A Guide to Hiking in the Central Catchment Reserve
Here is a short guide to hiking in there. I am assuming that one would want to venture off the trail into the rainforest, for instance, visiting the ruins of the Shinto shrine as we did. However, if one would stay on the trail, well, one need not really bring anything actually. Shorts, T-shirt and sandals would be enough.
1. Respect nature. It can be cruel and unforgiving. In other words, be prepared. Know what you are capable of before heading in there. Have a plan.
2. Tell someone where you are going before you go. Tell them when you will be back.
3. Go with someone reliable. Don't go with girly men, whiners, people with ego problems, etc. In other words, go with people you can trust. When you are stuck in there with a sprained ankle or broken anke, it is not funny.
4. Have some semblance of fitness. One need not be a fitness guru though.
5. Good footwear. Sandals are alright only if they don't fall apart halfway. Extra pairs of socks would be nice.
6. Proper equipment. Get a proper compass. Not one of those on a watch strap. Those are a joke. One needs to be able to tell directions when one is in there. A torchlight can be useful. Waterproof the fragile items in case of rain. Put them in clear ziplock bags.
7. Bring enough water. Especially if one isn't very fit, one will consume more water. Water discipline can come in useful. Food is not really necessary. Three litres or four at least.
8. For women, tissues and toilet paper may be useful though one will hardly need to relieve oneself due to sweating.
9. Band-aids and anti-sceptic cream or liquid can be useful to treat small scratches.
10. Mosquitoes. Surprisingly, very few. Insect repellent can be useful though not necessary.
11. Long-sleeved clothing can be useful in warding off thorns.
12. Umbrellas or raincoats aren't necessary but if there is a heavy downpour, it is nice to have them.
13. Have a cut-off time. ie 3:00 pm. Go out when the time is up. The rainforest gets dark very early. ie 4:00 pm.
14. Keep one's trash in one's bag. Don't litter.
15. Don't go trashing the rainforest either.
16. Don't go capturing monkeys, slaying squirrels and gutting snakes.
17. Respect the old ruins. Please, don't light candles on the font and be an ass.
18. At the end of the day, this is Singapore, one need only walk in a east or west direction and one will hit a road or house. It's a garden compared to the real jungles in the surrounding countries.
19. Most important of all, have fun!
If you have questions, feel free to write me.