Mount Kenya Packing List : Your Complete Mt. Kenya Packing List : Your Mount Kenya packing list includes advice on what to pack, including clothing and other items. You’ll need equipment that keeps you warm, dry, protected from the sun and rain, and comfortable in the various environments you’ll encounter on Mount Kenya. Despite being near the equator in Africa, Mount Kenya can experience extreme cold. At a height of about 4000 meters, the temperature can drop to around -4 degrees Celsius in the early morning hours and soar to 18 degrees Celsius during the day. Packing the appropriate gear is therefore crucial.

Please pack the necessary equipment that we have suggested in the packing list below because we provide a porter who will carry your main bag up the mountain for you.  A list of all the equipment needed for this trip is provided below.

  • Cotton clothing should be avoided; all clothing should be quick-drying.
  • In order to maintain personal safety in a mountainous environment, it is crucial to have everything on the gear list.
  • The weight of your personal items that the porters will carry should not exceed 15 kg.

Here is a general breakdown of what you should consider:

  • A medium-sized rucksack for a porter to carry your gear up the mountain and a smaller pack for you to carry necessities on the trek are the two types of bags you should bring. At the foot of the mountain, you can leave luggage or other bags containing clothing for travel in safety.
  • Shell: A wind- and rain-resistant, waterproof layer. An umbrella and gaiters over the boots are both very helpful.
  • Layered clothing for warmth, such as a base layer or T-shirt, a fleece shirt, and a warm jacket or top,
  • Footwear: sturdy trekking boots, sandals, and socks
  • Sleeping: A sleeping mat and a warm sleeping bag that are three or four seasons old.
  • Extremities: sunhat, warm hat, and gloves
  • Other: Trekking poles, water bottles, a flask, favorite high-energy foods, a headlamp, a power pack, a book, etc.
  • Personal care: sunblock, malaria pills, a small first-aid kit, and a wash kit


  • 65-75-liter rucksack (for a porter to carry your main gear) with cover
  • 35–45-liter day sack (for you to carry each day)
  • Dry bags of different sizes for clothes and sleeping bags


  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Waterproof gaiters
  • Umbrella (optional)


  • Warm jacket—could be a fleece or down jacket. Make sure you can put the waterproof jacket over it.
  • 1 or 2 Fleece tops, hiking shirts, or sweatshirts
  • 1 or 2 base layers or T-shirts
  • Pair of trekking trousers and shorts
  • Leggings, thermal bottoms, or running tights
  • Several sets of underwear—cotton is best avoided. Sports bras and cycling shorts are good.


  • Warm hat and a buff or scarf
  • Sun hat
  • Warm gloves or mitts and thin liner gloves are also useful.


  • Several pairs of good-quality trekking socks
  • Waterproof trekking boots with a sturdy sole
  • Trainers, flip-flops, or sandals for campsites


  • 3-4 season sleeping bag (comfort -5 °C or lower)
  • Sleeping bag liner: cotton, fleece, or silk (optional)
  • Stuff sack for the sleeping bag
  • A thick foam mat or self-inflating mat (like a Therm-A-Rest)
Mount Kenya Packing List
Mount Kenya Packing List


  • Sunglasses
  • Walking Poles
  • Some favorite snack bars
  • Head torch with spare batteries
  • Power pack for charging phones, etc.
  • Wash kit
  • Papers: passport, money, insurance
  • 2 water bottles (hard plastic, not disposable bottles)
  • Flask for hot drinks—useful on summit night (optional)
  • Earplugs
  • Wet wipes and tissues
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel


  • Paracetamol: temperature, colds
  • Diamox for altitude prevention
  • Antibiotic for gastro-intestinal problems, for example, ciprofloxacin
  • Ibuprofen: headaches; also good for altitude-related symptoms
  • Antiseptic wipes, a few plasters and tape, and antiseptic cream
  • Blister Plasters
  • Oral Rehydration Sachets
  • Sunblock and lip salve
  • Knee/Ankle Support
  • Personal medications, e.g., anti-malaria tablets, inhalers, and anti-histamines


  • Naro Moru and Sirimon treks: Both on the west side of the mountain, the Naro Moru and Sirimon treks typically last five days and involve either camping or a mix of huts and camping.
  • Mount Kenya Traverse: five days of camping or a combination of huts, up the Naro Moru or Sirimon route, and down the Chogoria on the east side.
  • Summit Circuit: six days of camping with the option of using huts, up the Naro Moru route, around the climbing peaks of Batian and Nelion, and back down the Chogoria route.
  • Burguret Route: up the seldom traveled west side Burguret route and down the Chogoria route. Wild camping for five days

The highest peak on the mountain, Batian Peak, requires an extremely difficult rock climb to reach the summit. The second-highest peak on the mountain can be reached via Nelion Peak, a challenging route.


Take a climbing pack that is slim and won’t interfere with your harness on summit day. It should hold about 30 liters. Put on base and fleece layers, climbing pants with some stretch and a hard finish, a hooded down belay jacket, an outer shell jacket and trousers, a warm hat underneath your helmet, wool socks, and high-quality tactile gloves that are warm but still provide adequate feel on the rock. Although gloves are not typically worn when rock climbing, it can get very cold on this route. Therefore, a glove with a leather palm for grip would be ideal.

Bring extra windproof gloves, socks, and hats along with a flask of hot beverage, snacks (and extra food in case of a slow descent), water bottles, lip balm, spare headlamp batteries, and a small first aid kit (headache medications, plasters, stretchy tape for sprains, dressing for wounds). It’s a good idea to bring along an emergency space blanket of good quality as well as a seat pad for insulation in case you become lost along the way.

Climb in sturdy, sticky approach shoes, or wear a pair of hiking boots and rock shoes. Above the Amphitheatre, it will be possible to change shoes, but much will depend on the weather and how cold it is. Mountaineering boots are too stiff and make it hard to feel the rock, but if you can comfortably climb 5.8 in them, you could use some lightweight, low-profile mountaineering boots. The route’s variable terrain is suitable for both approach shoes and/or lightweight mountaineering boots.

Rock shoes are possible for the face route on Batian, but they are obviously not the best in the cold or on slick, icy rock. Warmth for the feet is important. On Nelion, however, rock shoes are a much more practical option, but to cross the glacier to the route’s base, you’ll need stiff-soled mountain boots with crampons. Again, the weather will ultimately dictate any final decision, so it might be a good idea to bring all three types of footwear to Nelion: mountain boots, approach “hybrid” shoes, and rock shoes.

Except for when crossing the Gate of Mists, which requires B1 boots, crampons, and an ice axe, there is no need for crampons on the routes. On the walk-in and on the scree, however, small spikes may be helpful if there is ice and snow. The guide will lead the route, lay down the protection, and carry a rack. Both Nelion and Batian have a few pitons, but most protection is manually installed, and the guides tend to favor cams.

A helmet, climbing harness with a belay loop, several locking karabiners, several short and medium slings, prussik loops, an abseiling or rappelling device, a belay plate, and a few quick draws are among the personal climbing gear you should pack.

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