Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro Packing List

Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro Packing List 

Welcome to our blog on hiking gear for Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro Hiking is an amazing way to get outdoors, explore nature, and challenge yourself physically and mentally. But to fully enjoy your hiking experience, you need to have the right gear. From footwear to backpacks, there are a lot of different pieces of equipment that can make your hike more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable as the Finnish saying goes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” At Ahambi Tours we help you in packing the right clothes and gears for your hike.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about hiking gear. We’ll cover the essential gear you’ll need for any hike, as well as some optional gear that can make your experience even better.

Whether you’re planning a day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, this blog will help you prepare and make the most of your time on the trail. So, let’s dive in and start exploring the world of hiking gear!

Head Wear 

The head gaiters and balaclavas: They are designed to provide warmth and protection for your head, face, and neck.

A head gaiter is a tube-shaped garment that can be worn as a scarf, a headband, or a face covering. It is made from stretchy, breathable fabric and can be pulled up over your nose and mouth to provide extra warmth and protection. Head gaiters are lightweight and versatile, making them ideal for hiking.

A balaclava, on the other hand, is a full-face mask that covers your entire head, except for your eyes. It is typically made from thicker, insulating material and can provide more warmth and protection than a head gaiter. It protects the face and the head from the cold and wind. 

Warm Hat: There are several factors to consider, including the material, insulation, fit, and style. 

  • Look for hats made from materials that are warm, breathable, and moisture-wicking, such as wool or synthetic blends. Avoid cotton, as it absorbs moisture and can leave you feeling cold and damp.
  • Choose a hat that has some form of insulation, such as fleece or synthetic insulation, to provide warmth without adding too much bulk.

E.g. fleece beanies, wool hats, and insulated hats with ear flaps.

Sun Hat: Consider the level of sun protection, material, fit, and style. 

  • Sun protection: Look for a hat with a wide brim, ideally at least 3 inches all around, to provide maximum protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Additionally, some hats are designed with UPF-rated materials, which provide even more sun protection.
  • Choose a hat made from lightweight, breathable materials, such as nylon or polyester, that will wick moisture away from your skin and help keep you cool.

E.g. wide-brimmed hats, bucket hats, and safari hats.

A Bandana: The purposes includes;

  • Sweat and moisture management: A bandana can be used to wipe sweat from your face or forehead, or to absorb moisture from your neck or forehead. 
  • Dust and debris protection: It can be worn over your nose and mouth to protect you from dust and debris.
  • First aid: In an emergency, a bandana can be used as a makeshift bandage or sling.

When choosing a bandana for hiking, look for one made from lightweight, breathable materials, such as cotton or synthetic blends. 

The Sunglasses: They help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and reduce glare.

  • Look for sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection: Make sure the sunglasses you choose provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause damage to your eyes over time.

Upper Body Clothes

Thermal Underwear: It provides an extra layer of insulation to help keep you warm and comfortable. 

  • Material: Look for thermal underwear made from synthetic or natural fibers, such as polyester, merino wool, or silk.
  • Look for thermal underwear with moisture-wicking properties, which helps to draw sweat away from your body and keep you dry and comfortable.

A moisture-wicking vest: This is good in hot and humid conditions. 

  • Look for vests made from moisture-wicking materials, such as synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. These materials are designed to wick away sweat and moisture from your skin, keeping you cool and dry.
  • Breathability: Look for a vest with good ventilation or mesh panels to allow air to flow through and keep you cool.

Sport Bra (optional): Good especially for women

  • Look for a sports bra that offers good support for your breasts, as hiking can be a high-impact activity that can cause discomfort or even pain if you’re not properly supported.
  • Choose a sports bra that is made from moisture-wicking materials, which will help to keep you dry and comfortable.

Long sleeve Shirt: 

  • Choose a material that is breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking, such as polyester or a blend of synthetic and natural fibers. This will help keep you cool and dry.
  • Sun protection: Look for a shirt that has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating to help protect you from harmful UV rays. The higher the UPF rating, the more protection it provides.
  • Ventilation: Look for a shirt with ventilation features, such as mesh panels or underarm vents, to help keep you cool and comfortable.

Lightweight fleece or jacket

  • Look for a fleece or jacket made from a lightweight and breathable material, such as polyester fleece or synthetic insulation. This will help keep you warm while still allowing for good ventilation.
  • Look for features such as pockets, adjustable cuffs, and a cinchable waistband that help keep you comfortable.

Down Jacket/ Puffer Jacket: Down jackets are made with high-quality insulation material that provides excellent warmth while remaining lightweight and compressible.

  • Fill Power: This refers to the quality of the down insulation in the jacket. The higher the fill power, the warmer the jacket will be. Look for a jacket with a fill power of 550 or higher for hiking.
  • Hood and Cuffs: A hood help keep your head warm, and adjustable cuffs help keep cold air from entering the jacket.

Rain Jacket/ Rain Coat:

  • Look for a jacket that is fully waterproof.
  • A good rain jacket should be breathable to prevent you from getting too hot and sweaty underneath. Look for jackets with ventilation features like pit zips or breathable fabric.
  • Look for a jacket with an adjustable hood that can be cinched down for a snug fit and provide good coverage of your head and face.

Lower Body Clothes

Thermal underwear: It helps to trap body heat and keep you warm and comfortable.

  • Material: Look for thermal underwear made of synthetic or natural fibers that are specifically designed to wick moisture away from your skin and provide insulation.
  •  Look for thermal underwear that is breathable and allows moisture to escape from your skin, to prevent you from getting too sweaty and clammy.

Moisture wicking underwear: It helps you keep dry by wicking away sweat and moisture from your skin.

  • Look for underwear made of synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, or spandex that are specifically designed to wick away moisture.
  • Look for underwear that is breathable and allows air to circulate around your skin, to help keep you cool and prevent sweat buildup.

Fleece Pants:

  • Look for fleece pants made of synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, as these materials are lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. They also provide good insulation while remaining lightweight.
  • Look for fleece pants with pockets to store small items like a phone, keys, or snacks.

Mountaineering pants/ Hard shell pants:  They provide protection against the elements.

  • Look for hard shell pants made of waterproof and breathable materials.
  • Breathability: Look for hard shell pants with good ventilation, such as zippered vents along the legs or hips. This will allow excess heat and moisture to escape, keeping you more comfortable.

Rain pants:

  • Material: Look for rain pants made of a waterproof and breathable fabric. These materials will keep you dry from the rain while allowing moisture to escape from the inside, so you don’t get sweaty.
  • Length: Consider the length of the rain pants. Full-length pants offer the most protection, but they may be too long and bulky for some hikers. Consider three-quarter length pants or rain chaps as an alternative.


Hiking Books: They provide support, stability, and protection for your feet while navigating various terrain types.

  • Fit: The fit of your hiking boots is crucial for comfort and performance. Make sure to try on different sizes and styles and walk around in them to ensure they fit snugly and comfortably. Also, make sure there is enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes.
  • Material: Hiking boots can be made of leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of both.
  • Look for boots that are waterproof.
  • Hiking boots should have a sole that provides good traction on various types of terrain, such as rocky, muddy, or slippery surfaces.
  • Look for boots with good ankle support to prevent sprains and injuries.
  • Boots with good ventilation and breathable materials will help keep your feet cool and dry during the hike.

Trainers: This you can use them at the camp after the hike.

  • Support: Hiking can put a lot of stress on your feet and ankles, so it’s important to choose trainers with good support. Look for shoes with a firm midsole and a supportive upper that can help prevent injuries.

Gaiters: This are a type of protective gear worn over your hiking boots to help keep debris, water, and snow out of your shoes and socks.

  • Look for gaiters made of durable and waterproof materials. These will help keep your feet dry and protected from the elements.
  • Closure: Look for gaiters with a secure closure system, such as zippers or Velcro. This will ensure the gaiters stay in place and provide maximum protection.

The Socks: Socks are an essential piece of hiking gear that should not be overlooked. They serve the important function of protecting your feet from blisters, hot spots, and other forms of foot irritation.

  • Look for socks made from moisture-wicking materials, such as merino wool or synthetic blends.
  • Number of pairs: Bring at least two extra pair of socks on your hike in case your feet get wet.

Extra Essentials

Sleeping Bag: When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag for hiking, it’s important to consider the temperature rating, weight, and size. The temperature rating of the sleeping bag should be appropriate for the expected weather conditions, which can vary depending with the season. A four-season sleeping bag is recommended, as temperatures can drop below freezing at night.

  • If you are planning to hike during the dry season from June to October, when temperatures are relatively warm, a sleeping bag with a temperature rating of around 5-10 degrees Celsius (41-50 degrees Fahrenheit) may be sufficient.
  • However, if you are planning to hike during the rainy season from November to May, when temperatures can drop significantly, especially at higher elevations, you may need a sleeping bag with a temperature rating of -5 to -10 degrees Celsius (23-14 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower.

Backpack/Rucksack: To be carried by the porters.

  • Size: The size of your backpack will depend on the length of your trip and how much gear you plan to carry. Capacity of 65-75 liters for a multi-day trip.
  • Comfort: Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel for comfort. Some backpacks also have a hip belt to distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly.

A day pack: You carry with you during the day and contains everything you need for the hike, such as water, snacks, a rain jacket, sunscreen, and a camera. 

  • Capacity: Look for a pack with a capacity of around 20-30 liters.
  • Comfort: Choose a pack with comfortable shoulder straps and a waist belt to help distribute the weight evenly across your body. Look for packs with padded back panels for extra comfort.

Hiking poles: Helpful especially on steep and rocky terrain. They help distribute your weight, provide additional stability, and reduce stress on your knees and other joints.

  • Length: Should be adjustable so that you can adjust them to your height. Ideally, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when holding the poles.
  • The grips on the poles should be comfortable. Look for grips made of materials like cork or foam.
  • look for hiking poles with shock-absorbing mechanisms that help reduce the impact on your joints when hiking.

Head torch with spare batteries.

Power bank for charging phone.

Blister plasters.

Some favorite snack bars. 

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