Category Archives: Climbing

Checklist for trekking Kilimanjaro

For most Kenya outdoor enthusiasts, the ultimate is to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Many people considering trekking Kilimanjaro ask what the best route is. “Best” can mean anything. But perhaps most people asking this question mean which route guarantees success.

Marangu route should be the easiest route to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. But it has the worst success rate because climbers are least prepared. The Marangu route takes you at a gentle pace through rain forests, moorlands and the alpine desert at the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi.

To ensure success summiting Kilimanjaro, one needs to anticipate the difficulties and make plans to surmount them.
These are:
1. General fitness
2. Endurance fitness.
3. Altitude

1. General fitness: Establish that the body is fit enough to withstand sub-zero temperatures and other vagaries of outdoor living for five to six days. It is also important to note the body’s ability to adapt to the abrupt change of diet. Hand in hand to this is the mental attitude and willingness to go through it.

2. Endurance fitness: In general the body should be able to withstand four contiguous days of uphill walking for five to six hours daily while carrying about six Kilograms of gear. This calls for strict regimes of exercises that can be done in the house, field or gym, such as cardio, squats, jogging, treadmill or skipping rope.

3. Altitude: Hiking and trekking at least once every two months preferably in altitudes over of 2500 metres e.g. Ngong hills, Longonot, Oldonyo sabuk, Kinari forest, Elephant hill, Kipipiri, mount Kenya (preferably to Leanna point) will give the body the much-needed acclimatisation.
It is important to deliberately choose at least one wet season hike in order to test rain gear.

Below is a list of items that one needs to collect and test in advance in order to make the climb as friendly as possible.
I have used the key below to rate the items

**** Crucial to have
*** Important to have
** Good to have
* luxury

ITEM Description QTY Cost (Ksh) Total cost(Ksh)


Raincoat or poncho with hood**** Waterproof enough to keep off heavy rain 1 7,000.00 7,000.00
Warm jacket**** Water resistant and breathable- can be made of down, Thinsulate or fleece. Down and fleece dry much faster than wool 1 15,000.00 15,000.00
Long Sleeve thermal vest*** 3 2,000.00 6,000.00
Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric 5 2,000.00 10,000.00
Waterproof trousers, breathable (side-zipper recommended)*** 1 8,000.00 8,000.00
Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)**** 1 9,000.00 9,000.00
Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended) 2 2,000.00 4,000.00
Underwear (boxers or briefs)*** moisture-wicking fabric recommended
choose something that allows you to change in the presence of women
Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)**** 1 1,000.00 1,000.00
Brimmed Hat, baseball cap for sun protection*** 1 500.00 500.00
Warm Headwear**** Fleece or woollen cap. If you choose one that covers the sides and neck then you don’t need the balaclava and scarf 1 1,000.00 1,000.00
Balaclava or scarf** 1
Hiking Boots**** High cut, warm, waterproof, broken-in, half or one size larger to allow wearing excess socks. 1 15,000.00 15,000.00
Gym shoes, trainers or sneakers*** To wear at camp 1 4,000.00 4,000.00
Socks**** Thick, woollen or fleece. You might want to get a pair to use when testing boots 6 200.00 1,200.00
Gaiters** Effective in keeping water, pebbles out of your shoes and the lases in place 1 1,500.00 1,500.00


Sleeping Bag*** rated +10 to +35 0F.
Go for mummy type (with hood) as opposed to rectangular because it fits close to the body leaving less chance for cold spots.
1 7,000.00 7,000.00
Headlamp, with extra batteries**** for summit night 1
Rucksack*** Enough for porters to carry your equipment in. Kili porters are allowed to carry only 15 Kg of your gear. Line it with garbage bags for extra water resistance. Use stuff bags to separate things e.g. socks and underwear, sleeping bag, toiletries, T-shirts, rainwear, used clothes etc. 1 5,000.00 5,000.00
Backpack**** with waterproof cover for you to carry items you may require during the day and delicate items like electronics and glass. 1 5,000.00 5,000.00
Sunglasses or Goggles*** Snow blindness can be catastrophic after Gilman’s point. Test glasses that you can wear on your spectacles 1
Vacuum flask* To carry hot water to use after 5000 metres 1
Camel-back water pouch*** Two litres capacity. Your potter can carry the extra water 1 2,000.00 2,000.00
Small Towel*** lightweight, quick-dry 1
Stuff bags* to keep gear dry and separate e.g. a pouch each for shoes, socks and underwear, sleeping bag, wet towels, garbage, T-shirts, rainwear, used clothes etc. 5 200.00 1,000.00
Lip Balm***
Hand Sanitizer***
Toilet Paper***
Wet Wipes***
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)***
WC liner*
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)*
Camera, with extra batteries*
Power bank* from 10000mAh. Keep devices in Aeroplane mode to conserve power. 1 10,000.00 10,000.00
Book reader/ePad*
Board game (if in a group)*
The direct cost of the trip from Nairobi are as follows
To JKIA and back 1 10,000.00 10,000.00
JKI-JRO return ticket 1 40,000.00 40,000.00
JRO-Moshi and back 1 9,000.00 9,000.00
Trip Charges covers hotel accommodation, accommodation on the mountain, porters salaries, food, travel to the park gate 1 40,000.00 40,000.00
Tips for sharing with your climb partners per the whole trip.
– Support Crew sh300-sh400
– Cook sh600-sh800
– Chief Guide/guide sh1,000-sh1500
– assist Guide sh600-sh800
1 4,000.00 4,000.00
Statutory Requirements
Yellow fever Papers
For prep hikes
For hiking gear