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According to his book Life, Wanderings, and Labours in Eastern Africa, when Charles New attempted to climb Kilimanjaro in 1861 he took with him a party of thirteen porters, all of whom were completely naked. New and his crew became the first to reach Kilimanjaro’s snow-line, which is a rather creditable effort considering their lack of suitable apparel.
Assuming your goal is to reach more than just the snows of Kilimanjaro, however, you will need to make sure you (and indeed your porters) are appropriately attired for the extreme conditions.
The fact that you will be paying porters to carry your rucksack does, to some degree, make packing simpler - allowing you to concentrate on warmth rather than weight.
However, packing for warmth does not mean packing lots of big jumpers. The secret to staying warm is to wear lots of layers. Not only does this actually make you warmer than if you just had one single, thick layer - the air trapped between the layers heats up and acts as insulation - but it also means you can peel off the layers one by one when you get too warm, and put them on again one by one when the temperatures drop.
Sun-hat One reader wrote in to say that, because he is a glasses wearer, a baseball cap or similar was much more useful than a regular sunhat as it kept the rain off his spectacles. This is a good idea but do make sure that you have something to cover the back of your neck too. Whatever you choose, headgear is essential as it can be hot and dazzling on the mountain ...
|How much it costs|
|Kilimanjaro park fees|
|Other costs of climbing Kilimanjaro|
|How to book: introduction|
|Booking your trek with an agency at home|
|Booking your trek with an agency in Tanzania|
|Getting to Kilimanjaro: introduction|
|Flights to Kilimanjaro and Tanzania|
|Flights to Kenya|
|Travelling overland to Kilimanjaro|
|The routes up Kilimanjaro|
|Marangu Route (5-6 days)|
|Machame Route (6-7 days)|
|Rongai Route (5-6 days)|
|Umbwe Route (5-6 days)|
|Shira and Lemosho Routes|
|What to pack: introduction|
|Clothes for Kilimanjaro|
|Other equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Essential equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Highly desirable equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Useful equipment for Kilimanjaro|
|Luxury items for Kilimanjaro|
|A Kilimanjaro medical kit|
|Diamox - what is it, and is it worth taking on Kilimanjaro?|
|Malaria and malarial prophylaxis for Kilimanjaro|