Climbing gear required for Rwenzori mountains trekking

Climbing gear required for Rwenzori mountains trekking

Getting ready for that long awaited Rwenzori mountains trekking experience is always an adrenaline moment full of anxiety; especially if you are going for a multi day trek and more so if you have to summit to one or more of the numerous peaks of the Rwenzori mountains ranges.

The Rwenzori mountains a series of mountain ranges stretching 120km across Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo.

The Rwenzori mountains comprises of over 10 mountain peaks; technical and non technical which can be summitted.

The Rwenzori mountains are Africa’s most technical mountaineering destination far difficult than Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya yet more beautiful and unique.

The Rwenzori mountains ranges are literally Africa’s biggest mountain range only compared to the Atlas ranges in North Africa.

For a successful ascent to summit in the Rwenzori mountains, you will need extra technical trekking gear more than you need for Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya to cater for the technical sections of the trek.

Whether you are up for a 7 days trek to Margherita peak or 3 days short trek to John Maate hut, you will need a number of these climbing equipment for your Rwenzori mountains trip.

Here is a complete list of essential climbing/trekking equipment/gear you need for your summit to the Rwenzori mountains of the moon.


  1. Trekking/climbing boots

Rwenzori mountains trekking boots
Trekking boots

For your Rwenzori mountains trekking trip, you will need good quality, warm and waterproof hiking boots to support you during the trek.

A good grip is something that you need as you climb up and down through rocks, slippery sections, walk boards, etc.

The terrain in the Rwenzori mountains require very good trekking boots for most of the trails apart from the boggy sections.

Several trekking boot brands available in Uganda include Salomon, Quechua, Dachstein, TheNorthFace, etc.

2. Crampons

The Rwenzori mountains are arguably the only technical mountains for climbing in Africa. This makes a pair of crampons essential for your hike to summit Margherita peak on Mount Stanley in the Rwenzori mountains ranges.

Crampons are fixed on your hiking boots to provide a good grip on the slippery ice surfaces.

A trek to Margherita peak will take you through a number of glaciers to and from the summit.

3. Harness

Another essential climbing gear to have is a harness for fixing carabinas to aid in rock climbing on a rope.

Rwenzori mountains hiking involves rock climbing and belaying across steep rock sections which makes a harness essential for attempting the summits.

Make sure to get an adjustable harness set for you as you prepare for your Rwenzori mountains climbing trip.

Safety is crucial for any activity especially mountain climbing.

4. Ice axe

An Ice axe is a must have while trekking.

Trekking always involves passing through slippery ice sections, open crevasses, steep rocky sections, etc which makes use of an ice axe crucial give grip in the snow incase of a fall.

An ice axe helps to give you support during a fall or slip in the snow. Technical trekking guides in the Rwenzori mountains will make sure you’re guided on using the Ice axe before starting your hike.

5. Carabinas

Carabinas are very essential for holding the climbing rope  to the harness to guide you during the trek as well as attaching a climber to a climbing rope.

Carabinas will help hold you and allow the rope movement as you belay or move during the trek. These help in fall arrests during climbing.

6. Ice screws

7. Jumars/Ascenders

8. Trekking pole

As most hikers get a pair of trekking poles, experience with the Rwenzori mountains climbing trails requires a single trekking pole as you will need your other hand for support.

Good trekking poles should have stoppers and be adjustable ability as you will need to adjust depending on how you feel.

9. Sleeping bag

For the Rwenzori mountains, sleeping bags should have a rating of -3 degrees celsius downwards to be able to keep you warm during the freezing nights in the Rwenzori mountains.

The Rwenzori mountains have four (4) major multi day trekking trails; the Central circuit trail, the Kilembe trail, the Bukurungu trail and the Mahoma Nature trail.

sleeping bags,
Sleeping bags

Apart from the Central circuit and Kilembe trail, the other trails have open shelters for camping and may require sleeping bags with a higher rating to avoid freezing.

The Mahoma nature trail has no camping shelters but is a lower altitude trail used for 2-3 days nature walk camping treks.

10. Snow glasses

Be sure to have polarized snow glasses with you for your Rwenzori mountains trek to Margherita peak to reduce the effects of glare on the snow to your eyes.

The Snow goggles will provide protection from the brightness of the sun, ultra violet rays, from snow ingress and from the wind and cold. Rwenzori mountains peaks are mostly windy and cold therefore protection for your eyes and face is essential.

11. Helmet

A hiking helmet helps to protect you during a fall or incase of bumping into an obstacle during hiking.

12. Rubber boots

Trekking gear required for Rwenzori mountains climbing
Rubber boots

The Rwenzori mountains are undoubtedly the basin for most rivers and lakes in Uganda inclusive of the great River Nile. Rubber boots come in handy as you explore the boggy sections and river valleys on any Rwenzori mountains hiking trail.

The right rubber boots with long stockings will give you comfort as you trek through the boggy and slippery sections of the trail.

13. Climbing Rope

Climbing ropes are used during technical climbing or during rescue to anchor or lift climbers during belaying, rock climbing and moving in the snow.

14. Gaiters

Don’t forget gaiters during your Rwenzori mountains climbing trip to keep away that mud from your socks, boots and trekking pants as you hike through boggy sections of the trails.

15. Water proof gloves

You may need both hiking gloves and snow gloves to help you during the rough sections of the trails and the snow during the hike.

16. Headlamp

The Rwenzori mountains are not connected to a power grid and have limited lighting in the camps but you need headlamps mostly for the summit night.

A summit in the Rwenzori mountains usually starts at 2am in the morning to make it to the peak by sunrise.

17. Poncho/Rain jacket

The weather in the Rwenzori mountains is very unpredictable which makes a rain gear very essential as you trek in the Rwenzori mountains.

A trekking gear checklist is necessary as you prepare for your trek in the Rwenzori mountains.
Quality Rwenzori mountains climbing gear for hire for your Rwenzori trekking trip can be accessed in Kasese town, western Uganda the base town for trekking the Rwenzori mountains.

Your are allowed to travel with your own trekking gear which will be prechecked by your guides before starting the trek to ensure you’re safe to join the trek.

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