Good morning, I am an occasional mountain dweller, traveler, hotel and food reviewer and adventure enthusiast. Today, I am going to share some basic tips to survive and enjoy a Mount Pulag climb or any organized climb for that matter.
Tip no 1. Be sure to be Physically Prepared
If you are suffering from any medical illness which prevents you from doing extraneous exercises OR if your doctor advises you against such activities, please do conceded and follow your doctor. If you were given a go signal, please do not forget to bring your medicines. Remember, almost all guides, organizers or porters are not medical practitioners and the nearest hospital is mountains away.
Tip no 2. Find a good climb schedule and be sure to come and please be on time.
Here’s the thing, organizers prepare, do follow-ups and contract transportation which are fixed regardless of the number of participants. So for example you confirmed so willingly to come on a climb let’s say January 24-25 and a few days before the climb you suddenly decided to back-out, much worse, not showing on the scheduled date and meeting place, the organizer has no choice but to pay for your transportation seat even if you are not there. Remember, transportation cost is contract per jeep not per person. As an organizer, I had experienced this during an organized climb where 6 participants just felt not going and so I ended up paying for their transportation seats. Also, please be on the meet-up area on time. If the call time is 4am, please be there by 4am.
Tip no 3. Find a Good Organizer
A good organizer is someone who has experienced being a participant himself several times. Familiarity is the key and experience is still the best teacher. Each organizer differ in approach and style but one thing is for sure, most of us Pulag organizers share the passion of mountain climbing.
Tip no 4. Be a good Participant.
We understand that everybody is eager to do the climb and some participants are even more experienced mountain climbers than the organizers. However, each and every mountain has a different terrain, has a different story to tell. And each climb to Mt. Pulag feels the first time every time. And considering the weather on top of the mountain is unpredictable, please don’t play hero and listen to the say of the local guides.
Tip no 5. Organize your things and camping gears.
On my organized climbs, I always remind my participants to prepare. If you do not have tents, there are tents for hire but still please do bring your sleeping bags and/or thick blankets and jackets. If you would like to rent your tent, relay your intention to your organizer as early as possible.
Also, keep a basic first aid kit handy. Basic ones like Gauge, band aides, betadine and cotton.
Here’s one Survival tip: normally tents are good, but I ofted request that each participant bring his/her own large plastic or garbage bags. It comes handy and helpful if it drizzles or rain. It will help protect your body and your things from being wet. Also bring with you a “trapal” or “tolda” about 4-6 yards. You can buy the thin one worth P40/yard at the market or warehouse stores. Use this to cover your tent at night and will help generate heat and protect your tent just in case it will rain. Here is a good example why I always require bringing trapal.
Tip no. 6 Eat good food and always have water and sweets.
Having a good meal and a nice “popo” before a long hike is always good. Eat rice and meat as much as possible to bring up your energy level. Also have some sweets in your pockets. Eat them when you feel weak during the hike but be sure to follow it up with lots of water to hydrate yourself.
Tip no. 7 Do not be too much thrifty on yourself
It is ok to be thrifty once in a while but in climbs like this, always consider bringing extra money. Also the amount of climb packages differ from one organizer to another and sometimes it seems but right to go for the cheapest packages. But In my experience, shelling out an additional 300 or 500 for safety, food and convenience is much better if the inclusions of the package is reasonable. I had seen participants shelling out more money by buying their food at the stores rather that contributing for a cooked meal. Sometimes practicality sinks in better.
Tip no 8. Wear Rubber shoes.
For safety and convenience, I will always advise participants to wear rubber shoes during the hike. Wearing slippers is cool and heroic but it doesn’t work fine if the pathway is muddy or it is raining. Wear your rubber shoes. Bring your slippers but use them at the campsite to relax your feet.
Tip no 9. Do a pre-climb or walking exercises weeks before the climb.
Our body should be pre-conditioned for a physical activity. If there are mountains in your area, do a pre-climb, if there are no mountains, try to walk an extra mile everyday.
Tip no 10. Always attend the briefing and orientation at the DENR national Parks Office.
This is very important. It serves as your attendance. You will log-in, log-out and attend a brief orientation on the “need to knows” and “dos and don’ts” before climbing Mt. Pulag. The orientation is a must but at the same time very informative.
So that’s our 10 basic tips to enjoy your Mt. Pulag Adventure. If you would like to experience Mt Pulag, we have upcoming schedules for this year. For the month of March, we are planning to go to Batad, Banaue, Ifugao to visit the hidden stone terraces. Our 5th watwatworld Mt. Pulag Friendship and Discovery climb is on May 23-24, 2015. I am inviting you to join us! If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for the Facebook Page “I love watwatworld”.
So with that, thank you very much and see you at the top!