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Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea

Day & Night Climb



Little Tips

Everyone and even beginner can climb Mount Kinabalu as you do not need any special skills or equipments to conquer it, but must at least have the basic fitness level. In order for you to climb safely and successfully, it is important that you pack WELL and pack LIGHT. The weather on Mount Kinabalu can be either warm (as high as 23ºC in the daytime) or very windy and cold (as 3ºC in the wee hours of the morning) – usually both! Raining can be happens in any minutes, be prepared to encounter all types of conditions.

Do not over pack and make sure that what you do bring is appropriate and sufficient. Keep the weight in your backpack to no more than 10KG by take only the necessities and avoid “nice to have” supplies. Consume high-protein foods in light weight package rather than cans to reduce your kg. Always bear in mind that a heavy pack will overtax you and cut off blood circulation to your limbs. Less weight also means better balance.

You have to carry a backpack together with you even though you decide to hire a porter as you may need some necessities along the climb like raincoat, water, jackets, energy foods, medication etc. Also, protect your climbing gear from getting wet (use backpack rain cover / waterproof bag / pack them inside plastic bags – especially the backpack carry by porter). 


But how?

Here are some tips for you to avoid over packing and save more space:

Minimize your electronics by choosing one or maximum two that could serve all of your needs. Most of the gadgets are multitasking; you don’t need to bring them all with you.

Avoid packing full size toiletries. Instead, transfer small quantities of must-have products to reusable travel size containers.

Bring multipurpose toiletries. Pack toiletries that do double duty, for example two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, shampoo bar that also works as body wash and shaving cream, and a face lotion that also serves as sunscreen.

Tightly rolled clothes take up less space in your backpacks and able to save more space.

Don’t pack at the last minute. Last-minute panic packing leads to a messy suitcase and forgotten essentials, ends up with bringing everything with you. Start packing early and plan properly.


Timpohon Gate to Panalaban (Warm & Sunny)

What you prefer to wear on the trail is really a matter of personal preference – it’s all up to you. Some climbers prefer to go light with wearing only a t-shirt and shorts for the early stages, adding a warm jacket as they reach higher altitude but some others prefer to wear long-sleeved shirt and pants. Just adjust your clothing depending on the weather. Remember to bring the necessities with you. The infographic below can give you some idea on the climbing equipment you need during your DAY CLIMB (Timpohon Gate to Base Camp).



Panabalan to Low’s Peak (Cold & Windy)

The night climb usually is cold and windy. Hence, we strongly recommend that you wear in layers as layering is an excellent way to ensure your comfort on the mountain and keep your body warm. It allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather.

– The base layer (against your skin) allows evaporation of moisture produced by your skin; therefore, choose clothing materials that have wicking properties. 

– The insulated layer traps the warmth produced by your body and protects you from the cold.

– The protective/outer layer shields you from the wind and rain. It should be waterproof, windproof and breathable.

Extra belonging which you don’t need during your night climb can be kept at your room. Please make sure you lock the door before you leave and do not leave your valuable items inside the room if there is any. The climbing equipments for your night climb are different from day climb, pay attention to the info graphic below to ensure you are well prepared.


How much is the cost?

PORTER (Optional)

If you simply can’t beat the over packing habit or wish to have a comfortable journey, hire a porter. You’re going to need one. But this is fully optional depends on individual.

Porter Fee Guideline
Timpohon Gate > Laban Rata Rest House > Timpohon GateMYR 13 per KG / trip
Timpohon Gate > Sayat Sayat Check Point > Timpohon GateMYR 15 per KG / trip
Timpohon Gate > Summit > Timpohon GateMYR 16 per KG / trip


All rates stated above are for reference purposes only and subject to change


  • Maximum weight is 10 Kg and additional weight will be charged based on daily rate per Kg.
  • Porters will measure the weight of backpacks in front of climbers.
  • Payments will be made directly to the porter by cash.
  • Porters will not trek along with you, so keep all the necessities that you need with you.
  • Things can get wet on the mountain, so pack your belongings in big plastic bags/use a backpack rain cover to protect your climbing gear.


Should you hire a porter, the backpack packing idea below might help!


Lip Balm

Keep your lips protected and moist in cold and dry air

Energy Food/Drink

Cracker, Chip, Nuts, Chocolate, Glucose, Fruit, Energy Bar, Energy Drink etc

SPF Sun Block

Ultraviolet rays are stronger at higher altitudes

Light Weight Towel

To wipe off your sweat along the journey


Credit cards are not taken on the mountain

Mini First-Aid Bag

Bandage/Antiseptic Cream for injury. Counter pain or Muscle Spray for muscle pain. Paracetamol/Vomit Pill for altitude sickness

Rain Gear

It’s better to use separate type for both top and bottom. However, disposable raincoats and ponchos are fine too. Umbrella may not be adequate.

Plastic / Disposable Bags

To carry out your trash / To keep your clean and dirty clothes separate / Protect your climbing gear from getting wet

Dry Change of Clothes

When you arrive tired and sweaty at base camp, all you need is dry and clean extra set of clothes! Before you can enjoy your meal comfortably

Warm Jacket

Insulating Layer : The temperature on mountain becomes colder the higher the altitude get (You need one – just in case)

Personal Requirement

Your personal medicine or anything you feel you cannot do without

Toilet Paper

Washroom at shelters do no provide toilet paper for climber


A waterproof glove is best to keep your fingers warm in freezing temperatures

Backpack Rain Cover

Protect your climbing gear from getting wet with a waterproof backpack cover


To capture the moment. Remember to bring extra battery and memory card

THINGS TO BRING (Self Carry or For Porter)

Thermal Undershirt

The Base Layers : These should be made from wicking materials (to draws moisture/sweat away from your body)

Waterproof Wind Breaker

Protective Outer Layer : You will need jacket made of rain / wind resistant material (waterproof/breathable)


You have to climb in the dark and your hand will be busy holding the rope. Be sure to bring extra batteries.

Personal Hygiene

Includes of toothpaste and toothbrush, shaving kit, shampoo etc whatever else a man/woman might need


To keep your face and neck warm and protect them from cold wind during your summit hike

Extra Socks

You will need spare socks (to change in case of dealing with bad weather)

Warm Hat

Use a warm fleece/wool beanie to keep your head warm in the cold

Sandal / Slipper

You might need this in the wet bathroom

World Travel Adaptor

To fit with the local electrical outlets (only apply to international climbers)

Thick Trouser / Pant

To keep your body warm during your summit hike