Heading out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Here’s what summiter Julie Steiner recommends:

Read more about Julie’s Kilimanjaro adventure here.


  • Patagonia 90 L Black Hole Duffel- Waterproof (33 lb weight limit)
  • Daypack with rain cover (recommended 25-35 L)- I took a 24 L Osprey which was fine
  • Carryon suitcase for storing items at hotel (travel with your boots and one set of hiking clothes in case your luggage is delayed. Your tour company can arrange to have your luggage delivered to you on the mountain after the hike starts)
  • Packable duffel for souvenirs or sorting clothes for safari


  • OR Gore-Tex Shell
  • OR Down hooded jacket Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece 2 Smart Wool T-shirts
  • 3 Smart Wool 150 light base layers (one to sleep in) 1 Smart Wool 250 Sweater
  • 2 Smart Wool sports bras
  1. Patagonia Capilene thermal top


  • Waterproof rain/wind pants
  1. pair Smart Wool long underwear (one to sleep in)
  1. pair convertible trekking trousers (wear these every day except summit night) 1 pair Patagonia Capilene thermal long underwear
  2. pair Athleta Polartec fleece pants (one for wearing around camp, one for summit night) 7 pair Ex-Officio underwear
  • Gaiters


  • 7 pair sock liners
  • 4 pair Smart Wool socks (2 thermal weight, save one pair exclusively for summit night) Saloman Gore-Tex boots with extra laces
  • Leukotape (blister prevention)
  • Body Glide for feet (blister prevention) Teva sandals for camp
  • Down booties


  • -20 North Face Inferno Sleeping Bag Sea to Summit inflatable pillow
  • Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor bag liner (adds up to +25F) Sleeping pad (some tour companies provide mattresses)


  • Wide brimmed sunhat with UV protection Ear warmer headband
  • Smart Wool balaclava (for summit night) Wool/fleece-lined hat
  • Windproof Buff UV Buff
  • Smart Wool glove liners Midweight waterproof gloves
  • OR Alti-Mitts (make sure these work with hiking poles and use them only on summit night) Cycling gloves (to shield hands from sun)
  • Sunglasses

Medications & Vaccinations (recommended by my PCP)

  • Diamox (for prevention of altitude sickness) Cipro (for traveler’s diarrhea)
  • Z-pack (antibiotic in case of any type of skin, respiratory infection) Pain medication
  • Saline nasal spray Cold/flu meds
  • Fisherman’s Friend cough drops Malaria prophylaxis
  • Typhoid vaccine Hep A/B vaccines Tetanus or TDAP
  • You do not need the Yellow Fever Vaccine unless you are passing through a country where yellow fever is endemic. Check the CDC web site for health information for travelers to Tanzania. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania


  • Small brush/mirror combo Sunscreen SPF 50+
  • Tooth brush/paste Soap
  • Small nail brush Hand sanitizer Tissues
  • 1 roll TP
  • 5 packs of wet wipes (could have used more!) Vaseline/Eucerin for face and hands
  • Lip balm with aloe/SPF


  • 2.5 liter hydration pack (this will freeze at some point on summit night, so carry extra water bottles inside your pack. Store them upside down in your pack because water freezes from the top down. Putting them in a wool sock with hand warmers also helps)
  • Kleen Kanteen (hot water at night for sleeping bag, added electrolyte tab in am for hike) Hydroflask (I only used this on summit night to carry ginger tea and prevent liquid from freezing) Water purification tablets (did not use)


  • Headlamp & extra batteries Hiking poles
  • Kindle
  • Luci lantern for tent
  • Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack (this is great for carrying items at camp sites)
  • Small dry sack for electronics/chargers
  • iPod shuffle (you may not use it but it can be a great distraction on difficult parts of summit night) Camera (I recommend a lightweight P&S over a DSLR. A Go Pro or similar would also have been nice to have)
  • Mophie external battery pack charger
  • Large odor proof zip lock bag for packing trash
  • A few trash bags and smaller zip lock bags (these can have many uses)
  • Tips for porters (ask your tour company what they recommend. Usually you tip a certain % as a group, and then give extra individual tips to guides or porters who were especially helpful to you on the trek. USD or TZ shillings are both fine)
  • Travel insurance (your tour company may require a minimum amount for medical coverage/evacuation. It’s also best to purchase a ‘cancel for any reason’ policy)
  • Copies of your passport/ ID (they recommend storing originals at hotel)


  • Ginger chews (for nausea) Nuun electrolyte tabs Peppermint tea bags
  • Cliff bars Jerky