What to pack for you climb
What Do I Need In My Daypack?
Rest assured, your porters will carry all the heavy gear, with the exception of your daypack. Our advice is that a daypack should weigh no more than about 5 to 6 kg and should contain water, rainproof clothing, sunscreen, camera and perhaps a snack or two. You should also carry any prescription medication you need during the day.
If you don’t want to buy or bring all of the following items, they may be available for hire – see the list above – and let us know in advance.
A good pair of walking boots is essential for a climb such as Kilimanjaro. What is ‘good’? First of all, they should be a reputable brand. If you are buying new boots, and are not familiar with the many different types on offer, you should seek specialist advice from an outdoors shop.
If you are investing in new boots, you should buy them well before your Kilimanjaro trip and make sure that you wear them in before you arrive in Tanzania. Arriving with boots which are not properly worn in will result in discomfort, blisters and could even prevent
you from summiting. If you are going to wear boots which you have used before, check that they are still in good condition, that they still have good grip and that the laces are not worn. They may also need to be re-waterproofed using a spray, as waterproofing coatings wears off over a period of time. You should bring a spare pair of laces.
A pair of gaiters is very useful in keeping stones, dirt and – on the summit; snow – out of your boots. We would recommend bringing a pair.
Most climbers will bring a couple of pairs of thermal socks and some thinner ones as well. Some people like to wear two pairs of socks simultaneously, believing that it helps to prevent blisters. We would recommend experimenting before your climb, to ensure that your boots and socks combination is satisfactory. You should save at least one pair of dry socks for your ‘summit day.
The choice is to bring two poles, one pole or none at all. Experience trekkers will know
whether poles suit them or not, but we at Impatiens Tours strongly recommend them. Many find that telescopic poles are invaluable on the descent, as they can be adjusted to reduce considerably the pressure that is inevitably experienced on the knees. Telescopic poles are also easy to pack.
Waterproof layers are another essential on your Kilimanjaro climb. Getting wet clothes can lead to a great deal of discomfort and loss of body heat, which is dangerous. Gore-Tex is a well-established brand, and one you should look for when buying a waterproof jacket. Your jacket should be large enough to go over all the layers you intend to wear when you are doing your ascent: again, this is something you can try out at home. Water-proof trousers are also essential.
Flexibility is the most important consideration when choosing your clothing. Temperatures vary so much on the mountain and wearing several layers allows you to put on, or remove, a layer or two as it gets colder or hotter. As well as shirts, your packing list should include one warm fleece and one lighter one; thermal underwear (long-johns and a vest); trekking
trousers (not jeans, which are impractical) and thermal gloves (many climbers like a thinner pair as well – this is effectively an extra ‘layer’ for the hands). On the lower slopes, a light shirt is a good choice. A bandana is useful for covering the mouth against dust, or to protect against the cold (if you don’t have a balaclava).
If you wish to leave some luggage behind before you go on your safari, you can leave it in storage with Impatiens Tours at our office, at no extra charge. This will be of particular benefit to those who are combining their safari with a trip to Zanzibar immediately afterwards or a Kilimanjaro climb.
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