13 May 2007

A Guide to Hiking in the Central Catchment Reserve

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.

Most paramount:

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.


Anonymous said...

"Go with someone reliable. Don't go with girly men, whiners, people ego problems..." I love it when you say "girly men" lol!! so hilarious..

And when I continue reading to the part which includes not to go with whiners, I thought to myself "No one is ever going hiking with me." :(

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Hahaha. Well, you know yourself best.

Besides, there is really lots to see when you stick to the trail. Seriously. You saw the photos. There is so much to see.

It's just so pretty. Our little island.

As for girly men, I know of two who are doing salsa dancing!

Well, imagine walking nine hours with someone whining every step of the way?

Tony said...

Can I add that there are mostly visible trails with unnatural markings (like tape or rope or cloth etc) in that area, so try to stick to them as long as they are headed in the direction you want to go (hence Shyue Chou's emphasis on the compass). If you do come to a "dead end" and the trail disappears, back up and look for an alternate route - the trails are not uniformly well worn, and may have just shifted to skirt round obstacles. To avoid geting disoriented and lost when back-tracking, always go in minimum pairs so one person can remain in the last known spot while the other goes searching for trails, unless you are experienced enough alone and mark your way often - Tony

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Splendid points here, Tony!

Tony's point about marking. Bring along markers of some sort. Be it white tape or cloth or something that can serve as markers if one should want to venture off the beaten trail. That way, one always has a means of reverting back to the previous path. Thesus and the labyrinth! Yeah!