By Kristy Charleson
I have jungle trekked all over the world from costa rica to Uganda, the dense high lands of Papua New Guinea to the sea side magic of Fiji, I can’t get enough. if you have an interest in trekking but don’t know where to start here are some tips that have helped me over the years.
Start small! Australia has an amazing selection of bush land so why not start your adventurous life style in your own back yard. If you think you are ready for something more daring why not head over to Malaysian Borneo. I trekked in Borneo last year and it was amazing. I got up close with pigmy elephants, saw an incredible array of insects and saw the endangered orangutan in the wild, but best of all the walks were easy enough that my mum (and her bad knees) was able to come along and enjoy herself, but wild enough to satisfy my hunger for adventure.
Malaysian Borneo is a safe friendly place to visit as a tourist but for trekking the first rule is never go to unfamiliar or unmarked areas unguided. Do your research. There are some amazing companies throughout Borneo that specialize in these sort of tours.
Look the part. If you are serious about getting in to trekking you need a serious pair of boots. remember do not trek in new boots, always wear them in first. invest in a good pair of woolen socks. People often opt for breathable material but trust me, thick wool is best. It absorbed moisture and prevents blisters. Long pants. These protect from scratches and when tucked into sock keep out insects, a great beginners tip that will save you the hassle and cost of buying gaiters. Katmandu have a great selection and I picked up a pair infused with a repellent that will keep ticks and Mosquitos at bay. They also have a nifty lower leg zip so you can cool down when you return to camp.
Keep hydrated. A camel pack is a great way to carry a lot of water comfortably. Also from katmandu I picked up a camel pack with an attached back pack for all my goodies like sunscreen, bug repellant and snacks.
So go in to the wild and start discovering.