Wednesday, January 18, 2006

As per special request: My Kilimanjaro Gear List

I haven't really had the chance to blog all about the trip yet (working on it, guys!),but I've gotten a special request for a mountain gear list.  This one's for you, Lanny!

You can find my original gear list at this link.  I was so prepared for all sorts of weather on the mountain.  Look at that list, and look at all the gear listed!!!

In reality, most of that equipment was in my checked in duffel bag which was conveniently lost by the airlines for 3 weeks.  I finally reclaimed my baggage in Nairobi *on my way home*. 

Lesson learned...if you're going to climb a mountain, pack the most essential items with you in your carry on because you never know when it'll be your turn for the airlines to lose your luggage!  With me, I carried on the following items on the plane:

Mountain Essential Gear:

  - REI Aries women's 35L pack

  - Thermarest ProLite 4 sleeping pad

  - Katadyn ExStream XR water bottle with filter

  - Marmot Teton 0 degree sleeping bag (avg)

  - 2 knee braces

  - Mountain Hardwear Ascent Ventigaiters (gaiters)

  - lightweight waterproof outer shell (light rain jacket)

  - insulated camelbak

  - The North Face Allure 600 fill down jacket

- Petzl Tactikka Plus LED Headlamp

- Smith Toaster polarized sunglasses

Clothing (or lack there of):

  - 1 Patagonia capilene mesh tank top with shelf bra

  - 1 cotton tee shirt (wore it on the way down there and believe me, not mountaineering clothing!!!)

  - 1 bra

  - 1 pair lightweight, quickdry travel pants (wore it on the way down there)

  - 1 pair snowboard/mountain pants w/gaiters

  - 1 pair midweight long underwear bottoms

  - 3 pairs Wigwam merino hiking socks

  - 3 pairs Fox River liner socks with X-Static (gotta love that X-Static!!!)

  - 7 pairs underwear

  - 1 homemade polartec balaclava (extremely essential)

  - 1 pair homemade polartec mittens

  - 1 pair REI kids windproof gloves

The Only Footwear I had (and damn good boots at that!):

  - Lowa Renegate Goretex hiking boots (wore every day until the end of my trip when I bought a pair of Batman Ocean sandals from a market in Zanzibar)


  - baby wipes, deodorant, toilet paper

  - toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss

  - hair ties, compact mirror, Q-tips, face lotion, hand sanitizer

  - SPF 45 sunblock, Off with deet, SPF lip protectant

Medicine/First Aid:

  - multivitamins, iron pills, levaquin, immodium, doxycyclen (anti-malarial), acetazolamide (generic diamox - for altitude sickness), benadryl, sudafed, tylenol, tums, glucose tablets

  - hydrocortizone cream, triple antibiotic gel, assortment of bandaids, gauze pads

  - athletic tape, alcohol/iodine prep swabs, blister treatment bandaids, moleskin, athletic bandage, visine, first aid guide, needle, tweezers


  - earplugs, alarm clock, watch, batteries, camera, pens, energy bars, one gear strap, homemade day bag


As you can see, I had it stripped down to the bare bones.  Actually, less than bare bones if you look at the clothing list.  When I arrived in Moshi, that's all I had.  Word got out amongst the group, a group of 28 people who proved to be extremely generous.  Mind you, I'm tiny and a difficult fit (because I'm so small/short).

From the following people, I was able to borrow the following items (which I am ever so greatful for):

- Madhu:  1 quick wicking tank top, 1 quick wicking short sleeve shirt, 1 quick wicking long sleeve shirt, 1 fleece beanie, 1 tank top style bra

- Adie:  Potable Aqua tablets with neutralizer the beginning of day 2

- Francesca:  a few bottles of Potable Aqua tablets with neutralizer tablets (beginning of day 3 on -- a HUGE thanks, Freesia!!!)

- Zamo: 2 mismatched trekking poles

While the group took a side trip up to 6000 ft up the mountain, I went to town to visit the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, where I was able to borrow the following:

- poncho

- 2 lightweight Cloudveil pullover 'fleeces' (sweatshirt like material on the outside, soft and fuzzy on the inside)

- 1 long sleeve Patagonia capilene shirt

As you can see, still very lacking in the clothing department...7 days of trekking, not many clothes to choose from, no showers.  Yeah, you can only imagine how rank I was :p

A brief overview of the differing weather climates and how I dealt with it...when it was warm, I was in a tank top or short sleeve shirt.  The fleeces from the Porter Project proved essential on days when it was cooler.  When it was cold, I broke out the down jacket. 

The summit push, which was the most extreme climate (started 11pm, summited about 7:30am) -- I wore every piece of top layer listed in this entire list.  If I didn't have my down jacket, I would not have survived.  For my bottoms, I wore my midweight long underwear bottoms under my snowboard pants.  My socks were medium weight.  I would have loved to have expedition weight socks to save my toes the agonizing pain of frostbite.  I did not anticipate the extreme cold and wind, so I would have fared much better had I had proper gloves (maybe my thumb would be okay!).  My homemade balaclava (Polartec Thermal Pro? remnant fabric) -- the best piece of gear I've ever made and essential for keeping my head warm.

Moral of the story (besides carry essentials on the plane!)...there are a lot of good people out there who are willing to help you out when your down on your luck.  If I had not been with this group and linked up to the Porters Assistance Project, it would have been a completely different story.  Even what little I was able to borrow proved enough to conquer the mountain.  Goes to show that you really don't need much...


Blogger lys said...

That's awesome that all those great people were there to help you out! Goes to show that you can't categorically understimate the generosity of others.

Still, I bet you were stinky by the end. Hee.

9:05 PM  
Blogger marisa said...

Definitely depended on the kindness of others on this trip!!!

And of course, I was *really* stinky (who wasn't?) :p

8:03 PM  
Blogger Gard said...


Just want to say that it was a good Kilimanjaro trip report and I'm sure that it will of help to other travellers :-)


10:16 PM  

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