Mount Kenya climbing gear list
Here is what you will need to bring for one of the best holiday adventures of your life.
Proper equipment is extremely important to the success, enjoyment, comfort and safety of your trip. Please bring the following items for your climb. Porters will carry up to 22 lbs (10Kilogrames) of your personal gear, no more! If you pack by this list, you will meet the weight limit. If you wish to have additional porter support, we can accommodate you. If you have any questions, or would like the extra support, please let us know well in advance.
Gotomountkenya Adventures believes that all mountain travel equipment should follow two simple tenets: Lightweight and Functional. Functional equipment determines how warm, dry, and safe you will be, so always choose equipment that is of good quality, is dependable, and is adaptable to a variety of extreme conditions.
You’ll need to be well-prepared for temperatures potentially ranging from 25 Degrees Celsius at the bottom of your route to -10 Degrees Celsius at the top. Make sure to account for the full range.
Clothing impacts not only your comfort but also your safety. Always be critical of the quality and the proper fit of your clothing. Cotton clothing must be avoided because it dries very slowly and is a poor insulator when wet. Instead, choose wool or synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat and moisture away from your skin.
We recommend a four layer clothing system.
Manages moisture and keeps perspiration away from your skin. (Polypro, capilene, driclime)
Should be a durable, comfortable, insulating and wind/water resistant layer that breathes well. The main Softshell fabrics are Polartec Wind Pro, Gore Windstopper N2S, Schoeller; each clothing manufacturer has their own. 200 weight fleece can be substituted for our Softshell recommendations but is not as versatile with how it may be used when layering.
Windproof, waterproof and breathable. (e.g. Gore-Tex, or similar)
Should be down-fill or synthetic-fill and fit over all layers. (e.g. down, primaloft or polarguard) These four layers are usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder bring one extra medium-layer that would be ideal for extra warmth around camp, such as a vest. When deciding what to pack, remember to bring enough clothes and accessories to ensure your safety and comfort, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably won’t use.
4-season sleeping bag and a liner: Make sure the sleeping bag has a rating of 0° for comfort and -20° for extreme conditions.
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat: it must cover the ears
Shade hat: a visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the equatorial sun
Bandanas: various uses – cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc.
Sunglasses or Glacier glasses: essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water.
T-shirts: two t-shirts that will get dirty; Patagonia capilene is best. No cotton.
Long underwear top: one medium weight and one heavyweight long sleeve Patagonia capilene, pull-over is best.
Fleece or soft shell Jacket: This is what you will be wearing while hiking at higher altitudes or while around at camps at lower altitude. These jackets should be full-zip and accessible. Call for more details on “Soft-shell”.
Gore-Tex Parka: a good parka made of Gortex or waterproof nylon that has been seam sealed. Afternoon showers are common in East Africa.
Down or Synthetic Jacket: This layer is to keep you warm, especially at those higher altitudes. the Patagonia Puffball Jacket is perfect for this trek.
Fleece Glove: a lightweight glove to use while trekking and hanging around camp
Shell Gloves: A shell system of a fleece liner and waterproof shell that handles cold. Brands such as “OR” make a shell system that can be bought together.
Undergarments: adequate supply for the entire climb
Hiking shorts: one pair of quick-drying shorts; good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain
Long underwear or tights: These can be worn under heavier layers on colder days or worn by themselves on warmer days, which are why tights are good.
Soft Shell Pants: soft-shell pants are water resistant, yet highly breathable and durable. Great for colder conditions over a pair of long underwear or tights. Patagonia guide pants are a great brand.
Gore-Tex Pants: a lightweight pair of pants to keep you dry when raining or snowing hard. Full-zips are convenient.
Thin socks: two pair of polypropylene socks to wear under heavy wool socks; help prevent blisters and keep feet dry
Thick socks: two pair of heavy wool or polypropylene socks, medium to heavyweight.
Hiking boots: one pair light to medium weight hiking boots large enough to be comfortable with one thin and one heavy sock. (Use tried and tested boots to avoid blisters and take a good supply of Compeed blister plasters)
Gaiters: one pair of gaiters made of breathable material; keeps dirt and mud out of boots. OR Crocs are great.
Tennis shoes or sandals: to wear in camp after a day of hiking
Toiletries: toothbrush and paste, comb, tampons, biodegradable soap (small amt.), etc.
Sunscreen: bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 15 or more. It’s easy to underestimate the amount necessary for equatorial sun protection.
Lip balm: must have SPF rating of 15 or more
Ear plugs: to block out snoring and other noise to ensure a good night’s sleep Flashlight and/or headlamp: bring extra batteries
Personal first aid and drug kit
Towel: for wash up in camp
Towelettes: individually wrapped anti-bacterial towels are great for general hygiene
Spare contacts or glasses: contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions; glasses wearers should have a spare set
Water bottles: two one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles. If you use a collapsible water bottle or hydration system you are welcome to bring it along for drinking water. No PET plastic bottles are allowed on Mount Kenya. Bring aluminium or Nalgene-type bottles for water. Camelbacks are handy as well, but water will freeze especially on summit night so you will need bottles. You will need to drink at least 3 liters of water per day.
Water treatment tablets: one small bottle of Potable Agua or Polar Pure crystal iodine; purifies drinking water while on the trek.
Water flavoring: powdered additives like Tang, Gatoraid and Wyler’s lemonade make treated water taste better.
Headlamp/Torch. A headlamp is the best torch for night hiking as you can have your hands free at all times. You will use your headlamp on summit night.
Adjustable ski poles
Umbrella (optional): protection from rain and sun.
Snacks: (optional): if there is something you particularly like to eat while hiking, bring some along. You will be fed well throughout the trip, so this is just something extra.
Plastic sandwich bags: Keep personal items separate and dry
Day Pack: with padded shoulder straps and waist belt; used for carrying personal gear such as water bottle, extra clothing, snacks, camera, etc. Individual loads will be between 10 and 20 pounds. A climbing pack with a volume between 25-30 liters serves most people needs well. Normally you will not see your backpack from the moment you hand it to the porter in the morning to at least lunchtime, and maybe not until the end of the day. It’s therefore, necessary to pack everything that you may need during the day in your bag that you carry with you.
Large Backpack: gear will be kept in it and will be carried by the porters. Limit loads to items on the equipment list. Your large Backpack cannot exceed 22 lbs. Approx: 28″x16″x16″ No wheels or hard sides, please.
Medium duffel bag: to store your non-mountain gear; this will be stored at the hotel, to be used after the climb, and will be brought to your hotel.
Baggage tags: makes identifying your bags easy at the airports or hotels
Plastic bags: sleeping bag and clothes will be double-bagged while on the mountain for protection from afternoon rains. Heavy-duty garbage bags work great and can store dirty or wet clothes as well.
Binoculars: essential for game-viewing; 7×20 to 10×40 recommended (magnification x field of view)
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