On any hike you have difficulties you encounter and obstacles you must overcome. That’s part of the enjoyment. Last weekend I embarked on a challenge with a Malaysian hiking group trekking and camping in the jungle. This group literally went off the beaten path. In fact, they hired local Orang Asli guides to take us right through the bush. Here are some of the things I learned along the way.

  1. Go on any hike through the jungle in the rain and you WILL encounter leeches. I’m not just talking about one or two around your ankle. This particular hike I must have pulled 20+ of those suckers off of me.
  2. Being equipped with a walkie talkie and machete comes in handy. Or if you are too cheap to get your own – at least hang out with others that have them.
  3. Hiking in the tropics is super wet. Your either wet from rain or wet from sweat. Take your pick. 
  4. Sometimes you are faced with sweat bees. That’s right these are a real thing! Unlike honey bees who are attracted to sweet things, these demented creatures prefer the smell of sweat which is not good news for one very sweaty, hiking Canadian.
  5. Sleeping in a hammock is much preferable to being in a tent in the sweaty / rainy jungle.
  6. You can still cook chicken and rice over a camp fire.
  7. No matter what culture you are from, tall tales abound at night. Superstitions, ghostly legends and feats of strength when encountering wild animals were told just before we tucked in for the night. 
  8. River baths are good but nothing tops that first shower when you arrive back home. 

Thanks for a great weekend to my new friends.