Kit and PreparationTaking your preparation seriously is important to ensure that you are ready and able to really enjoy the outdoors. idGuides places great emphasis on communication, planning, and active leadership based on established systems and protocols, to reduce risk and manage your trek – so that you, with your friends, family or team-mates, can fully explore the outdoors, safely. Planning and knowing what to expect is paramount to reducing risk associated with different potential hazards on any type of outdoor excursion project – be it an overnight wild camp, a mountain ascent or trek, or a longer expedition. Risks of an incident or accident occuring can be reduced by 90% given careful assessment, preparation and planning pre-trek, and with good communication and active leadership while on the trek. idGuides has also established a formal post-project review system for integrating lessons learned for future projects. When you, and your group, have a positive mental attitude, are realistic about your capacity and experience, are attempting a route commesurate with your experience, are equipped with the right clothing, medical kit, food and water supplies, are well-fed and well-hydrated, you are much more likely to succeed in your trek objectives, and to have a great time, too. idGuides takes charge of planning your trek, in consideration your experience, capacity and personal objectives. Have a read of the guidelines we have provided for you in the following. You will find most of what you need to know – principles, tips & tactics, checklists and links – to get out an explore Indonesia and beyond.
General Principles for Trek ClothingYou should have three insulating upper body layers which can be worn comfortably together;
- Base layer (eg. Helly Hansen thermal underwear)
- Light and heavyweight intermediate layer (eg. a Polartec fleece)
- Windproof / rainproof outer layer (eg. a Gore-tex shell)
Mountain / Highland TrekEven on a mountain / highland trek or expedition in the humid tropics, exposure to wind and rain at medium high altitudes (1500m – 3500m, and of course above) can be dangerously cold. Don’t be fooled in your preparation by ”the view from the beach”. A typically fatal mistake made by many holiday-makers in Bali and Lombok for example, is that they plan their trip while sitting in the sweltering heat of the beach. Please remember it can get very, very cold above 1500m up a mountain, even in the tropics! It is important to try and remain as dry as you can on mountain / highland environments, to avoid the possibility of exposure to cold and also to conserve energy. The three-layer clothing system enables you to add or remove clothing layers easily, as you get cold or begin to get too warm. Try to avoid sweating too much by removing or adding clothes to suit the conditions, and by maintaining a steady, efficient ascent pace and taking short rests often. When resting, remember to put on an extra layer to avoid getting the chills. This is important even in warm temperatures if you have been sweating a lot.
Jungle TrekIf you are going on a lowland jungle trek or expedition the 3-layer system is still relevant, however the materials must be lightweight and quick-drying. Cotton or jean material should be avoided because they are likely never to dry in humid conditions. Gore-tex is not useful in tropical humid lowland environments, as its pores clog easily and can trap excess moisture close to the skin. Gore-tex should be avoided in jungles / warm humid environments as an outer shell layer, and especially avoided in footwear. On lowland jungle treks / expeditions, if it rains, it is often just easier to get wet, as long as you are wearing your trekking clothes, and you are confident that your spare clothes (especially night set) are packed so that they are water-proofed.
ColorsTake note of the colors you plan to wear for the particular needs of your trek or expedition; dark colors absorb heat and attract mosquitoes, for example, while lighter colors are cooler but become transparent when wet, not to mention easily dirty. In Africa the tsetse fly, notorious for its extremely painful bite, is attracted to cobalt blues, for example. Cobalt and electric blues must be avoided for all East Africa savannah safari trips because of the tsetse fly, at all costs.