bra.

  • Trekking Shirts (Short & Long Sleeve): For the warmer part of the trip, "Tech Tees" or sports Tshirt work fine. The most important is that their material allow it to dry-quickly, lightweight and breathable.

  • Base Layers: non-cotton base-layer both top and bottom (Odlo style) for the cold nights and days. Recommended fabrics: Polartec Power Stretch, Capilene 4, and Polartec Power Dry.

  • Insulation Layer: second layer to put over if it gets really cold.

  • Trekking Trousers: For the hot portions of the climb, it is recommended to bring 1-2 pairs of lightweight nylon trek pants (can also be with zipper if you want to transform them into shorts). Once above 3'000m, you will need a softshell pant that is stretchy, comfortable and easy to put over a base layer. And finally a pair of Hardshell pants for the coldest part of the climb ( above 4'500m), they need to be insulated, fully waterproof shell pants and able to have layers underneath them. You can also use your ski pants, just make sure you have mobility.

  • Jackets: Similar to the trousers, it is recommended to take 3 different jackets. The first one is a rain/windbreaker type jacket for the low altitude. Then a softshell jacket that is breathable but at the same time wind-and-weather resistant, with enough space to fit well over other midlayers. Then the last and most important jacket is the insulated /parka jacket, make sure it will keep you warm through the low temperatures (range 0° to -15°).

  • Rain Cover : to protect yourself and your backpack in case it rains (optional)

  • Hiking Boots: Waterproof and designed for hiking in cold and wet conditions. I cannot stress how important it is that you use them before the adventure, wear them as often as possible to break your feet into them.

  • Socks: There are two types of socks to consider, the first one are normal trekking socks made either of wool or synthetic material. The other type of sock are Thermal pairs for the summit, nothing worse than cold feet.

  • Gaiters: This item is optional, but good to have to protect your legs from the rain.

  • Gloves: Two types of gloves are recommended. A softshell glove and Insulated Mittens (a must when above 4'500m)


Above 3'000m it is a guarantee that our nights will be in the 0° to negative numbers. There is the possibility to rent some sleeping bags in Moshi, but it is not recommended to do so in regards to hygiene.

  • Sleeping Bag: take into consideration weight and warmth, the later being the most important as the comfort temperature of your sleeping bag needs to operate in the -15° Celsius.

  • Inflatable Pillow: so that you can dream of a tropical island.

  • Thermal Mat: The Tour operator provides us with one, but told me that for comfort reason it would be best to bring our own to the trip.

  • Ear Plugs: In case your partner snores or other factors don't allow you to fall asleep easily.

  • Some people also told me to take sleeping pills to alleviate the pain of falling asleep.


  • Headlamp: The most important item of the Headgear category to bring, especially at night while walking around the camp and especially for the final night of ascending to the summit where it will be done from 2:00 am till sunrise. Make sure you have a good headlamp, with batteries (bring more than necessary) or a battery pack.

  • Hat with neck Cover: to cover your neck from sunburn or you apply some good 30 and above sunscreen. But bring a hat!

  • Beanie or Headband to keep the head warm during the cold nights

  • Sunglasses: so that we can't see your poker face.


  • Trekking Poles: they are optional, if you are used to hiking with them then bring them along. There will be a small part of the ascension where you will have to put them away for safety reason.

  • Duffel Bag: This is the bag that the Porter will carry for you. Make sure it does not exceed 15kg. A North Face Duffel Bag Size L or XL is the sort of bag I will use for the trip.

  • Hike Backpack: This will be your new best-friend. Make sure it is light with sufficient space to store your most valuables, space for a camelbak (2-3liters) and a comfortable feel. If its rain-proof even better.

  • Camelback: 2 to 3 liters depending on your water consumption. Don't forget that we will fill up the water once a day, better to have more than not enough.

  • Water bottle with filters

  • Travel bags for organizing your stuff (dry bags) if not zip locks.

  • A small lock to secure your belongings

  • Energy Bars: Even though we will be served Breakfast, Lunch and a 3-course dinner. In between it is always good to have some energy food on the side. It is recommended to have 3 bars/ day. Nuts/Digestive biscuits are an alternative.

  • Energy Drink Supplement: Some people don't like the taste of water purification tablets so they add some supplement to flavour their drinks. Up to you.

  • Water Purification Tablets: Very important!

  • Pee Bottle for the ladies

  • Medication & Personal First Aid Kit: check out my Google Sheet link to have a more detail of which medication to take.

  • Blister Plasters

  • Insect Repellent

  • Lip Screen

  • Sunscreen: 30 and above.

  • Wet Wipes: might not always have the possibility to shower or even for bathroom emergencies.

  • Towel: micro-fibber towel.

  • Toilet Paper

  • Trash Bag: for trash, used toilet paper and to water-proof certain items that you want to protect.

  • Hand & Toe Warmers (optional)

  • Camera/ Go-Pro

  • Batteries & Power Banks

  • Swiss Knife

VIT (Very Important Things)

  • Passport: your soulmate.

  • Cash: I will get back to you on approximately how much you will need to bring.

To facilitate everything, I created an interactive Checklist for you to download and keep track of what you need to still get:


As always, if any of you have any questions or comments. Please do not hesitate to message me.

Happy training,


34 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All