JENUT HOLIDAYS SDN BHD  (KPL 5390)
Taman Negara Tour Specialist
 
TIPS FOR CAMPING OUT
 

 

There are many options for overland journeys in Taman Negara. But for any of these treks it is important that you are physically fit and well equipped in every way.

 
Your tent. Tents with aluminium poles, built-in floor, zippered insect screens and separate fly-sheet are of course excellent for camping out; but they are expensive and often rather heavy unless you do not mind to carry them or you plan for a camping trip near the riverbank that easily accesssible by boat.
 
 
 
 
A 2 m. x 3 m. plastic sheet pulled taut across a tight rope between poles or trees is a cheap alternative for two poles, and requires little or no cutting of vegetation. Ponchos spread underneath serve as a groundsbeet. The kind of camp-beds that require cutting of poles to support them are not permitted in Taman Negara; but a string hammock suspended between two trees, with a fly-sheet strung up above, is excellent in the lowlands (though a bit chilly in the mountains).



 
Your haversack. A cheap rucksack is not worth the risk on a long trek. More expensive rucksacks have a strong rectangular frame (internal or external), tough waterproof cloth, padded shoulder straps and a waist belt; and they are comfortable even when heavily loaded. If you don’t wish to buy one, try to borrow or hire one.
 
 
Your bedding. In the lowland forest it is cool enough at night for a cotton blanket. In the mountains you will need a woollen blanket or a proper sleeping bag.
 
 

 
Your food. As with everything else, minimise weight! Rice isn’t light, but at least it is filling. Dehydrated packet soups can be used in conjunction with canned food or to fill out meals of instant noodles. Anchovies and raw peanuts are nutritious and tasty, and easily fried in a little oil. You may like to carry some fresh ingredients-onions, garlic, long beans, even eggs (wrapped in paper and carried in a mess-tin). A breakfast of muesli—made from rolled oats, assorted nuts and dried fruit, “Horlicks”, glucose powder and milk powder (just add water, hot or cold), gives you a good flow of energy through the day.
 
A biscuit snack, power bar and a guzzle of water should suffice in the middle of the day. At night, caffeine-free drinks like “Milo” may help get your weary body to sleep. In order to minimise weight, all food should be measured out in advance, allowing one extra day’s rations. A convenient way to carry many foodstuffs is in double plastic bags tied with string.
 
 
Your water. Any sort of strong screw-top container (750 ml. or 1 litre) will do for a personal water bottle. In addition a 5-litre container is useful when your camp is away from a stream. On most walks in Taman Negara it is not necessary to carry water as many small streams will be crossed. But if you have a day on a ridge ahead of you (e.g. Day Two to Gunung Tahan) try the camel approach-if you fill yourself right up at the start you will need to drink a lot less along the way. If you begin to suffer headaches or nausea, try taking a little salt when you drink, to replace body salts lost when you sweat.
 
 
 

Your cooking equipment. Army-type mess tins save weight because you can both cook in them and eat out of them. If you are in a group, organise communal cooking-one large pot for rice or water, and a medium pot for “lauk”. By far the best all-round heat source is army-type solid-fuel tablets and the simple folding stove that comes with them: safe, light-weight, efficient, economical, and even usable inside a tent if necessary.
 
 
Your footwear. Jogging shoes with cushioned soles are excellent; jungle boots are fine as long as they fit comfortably; leather boots give good support, but soon get sodden and awfully heavy in the rain forest. Beware of using new shoes - they should be well “broken in” before you set off on your trek. As spare footwear, flip-flops (thongs) are fine around the camp and will get you home in an emergency.
 
 
Your clothing. Shirt and long trousers of loose-fitting cotton. Non-chafing underwear. One spare set of clothes to keep dry and wear at night. Leech socks. A woollen sweater and a windproof jacket if you are going to Gunung Tahan. A sarong for changing, and can be used for an emergency bandage/sling. If you wash your sweaty clothes at night, and put them on damp in the morning (they will soon be sodden with sweat anyway), then at least you start the day smelling sweat!
 
 
 
Your rubbish. In National Parks all over the world nowadays, trekkers are asked to bring back all of their unburnable rubbish to Park Headquarters. For a Gunung Tahan trek (7 days) on average this is less than 200 g. per person! Empty cans can be washed and bashed flat to take up minimum room in your rucksack.
 
There should be no need to bring any glass on a jungle trek.