Tanzania 2016

Trip Planning and Gear List


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Planning this trip was fairly straightforward as I was using an travel company to handle all of the arrangements while I was there.  I only needed to book the trek/safari, my flights from home, and a couple of hotels before the trek company would pick me up as I wanted extra time to get used to the time change (11 hours ahead of home!).  I arranged for a 24-hour layover in Amsterdam to help with the time change (and to see the city!) and had one night there near the airport.  I also had to plan for any immunizations and special medications that I would need for the trip.  Nearly everything was paid in advance, and I found I only needed about US$150 in cash exchanged to pay for tips to the staff, some drinks, and a couple of meals before and after the trek/safari.


  Communication, Power, and Laundry


Internet My android phone satisfied most of my communication needs, allowing me to write emails in advance and send them out whenever wifi was available.  I had internet access every night except while on the climb.

Electricity I carried an external battery (around 5000 mAh) that could charge my phone several times.  I only used it a couple of times.  Electrical outlets were available all nights except while on the climb.  I carried three batteries for my camera and only used around 1.5 of them, despite all of the video I was taking on the safari.  So the charger for those batteries that I brought along was never used.

Laundry Since the trip was only two weeks, I did not do any laundry on the trip.  There was a laundry service available in our hotel in Arusha.  I had separate clean clothes reserved for the safari and the trip home, and left them at the Arusha hotel during the climb.  After the climb, all of my trekking clothes and gear were sealed up in my duffel bag and left at the hotel in Arusha for the safari.


  Gear List


As usual on trips like this, I was traveling light.  I had my backpack as carry-on luggage, and a fairly large duffel bag as checked luggage.  The duffel also served as my bag for the porters to carry on the climb, and to store my trekking clothes and gear in to leave in Arusha during the safari.  Total weight of everything I brought was around 35 pounds.


General Stuff:

Phone My android smartphone with wifi but no international cell service.  It really helped me save weight by serving several purposes.

Paperwork including itinerary, confirmations, travel insurance documents.  Most of these were just pdf files on my phone to avoid adding weight.

Passport and copy

Maps and Guidebooks I had a map with Kilimanjaro on one side and a road map of northern Tanzania on the other side.

Notebooks a small notebook and a pen

Camera and accessories Panasonic Lumix FZ35.  Also had a mini tripod (ultrapod).

Books My books were ebooks on my phone.  No physical books.

Music Players My music player was my phone.  Two sets of earbuds.

Batteries 5000 mAh external USB battery.  Spare AAA batteries for my headlamp.

Ear Plugs very light but very important!  I wore these most nights while sleeping.

Padlock a small padlock was used to lock my duffel bag for the porter and when leaving the bag at the Arusha hotel.

Toiletries the standard things.  Sunblock is also important.

Drugs I brought a sleep aid that was used a couple of times.  Also brought some Cipro antibiotic which I used two different times.  Brought some Immodium, never needed.  Also had some ibuprofen which I used on summit day to knock down an altitude-related headache.  Malaria preventative pills.


Trekking Gear:

Backpack Jansport Katahdin 40, with pack cover.

Sleeping Bag Feathered Friends Swallow down bag, rated at 20 degrees F.  This was plenty of warmth; I used it as a blanket unzipped.

Sleeping Pad - Thermarest full-length for the trek.  The travel company provided our tents.

Pillow a small, packable, Thermarest pillow.

Towel a small backpacking towel

Trekking Pole I carry one pole while backpacking.

Essentials first aid kit, small knife with scissors, whistle, aqua mira for water purification.  Eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Water Bottles Brought two Nalgene bottles, one liter each.

LED Headlamp Used heavily on summit day for the nighttime climb.



Pants one pair of nylon pants for travel, one pair of convertible long/short nylon pants for trekking, one pair of nylon shorts for the safari.

Shirts two polyester t-shirts for hiking, four cotton t-shirts for the safari and travel.

Socks and Underwear synthetic, two pair each plus two pair thin liner socks.  Cotton for safari/travel.

Fleece Jacket and Pants the jacket was worn frequently, including on summit day.  The pants were good for cold evenings and mornings on the climb.

Down Jacket - also nice for cold evenings and mornings, but never worn while trekking.

Rain Jacket and Pants used for rain and wind protection.  Used several times as we did have some rain.  Both worn as my shell on summit day.

Hats wide brimmed sun/rain hat (Tilley), and a knit hat for warmth.  I also frequently use a headband under the Tilley hat to absorb sweat and keep it from dripping on my glasses.

Gloves thick, waterproof "ski" gloves, essential for summit day.  Kept my hands pretty warm for the most part.  Also had liners to wear under these, and a separate pair of fleece gloves for less severe conditions.

Bandanna and Buff wore the buff on summit day to try to cover my face in the cold.  Often caused my glasses to steam up.

Gaiters - I brought waterproof gaiters, but never used them.

Light Hiking Boots worn for travel/safari and as camp shoes on the climb.

Hiking Boots I used full leather Asolo hiking boots for trekking.  These are waterproof and durable.


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