Good news is that all treks on Kilimanjaro are organized tours where you'll have porters to carry most of your equipment. But this also means that you need to focus on the essentials as there are (luckily) restrictions on the weight each porter is allowed to carry. Therefore I focussed on packing things compact and split my luggage into a main bag which the porter carries (clothes & camping equipment) and a day bag (camera gear, water, extra clothes):
Duffel Bag (main bag) – I chose a 60l duffel bag which is convertible into a backpack to fit all my clothes as well as the sleeping bag. The size and shape was perfect to fit into the porters’ bag – on top of that this Bag is completely waterproof, so you & your porter don't need to worry that your clothes get wet.
Hiking Day Pack (waterproof) – for the day I had a lot of camera equipment so I choose a bag which can hold all my camera gear plus some food, altogether 3l of water and additional layers (rain gear, down jacket, extra shirt). If you don't have a waterproof one you should take a rain cover.
The weather on the mountain is unpredictable so you can have several seasons in one day. In general you need to bring many layers as it gets colder the higher you trek. The amount of items is based on an 8 day trek in September/October so simply adjust it according to your trek length and season.
Regarding the number of shirts and underwear you don't need to be afraid: there are no showers on the mountain, personal hygiene is therefore limited. Nobody will blame you for wearing the same hiking shirt for several days. My best advice is to have a clean set of “camping clothes” which you only use when in the camps.
Make sure to get proper hiking boots and break them in well in advance in order to be comfortable.
As stated above most of the camping gear (tents, chair, table, food & drinks) will be provided by the tour operator, this often includes even a mat. You can usually rent also a sleeping bag from the tour company. Make sure to check with your tour operator in advance to know what is included.
One shouldn't forget the essentials – you should extend it to your own liking.
Here I cover everything apart from camera gear I took with me on our trek.
In order to film the video documentary I came with a lot of gear unlike the majority of visitors. Of course this part of the Kilimanjaro packing list can be shortened, therefore you can find a camera recommendation below which won't cost you a fortune ;)
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