Packing for Kilimanjaro

Just visiting Tanzania for over a week would require an immense amount of luggage and packing. The task of bringing enough to climb Kilimanjaro (a mountain that brings you through five climate zones from base to summit) did not put me in the greatest of moods. However, the process of collecting and organizing all the gear turned out to be interesting and therapeutic (organization!).

Our trekking operator provides some larger items like tents and sleeping pads, and many operators also provide additional rental equipment such as boots and sleeping bags (yikes). However, a fair amount of our equipment is flying with us. My checked bag weighs in at about 43 pounds (7 pounds under the airline’s weight limit for free checked baggage) and my carry-on managed 11. Luckily some of that weight will not be making the trip up the mountain.

What’s Included

Most trekking companies have their own recommended gear lists, but here are some of the highlights of mine.

Communication & Electronic Equipment

  • iPhone 4s
  • iPad 2
  • International power adapter/converter
  • Mercury 4s solar charger
  • Nikon D80 + 18mm-200mm lens + spare battery

Water Supply

  • Camelbak 100oz./3L reservoir
  • Camelbak Thermal Control Kit
  • Climb for CP water bottle
  • Sawyer Squeeze .1 micron water filtration system


  • 5L dry bag
  • 25L dry bag
  • 35L dry bag
  • 25″ x 42″ canvas duffle bag
  • Camelbak Highwire + rain cover (carry-on bag and the day pack for hiking Kilimanjaro)

Clothing & Accessories

  • Balaclava
  • Base layer pants + shirt (for summit day)
  • Calf  gaiters
  • Down-filled jacket
  • Fleece jacket
  • Gloves
  • Lightweight, breathable pants + shirts
  • Lightweight, waterproof pants + jacket
  • Many pairs of hiking socks
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Sweat-wicking t-shirts
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Wool cap


  • Lightweight hiking/camp shoes
  • Waterproof hiking boots

Other Stuff

  • First aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • Notebook + pencil
  • Passport + other travel documents
  • Prescription drugs (for malaria prevention, food poisoning, and altitude sickness)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Textbook
  • Trekking poles (I don’t really like using poles, but Phil demanded I bring them)
  • Watch

Team Luggage

So now that you know what we’re carrying and the day we’re leaving, please don’t rob us on the way to the airport. Thanks!

Jiu-Jitsu Benefit Seminar

“The room was filled with a lot of very tough people. We have the most generous people in the Boston BJJ Network and everyone took time out of their day to support a great cause. That just shows how selfless everyone is, and we are lucky to have each other. We all share a common bond with training together.” – Mike Pellegrino, Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Some of the team and I attended a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu benefit seminar for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston and Climb for Cerebral Palsy this weekend. It was an awesome time, and a great way to spread our cause to amazing people. Hosted by Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the event opened with a few words from Mike Pellegrino(co-owner), and a short introduction from me. The first half of the seminar was taught by Derek Stevens who trains out of Port City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The second half of the seminar was taught by Jimmy Quinlan, who is featured in season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter on FX.

Brian was there to photograph the event (plenty of pictures of my performance are on Facebook), while Jared and I learned some new moves. Both of the instructors were excellent and everyone there came away with new skills.

Overall, our seminar was a success raising $1,005 for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston. Mike Pellegrino, a big supporter of ours, runs the Mass BJJ gym, which is also one of our fantastic sponsors.

“We have the same warrior spirit in life to never settle for what we’ve been given and to always strive to improve. Each of us is lucky to be able train as we want. Jiu-jitsu teaches us to never give up no matter what the situation is. If we are in an arm lock, we try and work our way out. If we are on bottom in the mount, we work our way out. Phil was born with limitations, but hasn’t let that stop him in anything he does. He has continued to work his way out of those challenging spots and now he has his eyes set on a larger goal that not many in his place have attempted with climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro unassisted.” – Mike Pellegrino