Kilimanjaro: Kit List On A Budget

A lot of Kilimanjaro kit lists out there are flooded with affiliate links or are websites trying to flog their own gear.

While there is nothing wrong with this, often these products are not budget friendly.

When I climbed Kilimanjaro I had no job, no savings, or no sponsor. I was supported by myself. I worked a summer school job for a week which gave around 400 quid to buy my remaining kit. For those wondering, 400 quid is not a lot for kit!

If I wanted a proper down feather jacket, then this could have eaten my entire budget! So how did I do it?

Kilimanjaro Kit List On A Budget

Kilimanjaro baranco wall
Stretching out beneath the Baranco Wall

The Kilimanjaro kit list can be quite lengthy when you include every small thing such as ear plugs and toothpaste, so I will concentrate on the most expensive items that you ordinarily might not have.

If you are new to multi day hikes, then there are two ways that you could look at this:

  1. Do I buy everything new and use it again?
  2. Do I rent the more expensive items such as sleeping bags, jackets and rucksacks.
  3. Second Hand: there are some people who will only use rucksacks and sleeping bags once!

If you’d like some tips for climbing Kilimanjaro, then check out this post.

This list is to give you an idea on how and where you can get your kit on a budget and prices listed are estimates.

There were some main shops where I bought my Kilimanjaro gear.

Kilimanjaro Lava Tower
En-Route to the Lava Tower

– Go Outdoors –

Goretex / Leather Hiking Boots| £40 | Hi-Tec

I bought these the year before and knew they were super comfortable. They did the job for climbing Kilimanjaro, however the soles split within 6 months of returning from Kilimanjaro.

Dry Sack (35L) | £15 | Go Outdoors

I bought a standard waterproof dry sack (no premium brand). It is still used today.

Wide Brim Hat | £7 | Non Branded

The main function here is to protect your face, neck and ears from the sun – or you need to apply factor 50 often and still cover your head.

Trekking poles | £10 | Freedom Trail / Hi Gear equivalent

These poles lasted the duration of my time on Kilimanjaro, but sadly they broke straight after. They are not great for a long-term or heavy use.

As I hike every weekend, I’ve Since invested in some Leki carbon for £80. They’ve been heavily used all over the world and are still in good use.

– TK Maxx –

Waterproof Jacket & Down Jacket with hood | £40 | Vaude

I was lucky enough to buy a Vaude ski jacket with a removable inner synthetic down jacket. If you go to TK Maxx, then you could find a smilar deal. I still use this today, but the only downside is the weight of the jacket.

However, try your gear on and see how it feels.

Duffle Bag |£40 | Pierre Cardin

This bag is 10 years old, travelled the world and is still going strong.

Trekking Trousers | £20 | Berghaus

Technically, these trousers weren’t the best regarding breathe-ability and windproof, but they were comfortable and did the job.

– Start Fitness –

Lightweight Jacket | £50 | Gore Lightweight Running

I could justify spending a little more on a lightweight jacket, because I was running a lot and would definitely use this more.

Trekking T Shirt|£20 | More Mile Running

The technical running t shirts were cheaper than the technical hiking t shirts, so this is what I bought.

Base Layers | £15 | Ron Hill Running Trousers & Long Sleeve Top

In my mid 20’s and with little money, I couldn’t see the value in spending more on functional trekking base layers, when I could use running base layers for less than half the cost.

Guess what? I still have them!

Kilimanjaro Karanga

– Other Outdoor Shops –

25 -35L Rucksack | £80 | Deuter Futura 26

This rucksack has been used all over the world, in variable climates, stuffed full to the brim, dragged through alpine conditions and it is still going strong.

Waterproof Trousers |£10 | Non Branded

This comes down to whether you can bare waterproofs that aren’t breathable.

These were not very breathable, which means you sweat a lot in them, but they did the job for a week. If you really require breathable, then you will have to spend more.

Thick Wind Stop & Thin Gloves | £20 | Jack Wolfskin

Online in the sale. Ski gloves with removable thin inner glove. I already knew which size I was prior to buying online – this is critical.

In addition, it is vital that you can function while wearing the gloves, such as removing a lid from a drink and opening your rucksack. Key to try this before starting the trip!

Kilimanjaro Forest

– Re – Use –

4 Season sleeping bag & liner | borrowed from a friend

Lightweight Trekking Trousers | used tracksuit trousers that I had

Shorts | used what I had

Micro Fleece | used what I had

Buff & Balaclava| used what I had

Footwear for Camp| used what I had – Merrell trail sandels

Walking Socks| used what I had


Although some of the kit listed was not the best of the best, it was enough for me on the mountain; it kept me and my ankles safe and dry. Additionally, if you are short of cash, then you do what you can to ensure you can ascend as safely and as comfortably as possible, but not in debt or worrying about money; this just causes more stress.

I am still using a lot of the gear today, albeit the gear that cost more money.

That said, it is a mountain, not a fashion show.

If there is kit that you will use often in the future, then it could be worth spending a little bit more (like I did on the running jacket).

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

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