Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

 1. Prepare your hiking gear. Here’s the list: pants, waterproof jacket, raincoat, shoes, tent, flashlight or head lamp and sleeping bag. Optional: altimeter, GPS and stove.

 2. Always expect the worst. Make sure your clothes are thick enough to stand extreme cold. Last time, I literally wore the following but still I felt the cold: Two Shirts. Three Sweaters. Thick jacket. Legging maong pants. Two sets of jogging pants. One trekking pants. Rain coat. Bonnet or Cap. A pair of gloves. Three pairs of socks.

So, its up to you to secure anything that will keep you really warm; make sure they’re handy. It is better to be paranoid than to suffer hypothermia or altitude dizziness on the mountain helplessly. Expect the worst temperature you can encounter, which may be 2 degrees Celsius and lower!

3. There is a potable water source near Camp Site Two. This is good news since you need not to bring 6 liters of water from Ranger’s Camp to Summit. All you have to do is to keep your bottles handy and you are now ready to taste the natural spring water of Mt. Pulag for free!

4. Observe the Cultural Code of Conduct and the Mountaineer’s Credo. Ms. Emerita Albas a.k.a. Tamiray will conduct a 5-min video and 20-min lecture to climbers before they proceed to hike Mt. Pulag, so listen. Mt. Pulag is considered as a sacred place, therefore for your own safety, follow the rules (aside from gods and goddesses, there are entities in the mountain as observed by our colleague who has the “gift to see the unseen” while our group was trekking at around 1 AM).

5. It is mandatory to get a local guide but the porter is optional. To make things easier, take this advice. As these people will not only watch over you but also inspire you to keep going especially porters who climb with ease the trail while carrying heavy loads you assigned to them!

6. Make your first aid kit available. This must include medicines for fever, colds, cough, pain killers, antihistamine, etc. Take note that Ms. Emerita will assign a first aider for your group aside from the team leader and the sweeper. The role of the first aider is really challenging but it is worth it to help save someone else’s life.

7. When you still feel the cold despite putting all your available clothes on, try to put your poncho (or any thin rain coat) first, then your shirt, jacket and so on. This is effective. I have prevented my cousin from getting hypothermia by doing this.

8. Stay full and warm. Bring ready-to-eat foods like bread and chocolate snacks. Also, canned goods, noodles, lomi, coffee or chocolate drinks. Because the temperature is really low especially between 11 PM until 4 AM, cooking or preparing hot drinks is really helpful in keeping yourself warm. And don’t forget your energy foods and drinks!

9. Group hug will make your friendship strong. Who says group hug is only used to express happiness with friends? Yes, it can also be during dire need- extreme cold- that group hug will help not only to keep your bond closer but also this will save your life!

10. Pray. There is no one who can keep you from harm or save you other than our great God. So, pray not only for your group to see the sea of clouds (hehehe) but also to be safe during your entire stay on Mt. Pulag and as you travel way back home.