Trekking guide | Additional info on safety and jungle survival

With the change of global climate and weather pattern (2007) plus relationship between human and nature/wildlife it looks like we are now having natural disasters both small and large scale more often than in the past. Floods, mud slide or extremely dry conditions could happen unexpectedly in the places where these were less known.

This page will try to tell you some tips from our jungle trek experience. It will certainly not serve as a comprehensive guide. Thus please contact us for advise on where to go and when to go along with what to expect and prepare for.

Getting lost
Well hiked trails are quite clear to locate where it goes. At the place where the landscape changes (e.g., tree fall) there is usually a detour before the obstacle. If you have no experience, and are in a group on a jungle trail where you are left behind and you can not locate the trail your friends have gone, make sound to call them. If nobody come back, don't panic. Just stay at where you are and they will come back when they know you are left. Keeping a whistle helps, and don't walk in the darkness.

As you continue hiking try to familarize yourself with the nature of trail; try to locate the trail by finding the differences between it and the surrounding, and noticing foot prints of people or animals, and natural and man-made marks. Ask the guide to let you practice your skill. That can help you not to get lost again the next day.

While you are walking an out of the beaten track trail or even through the thick of a jungle (that is what more than half of our treks are) higher level of vigilance is demanded. Being calm and able to make good decision help greatly in case of problem.

When the whole group gets lost in the middle of the night with little or no water left:
So far we have never seen ourselves in such difficult situation while we were walking with tourists. But a similar case did happen in one of our jungle survey trips to find new trails for our friends and tourists.

Importance is not to get panic; be calm and think of various possible ways to get out of the problem. You must know yourself, what you have and how you can use them in the best way possible, and choose the way that you believe have highest chance of success. And do it with great effort. Good leadeship is needed to calmly control the group, food and water rationing, and maintaining the spirit of everyone. Always go with the guides who have good jungle survival experience.

On that hike (we made in quite rush - this is what makes room for problem to arrive) we did not have map and gps device. We had only very little water to drink when we knew we were far out of the trail in the pitch dark. We knew the general location of the river but it was difficult to reach because there were steep and rocky slopes. We were to decide whether to stay where we were collecting little water drops by cutting bamboo, or find the trail to get down and go the difficult terrain to reach the river within a time that we can walk without eating and drinking.

We surveyed the surrounding and believed that we could get to the river in about 4 to 5 hours - the time that we could walk without eating and drinking. We did not have a dinner yet. So we went looking for the easiest way to get to the river. Yet we had to scramble down the rocks and at one place had to use rope to descend a vertical wall. We finally reached the river at about 5 am. The start of the trek in the village was at 4 pm and so it was about 13 hours non-stop jungle trek without a good meal.

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