Packing. Ugh. For as much as I love to travel, I do not love to pack.
And I have a confession to make, I’m a recovering over-packer. For ages I over-packed for every trip, a flaw that I blame on my years in Girls Scouts where the motto was, “Always Prepared.”
My ass. “Always Prepared” means having absolutely everything you might need. It means over-packing.
But I’m in recovery. I’m working a program to implement innumerable rounds of packing edits. Now I hem and haw over whether I really need that extra sweater or scarf. That forth pair of shoes. (The answer is almost always a big fat N.O.)
So the thought of packing for this little week-long hike up Mount Kilimanjaro made me nervous. Over-packing was simply not an option.
On the mountain there are porters that carry most of the gear – tents, food, cooking and medical supplies and up to 35lbs of my shit. Anything over 35lbs goes on my back and I have to carry it the entire 20,000-ish feet up and back.
And this mountain is particularly tricky to pack for because you pass through so many different climates along the way. Base camp at Moshi is a hot 80 degrees while the summit can hit -20 degrees. In between you pass through rain forests, alpine deserts and bushlands.
I’m told that you’re constantly taking layers on and off as the terrain and climate changes. So, you need clothing for just about every temperature and environment on earth.
This is not good for an over-packer. But, I edited and re-edited the shit out of what I’m bringing and landed with an amount of stuff that I’m pretty comfortable and confident with; my duffle bag (for the porters) is 30lbs and my day pack is 14lbs, plus water.
So here is just what is in my bag – in super speedy video form and detail below. (I should note that I’ll be spending several days before the climb in Dubai and several days after in Zanzibar – awesome, but an added element to packing puzzle.)
In My Cross-Body
Copies Vital Docs & Itineraries
ATM Card, Credit Card, Cash
Pens and a Pencil (do pens write at altitude?)
Gadgets and Tech
Battery Charger and Extra Batteries
Headlamp & a million Extra Batteries
iPhone & Charger
Solio Solar Charger
Canon PowerShot S100 & Charger
What to Wear
Long Sleeve Shirt x2
Short Sleeve Shirt x1
Tank Tops x3
Athletic Pants x4
Sports Bars x3
Fleece lined Pants x1
*Not pictured but supremely important: Oregon Ducks Tee. Duh.
North Face Shell with Down Lining
North Face Fleece Jacket
Running Zip-ups x2
For the Extremities
Hiking Socks x4
Warm Socks for Camp x2
Cold Weather Beanie
Sleeping Bag and Compression Sack
Quick Dry Towels
Sea to Summit Bag Liner
Stuff Sacks (assorted sizes)
First Aid and Health
Ben’s Bug Spray
Anti-Altitude Sickness Meds
Extra Boot Laces
After Bite Gel
Extra Bobbi Oins & Hair Ties
Eye Shadow, Concealer, Pocket Mirror
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Shampoo & Conditioner
Wilderness Wipes (who needs a shower?)
Aroamas in Dream
Perfume in a Travalo
Glasses, Contacts & Extra Contacts
Snacks and Gifts
(Apparently at high altitude you lose your appetite & it’s suggested to bring junk food so you’ll actually eat something. Also candy is great to bring as a present to porters and kids you meet in villages early on in the trek)
Haribo Gummy Bear
Fun Sized Candy
Clothes for Dubai and Zanzibar
Swimsuit & Cover Up
Not Sports Bra
Tank Top x2
So there you have it, every damn thing that’s in my bag!