Monday, October 12, 2009

Safety Tips For First-Time Hikers

Saturday October 10, 2009

Going up Tabur

A word of thanks to Ms. Dlu of Corezone Malaysia for networking us with the Star reporter & Mr. Ng of Lafuma Malaysia for carrying our merchandise with message of safe trekking in their store.

Here are some safety tips for first-time hikers :

by Leong Siok Hui

>Always go with someone who knows the trail well, and never hike alone. Visitors’ movements are not monitored in Tabur, unlike in state or national parks. In the doctors’ case, their badly decomposed bodies were only found three days later, when one of their cars was spotted near the trailhead.

>If you’re scared of heights, you should give Tabur a miss. A friend of mine with acrophobia was scared stiff during our hike in Tabur. It spoilt her outing.

>Start out early. Not only could you catch an amazing sunrise, you can avoid the scorching sun due to lack of shade on the exposed ridge.

An experienced hiker lending a hand to another climber. — AGNES TAN

>Dehydration or fatigue causes disorientation. It’s easy to stumble or lose your footing when you’re groggy. Keep yourself hydrated and get in shape. Tabur is not the place to build your stamina due to its rugged terrain. Use flat, easy trails or the gym instead.

>Bring some energy bars or snacks. You never know how long you may end up on the trail, especially if someone in your group is unfit or gets hurt.

>Bring along your mobile phone. In the past, lost hikers have managed to call the police from their mobile phones.

>Avoid hiking after nightfall. You might step into a “bottomless” pit or get hopelessly stranded. In 2003, 13 hikers out of a group of 20 went missing while trying to get down the hill at dusk. They were rescued eight hours later.

>Missing hikers are not uncommon in Tabur. Try not to stray off the path unless you’re GPS-equipped or highly experienced.

>It’s prudent to register your name at the Melawati Police Station — Tel: (03) 4108 1222 — before your hike. It’ll help speed up rescue operations or evacuation should the need arise.

Tip: In the websites of outdoor gear retailers like Corezone and Lafuma, you will find groups advertising hikes to Bukit Tabur.

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