Africa

The Ultimate Packing Guide for the Anxious Overpacker

Kilimanjaro Edition

I envy the people that are good at packing. Because I am not one of them. I aways aspire to do better on my next trip, and yet time and time again I have found myself packing the night before my flight, relying on a half-complete packing list and a lot of adrenaline to get me through. This inevitably ends with a suitcase that I can barely close and a lot of regrets about what I brought. And while I sincerely hope for your sake that you are much more prepared, I know a lot of people suffer from similar packing problems.

Hiking Kilimanjaro is one of the rare occasions in which I started packing months in advance, and for good reason. This is not a trip where you can easily get away with a slightly overweight bag or a few missing items that can be replaced at your destination. You need specific gear when starting on this adventure. So, for the sake of bad packers everywhere, I have created the ultimate packing guide. 

Hiking

  1. 30L daypack
  2. 90L Waterproof duffle or duffle with waterproof cover *
  3. Trekking poles
  4. Waterproof hiking boots
  5. Gaiters
  6. Crampons
  7. 1-2L bladder
  8. Nalgene (+ mouthpiece)
  9. Headlamp 

Sleeping

  1. Sleeping bag*
  2. Sleeping bag liner
  3. Inflatable pillow 
  4. Eye mask 
  5. Ear plugs

Clothing

  1. Camp slippers x 1 
  2. Light fleece long sleeve x 1
  3. Base t-shirt x 2
  4. Hiking pants x 2-3
  5. Long sleeve base layers x 3
  6. Bottom base layers x 2
  7. Insulated vest (preferably down) x 1
  8. Puffer jacket (preferably down) x 1
  9. Waterproof rain jacket (Gore-Tex or ultralight) x 1
  10. Rain pants (Gore-Tex or ultralight) x 1
  11. Baseball cap x 1
  12. Toque x 1
  13. Warm headband/ear cover x 1
  14. Light gloves x 1
  15. Warm mittens (preferably down and waterproof) x 1
  16. Buff x 1
  17. Sunglasses (polarized and low light transmission) x 1
  18. Socks x 7
  19. Sock liners x 1
  20. Sports bras x 3
  21. Knix period underwear x 1
  22. Active underwear x 8
  23. Fleece pants x 1
  24. Shoe bag x 1
  25. Dry bag x 1-3
  26. Hiking shorts x 1

Toiletries 

  1. Toothbrush 
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Face wipes
  4. Body wipes
  5. Feminine wipes
  6. Dry shampoo 
  7. Lip balm
  8. SPF lip balm 
  9. Sunscreen 
  10. Microfiber face towel
  11. Toilet paper
  12. Bag for used toilet paper
  13. Hand sanitizer 
  14. Deodorant
  15. Hair elastics
  16. Mini hairbrush 
  17. Tampons
  18. Pads
  19. Nail clippers
  20. Panty liners (can wear them so underwear doesnt get as dirty)
  21. Mini Kleenex
  22. Lysol wipes 

Other

  1. Luggage weigher **
  2. Envelopes for tips **
  3. Tip money ** 
  4. Combination locks **
  5. Spare batteries
  6. Snacks
  7. Hand and feet warmers 
  8. Power bank x 2
  9. Charging cables 
  10. Camera (digital or disposable or both) 
  11. Phone
  12. Active watch (if you want to bring one) 
  13. Deck of cards
  14. Book
  15. Duct tape
  16. Carabiners

Safety 

  1. Mini first aid kit 
  2. Altitude sickness pills
  3. Malaria pills 
  4. Imodium 
  5. Tums
  6. Decongestant
  7. Anti nausea tablets 
  8. Electrolytes/oral hydration 

*Can be rented from tour operator

**Not brought on the hike but weill need before and/or after, ideally left at hotel with your other luggage 

Note, that this list was created with a young adult women and anxious overpacker. You will inevitably find some things that do not apply to you or that you won’t find you need. But I wanted to make a complete list based off my experience that you can then tailor to your needs. And I encourage you to do so.

Let me know if you have any questions or want more information about the specific gear I brought. I’m always happy to help another anxious overpacker start their Kilimanjaro travel journey.

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