Best time to climb Kilimanjaro

Gear Collection for Kilimanjaro Porters

If you’ve ever been to the roof of Africa, you know just how incredible the Kilimanjaro porters are. You also may have noticed that many of them don’t have the best gear for taking on high altitude.

We have been working with the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Programme since 2015 and one of the many things they do is help provide proper mountain gear for the porters. We know that we have loads of old jackets that are in great shape just lying around the house, and we’re asking you to donate them to the Kilimanjaro porters!

We got Johnjoe to go into the Great Outdoors in Dublin to have a chat about what gear we’re looking to send over to Tanzania. Have a watch!

What gear the Kilimanjaro Porters need

Here is a list of what we want to collect for the porters. Please do not send us anything which does not appear on this list.

Hiking socks, Fleeces, Water Bottles, Water Bladders, Base Layers, Trekking Pants, Rain Jackets, Rain Trousers, Down Jackets, Scarves, Head Torches, Gaiters, Hats, Buffs, Gloves, Sport Sunglasses, Back Packs, Walking Boots, Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Bag Liners, Thermarests, Duffel Bags and Dry Bags.  

In 2016 we sent 76 Jackets, 48 pairs of trousers, 155 base layers, 63 fleeces, 21 pairs of walking boots, 18 rucksacks/duffel bags, 9 sleeping bags, 22 water bottles/bladders, 44 pairs of hiking socks, 113 hats/pairs of gloves/scarves, 8 shirts, 8 pairs of shorts as well as some sunglasses, head torches, sleeping bag liners and gaiters to our Kilimanjaro porters! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who kindly donated your gear.

How to send your gear to us

Please send it or drop it into Earth’s Edge, 97C Morehampton Rd, Donnybrook, Dublin 4. We are also looking for volunteers to help us sort through all of the equipment if you are available to help us please get in touch on

For more information about porter welfare, how we treat our porters and KPAP please see below.

The Kilimanjaro porters work tirelessly to look after our groups on the mountain.

Who are KPAP and what do they do?

In December 2015 Earth’s Edge became Ireland’s first partner of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Programme (KPAP).

KPAP is an American run, Tanzanian based NGO, who are campaigning for porter welfare on Kilimanjaro.

As you will understand when climbing Kilimanjaro, we are all dependent on the hard work of the porters who carry loads on the mountain. They are the unsung heroes of all climbing teams and without their help, we would not be able to experience this wonderful mountain.

Kilimanjaro porters

The reality is the porters are often impoverished Tanzanians who are dependent on this labour-intensive work to feed their families.

Unfortunately, the porters have very few working rights and are often exploited. All too often they are underpaid, poorly fed, overloaded and don’t have adequate clothing for the mountain.

This is where KPAP come in. KPAP send one of their staff on each of our Kilimanjaro climbs to independently audit how we are treating our porters. The four areas they focus on are as follows:

·         That we provide our porters with three meals per day.

·         That porters have adequate clothing for the mountain.

·         That porters carry a maximum of 20kg on the mountain. This is typically made up of a 15kg load plus 5 kg of their own clothing.

·         That the Kilimanjaro porters are paid properly and that we have a fair and transparent tipping process in place.

Dropping off gear at KPAP in February 2016

Tipping porters on Kilimanjaro

At Earth’s Edge, it is important to us that all of our clients and staff are clear on how the tip is divided on the mountain. We follow the instructions given to us by KPAP on how best to divide the tip.

At Earth’s Edge, our average group size is 12 climbers plus our guide and doctor = 14 people. We recommend everyone tip USD 150. If everyone tips that will give us a total tip amount of USD 2,100 (12 x USD 150 + USD 300 as we tip on behalf of our guide and doctor). With a group that size, our local team will be made up as follows and receive roughly the following share of tips.

Head Guide 1 person US$ 150 x 1 $ 150
Assistant Guides 5 people US$ 100 x 5 $ 500
Cooks 2 people US$ 90 x 2 $ 180
Porters 36 people US$ 35 x 36 $ 1,260

Total: US$ 2,090

Please note the above figures are a guideline based on an average of 12 clients. We ask our clients not to tip any local staff directly as it’s important that all of the team get their fair share of the tips.

The single most important thing one can do as a climber on Kilimanjaro is to book your climb with a KPAP partner company. Unfortunately, porters are still all too often mistreated on Kilimanjaro. When you book with a KPAP partner company you can be sure the porters on your climb are treated fairly.

If you have any questions about tipping or porter welfare, please contact us at

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