What Do I Need to Carry During the Day on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Your responsibility is to carry items from your checklist that you’ll need before reaching your next campsite. Our dedicated porters will manage your other belongings. A backpack with a capacity of around 30 liters (2000 cubic inches) is ideal for this purpose. Climbers should organize their own daypacks or backpacks and place other items in a duffel bag for the porters. The content of your daypack should match your potential needs throughout the day. The rule of thumb is to carry only what you’ll likely use. For instance, you won’t require cold weather gear in the rainforest, and bug spray becomes less relevant at higher altitudes.

What to Pack in Your Day Pack for Kilimanjaro Trek

Equipped with your trekking outfit including a hat, shirt, underwear, hiking pants, socks, and boots, let’s explore what goes into your daypack. Weather Protection:
  • Sunglasses for eye protection
  • Buff or Neck Gaiter (optional)
  • Knit Hat for warmth
  • Soft Jacket (fleece or soft-shell)
  • Waterproof Jacket (breathable with hood)
  • Thin Gloves
  • Waterproof Pants (breathable)
  • Trekking poles (optional, but recommended, especially for the summit)
Hydration and Energy:
  • Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters)
  • Snacks (lightweight, high calorie, high energy – optional)
  • Electrolytes (powder or tablets – optional)
Essential Miscellaneous:
  • Camera (with extra batteries – optional)
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • First Aid Kit
  • Assorted Bags
These items build the foundation of your daypack essentials. Be mindful that specifics may change based on factors such as travel time to camp, terrain, weather conditions, and personal needs. Feel free to consult your guide if you’re uncertain about your pack. Their expertise ensures your readiness for your Kilimanjaro expedition.

How to Organize Your Day Pack

Creating a well-organized day pack is key to avoiding chaos and ensuring easy access to your essentials. Avoid random packing that can result in items falling out or getting misplaced. Instead, use a systematic approach with plastic bags, dry bags, or stuff sacks to categorize and secure your belongings. For instance, group small items like prescriptions, sunscreen, lip balm, and hand sanitizer in a zip-lock bag. Snacks can be organized separately, while clothing accessories like hats, gloves, and neck gaiters can be placed in a stuff sack.

Maintaining proper balance is crucial

Position heavier items like water bottles closer to the center of your back to maintain a balanced center of gravity in line with your spine. Avoid uneven placement, which can lead to awkward tilting. If available, use compression straps to secure items and prevent shifting while walking. Consistency in item placement is essential, whether in the main compartment, side pockets, or pant pockets. This ensures easy access without fumbling for essentials.

What Goes in Your Duffel Bag?

Pack all items not needed in your daypack into your duffel bag. Porters will carry your duffel bag between campsites. While climbers depart in the morning, porters dismantle tents and clean the campsite before moving ahead to set up the next campsite. Climbers typically reunite with their porters at the next overnight stop. Access to porter-carried gear becomes available at day’s end. The Kilimanjaro park authorities set a weight limit of 15 kilograms for duffel bags. To keep belongings organized and dry, use plastic or dry bags. While a backpack is an option, a duffel bag is preferred due to porter load-carrying methods. This makes a duffel bag a more suitable choice for the journey.