Rongai Route Kit List

  • We provide tents, cooking and eating equipment, a mess tent and stools etc. You only need to worry about your personal equipment.
  • Conditions on Kili can change dramatically, lower down the mountain it’s usually warm and dry…but plan for rain. Pack a set of lightweight waterproofs in your day sack and make sure that you equipment is waterproofed with stuff sacks or bin liners.
  • Within minutes of the sun setting T-shirt and shorts will need to be swapped for a down jacket and trousers!
  • Nights are cold. Sleeping bags should be rated to -15C. A full length inflatable mattress is also essential.
  • The real challenge comes higher-up the mountain and on summit day. Particularly on Kilimanjaro and Meru it can get really, really cold. Temperatures can drop to –20C with wind chill and there can be a lot of snow on the ground. You will need the same kind of clothing that you’d take to Scotland in winter in order to stay warm enough to make it to the summit. I regularly see people with freezing hands and feet because they haven’t brought boots, socks and gloves that are up to the job….quite often it costs climbers their chance to get to the summit.
  • Set off wearing your warmest layers and remove them if you get too hot.
  • If you suffer with cold hands and feet take a pair of thermal mittens, chemical hand warmers and warm, dry socks which have been set aside for the summit climb. It’s a good idea to wear a thin liner sock underneath.
  • Water bottles will freeze so drink plenty before setting off and store a small bottle (1 inside your jacket for the journey.
  • Lower down the mountain it can be quite warm during the day, with regular rain showers. You’ll be ok trekking in light trousers and a t-shirt (you can even wear trainers for the first couple of days on some routes) provided that you have plenty of sun cream and sun hat. You’d be well advised to take a Platypus type drinking system so you can drink on the move and avoid dehydration. Make sure that your clothing is made from quick drying, wicking material. Avoid cotton as it does not dry easily.
  • This trek is fully supported by a team of porters. You will only need to carry a light daypack. A  20-30L rucksack is a useful size to comfortably fit in essential items , consider packing:
  • Water bottle/ hydration bag
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sun cream
  • Wet-weather gear
  • Warm fleece/ Gloves/ Hat
  • Sun glasses 


  • Take a duffle bag in which to store your spare clothing and equipment. Make sure everything is wrapped in waterproof liners. The porters will carry this in between camps. The maximum weight the porters will carry is 15KG.
  • Take a 20 - 35L day pack in which to carry you day equipment.
  • A fold-a-way canvas bag is useful for leaving your non-mountain luggage at the hotel.


  • Boots. A good pair of waterproof 2 - 3 season (B1 rated) boots should be considered a minimum.  I wear a pair of Scapa Manta’s. They’re warmer than the average boot and the stiff sole makes walking over steep and loose scree much easier.  When considering what boots to take, don’t forget that you might well end-up walking in snow higher up the mountain. A boot with a stiff sole and a waterproof rubber rand will serve you well.
  • Socks. Take several pairs of standard walking socks and a spare pair of ultra-warm mountaineering socks to be kept in reserve for summit-day. A fresh, dry pair of socks (and liners) are much warmer than a pair you’ve been wearing for a couple of days. Mund Everest Extreme Socks do the trick.
  • Blister plasters, Compede is best.
  • Foot powder.
  • Gaiters (optional). Useful for wet and boggy conditions (such as days 2 & 3 on the Rongai route).
  • A pair of trainers or approach shoes – useful for wearing around camp. They’re good for walking in lower down the mountain, too.


  • Warm pair of warm mountain trousers.
  • Lightweight trousers for lower down the mountain
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Underwear. Avoid cotton pants as they get wet with sweat and chaff the legs. Take two or three pairs made from wicking material.
  • Shorts. Optional. I don’t usually recommend wearing shorts on the mountain because it’s so easy to get sunburn on the calves/ back of the legs.
  • Long johns (thermal underwear). Essential for summit day.


  • Normal (wicking) base-layer shirt/ t-shirt x 2 
  • Thermal base-layer shirts x 2 (one of which should have long sleeves)
  • Mid-layer fleece. Any 100wt fleece will do.
  • Heavy outer fleece jacket. Alternatively, it might be worth having a look at one of the one of the newer Primaloft insulated jackets (such as a Rab Generator Jacket) as an alternative to a heavy weight fleece. They tend to be warmer and less bulky than the equivalent fleece jacket.
  • Gore-Tex Jacket
  • Down Jacket. Great for wearing around camp, and worth carrying in your rucksack on summit night if you need to warm-up quickly.


  • Mountaineers tend to carry several pairs of gloves:
  • A pair of woollen gloves for cooler days.
  • A decent pair of thermal gloves for summit day. Use mitten if you suffer from cold hands.
  • It’s wise to take a pair of chemical hand warmers too.
  • Head
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Snood/ balaclava
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch and spare batteries


  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottle 
  • Platypus type drinking system (great for approach-days, but the tube will freeze on your climb to the summit, so you need to bring a water bottle too).
  • 3 season sleeping bag (good for –15c).
  • Sleeping mat
  • Wash-bag and toiletries;  antibacterial hand wash (essential), toilet paper, a packet of travel fresh wipes/ baby wipes, soap, toothbrush/ tooth paste, sanitary towels. Don’t forget to take ear plugs in case your tent partner snores!
  • Trek towel
  • First aid kit. Include; pain killers, broad spectrum antibiotics (for gastro infections), Diamox, sore throat tablets, hydration sachets.
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Pee bottle
  • Book
  • Insect repellent (75 – 100% DEET)
  • Camera, batteries (make sure you take a spare fully charged battery)
  • Binoculars (for Safari trips)
  • Spare laces
  • Copy of your travel insurance document
  • Passport/ visa/ yellow fever vaccination certificate


  • We provide good quality meals during the climb, but it’s always a good idea to bring some food of your own. One of the side effects of climbing to high altitude is a loss of appetite, bringing something extra to eat is a good way of making sure you replace the calories you burn. Some suggestions:
  • Breakfast: Muesli Bars. Porridge sachets with powdered milk/ syrup
  • Lunch/ Snacks: Biltong, (John West) Tuna Fillets, nuts, salami, sweets.
  • Evening Meal: Wayfarer meals are best (but expensive) because they can be boiled in the bag and make no mess. Anything you can add boiling water to, such as Mug Shots or Pot Noodles, also do the job.
  • Corned Beef, tinned Sardines, relish, spices can also be added to the main meal.

Rental Options:

Only poor quality kit is available locally.

UK based rental options; Outdoor Hire provide comprehensive clothing and equipment rental for out Kilimanjao trips.