Equipment

What should I wear on Summit Night?

Summit Night – From Head to Toe

This is when you’re ‘likely’ to want all your main layers, but do gauge the weather and conditions. Our guides will advise you. If it is very cold you will want to have your base (thermal) layer on top and bottom.

On top of your leggings you could wear 2 thin pairs of trousers or one thicker pair and a pair of waterproof trousers as your outer layer. Similarly on top you will want a number of thinner mid layers (long sleeve t’shirts / trek shirts, mid layer fleeces) and a thick fleece and waterproof on top for that or alternatively a down or synthetic fill jacket.

Then on your extremities gloves (inner and outer pair), balaclava if windy, warm hat / scarf and of course thick, warm, clean socks and your boots. Gaiters can also add heat.

Some people also take hand warmers and if very cold don’t forget to wiggle your toes as you walk to keep the blood pumping!


Manage Your Climate

The key to what to wear on Kilimanjaro is to manage your ‘own’ climate based on how ‘you’ feel and what the conditions around you are doing – everyone is different. You’ll find that as you walk (on any day of the trek) that you’ll warm up with exercise so it’s important that you regulate your temperature so that you’re not too hot or too cold.

The best way to do this is firstly ensure that you have on the right number of layers for the conditions. If not add or remove a layer so that you’re comfortable. When you walk you’ll get warm, so unzip your jacket and mid layer and let air circulate. Then when you stop for a break pull the zips up and keep the heat in. This is particularly important if it’s windy or if you’re in an exposed location.

Each night you’ll be briefed by your guide so that you can have the right gear ready for the next day and if you’re not sure, make sure you ask. It’s really easy to regulate your clothing to ensure you’re not too hot, nor too cold as long as you have what you need in your day bag.

 


WHAT TO WEAR ON THE ASCENT

Title

The wake-up tea will be served at 11:30pm with the departure at midnight. After a hot drink and some biscuits we will start the challenge for the summit. The initial 6 hour climb begins in the dark with only your headlamps and guides to show you the way through the thick scree and winding pathways of Ratzel and Rebmann Glaciers until reaching Stella Point. To start the bid for the summit you will need to wear the following:

HEADGEAR

BEANIE

A thermal beanie or head band is a must for summit night to keep your head and ears warm. Make sure the beanie fits snug and is suitable for snowy conditions. Look for an outdoor, lined and fleeced beanie or headband.

NECK GAITER

We recommend taking either a hiking balaclava or neck band to protect your neck and face from the elements, or cover your mouth and nose from dust. Make sure to get something that is lightweight, absorbent, breathable and quick-drying.

HEADLAMP

A headlamp is the best torch for night hiking as you can have your hands free at all times and is essential on summit night .

UPPER BODY

LONG SLEEVE BASE LAYER

1 or 2 thermal base layers, ideally made from merino wool.

FLEECE OR SOFT SHELL JACKET

A mid-weight polartec fleece jacket is ideal for Kilimanjaro. Berghaus, Helly Hansen and The North Face all make great fleeces

INSULATED JACKET

A good quality and warm down or primaloft jacket is required for the cold nights and summit push.

HARD SHELL OUTER JACKET

A water/windproof hard shell outer jacket to protect you from the elements. Goretex material is best.

LOWER BODY

LEGGINGS - BASE LAYER

Thermal or fleece base layer for your legs. Merino wool is preferable.

TREKKING TROUSERS

Light or medium weight (x1) trekking trousers. Convertible trousers are an option.

HARD SHELL TROUSERS

To protect yourself from the elements you need a good pair of waterproof / windproof hard shell trousers. Ideally Goretex.

HANDWEAR

INNER GLOVES

As you climb higher, they can serve as an additional layer underneath heavier gloves or mittens.

OUTER GLOVES

A necessity for the upper reaches of the trek, especially summit night. Ideally, the outer gloves should also be waterproof, without being cumbersome or too bulky.

FOOTWEAR

HIKING BOOTS

Due to the varied terrain and weather conditions you will need a very good pair of boots. Your trek will include some even paths. But mostly you will encounter trails that are uneven, slippery, steep, stony and you will be required to navigate rocks, scree and rock scrambles. See our Equipment Guide for more detail

THERMAL SOCKS

On the upper reaches of Kili you will mostly need to wear thermal socks, especially on summit night.

GAITERS

Used to keep unwanted materials out of your boots (mud, water, rocks etc.), especially on the initial descent from the summit where there is a lot of scree.

ON YOUR BACK

25-30 liter BACK PACK

Your daypack will be used to carry water and personal items such as sunscreen, snacks, money etc. Look for daypacks with compression straps to reduce stress on your back, rain covers and side mesh pockets for easy access.

BRIMMED HAT

You will need a good hat for the climb to protect your face from sun burn and keep your head cool on the descent

SUN SCREEN

Trekking to high altitude where the sun intensity is high requires a sunscreen with a high SPF (30+) and sweat resistant.

SUNGLASSES

Protects you from the high altitude UV

EXTRA BATTERIES

Just in case your headlamp batteries run out

WATER BOTTLES

1 liter bottles – Drinking lots of water is essential

SNACKS & SWEETS

light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional), Haribo

ELECTROLYTES

powder or tablets (optional)

That’s it, that’s the secret to what to wear! There’s no hard and fast rules, just make sure you have what’s on the kit list and that’ll give you the flexibility to be adaptable to the conditions and most importantly dry and comfortable.