WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Throughout our Taming Borneo blog and video series, we’ve shown you some of the best places to experience the adventures and cultures Borneo has to offer. But on our adventure trail, we’ve hit a few bumps on the road, sometimes literally. In these situations, it’s important to come well prepared and well equipped. Unfortunately, us being city folks and all, taken straight out of our concrete jungle, we unfortunately weren’t sometimes. So we’d thought we’d give you a comprehensive guide on the things you need to survive the Bornean jungle.
TOP 10 PACKING ESSENTIALS
ONE BACKPACK & DAYPACK
This is a no brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should bring one backpack and one daypack on your trip. This is to store every other essential thing we’re gonna list below, and then some. It’s also important to find a good bag that will support you well as you’d be wearing it all day long during your trekking trips and forest endeavors. Trust us, a good backpack will save you weeks’ worth of back aches.
STURDY SHOES OR HIKING BOOTS & FOR WALKING SANDALS OR SHOES YOU DON’T MIND GETTING WET
Again, this is a no brainer, but you never know. It’s really important that you bring good sturdy shoes, or even better, a pair of hiking boots for your trail adventures. You’re going to be in the wild jungle, so expect slippery slopes and rocky terrain. But for casual walking around town, a comfortable pair of sneakers will do just fine, or a pair of casual sandals as is the usual for the Malaysian people. Don’t forget to also bring along a pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, as is the case for us when we went to RWMF and got our shoes covered in mud.
MONEY BELT OR POUCH
A money belt is probably one of the best things you can invest in while travelling. We don’t recommend walking around with a heavy bulging wallet in your pocket. With a money belt, you can easily carry all your essential documents, passport and money around while being hidden under your clothes. So as not to draw any attention from thieves and pickpockets. Also, you won’t find yourself accidentally dropping your wallet in the middle of the jungle.
PERSONAL MEDICATIONS (ALLERGY MEDICATIONS)
This is important, if you have any medical conditions, this should be the first thing you pack in your backpack. Also, allergy medications, as you’ll be in a foreign land, sometimes miscommunication can happen and you’d accidentally be eating something you’re allergic to, so make sure to always have your allergy medications on stand-by.
2 bottles, just to be safe if your skin is extra sensitive to the sun. No joke, the sun in Borneo is blazing hot as the local weather is tropical. You might need to reapply your sunscreen every now and then.
FLASHLIGHT/ HEAD LAMP
If you plan to go on a hiking trail, or even to a resort in the middle of the jungle, a flashlight or a headlamp is definitely a must bring. Also, extra batteries.
Tropical weather means hot and sunny most of the time, and with the weather conditions nowadays, the uv rays would be extra harsh on your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses would solve the problem and make you look good in those selfies on the beach.
This would be your impromptu waterproof bags for when it rains or when you go to the beach. Overlooked by many, ziplock bags are true life savers on island adventures.
We’ve heard and seen many stories where people would slip illegal stuff in your baggages while you aren’t looking, so we really urge you to buy some small padlocks to lock your bags after you’ve packed them. Believe the stories or not, it’s better for anyone to be safe than sorry.
BASIC FIRST AID KIT
Lastly, we can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve reached for the first aid kit on our trip. You’re in the jungle, expect to have cuts and bruises and even trip over a rock sometimes. It can happen to even the best of us. So the first aid kit is truly an essential thing to pack.
Catch the final episodes below: