Is a sleeping bag necessary in your Kilimanjaro Gear List? Yes, it is. Regardless of the season, it is absolutely necessary to bring a sleeping bag. The temperature on the Kilimanjaro Summit goes below 0 degrees (-7 to -29 degrees), so you can expect freezing cold on the top. So picking out a nice, warm sleeping bag is a vital decision if you are going for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
TYPES OF SLEEPING BAGS
You can always rent your sleeping bag from the tour operators while Kilimanjaro Climb. But it may be unhygienic and uncomfortable, as many trekkers would have used it before. We recommend you bring your own sleeping bag which will provide you with the comfort you need.
There are usually two types of sleeping bags
DOWN SLEEPING BAGS
Down sleeping bags have the best warmth to weight ratio. It is made of super soft bird plumage (mainly duck’s), that acts as a natural insulator. It is made in such a way that any heat coming out from your body won’t escape the bag, rather it gets trapped inside. If the quality of a down bag is good the more it will expand, and the loft is greater. Fill power is a term that is used to describe how much space one ounce of down can fill. The greater the fill power, the greater is the loft.
- Extremely light and fluffy
- High warmth to weight ration
- It is very compressible, which means it is easier to stack the bag alongside your Kilimanjaro Daypack.
- It is very long-lasting. A good quality down bag can be used for years even when used roughly
- When it becomes wet, it bunches together and loses its loft, resulting in losing its warmness
- It requires special cleaning. Cleaning in the washing machine after immediately using it won’t be a good idea
- It is expensive than synthetic bags
SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAGS
Synthetic bags are made of polyester fibers. Unlike down bags, synthetic bags don’t lose its insulation even when it’s wet. There are mainly two types of synthetic insulation: short-staple fibers and long continuous filaments.
Short Staple Fibres are thin fibers that are densely packed to trap warm air. The short fibers make some “wiggle room”, which makes it more flexible, compressible, and snuggly.
Long Continuous Filaments are made of thick fibers which makes it less flexible and compressible. Unlike short fibers, they are more durable and stay in place.
- Can retain its insulating property even when it’s wet.
- Easy to wash
- More durable
- Cheaper than down bags
- Low warmth to weight ratio
- Less compressible than down bags, making them difficult to carry
- When used multiple times, they don’t tend to last long
CHARACTERISTICS OF SLEEPING BAGS
While Preparing To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, every mountaineer checks a tiny bit of details, especially if it’s for trekking on one of the seven summits. Various factors come into play while choosing a sleeping bag such as warmth, shape, etc. Let’s check the various characteristics of a sleeping bag:
Sleeping bags do not generate heat. It retains the warm air produced by the person’s body. As we know, Mount Kilimanjaro is freezing cold. So, you must choose such a sleeping bag which can withstand cold temperatures. If you like sleeping cold you can always wear less clothing inside the bag or zip halfway through.
Some sleeping bags have “comfort” and “extreme” temperature ratings in them. Comfort rating is where the bag will be warm enough for regular cold conditions, while extreme refers to the warmness provided by the bags at freezing cold temperatures (such as Kilimanjaro Summit). So, it is better to have an extreme bag, rather than a comfortable one.
The most popular and best available sleeping bags generally come in 2 shapes:
- Mummy shape
The tighter the fitting of the sleeping bag, the more warm air it generates. This is why the mummy shape sleeping bag is the most popular. However, it doesn’t provide much room to move inside as the rectangular bag does.
You will carry your sleeping bag on your back with you while you climb Mount Kilimanjaro. So, the sensible thing is to carry a lightweight bag. The weight of the bag varies with the materials it is made of. We recommend purchasing a bag of 4 – 6 lbs.
WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE OF SLEEPING BAG FOR KILIMANJARO?
It is severely cold on Mount Kilimanjaro with the temperature dropping to -27° Celsius on the summit. So, you have to make sure your sleeping bag provides the right temperature for a warm sleep.
You can get yourself a sleeping bag for -20° Celsius from the shop, which will be very effective while climbing onto the mountain. You may want to bring a sleeping bag liner or thermal mat for extra insulation while on the summit. Make sure the sleeping bag has a rating of 0° for comfort and -20° for extreme conditions.
ACCESSORIES TO TAKE WITH KILIMANJARO SLEEPING BAG:
There are a few things you can carry for a good night’s sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro. If you have room for extra luggage you can always add these items to your Kilimanjaro Packing List.
If you like to sleep with a pillow, you can always carry an inflatable pillow with you, which takes very little space and are durable. It is very lightweight, compressible, and takes very little space inside your luggage. Although like many mountaineers, you can just use a pile of clothes or a jacket stashed under your neck in place of a pillow.
You can bring yourself a thin thermal mat to spread inside your sleeping bag. These mats provide an additional smooth surface and a little bit of insulation too.
You must carry your sleeping bag according to the conditions you sleep in. Be it hot or cold, you must test your sleeping bag before, rather than testing it on Mount Kilimanjaro. Sleep is very important while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and good sleep are achieved in a warm sleeping bag. Contact Jerry Tanzania Tours for information about Kilimanjaro Gear List.