Renting gear to climb Kilimanjaro

I've had a lot of customers ask about renting equipment for climbing Kilimanjaro. Some simply need a warm sleeping bag while other are looking for a full outfit including jackets and boots. My advice to the latter group is always the same, bring your own personal gear.

Hiking 10+ miles per day, sleeping at over 10,000 feet above sea level and staying warm as temperatures fluctuate from freezing to over 80, back to freezing, back up to the 60s and down again to freezing all represent a significant challenges. Whenever I'm backpacking I find it hard enough to sleep well my first few nights in the sleeping bag I bought specifically for my own comfort. I can't imagine doing it in a new bag that may or may not fit me or be warm enough.

I don't want to sound cavalier about gear. I know it can get very expensive. But another option is for climbers to get less expensive gear and test it a few times before flying to Africa rather than saving a few bucks by renting. Anything that needs to meet your personal needs like warm clothes, shells (rain gear), boots and sleeping bags should be tested before you arrive in a developing country to climb 19,340 feet above sea level. Some of this gear can even be rented from local outdoor stores for an extended period of time. For example, REI rents out sleeping bags and pads.

Kilimanjaro provides enough surprises all by itself. The gear you use shouldn't be one of them.
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