Mount Kinabalu Packing list

This packing list covers Mount Kinabalu, for a look at what to pack for other Borneo tours, see our Borneo kit list page.  Please note that the huts on Mount Kinabalu provide bedding so there is no need to bring a sleeping bag. You can bring your own sleep sheet or liner if you want but they do also have them in the huts.

The huts provide buffet style meals and there are some snacks to pick up for summit morning and an early breakfast before setting off, but we do recommend you bring your preferred energy snacks too.

Mount Kinabalu_Kotal Route looking out over trees and clouds.jpg
Views along the Mount Kinabalu summit trail.


Back pack with rain cover & waterproof liner, around 50 litres maximum should be enough (this can be carried by a porter if required)
Dry bags for smaller items inside, especially any electronics
Bag to leave travel clothes at the hotel before the trek


Waterproof jacket and trousers for summit morning
Poncho for lower down on the mountain
Gaiters are optional
Warm insulated or fleece jacket for summit morning

Mid and base layers

Trekking shirt or top - synthetic quick dry material
Trekking trousers and shorts - similarly quick dry
Change of clothes
Lightweight base layer is optional (it can be very cold early in the morning on the summit plateau)
Underwear is best quick drying synthetic


Cap / beanie / headscarf
Insulated windproof gloves
Thin liner gloves
Trekking socks
Lightweight but sturdy trekking boots or hiking shoes, preferably with ankle support
Crocs/sandals for indoors at the hut


Head torch & spare batteries
Camera, memory card & batteries - in a dry bag
Power pack


Trekking poles
Earplugs (optional)
2 x refillable water bottles
Energy snacks eg chocolate, energy drink powder, energy gels, jelly cubes etc
Wash kit and lightweight towel
Sun protection - sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, SPF lip balm
Personal Medical Kit - for example plasters, blister pads, paracetamol, ibuprofen, rehydration sachets, tubigrip for knee support if needed, personal medication if required (inhaler)
Passport - you will need this to register at the park and also with Mountain Torq if you plan to do the via ferrata
Cash in Malaysian Ringgit to pay for the sabah park fees which are currently about £120.00 per person. This fee has to be paid by the individual and covers the permit, insurance, park guide and internal transfers. A colour summit certificate at the end of the trip is about £2.50.

Mountain Via Ferrata Equipment

The via ferrata is run by Mountain Torq who provide safety helmets, harnesses, dynamic ropes and energy absorber lanyards (also known as via ferrata kits), all of which are certified by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA)  and meet the EN958 standard. A continuous belay system is employed throughout the Via Ferrata route wherein climbers are always hooked up to a guideline, making any deviation from the route virtually impossible.

Note that there is a compulsory safety briefing near the Laban Rata hut at 3.30pm on the first day, so it's vital that you leave the park gate with enough time to reach this place in time otherwise Mountain Torq will not allow you to partake in the activity.

Mount Kinabalu_Kotal Route looking out to lowlands from plateau.jpg
Looking at the lowlands while perched high in the clouds on Mt Kinabalu.