On Kilimanjaro you will be trekking through 4 climatic zones. Weather can range from warm and tropical at the base of the mountain to freezing on the summit.
To ensure that you remain perfectly comfortable in each zone it is critical that you understand the concept of layering with your Kilimanjaro Clothing.
Being able to layer up and layer down as the weather changes is important. Layering only works if each layer supports the wicking process (allowing moisture to pass from one layer to the next). Layers should therefore hug the skin (i.e. not be too tight, but equally not too loose) and consist of wickable fabric.
Cotton should be avoided as it is hydrophilic, meaning that moisture struggles to pass through and therefore the wicking process stops.
The key is to manage your ‘own’ climate based on how ‘you’ feel and what the conditions around you are doing – everyone is different. You’ll find that as you walk (on any day of the trek) that you’ll warm up with exercise so it’s important that you regulate your temperature so that you’re not too hot or too cold. The best way to do this is firstly ensure that you have on the right number of layers for the conditions. If not add or remove a layer so that you’re comfortable. When you walk you’ll get warm, so unzip your jacket and mid layer and let air circulate. Then when you stop for a break pull the zips up and keep the heat in. This is particularly important if it’s windy or if you’re in an exposed location.
That’s it, that’s the secret to what to wear! There’s no hard and fast rules, just make sure you don’t forget the concept of layering and have what’s on the kit list and that’ll give you the flexibility to be adaptable to the conditions and most importantly dry and comfortable.