Tip 1: A well set up tarp and hammock will be your best friend.
Your new home for the next night needs to protect you from the elements. Wind and rain can start at any minute, so a low tarp and high hammock is the best option for unexpected downpours and help keep your stuff dry. Hammock poles are also useful to keep your rucksack off the ground so all those ants don’t rest in your bag. Quick release knots speed up pack down and are a lifesaver during sleepy early mornings.
Tip 2: Dry clothes are likely to be a thing of the past (at least to trek in!)
Whether it’s from rain or sweat from the Borneo sun, your clothes are likely to remain moist for most of the trek. Keeping longs in a dry bag during the day is essential for an evening off comfort. Don’t forget to let your soggy feet dry. Adding talcum powder to your feet is also a highlight after a long day’s walking!
Tip 3: Rationing wisely is key: Clothes and food.
A capsule wardrobe keeps your bag light and helps maximise space in preparation for all that group kit! One of all the basics and a couple of extra pairs socks and underwear will keep you going until the next washing opportunity. Carry as many snacks as possible. It’ll keep you going up those hills! Peanut brittle is always the group favourite.
Tip 4: Priorities = camp setup
First off you need a fire. This is for warmth and to get your lunch and dinner on the go. Send a team off with parangs to get some fresh, dry wood and kindling to keep you going until the next morning. Parangs are an essential piece of kit and when used correctly can be very effective in adding features to the camp e.g. a three bowl stand. One communal area is important to set up first. Setting up a group tarp if there is no shelter at camp so people can store bags until hammocks are set up. It is also useful so that the group has somewhere to eat together in the dry.
Tip 5: Bamboo is your best friend
Alpha 4 can safely say they were not as skilled as the guides in creating bamboo masterpieces. However, we learnt how it can be used in a multitude of ways; from fishing nets to animal traps to cutlery. It’s possible to kit yourself out with everything you need in the jungle.
Tip 6: Appreciate the beauty around you
Even when times are hard and the group is feeling low, Borneo is a beautiful place and embracing the amazing views can go a long way to restoring your morale.
Words by Alpha 4 and Larysa.
Photos by Larysa.
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