Equipment for Kilimanjaro Climb

Remember: A porter carries most of your stuff, so you can bring extra things.

Tent and Sleeping Bag:

Bags and Back Packs:

Footwear:

Outer Shell Clothing:

Base Layer and Insulation Layer Clothing:

Headwear:

Technology:

Food and Snacks:

Toiletry kit:

Small first aid kit with stuff:

Must Have Medications:

Highly Recommended Medications:

Medications you almost certainly don’t need:

Money pouch for:

Optional Items:

Tricks of the Trade:

Tents and Sleeping Bags

Western Mountaineering Badger SDL : 15 deg Long

This bag was the Backpacker recommended bag at the time I did my first trip. It's a down bag with a dry loft shell to keep it somewhat dry.

Illiniza Notes: This bag is great for mountaineering. Paired with clothing and a hat, you can be comfy at 0 and maybe even a little under.

Mt Rainier Notes: The first time I was on a glacier, and I was warm and cozy pretty much all night. The times I did get cooler were becuase I took off my socks!

Cascade Designs Thermarest Ridgerest

I'm a sissy when it comes to my sleep. I need my confort, and since this blow up matress is only about a pound more than a foam roll and packs down much smaller, I figured this was a good choice.

North Face VE 25 : Expedition 4 Season Tent

The VE 25 is a 3 man expedition level tent that weighs about 12 pounds. It has two vestibules and can be bought with a tarp footprint that matches it's dimensions. It's one of the most used tents in the climbing and alpine market. I've heard only good things about it. This is the classic mountaineering tent. It has been around for about 25 years and will probably be around another 25.

Iliniza Notes: This tent at one point had 4 people in it...semi comfortably!

Bags and Packs

campmor duffel

Usually I am stuffing all of my stuff into a big back pack. This is just a basic duffel bag that I picked up from campmor for my kili trip and it's worked wonders. Sturdy, but light, big enough to hold pretty much anything and I don't care the least about how I treat it! I drag it on the concrete and throw it around.

Kili Notes: But this trip, all of our gear was carried by porters, who simply stuf all your gear in a big sack. So we each brought 2 large duffel bags. One had our gear in it, while the other had all of the clothes we were donating to the porters after the climb. The ones I picked up were relatively cheap and worked really well. I love Campmor. They've got it all!

 

Gregory Chaos : Mid Sized Pack

This is the first midsized pack I bought. I picked it up at Tent and Trails. It was a recomendation of one of the guys there.

Why I bought it: I needed a daypack that I could use for 2-3 day hikes or for carrying climbing gear (ropes, protection, shoes, helmet, etc.) or other heavy itmes on one day treks.

Good for: Lugging heavy stuff like climbing equipment that you don't need to get to until you get to your destination.

Not for: Expeditionhikes or hikes where you need to constantly access your pack. It is a toploader so if you wwant to carry snacks, first aid or anything you need to get to in a hurry, put it in the top pocket.

Gregory Notes: Gregory makes really good packs. Their Denali Pro is supposed ot be a beautiful pack. I have not tried it, but I have only heard good things about it.

Iliniza Notes: This pack is great in terms of its comfort level. It has a very sturdy frame stay and the padding is cush on your waist and shoulders. A little bit heavy, but definately a quality pack. I used it as my summit pack.

Kilmanjaro Notes: After using this pack for the summit, I have decided that I need a lighter weight pack. There was really no need to have a pack this sturdy to carry water, camera, food and fleece.

OR stuff sacks

I am a very organized person, or at least I try to be! So a couple of extra stuff sacks to straighten out my gear is always a necessity for me. I picked up the non-waterproof ones for the mountain and rock climbing. But once I start paddling, I'll move up to the hydro seal.

Granite Gear Compression sacks

I love these things. Who wants to spend 10 minutes trying to stuff your sleeping bag into a stuffsack by hand. You waste so much energy that way it's rediculous. These compression sacks have 4 buckles so you get an even compression and they get really small and tight without having to sit on it and once its compressed thers no way it is busting loose.

Footwear

Soloman Raid Pro X

This is the third pair of Salomon Trail Runners I've bought and they sure won't be the last. The best part is the quick lace feature that keeps them tied tight and eliminates the need to tie your laces!

Oyacache Notes: I absolutely love these things. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots). I didn't use these on the trek because it was too wet. And I didn't use them on the mountain because I only wanted to carry one pair of boots or shoes. But I did use them on the training climb and on the day hikes and they were really comfortable.

Kilimanjaro Notes: I absolutely love these things. I did all of my hikes in these. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots).

Raichle Mt Hike GTX

So far I have only hiked a couple of times with these, but so far I really like them. The toe is angled so the uphills are less strenuous and the toe box is not too spacious so you don't get your toes banged too much on the descents. And they are blue. No ugly brown!

Canadian Rockies Notes: Even though I brought these for the trip, I never used them once. Everything was day hikes and there really weren't many technical areas that I needed serious boots for, so I chose to wear my Salomon Trail Runners for every hike. Another big factor was that the weather cooperated so wonderfully. Had it been wetter, I probably would have used them.

Even though I didn't use them, I would suggest at least taking them with you because you never know what the weather is going to be like and if it is very wet, you may want boots with you.

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

On the ecuador trip, I was happy with my low gaiters (Outdoor Research), but not exstatic. I sunk in some mud that went way past the calve and at that moment regretted not bringing some high gaiters as well. This time I know better.

Kilimanjaro Notes: These would have been a great thing to have on the summit day. There is just a huge amount of scree you come down to get back to high camp and gaiters are a must. I was just too tired to care about all the pebbles in my shoes.

Canadian Rockies Notes: This trip I bought them and never put them because there was really never any need. Even the muddiest day, I only got some on my pant bottom. I only wore my low gaiters the first day and after that, left them in the pack since there really wasn't a need for them on any of the hikes. But i would at least have low gaiters with you just incase you get a really wet and muddy area, you may need them.

Outerwear

Marmot Shell Jacket

Although I had originally planned to spend a whole lot less, I am glad I picked up this parka. It fit me well in the arms and does a good job of stopping wind.

Illiniza Notes: This jacket worked great on the climb. Period.

Kilimnajaro Notes: Really like the jacket.

Mount Washington 2009 Notes: At the top of the climb I saw that this jacket was not as good at breathing or keeping out the water as I thought it was (or used to be). Either way, this was my last time using this jacket. It's now the jacket I let friends borrow when I drag them along on some trip with me. Let's be Honest. I saw the Arc'teryx and fell in love. Gear junkies just need to buy new stuff!

EMS Gore-tex XCR Shell Pants

These Shell Pants have a full zip, suspenders and articulated knees as well as zippered side pockets and 1 thigh pocket. They are fleece lined for a little bit of warmth.

Kilimanjaro Notes: These are the pants I use for almost every mountain trip.

Mt Washington Notes: I have used these pants 2 years in a row on mt Washington and they have served me very well.

Marmot Expedition Mitts

On my Ecuador climb I used gloves (Black Diamond Neve's) and absolutley hated them. My fingers were cold the entire time and I realized theres really not that much of a need for your fingers. Mittens will do. It's just that I have always hated those things! I feel like a little kid! UGGG. But I think these things will be a lot warmer so we will see.

Oh my god. I absolutely loved these things. They were so warm on the summit day climb it was rediculous. And they were nice pillows every other day!

Mt Washington Notes: These are really nice to take on a big cold mountain like Washington because they are warm, light and packable. Oh my. They were lovely on the climb. My fingers only got cold when they weren't in the mitts!

Mt Adams Notes: I brought these along purely as backups. I didn't even need them at all.

Insulation Layer

North Face Fleece Jacket

This was the first fleec jacket I bought. I still have it and still wear it. It's a great jacket; warm and well fitting. The minute I started wearing it, the soft shell fleeces started becoming reasonable priced and I got the bug to start in that dierection. But for a simple fleece, great piece of gear.

Red Rocks Notes: Good jacket. You need a fleece in the desert surpisingly!

EMS Summittech Fleece Pants

I used to go with regular fleece pants. Today, I wouldn't bother with these. I would bring along soft shell fleece in case I needed to be out in the rain!

Iliniza Notes: The pants were too hot so I carried them in the pack the whole time. i was glad to have them along though.

EMS Summittech Fleece Jacket

i no longer buy regular fleece. Sure, if you are on a budget, go for it. But with the lower cost of soft shell fleece, today, that's where I go with my bucks.

Illiniza Notes: It was pretty cold on the climb, but only at the beginning, before I got going, and at the end, when we wre really in the wind. In between, I had to take it off.

EMS Glove Liners
A nice set of liners are a great thing to have. light enough to wear during the cool night but just engouh to keep your fingers warm.

 

Base Layer and Insulation Layer

Duofold Varitec Long Sleeve Hydroduct Tee

The first time I tried out a Duofold shirt, I was surprised at how it performed considering how little it cost. It's a great way to build up your gear quickly without spending all your money on some big brands advertising!

Basic base layer shirt. A staple in my pack.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along specifically for those hot days where I might just want a t shirt in the water. I actually didn't use it but its always good to have just in case.

Duofold Varitec Short Sleeve Hydroduct Tee

Any kind of non cotton shirt will do. Poly Pro, or wool, whatever.

Underarmor Boxer Brief

These are the best underwear I have ever used. Because i have a problem with my legs rubbing to together as i walk, which causes my pant to ride up on me, I decided to change to biker shorts (slick material) rather than a cloth material to see if that would alleviate my problem. They worked better than I ever would have expected. I will never go back to cloth boxer briefs.

wigwam ultimax cool lite hiker socks

II usually use Smartwool socks, but I've heard great things about this sock. They have a very thin top layer so that your feet can breathe with a very thick underside to absorbe sweat and shock.

Smartwool Socks

Smartwool's Expedition Trekking line was the winner of Backpacker Magazine's Great Sock Test. They expertly control temperature and moisture, cushion your digits and are extremely durable. Wicks and evaporates moisture to keep feet and shoes dry. Keep your feet cool in the summer, warm in the winter and not too bad for odor prevention either. I can't see myself ever buying another brand of sock

Madawaska Notes: Usually, I am using these socks for hiking. But here, they were just for walking around and in case I needed them for the cold water. But it was warm enough that I didn't need em at all.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Once again, my favorites. Others say that the socks tend to slip or move on their feet, but i haven't had that problem. No matter what brand you bring with you, make sure you have wool socks for the hike.

Patagonia Stretch Zip Long T

I love this shirt. It has thumb holes to keep your sleeves from riding up (or keep your wrists warm), it's comfortable and it has the half zip neck which I love because you can use it like a turtleneck or you can open up to breathe. Designed to be versatile enough to use as a high-mobility base layer for winter sports or a midweight outer layer in warmer climates.

Canadian Rockies: This was my staple shirt for the entire trip. I don't go anywhere without it.

Grand Canyon Notes: I will only bring one long sleeve shirt. And since I did, this was the only one I brought. My staple shirt on all my trips. So much so, that everybody says I need to buy some new shirts!

Duofold Ultra Tec Heavy Weight Base Later top

Once again, I went for value when picking out my base layers. My other base layer was the bergelene brand available at EMS.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along in case it got really cold at camp. I used it to sleep in and was really happy I brought it along.

Duofold Ultra Tec Heavy Weight Base Later pants

Once again, I went for value when picking out my base layers. My other base layer was the bergelene brand available at EMS.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along in case it got really cold at camp. I used it to sleep in and was really happy I brought it along.

Grand Canyon Notes: I decided to only bring a pair of bottoms for bnightime since I was already bringing my North Face Flash Jacket for the night. I was glad I did too, because it was cold each and every night.

EMS Superwick T

This is a lightweight polyester shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body and comes in a fe different colors. I actually picked up a long sleeve and a short sleeve. They were great as a first layer in the jungle.

Iliniza Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t-shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Grand Canyon Notes: It gets hot down there in the canyon, so bring a lightweight t shirt.

Bridgedale Liners

I have a tendency to get blisters but with one of these liners, it's not a factor. They move the moisture away from your feet very well and provide the extra softness beneath those wool socks.

Wigwam Coolmax Liners

I have a tendency to get blisters but with one of these liners, it's not a factor. They move the moisture away from your feet very well and provide the extra softness beneath those wool socks.

rei convertable sahara pants

These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.

EMS Adventure zip off pants : $50

These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Definately bring at least one pair. I personally brought 2 pair. While I never unzipped tham on any of my hikes, others in my group did on the one hike I didn't do, because it got so hot.

Headwear

Patagonia Stretch Balaclava

This stretch balaclava has a baggy mouth area so that you can pull it ove your face or down over your chin. It's made of a stretchy synthetic material so your sweat, spit and snot don't need to turn into and ice block after 5 hours on trail.

Iliniza Notes: I didn't end up using this thing too much. But I was happy I at least had it with me just in case. It wasn't windy or cold enough to warrant using it so I just pulled my jacket over my lip and sucked it up!

Keystone Notes: This stretch balaclava works ok for snowboarding. I bought it originally for mountaineering, for which it works wonders. For boarding however, it's not as usefull because the hole for the face tends to get in the ways of the gogles and interfere with the seal. I prefer to just use a thin skull cap under my helmet and a long neck gaiter or mask that just covers my nose, mouth and neck. That's always worked for me in the past and I'll continue to use that method until i find something signiifcantly better.

Mt Adams Notes: I brought this along purely as a backup and didn't have to pull it out.

Mountain Hardwear Fleece Hat

This hat is a little thin, but the fact that it completely covers the ears and ties off to stay tight against them makes it really warm. It's a great hat to have along on any trip. Plus you look funny which is always special!

Iliniza Notes: I brought this hat merely as a backup. The worst thing you can do is lose your only hat in the wild. I always bring an extra just in case.

Kilimanjaro Notes: Again, this was my backup hat. I definately pulled it out at night to sleep in.

campmor power beanie

Nice little fleece hat to cover my newly shaved head! I like it because there's more fleece on the ears thatn the top which is exactly how I like it. My ears are sensitive like a little girls!! lol

Accessories

Dermatone Lip Balm with biner

I really like this balm. Its very much like "Unpetroleum" that i took on Alaska trip and loved.

Grand Canyon Notes: Do not forget to bring lip balm on this trip. You will regret it if you do.

Mt Rainier Notes: If you have never been on a glacier in the middle of the summer, you can't really understand how important it is to have lip balm. I buy these 6 at a time every time I go to the camping store. I avoid chapped lips at ALL costs.

Moleskin

It really doesn't matter which moleskin you choose. Personally, I like the thin moleskin, especially since I start applying it as soon as i feel even a hotsot. I never wait until i develop a blister so i rarely ever develop one. But i use moleskin almost every day of a hiking trip and remove it at night to air out the hot spot.

Wet Ones Travel

It really doesn't matter which moleskin you choose. Personally, I like the thin moleskin, especially since I start applying it as soon as i feel even a hotsot. I never wait until i develop a blister so i rarely ever develop one. But i use moleskin almost every day of a hiking trip and remove it at night to air out the hot spot.

Grand Canyon Notes: Since water will be so sparse on this trip, I'll bring a pack of these for my outback shower!

El Potrero Notes: Anytime you are in Mexico, bring wet ones. They rarely have toilet paper in any of the bathrooms, so having these hand is nice.

Packtowel Camp Towel

Bottom line, this is not ever an optional item. I have to have at least one on my trips. It's really water absorbant but rings out like a shammy and packs away dry right after you've used it on your whole body!

El Potrero Notes: Bring a camp towl because they don't have them readily available at the Posada.

Grand Canyon Notes: I'll bring my small towel just so I can wash my face, or if I want to go down to the river.

lightloads towels

The Last climb I was on somebody pulled out this little disc and magically a little towel came out! I was amazed. And when I saw it in its compact form and realized how lightweight it was, I was highly impressed. This time I'm bringing a few to test them out on my own.

Nalgene Water Bottle

These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!

I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.

Julbo Nomads

The Julbo Nomads are my favorite shades because of how closely they wrap around my face and their low profile. What I also liked about them was that they have plastic clip on side sheilds rather than the botton on leather ones.

Kilimanjaro Notes: I forgot them in the tent on summit day! But they worked great every other day!

Madawaska Notes: I went back and forth between using shades and not. in the end, I found that what i really wanted was just somehting to stop water going in my eyes, but clear. I'll get something for next time.

Grand Canyon Notes: Even though it was really bright, I usually don't use sunglasses unless I am driving or riding my bike. On this trip, I just squinted a little the whole time! :-) But I carried them the whole way just in case I needed them.

Julbo Atlas

The Atlas glacier glasses have 100% UV protection adn 87% visible light reduction so you see anywhere on top of the mountain. it has the customary removable side shields and the temples are moldable so you can get the fit you need to keep them on.

Kilimanjaro Notes: I brought these specifically as backups. But since i forgot to even pring my first pair, that lets you know where my head was at on summit day! I ended up giving away my pair to one of the porters.

Leki super Makalu Trekking Poles

They say they're some of the best poles on the market. Cor-tec handles, anti shock tips and light as a pair of feathers, they seemed good enough for me. If I had one complaint it would be that they could fold in just a little bit smaller. But other than that, they perform and that's all you can ask.

Why I bought them: If you have bad knees like I do, or you are big boy like I am, you will definately want to bring along your sticks. There are some very steep descents on some of the trails and I can't imagine doing it without at least something in at least one hand. If you don't feel like lugging them on the trip, or they get broken in baggage, just pick up a good stick when you start on the hike. But my suggestion is these.

Pros: Very lightweight. Adjutable. Great feel in your hand. Love to cork handles.

Cons: They are a little longg so they are difficult to transport in your baggage given the post 9-11 security concerns. I am alwasy worried at how to protect them in my baggage. And the twist handles sometimes are a pain.

Illiniza Notes: Love these poles. They are really light and I like the fingertip control for tightening the loops.

Kilimanjaro Notes: I still love these poles. They did however jam up on the loops so that I can't always easily control the loop length. But I don't adjust very often so it's not that big a deal.

Mt Washington 2009 Notes: I had a major problem getting these to work properly in the freezing cold. Could have been user error, but at -20 degrees on mt Washington, I don't need to be wasting time screwing around with trekking poles! It was at this point I decided to go the "clip joint" route and will never look back. I will never buy another pair of twist lock trekking poles again. Ever!

Osprey Airporter

On my last 2 trips i have gotten buckles broken on my pack. No more. This time I'm just going to throw it in the aiporter and not worry about it.

aloe gator sunblock

I like gel sunblock better than the normal lotion kind because I tend to sweat a lot and it lasts much longer. I also use bullfrog but couldn't find it this time around in the camping store.

Camp suds

I used the camp suds in Alaska and really liked them. It didn't hurt that i was showering in an alaskan waterfall on a warm beach about to eat some freshly caught salmon! It works in salt water too which makes these suds a must take on any outdoor trip.

Technology

Petzl Tikka

Since I bought the Petzl Tikka to replace my Black Diamond Gemini head lamp, I have never looked back. The Tikka is the perfect size and wieght, and it has all the functionality you really need in a head lamp.

While there is no spotlight on it, I have found that I rarely use the spotlight, so this is perfect for my needs. And when you are trying to limit the weight in your backpack, every ounce counts. I actually have 3 of these to give to my non backpacking friends when we go out together.

Why I bought it: I had the Black Diamond Gemini before this, which was great, but big and bulky and just overkill. After actually using these things, you only need a small lamp with a few lighting settings.

Madawaska Notes: You don't really need this if you are staying in the bunk house. But if you are camping, you know the drill!

Grand Canyon Notes: You have to have a head lamp on any trips in the backcountry. And since we were in a primitive area, I brought an extra as a back up. And a good thing too, because Drill Sgt left his in the car at the trailhead!

nikon n60 body

35 mm camera

nikon 28mm

wide angle lens

Food

Gatorade Packs

Gatorade is one of the best tasting electrolyte replacement drinks. I't probably not necessary when mountaineering because you are not sweating, but it can't hurt. But if you're out there in the heat, you need to replace those electrolytes.You can get them in 1 quart packages which are perfect for your nalgene liter bottles.

Mt Washington Notes: Adding gatorade to your water on a freezing cold mountain helps to keep it from freezing. It's high salt and sugar content will add at least a few degrees to your drinks max freezing temperature.

Grand Canyon Notes: You should definately bring at least one liter per day. It gets really hot in the canyon.

Action speaks louder than words, but not as often!
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