We always have your comfort and safety in mind.
Head and Face
- Pile or wool: Covering your head and ears is very important. Bring two hats with you — a balaclava type is excellent.
- Shade hat: Protect yourself against the tropical sun with good brim hats.
- Sunglasses: It’s very hot, even though it’s not all the time. Bring either sunglasses with an IREX rating of 100 or glacier glasses.
- Lip balm: It will be good if it has an SPF of 15 or more.
- Bandanas: These are easy to dry and can be used as sun protection, as well as for cleaning glasses or a washcloth.
- Sunscreen: It is good if it has a protection factor of 15 or more.
Your Upper Body
- T-shirts: We recommend that you carry at least two that can dry quickly and you won’t mind if they get dirty. Synthetic is best — no cotton on the summit day.
- Rain parka: Afternoon showers are common in East Africa, especially on the mountain. Bring a good parka (one made out of Gore-Tex fabric) or waterproof nylon that has been “seam-sealed.”
- Poncho (optional): Quick and handy protection for body and rucksack.
- Wind shirt (optional if you have Gore-Tex rain gear): You’ll need a nylon wind shell (not waterproof), that fits comfortably over all upper body layers. Gore-Tex is good for both the wind shirt and for the raincoat. It’s even better if you can get a raincoat that offers wind protection too.
- Upper body layers: We recommend that you come with three warm layers for the upper body. They must be made of wool, synthetic, or pile. All layers should fit comfortably and supply good insulation. Combine them together with a long underwear top, sweater, and a pile jacket or heavy wool shirt. We don’t recommend cotton as they don’t provide adequate insulation and are useless when damp.
- Gloves or mittens: Wool or pile — one pair of heavy mittens and a light pair of gloves work well.
- Mitten shells: You’ll need one pair to cover your mittens. These are to use against the wind.
For the Legs
- Quick dry shorts: You’ll need one pair, good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain.
- Long underwear bottoms: You’ll need one pair of wool or synthetic.
- Wool, bunting or pile pants: You’ll need one pair that fits loosely and is comfortable.
- Undergarments: You’ll need enough for the duration of the trek.
- Tights: Lycra is the best. These are comfortable to hike in, help prevent nettle stings, provide warmth on cool mist days, as well as dry fast and prevent sunburn.
- Rain pants: Bring a good pair of rain pants of Gore-Tex or waterproof nylon that has been “seam-sealed.”
For the Feet
- You’ll need two pairs of synthetic socks to wear under heavy socks; these help to prevent blisters and keep feet dry.
- You’ll need thick socks: Remember synthetic or wool.
- Hiking boots: One pair will be good enough with medium weight. They should be large enough to be comfortable with one pair of liner socks and one pair of heavy wool or synthetic socks.
- You’ll need tennis shoes to wear at camp after a day hiking.
- Gaiters: One pair is enough; this is to keep dirt and snow out of your boots.
- Sleeping bag: A warm bag is good as temperatures drop to 0 F at night.
- Sleeping pad: A closed cell foam mattress is okay. An inflatable ThermalRest is more comfortable.
- Water bottle: You’ll need two, one liter wide-mouthed plastic bottles.
- Water backpack: Get one good enough that it won’t bother you. Or carry one inside your larger backpack with straw out.
For Your Personal First Aid Kit
We’ll have gauze, tape, aspirin, medicated soap, antibiotic ointment, antacid tablets, some antibiotics, pain killers, eye treatments, anaphylaxis kit, Imodium, Compazine and Diamox.
Because of liability problems, prescription drugs will only be dispensed in emergencies. We suggest you bring the following medical items. Please discuss this with your physician.
- For severe nausea and vomiting, bring 25 mg rectal suppositories of Compazine.
- To decrease diarrhea and cramping, bring Imodium.
- For initial treatment of severe diarrhea, bring Tetracycline, Cipro or Bactrim antibiotics. Activated charcoal has also proven to be an effective first stage treatment.
Cuts and Scrapes: It’s wise to bring a supply of bandaids to treat abrasions that sometimes occur.
Infections: Bring antibiotic ointment for cuts and abrasions and Erythromycin or Amoxicillin tablets for skin or soft tissue infections.
Blisters: It’s wise to bring your own small supply of blister treatment items to ensure that you avoid letting any blister get out of hand.
Headaches: Bring Tylenol and Tylenol with codeine to help relieve possible altitude headaches. Nothing stronger than codeine should be taken for fear of masking potential severe altitude problems while on the mountain.
Insomnia: Bring 15mg of Halcion tablets. In high altitude mountaineering restlessness is not uncommon and sleep is very important. Halcion is a light sleeping pill; we do not recommend using any sleeping pills above 15,000 feet.
High altitude sickness: Bring 250 mg of Diamox (Acetazolamide) tablets to be taken twice a day from 13,000 feet to the top. This drug is widely used in high altitude mountaineering and is very highly recommended by our staff.
Bring water purifying tablets.
The drugs listed here are recommended by Peter H. Hackett, M.D., in his American Alpine club publication, “Mountain Sickness Prevention and Treatment.”
Other information posted on this page came from mountain guide trainings, as well as the experience of DGA guides.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about equipment or medicine.