Pulag: The Preparations

So.. I recently climbed Mount Pulag. So far, it’s the most physically challenging activity that I have done in my life. This climb was 2 years in the making. This was originally planned out for Summer 2012 and has just been finally finalized this year.

I’d like to share with you how we prepared for our climb.

I am lucky enough to be with experienced Pulag hikers. We didn’t have to join a travel agency (Byaheng Victory, etc). Though joining one has its perks as well. But here,I will tell you what are the perks of climbing and organizing it on your own. 🙂

We climbed up Thursday afternoon and climbed down Friday morning. The weekend slots were already filled up and reserved (I suppose by the travel agencies). And so we had no choice but to take the weekday trek. There were only 2 groups when we were in camp site.

SAMPLE ITINERARY: Sharing with you sample itinerary we used for our Thursday to Friday Climb:
Day 0 Wednesday (March 12, 2014)2200 Assembly time @ Victory Liner Pasay
2300 ETD Bus from Pasay to Baguio City
Day 1 Thursday (March 13, 2014)
0500 ETA Baguio City. Breakfast then proceed to jeepney terminal/chartered jeep.
0700 Take chartered jeepney to Ambangeg.
1000 ETA Visitors’ Center. Registration / Orientation (DENR)
1130 Set out for Ranger Station
1230 ETA and lunch at Ranger.
1300 Start trek
1430 ETA Camp 1
1600 ETA Camp 2. Set up camp
1800 Dinner at campsite; socials
Day 2 Friday (March 14, 2014)0430 Early morning trek to summit for sunrise
0545 Arrival at summit just in time for sunrise
0700 Start descent from summit
0800 Back at Camp 2; heavy breakfast
0900 Decamp; start descent to Ranger Station
1130 Back at Ranger; Settle guide fees; jeepney descent
1230 Back at Visitors’ Center; tidy up and log out
1400 Head back to Baguio City
1700 ETA Baguio City. Dinner.
1900 Head back to Manila
0200 Back in Manila
Day 3 Saturday (March 15, 2014)ETA Manila around 08:00 AM
WHAT TO BRING: Food
1)     Light canned goods*    
You can go full time camping and bring your portable burners and cook set but you also can bring your ready-to-eat food. We brought pre-cooked adobo and ate it for dinner. Our breakfast was a feast. We had corned beef, noodles, sausages, eggs, spam and meat loaf.
·        Cooked food (e.g. Adobo)       
·        Fruits(optional)                    
·        Chocolate/Sweets                        
·        Energy drinks(optional)                      
·        Trekking Snacks(optional)                  
·        Quick Cook Foods     

If you want the full blown camping experience with cooking, here’s what you would need to bring:
2)     Portable Burner and Butane – If you’re not bringing ready to eat food, you can bring your portable burners. If you wanna buy, you can check Ace Hardware, there are choices that ranges from 900 to 1000+ Php.
3)     Make sure you bring your garbage bags because you can’t leave your trash just anywhere.
4)     Utensils (Spoon/Fork)
5)     Reusable Plate/Baunan*
6)     Whatever that can be used as a CUP for drinking water or coffee. 
7)     Swiss Knife     
What to Bring: Apparel and Hiking Essentials
The list below are the things we brought as advised by our experienced hikers. 
 
Climbing Apparel
1) Backpack / Rain cover*      
Make sure you have a reliable Backpack. A normal backpack would be okay but according to my experienced Pulag hiker friends, it would be better if you bring a backpack that’s designed for Trekking/Mountain Climbing. We climbed the Ambengeg Trail, it’s the easiest trail among 4 and just a 3-4 hours climb. It will help your back not to swell and ache. Rain Cover – you’ll never know when it will rain. Would be best to always prepare for the worst. I’ve heard stories where it actually rained and you would want to keep all you clothes dry because it will be very cold up in the camp and in the summit. Even if it’s summer, it could always rain inside the forest. TIP: Keep you backpack light.
2) Hiking Shoes / plus slippers/sandals*    
I climbed Mount Pulag with chucks. I was a hard headed undecided fella. Some people have told me not to wear it but I used it anyway. Why? Because I don’t have a pair of trekking shoes and I felt like I want prove something. Haha. But, yes! I survived Mt Pulag with chucks. Though I did slip several times while climbing and going dowing from the summit because of the shoes. Bring slippers/sandals because you would want to give your feet some air when you’ve settled in the camp.
3) Trekking pants/light pants*
For girls, I think you can use leggings. Though trekking pants would be best. You should be able to freely bent your knees while you climb the steep trails of Pulag.        
4) Long sleeved trekking shirt*     
I bought a long sleeves that’s designed for trekking worth 750 branded Lagalag from Basekamp. You wouldn’t want to get sunburn.
4) Sweater* / Windbreaker/Jacket*        
Even if it’s summer, it is cold up there. . You would want to bring your winterclothes that is not heavy in the bag. I didn’t have a windbreaker but I did bring 4 jackets. And I must tell, it wasn’t enough. Especially in the morning, it was frkn cold. We climbed at the middle of March and it felt like 5 degrees Celsius in the.
5) Poncho / raincoat*     
Bring a waterproff jacket or a raincoat. When it rains and you get wet, your bag would be heavie. We were lucky not to actually use it!
     
6) Extra shirts*  
7) Sleeping Bag
 I wouldn’t say it’s optional. It’s a MUST BRING! The sleeping bags probably saved our night. I couldn’t have imagined myself in that camp without sleeping bags because it was like 10 degrees Celcius at night!
8) Head Lamp
Head Lamp is ideal because you would need your hands free while climbing the summit at 4:00 AM
8) Groundsheet / Earth pad(optional)

WHAT TO BRING: Toiletries
: You know this already but I dont you to forget anything 🙂      
         
·        Shampoo
·        Soap
·        Toothbrush     
·        Tooth Paste       
·        Alcohol
·        Baby Oil(optional)               
·        Sunblock/Lotion
·        Lip Balm
·        Wet & Dry Tissue*

CHOOSING A TRAIL

There are 4 choices of trail. If you are not an experienced hiker, of course, the recommended trail is the Ambangeg Trail.

 

 

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