TREK ESSENTIALS FOR MOUNT RINJANI TREKKING
When it comes to any kind of trip or trek, your ability to pack a backpack effectively is an important aspect. Essential and mandatory items are a must-have for a trekker/backpacker on the Mount Rinjani, but everything needs to be lightweight so as to accommodate comfortable movement.
There are different types of treks on the Mount Rinjani, extending from a short or medium duration all the way up to a prolonged one. Trekking for a shorter time would not cause many problems; the one that requires medium to long duration demands that you pack your stuff effectively. The longer the duration, the more important effectiveness would be.
Serious trekkers need to prepare everything attentively to make sure that things stay safe for the entire course of the trekking. The bottom line here is that you need to pack light; everything essential and items for your own safety must be packed. When you trek up a mountain, every gram you pack counts. However, lightweight products that come with good quality are oftentimes expensive. Such quality products are specifically designed to meet the standards presented by harsh climate. It would be way better if clothing is acquired one by one.
Below is a list of important items needed for any kind of trekking trip.
- A backpack
- A pair of shoes for trekking
- A piece of jacket
- A windproof
- A sleeping bag
This article will focus on how you can get everything in a single backpack effectively while still maintaining the level of safety. There are treks out there that allow you to dump some of the total weights you pack. With these tracks, it is possible for you to leave your luggage at the basecamp. Once you’re done trekking, you can pick the luggage back up. Safer, more popular routes offer trekkers to dump some of the total weights they carry on a mule, with some even employ a porter special for carrying luggage. But trekking routes that require longer duration demand that the backpack be carried along, causing you to need to pack everything in a single bag. A trek of medium duration typically lasts for 4-7 days while it would be 8-12 days for a long-duration trek.
Keep in mind that trekking of medium to long duration requires a backpack with a capacity of 8-12 kg. You need to be familiar with carrying the backpack with utmost comfort as this will lead to a higher level of safety and reduced footprint.
The internet abounds with articles discussing items one should carry in a trek. The generic lists get extended to a point where they become somewhat baffling as they go on and on. For example, an article suggests that an individual should carry a total of more than 20 kg weight along in their trek.
In essence, a backpack for a trek on the Mount Rinjani should carry (1) the clothing you need, (2) rain gear/waterproof/windproof, (3) a sleeping bag, (4) accessories, (5) first aid/medical kit, and (6) dry food for your sustenance in a day of an emergency.
The following things need to be carried in a backpack if the route is difficult: 1) a warm jacket, 2) waterproof and windproof gear, 3) a sleeping bag and a carry mattress, and 4) dry foods for emergency cases.
Choosing a reliable backpack needs to come on top of the list. Learning for the experience I have with trekking 50 routes of both mid and long durations, you tend to either choose a backpack that is too small or too big. A backpack of 35 to 50 liter volume should be sufficient for treks of medium to long duration. The one with 50 liter of volume would have enough room for you to carry even your sleeping bag for a 2-week trek. Such a bag weighs no more than 1.5 kg.
Stick with t-shirts that dry quickly and of synthetic material. T-shirts of cotton are heavier and dry slowly. A round trip should require 4 to 5 t-shirts. Quick-dry and lightweight trouser should be enough to make up the bottom section of the ensemble—take 2-3 pairs of them. You should not carry a pair of jeans unless dumping off the luggage at basecamp is an option to afford. You can wear a cargo/six-pocket pant instead. The total weight of the ensemble should not weigh more than 2 kg. Undergarments, socks, balaclava, cap, and gloves are lightweight and their total weight should be kept around 500 gram.
It is essential for you to also pack a thermal base layer (woolycot) for the top of the getup if the trek is of high altitude. You can choose anything for the bottom as protection for upper body parts is more crucial in this case. This adds 500 grams.
There are different types of warm jacket and they come with different weights as well. A jacket of Down/Synthetic Fill/Fleece types is typically lightweight enough and quite capable of providing you with warmth. The jacket should weigh around a kilogram.
A hooded windproof is also essential. Such an item typically comes with waterproof ability. It is not recommended for you to carry a poncho or a raincoat as they have less breathability level and of heavy weight.
Sleeping bags for a Himalayan trek normally have a rating of temperature of anywhere between -10 to 0 degree C. If the temperature drops even lower, you can add another base layer inside the sleeping bag. A typical synthetic sleeping bag should weigh no more than 2 kg.
Shaving or beauty kits are not necessary. Opt for minimalistic approach for this one and choose from a wide variety of stuff. Get a small tube of toothpaste, a scissor (or a lightweight Swiss Army knife), a chapstick, a tissue roll, a soap strip, a torch, and some cold cream in a small container. Keep everything no more than 500 grams.
First aid/medical kit:
Gather these items together: a pain relief spray, a course of drugs for a variety of conditions (stomach upset, pain killer, inflammation, vomiting, and headache), an antiseptic cream, Dettol, cotton, and crepe bandage. Keep everything no more than 500 grams.
Bring dry foods for emergency cases such as glucose tablets (in a small pack), dry fruit mix, energy bars or chocolate bars, and a pack of candy—these add 500 grams. Don’t forget to also pack a water bottle. You can ask the guide for a spot to refill your water bottle on the trail. If the trek demands for a long day and there is scarcity of water, it is wise to pack a 1.5 liter of water, which adds another 1.5 kg of weight.
Including a sleeping bag and the backpack itself, it all adds up to a total of 11 kg.
Below is an example of a packed backpack, along with its weight.
- A kilogram of Camp M4 backpack with 40 liter of volume
- Two kg of assortments of gloves, caps, socks, undergarments, trek pants, and t-shirts.
- 650 g of Mountain Hardware Windstopper Tech Fleece
- 370 g of Marmot Precip Jacket
- 3 kg of Mountain Hardware Ultralamina 15 degree F
- A kilogram of accessories and medical kit
- A kilogram of Hydration pack of 1 liter of volume
- A kilogram of assortments of binoculars, GPS, pen, notebook, etc.
- A kilogram of Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200—with backup batteries
All of the above items add up to a total of no more than 10 kilogram.
The order of packing different items also is of important matter. Keep everything you need during the walk on top. The bottom part of the backpack should be reserved for the sleeping bag. Stability is the key: A backpack is well-packed when it sits upright without supports. Gather items of similar category together. Distribute the load evenly inside the backpack for convenient carrying.
You should also use a waterproof cover for the backpack as drizzle or even rain is common on the mountain. Try to keep everything inside the backpack dry all the time. You can add another layer of polythene sheet for added protection.
Upon reading this article, you should know by now what and how to pack for your trekking trip to the Himalayas. Backpacking is a form of art and you need to pack efficiently.