Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea

What should I pack for Mount Kinabalu Climb? Here is a complete Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea for your preparation of Mount Kinabalu Climb. The comprehensive Mount Kinabalu Packing List will give you an idea of things to bring for Mount Kinabalu Climb and how to pack it. It is important to maximize comfort and enjoyment!

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Complete Climbers' Guide For Mount Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu Packing Idea

Things to bring for Mount Kinabalu climb & how to pack?

Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea Guideline

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Everyone and even beginner can climb Mount Kinabalu as you do not need any special skills or equipment to conquer it, but at least to have the basic fitness level. In order for you to climb safely and successfully, it is important that you pack WELL and pack LIGHT. Follow the Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea below and we will show you the things to bring for Mount Kinabalu Climb and how to pack it. The weather on Mount Kinabalu can be either warm (as high as 23ºC in the daytime) or windy and cold (as 3ºC in the wee hours in the morning) – usually both! Raining can happen at any minute, so be prepared to encounter all types of conditions.

Do not overpacking, try to keep the weight of your backpack to not more than 10KG by taking only the necessities (in our recommended list of things to bring for Mount Kinabalu) and avoid “nice to have” supplies. Carrying a lot of weight on your back will naturally cause you to hunch forward. As often as you can, remember to keep your back straight to help evenly distribute your weight and maintain body balance.

DAY 1 - Day Climb

Recommended attire for day climb

Day Climb : Usually Warm & Sunny

FROM TIMPOHON GATE TO PANALABAN

The weather on Mount Kinabalu is unpredictable. Even if the lower part of Mt. Kinabalu is sunny, once the summit is covered in clouds, there is a chance you may run into bad weather. Hence, you must fully preparing yourself against the cold and rain during your climb.

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 altitudes but some others prefer to wear long-sleeved shirts or pants. Just adjust your clothing depending on the weather. Remember to bring the necessities with you. The infographic above will give you an idea of how should you wear during your DAY CLIMB.

There can be more than a 10°C difference in temperature between the Timpohon Gate and Panalaban Base Camp. Make sure you pack right!

What to wear for Mount Kinabalu

This is our comprehensive gear list for Mount Kinabalu day hike!

CLOTHING

  • T-Shirt / Long Sleeved Shirts
  • Warm Jacket
  • Trekking Pants / Shorts
  • Sturdy Climbing Shoes
  • Hiking Socks

ESSENTIAL

  • Lightweight Towel
  • Backpack Rain Cover
  • Trekking Pole
  • Climbing ID Tag

BACKPACK

  • Disposable Raincoat / Poncho
  • Backpack Raincover
  • Water
  • Packed Lunch
  • Energy Foods / Drinks
  • Tissue Paper
  • Personal Medication

DAY 2 - Night Climb

Recommended attire for night climb

Night Climb : Usually Cold & Windy

FROM PANALABAN TO SUMMIT LOW’S PEAK

The summit ascent for Mount Kinabalu begins at 2.30 am to 3 am and the weather usually is cold and windy. Layering your clothing 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.

Dress in 3 layers:

  • The base layer (against your skin) allows evaporation of moisture produced by your skin; therefore, choose clothing materials that have wicking properties. [Thermal underwear]
  • The insulating layer traps the warmth produced by your body and protects you from the cold. [Fleece jacket]
  • The protective/outer layer shields you from the wind and rain. It should be waterproof, windproof and breathable. [Wind Breaker/Waterproof jacket]

Extra belonging which you don’t need during your night climb can be kept in your room but do not leave any valuable items behind.

This is our comprehensive gear list for Mount Kinabalu summit hike!

CLOTHING

  • Thermal Underwear
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Waterproof Windbreaker Jacket
  • Thermal Legging / Thick Trouser
  • Warm Hat / Beanie
  • Glove
  • Scarf / Neck Warmer
  • Face Mask / Balaclava
  • Sturdy Climbing Shoes
  • Thick Hiking Socks

ESSENTIAL

  • Lightweight Towel
  • Backpack Rain Cover
  • Trekking Pole
  • Climbing ID Tag
  • Head Lamp

BACKPACK

  • Disposable Raincoat / Poncho
  • Backpack Raincover
  • Water
  • Energy Foods / Drinks
  • Tissue Paper
  • Personal Medication

HOW TO PACK FOR MOUNT KINABALU CLIMB?

The ultimate checklist for Mount Kinabalu

SELF CARRY OR HIRE A PORTER?

If you decide to hire a porter, you should separate your gear into two backpack

You may have the satisfaction of carrying your own bag with you at high altitude on this mountainous trek, but you will enjoy it a lot more if you hire a porter to carry your gear for you. As the porter’s job is only to carry your gear/equipment, they will not trek with you along the journey. Thus, you still have to carry some necessities with you along the climb (packed lunch, raincoat, water, jackets, energy foods, medication, etc) following our Mount Kinabalu Packing List even though you decided to hire a porter. But, what should I pack for Mount Kinabalu Hike?

If you plan to carry your own bag for your Mount Kinabalu hike, what is your recommended Mount Kinabalu backpack size? An average-sized regular backpack will do fine (about 30L volume backpack). In addition, backpack with hip belts helps keep the weight off your shoulders by distributing the weight to your hips. If your backpack is not waterproof, then a backpack rain cover is necessary.

No matter what choice you make, it is important to keep the rain out of your pack and protect your gear from getting wet (use backpack rain cover / waterproof bag / pack them inside plastic bags to keep your gear dry).

Organizing Items In Backpack

Your backpack should be well-organized so that you can find what you need easily .
Mount Kinabalu Packing List - Things to Bring for Mount Kinabalu Hike

In order to have a well organized backpack, you should follow the basic principles below:

  • OFTEN USED ITEMSOften used items should be within easy reach (hip belt pockets, side pockets, top lid pocket) Compartment 1,2 & 7
  • Sunblock Lotion & Lip Balm
  • First Aid Kit / Medication
  • Packed Lunch
  • Raincoat / Poncho
  • Energy Foods / Snacks
  • Tissue Paper
  • Backpack Raincover
  • Lightweight Towel
  • Water
  • Sandal
  • Toiletries
  • Warm Hat / Beanie
  • Rarely Used (Light Items)Rarely used items should be packed in the main compartment at the bottom of your bag. Compartment 6
  • Sandal
  • Toiletries
  • Warm Hat / Beanie
  • Heavy Weight ItemsPacking heavy items close to your back and between your shoulder blades allow your hips to take the weight. Compartment 4
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Waterproof Windbreaker Jacket
  • Thermal Legging / Thick Trouser
  • Medium Weight ItemsMedium weight items should be placed near to the bottom of your backpack. Compartment 5
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Glove
  • Light Weight ItemsLight items should be packed in the main compartment at the top away from your back. Compartment 3
  • Spare Clothes
  • Headlamp
  • Face Mask / Balaclava
  • Scarf / Neck Warmer
  • Socks
  • Small Towel

Mount Kinabalu Porter Fee

What is the cost to hire a porter?

PORTER FEES (GUIDELINE)

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 and depends on individual.

Porter FeesRate
Timpohon > Laban Rata Resthouse > Timpohon MYR 13/KG
Timpohon > Sayat-Sayat > TimpohonMYR 15/KG
Timpohon > Summit > TimpohonMYR 16/KG
  • All rates stated above are for reference purposes only and subject to changes.
  • Maximum weight is 10 Kg and additional weight will be charged based on the daily rate per Kg.
  • Porters will measure the weight of backpacks in front of climbers.
  • Payment is made directly to the porter in 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.

AVOID OVERPACKING

There is always a question of “What should I pack for Mount Kinabalu Hike?” among climbers. Here are some tips for you to avoid overpacking all your things to bring for Mount Kinabalu and save more space:

  • Minimize your electronics by choosing one or a 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 end up with bringing everything with you. Start packing early and plan properly following our list of Things to bring for Mount Kinabalu

Things to Bring For Mount Kinabalu Climb

A Complete Mount Kinabalu Packing List
1

LIP BALM

Keep your lips protected and moist in cold and dry air.

2

ENERGY FOOD/DRINK

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

3

SPF SUN BLOCK

Ultraviolet rays are stronger at higher altitudes.

4

LIGHT WEIGHT TOWEL

To wipe off your sweat along the journey.

5

WATER

At least 1 Liters drinking water. Consuming untreated mountain water is not recommended. Mineral water is sold at Kinabalu Park HQ and Laban Rata Restaurant.

6

MINI FIRST-AID BAG

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

7

PLASTIC / DISPOSABLE BAGS

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

8

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

9

RAINCOAT / PONCHO

It can really rain on Mt.Kinabalu, and you need to protect your gear from getting wet.

10

PERSONAL REQUIREMENT

Your personal medicine or anything you feel you cannot do without

11

TOILET PAPER

Washroom at shelters do no provide toilet paper for climber

12

GLOVES

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

13

WARM JACKET

The temperature will decrease as you go to higher altitudes (You need one – just in case)

14

CAMERA / GADGET

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

15

BACKPACK RAIN COVER

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

16

CASH

Credit cards are not taken on the mountain but some online payment gateway is accepted.

Mount Kinabalu Packing Idea For Porter

Items to carry by porter
1

THERMAL UNDERSHIRT

These should be made from wicking materials (to help you stay dry and warm by wicking sweat away from your body.

2

WATERPROOF WIND BREAKER

Jacket made of rain / wind resistant material (waterproof/breathable) is the best.

3

HEADLAMP

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

4

PERSONAL HYGIENE

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

5

SCARF / NECK WARMER

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

6

EXTRA SOCKS

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

7

WARM HAT

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

8

SANDAL / SLIPPER

You might need this in the wet bathroom

9

WORLD TRAVEL ADAPTOR

To fit with the local electrical outlets (only apply to international climbers). In Malaysia, the power plugs and sockets are of type G

10

THICK TROUSER / PANT

To keep your body warm during your summit hike

11

FLEECE JACKET / WARM JACKET

To traps the warmth produced by your body and protects you from the cold.