Gunung Bunga Buah

My climb up the 1430m Gunung Bunga Buah. A nice day trip, not too difficult for seasoned hikers, but the trail is more like an obstacle course.

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

Location: Gohtong Jaya (Genting Highlands), Pahang, Malaysia.
Start point: 3.395699N, 101.767510E 922m a.s.l.
Summit: 3.374284N, 101.740044E 1441m a.s.l.
Difficulty: Moderately Hard. Some steep sections, trail is mostly muddy with a lot of obstacles. Not recommended as a first hike, but doable for anyone who exercises regularly.

Date climbed: Sat 1 Sep 2012

Having not climbed any challenging mountains for 2 weeks (not counting my 4th trip to Broga which I found to be easy & relaxed), I was itching to climb something new. I decided on Gunung Bunga Buah as it is fairly close to PJ/KL, and doesn’t have a reputation of being too difficult. I was a bit apprehensive as I was bringing along 3 other people (a total of 4 climbers) to a new location, and I had not climbed with any of them before. Further more, most of them had not done half/full day climbs before.

I would like to quickly touch on the subject of group dynamics, which should be an important aspect to consider – if you climb with people you’ve climbed with before, you know each other’s level of fitness & pacing, and how to motivate one another. I have to admit that I (as the navigator and person who researched the mountain) probably didn’t lead the group as well as I could have, and was too eager to plod on ahead at times. However, I’m glad that we all reached the summit safely and got back out before sunset.

Gunung Bunga Buah stands high at 1430m, but is different from other mountains like Nuang in that you start at relatively high altitude. The trail consists of many ups and downs rather than a single ascent to the summit and back. The great thing about this is that the whole climb is done in nice cool weather. On the other hand, do keep in mind that the return time from the summit will likely take the same amount of time. (On single ascent/descent mountains, the descent is almost always significantly faster) From the research I’ve done, Gunung Bunga Buah is also well known for its leeches. While I’m sure they do come out in large numbers after a rain, we only saw a few around on this particular day, and none of us got any bites. Needless to say, go mentally prepared for these bloodsuckers!

We left PJ around 7.20am, reaching Gohtong Jaya at 8.30am. It’s up to you how close you want to park to the starting point, which is a small orchard/farm. I decided to park in front of a restaurant at the shoplots, just for extra peace of mind as there is a lot more activity going on there. (Hopefully less chance of anything happening to the car, although these days anything can happen)

You’ll have to find your way through the orchard to the start of the trail. It’s a bit hard to describe, so either (1) use the GPS trail I recorded, (2) ask the people at the orchard, who were very friendly, or (3) if you have neither GPS nor people to ask, you’ll have to make a turn around one of the buildings and head towards the slope. Whatever you do, please watch your step and do not step on any of the plants at the orchard, as the land is private properly and we are outsiders ‘trespassing’ on their land to get to the trail. As goes without saying, do not litter – that goes for the whole journey!

The first part of the climb consists of a ~20 minute climb through steep and potentially slippery slopes. If you’re not used to these type of slopes, don’t despair, since it’s only for a short section. You’ll soon find yourself on an old tar road (which used to be the old road to Genting). Keep a mental image of this junction, as you’ll have to go back down the same way when coming back.

Emerging onto the old tar road after climbing through the orchard

From here, keep walking along the road until you notice it bending sharply to the right. At this point, turn left into the undergrowth, and in a minute you’ll emerge at the well known old quarry, with it’s grand looking cliff. Honestly, the photos don’t do it justice – it’s a sight you have to see for yourself.

Junction towards old quarry. Go left here.
The old quarry you’ll emerge at a minute later

Keep walking along the road, which has been closed for such a long time that nature has already reclaimed most of it. Most of the time, you’ll be walking through dense undergrowth, and you’ll be “in touch” (literally!) with nature. As such, long pants are recommended (though not required), if not you may end up getting quite a few scratches and possibly rashes along the way.

At some point, you’ll find  yourself on the other side of the mountain ridge, and you’ll get your first view of Bunga Buah’s peak. It may look far away, but it’s doable! The viewing point also includes a great view of the valley. On our climb, we could hear the loud cries of what we assume to be gibbons – though we never saw any of them.

First view of Bunga Buah’s peak

Keep walking along the dense path (It’s hard to imagine cars drove here many years ago) until you reach the “real” trailhead which leads to Gunung Bunga Buah.

Trailhead to Bunga Buah

From here, there’s a short steep climb, followed by a long downhill section. It can be tiring going down, because you know that you’ll have to go up on the journey back! Interestingly, I tend to prefer going uphill as it’s always easier to find footing and easier on the joints. Those who have climbed Gunung Nuang will recognize the similar clay. Eventually, you’ll reach the bottom of this section, and begin the climb up towards the summit of Bunga Buah. While there are no extremely steep sections, what makes the trail difficult is the sheer number of objects lying across the path – branches, roots, rocks, etc., which you’ll have to either clamber over or crawl underneath. Some people say that Bunga Buah is tougher than Nuang – which may be due to the trail difficulty. (However, Nuang requires vastly more endurance and strength. Overall, I’d say that Nuang is still MUCH more difficult).

Along the way, you’ll come across a clearing with the word “AIR”. I assume that if you turn off at this junction, it would lead to a water source. We did not follow it this round.

“AIR” – highlighted in the photo. Probably leads to a water source.

About half and hour on, you’ll reach the start of the “Rock Garden”, which some say shares similarities to Bukit Tabur. It’s no where nearly as dangerous as Bukit Tabur, but provides a nice change in terrain. At this point, you’ll also be able to get the best view of Genting Highlands (if there are no clouds). We stopped here to eat our lunch. The ground around the rock garden is also oddly spongy. I’d strongly recommend you take careful steps – I don’t know how much weight the ground can take, or if it’s secure. The last thing you want to do is go tumbling down!

View of Genting Highlands (behind the clouds) from Rock Garden

The summit of Gunung Bunga Buah lies about 30-40minutes from the rock garden. There’s a large clearing you’ll reach, but this is not the true summit. Just walk about half a minute further on until you see the triangular metal structure, and here you can end your journey! (I understand that the trail continues further on, down towards Batang Kali/Jalan Sungai Tua, which is a LONG way away)

Gunung Bunga Buah’s summit

As of September 2012, the summit is infested with bees, so if you don’t like bees, you probably won’t want to stay at the summit too long! On my climb, we set the turnaround time at 1.30pm, which gave us ample time to get back to Gohtong Jaya. Always set a turnaround time and stick to it strictly!

All in all, Gunung Bunga Buah was an enjoyable, relaxed climb. I’m not sure I’d care to return to it anytime soon, but it’s not bad. We ran into about 20 people in total along our climb, including a big group who had camped up at the summit the previous night. I expect that not many people (if any) climb Gunung Bunga Buah on weekdays. As with any climb, let someone know your plans. There is hardly any phone reception (Maxis, at least) throughout the climb (except near the start and towards the summit).

I have to congratulate 2 within my group – PY and ZR, who completed the climb with broken shoes. ALWAYS be sure to wear proper footwear when climbing places such as these!

GPS Details (From start to summit)


Click for GPS trail map image

Duration: 4 hours 24 minutes (can be done much faster)
Length: 7km
Average Speed: 1.6km/h
Max elevation: 1441m
Min elevation: 922m
Vertical Up: 827m
Vertical Down: 310m

Download GPX, KMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail

Preparations

Average time: 4hrs up, 3.5hrs down. Plan accordingly. We started ~9am and set turnaround time at 1.30pm

  • It’s not a race. Stick together, and if any can’t make it, turn back together.
  • Depending on weather, may be cold.
  • Bunga Buah is very famous for leeches. Dress appropriately or bring insect repellent if you want to avoid bites.
  • Lots of shrubs/bushes, long pants recommended.
  • Trail can be slippery.

Checklist:

  • Minimum 2 liters drink, isotonic recommended
  • High energy snacks/lunch
  • Hiking shoes & extra socks for comfort, if you need
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Small towel
  • Hiking stick
  • Insect Repellent
  • Extra clothes (both shirt & pants), can leave in car
  • Plastic bags for dirty shoes/clothes, can leave in car
  • Extra slippers to change into afterwards, can leave in car
  • Emergency gear: flashlight, whistle, knife, lighter, 1st aid kit
  • Optional: gloves, tarp/flysheet, cord/string, mat, water filter/tablets, etc.

(See my personal packing list here)

Broga Hill for the 4th time

My 4th trip to Broga Hill near Semenyih, Selangor. Total hiking time is under an hour, and is suitable for beginners. The reward to work ratio is very high, as there are great views from the summit. It can be very crowded on weekends/public holidays, and unfortunately, garbage is littered all along the trail.

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

Location: Broga/Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia.
Start point: 2.938412N, 101.901154E 105m a.s.l. (Opposite Rabbit Fun Land)
Summit: 2.950264N, 101.903020E 396m a.s.l.
Difficulty: Easy. No technical skills required. Trail is not steep, but can be slightly slippery especially after rain. Good place for beginner hikers.

Date climbed: Tue 21 Aug 2012

This was my 4th trip to Broga Hill, which is famous for its lack of trees (It’s also known as the “Lalang” [long grass] Hill), and its good view of the surrounding area, given the relatively easy climb. Unfortunately, its popularity means that the trail is very worn, and there is a lot of rubbish littered along the trail. Additionally, it can be crowded on weekends and public holidays. In fact, on my 2nd trip there, our group was stuck in a constant human traffic jam all the way up to the summit, which upon arriving was so jam packed that we had no place to stand.

On this particular visit, it was busy, but not the worst. I went there to show a few of my friends around. My friends are all good hikers, in better shape than me, but it was their first time, and one of them was to lead another group of people a few weeks later. The climb takes between 30min to 1hr to climb, and since it is an easy trail, we decided to bring along a bag of charcoal and some food (sausages and Ramly burgers) to cook on the summit.

Parking costs RM2, and is located just opposite Rabbit Fun Land. From there on, the trail is very clear. Just remember to keep right at the fork ~5min from the car park (It’s the path which goes up in elevation). From there, you’ll walk through jungle for about 15-20min until you emerge at a steep climb to the 1st summit. From the 1st summit, you can hike onwards to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th summit. The 4th summit requires a short rope section where you have to pull yourself up a few boulders. At the summit (396m), you can hoist yourself up the big boulders if you want to, or continue on to Gunung Tok Wan (which we didn’t). There are a few bees around the summit which you want to watch out for. In fact, on my 3rd trip there, one of us was stung and we were chased all the way down to the 2nd summit by other bees!

If you do climb Broga, please do other people a favor by bringing a few garbage bags and collecting the garbage on your way down. Yes, it’s not our garbage, but it will hopefully make the climb nicer for others.

The slope leading to the 1st peak after coming out of the jungle.
View from the 3rd peak
View of the 4th peak from the 3rd peak. The rocks require the use of a rope.
View from the 4th peak. KL (including the twin towers) is visible on a clear day
Cooking our breakfast. Photo by J. Ng.

GPS Details

Download GPX, KMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail

Duration: 47 minutes 53 seconds
Length: 1.8km
Average Speed: 2.2km/h
Max elevation: 396m
Min elevation: 105m
Vertical Up: 320m
Vertical Down: 32m

Gunung Nuang (Attempt 1: Failed)

A failed attempt on the highest peak in Selangor due to time constraints.

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

UPDATE 26 September 2012: I reached the summit on my 2nd attempt! Read the story HERE.

On 17 August 2012, I attempted to climb Gunung Nuang with 4 other friends. Gunung Nuang, the highest mountain in Selangor, is known to be a fairly difficult climb which usually takes a whole day. From the various blog posts I have read on Gunung Nuang, it doesn’t seem to be a particularly fun mountain to climb, being famous for never-ending muddy and slippery slopes, and very few nice views. While the 1493m peak isn’t nearly the highest in Malaysia, the challenge comes from starting at a low altitude of 190m.

The climb can be separated into a few sections: Start – Never Ending Road – Kem Lolo – Kem Pacat – Puncak Pengasih – Summit.

The weather had been rainy for a few days prior to our climb, so we went mentally prepared for leeches and muddy terrain. We left KL around 6am and started our hike just after 7am, as the skies were just starting to turn light. By the time we had hiked for 20 minutes, almost everyone had picked up hitchhikers: leeches. They would become a constant sight throughout the trip, both on the trail and on our legs. By the end, everyone had 5-10 bites, except myself, as I had decent leech protection on.

We reached the end of the “never-ending road” at 8.30am (1:15hrs hike) . Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn and ended up crossing the river twice, unnecessarily. The detour cost us almost half an hour, after which we arrived at Kem Lolo @ ~9.15am (~2:00hrs hike). After that, it was a long slippery road to Kem Pacat, which we reached at 11.10am (4:00hrs hike). Unfortunately, due to time constraints (one in our team had to be down by 6pm) and my pace being on the slow side, we realized that we would not make the peak in time to get back by 6pm, so me and a friend stopped at Kem Pacat. The other 3 left any unnecessary items behind and set off for the peak.

The 3 other climbers returned to Kem Pacat at 1.40pm, unfortunately not having made it to the top. There had been a fallen tree along the path which took a long time to clear. They reached Puncak Pengasih (~1480m) at ~12.30pm, and decided that they wouldn’t make it in time to the peak for the 6pm return time. Also, water supplies were running slightly low.

We all headed down, reaching the entrance just after 5pm. We were defeated by Nuang, mostly because of time constraints. I will be climbing it again, as I know I am capable of reaching the top. For now, Nuang can laugh at us, but we WILL defeat it!

Here’s the 5 of us who climbed that day. (I didn’t really take any photos, and didn’t mark any waypoints on my GPS, as I was tired and didn’t have enough time to do so anyway. Next time!)

GPS Details

Download GPX
View on Everytrail
View on WikiLoc

Total distance: 10km (to Puncak Pengasih)
Total time: 5 hours 15 minutes (to Puncak Pengasih)
Average speed: 1.7 km/h
Max elevation: 1481m
Min elevation: 190m
Vertical Up: 1609m

From Everytrail:

Story
Didn’t make it up to the summit. A few factors:

  • Heavy thunderstorms for previous days meant trail was very muddy and slippery
  • High humidity meant more sweating
  • Time constraints (had to make trip < 10hrs)
  • Not enough water
  • Not enough sleep previous night
  • Accidental detour near Kem Lolo

There were a ton of leeches.

Tips

  • Climb on a dry day
  • If you have a water filter, you can refill at Kem Lolo (5.8km from trailhead ~600m)
  • You can leave unneeded supplies at Kem Pacat (1100m) to make your summit attempt easier. Either mark your belongings or leave a few friends there. Collect your supplies on the way down.
  • DON’T leave trash around!!!
  • At the first river, don’t go down the steps to cross the river. Take the trail on the left to follow the big pipe.
  • Bring headlamps, you may end up climbing in the dark

Malaysian Mountain Hiking Gear

A while back, I wrote a post on what I EDC (Everyday Carry). While that list included many items which I do find useful, a number of them are only useful in an urban area. Further more, when one is climbing mountains, any extra weight makes things a lot harder. Here is a list of the probably-still-more-than-necessary equipment I use while hiking. To be honest, I’m far from being an experienced hiker, but as someone who loves gear, I thought I’d still write this.

Clothing & Shoes

Top: Cheap & thin t-shirt (mostly the breathable sports type). Something I don’t care about if it gets dirty or torn. If I’m climbing high altitudes, I may wear a singlet underneath.
Bottom: I wear a pair of cycling shorts (tight), which prevents chaffing and leeches, and can also be used as swimming attire. On top of that, short sports pants mostly, but for high altitudes (or very narrow trails) I wear trek bottoms.
Socks: 2 pairs of socks for greater comfort, and if I’m going somewhere leech infested, I add 2 pairs of thin stockings in between the socks to prevent leeches from getting to my feet.
Shoes: A pair of Columbia hiking shoes. Lightweight and decent ankle support, though unfortunately not waterproof. It does have a few flaws: the treads are too close together to be effective in the mud, and wear out over time. In addition, there isn’t enough protection near the bottom of the sides against roots/rocks. I also have a pair of kampung adidas, which I have not gotten around to using yet.

Clothing. Clockwise from top left: T-shirt, cycling shorts, short pants, 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of stockings, extra socks, singlet, long sleeve singlet, raincoat
Columbia Hiking Shoes

In addition, I carry the following in my backpack:

  • Extra long-sleeve single for warmth
  • Extra singlet
  • Extra underpants
  • Light (<1500m) or medium (>1500m) raincoat – Also for extra warmth if needed
  • Extra pair of socks

While most mountains in Malaysia don’t get very cold, if it rains heavily, summits can be EXTREMELY windy and cold, to the point where you start shivering badly. I’d estimate with wind chill, you may experience chills < 10 degree celcius. There are times I’d consider taking my lightweight down jacket or a fleece T-shirt, but generally a singlet + long sleeve singlet + t-shirt + raincoat is sufficient.

Navigation & Electronic Gadgets

  • Small compass – Only good for finding North/South/etc. Will replace this with a Suunto A-10 in the future
  • Qstarz BT-Q818XT Bluetooth GPS receiver – I found my phone’s GPS to be inferior. With AGPS, I get <10 second locks and <2m accuracy (with DGPS in the USA I get ~1m accuracy). 36hr battery life and makes my phone last longer
  • Samsung Galaxy S Plus GT-i9001 – Nav Software: Google Maps  & Navigation, GPS Essentials, Bluetooth GPS, My Tracks, EveryTrail, Compass, SkEye. The main reason I went with Android was the fact that I could easily use external GPS receivers and remove the battery (I carry an extra).
  • Casio Pathfinder PAS400B-5V watch – Technically a fishing watch; it’s rugged (nylon strap), shows moon phase, sunrise/sunset and has a silent (vibration) alarm
  • Topographic map of the area – Sometimes I get lazy to print it out, but honestly it’s good to do so, in case the GPS breaks. Although it’s next to impossible navigating in the jungle anyways, if you’re lost, unless you’re very experienced.
  • Digital Camera – currently I’m using a Canon Ixus 310HS which isn’t mine, but generally I let others take photos

IMPORTANT:My GPS, smartphone and camera go into waterproof pouches to protect them from rain & rivers/streams. One definitely can’t afford to have them die in the middle of a hike!

Part of my collection of waterproof bags & drypack

Flashlights, Fire, Signalling & Emergency

Light:


AA battery included for size reference

  • 4Sevens Quark AA (0.2 – 170 lumens) – Main flashlight. Small and powerful, I run it on a Li-Ion. Soon to be replaced with a dedicated headlamp, probably the Zebralight H51F[w].
  • 4Sevens Quark 123^2 (0.2 – 190 lumens) with headband – Secondary flashlight which I can also turn into a headlamp. I run it on a rechargeable Li-Ion cell with 2 spare CR123 cells in my backpack.
  • iTP EOS A3 (max 80 lumens) – Backup flashlight, runs 1xAAA. I hardly ever use this (it’s really small & light) but it’s there if I need it.
  • 4Sevens Quark Turbo X 123^2 (max 500 lumens) – I only carry this if I’m going somewhere I know I’ll need a lot of light.

Fire:

  • 2″ Firesteel / Ferro rod
  • 2x WetFire fire starting tinder
  • 2x simple butane lighters
  • Small box of matches
  • Candle

AA battery included for size reference

Signalling & Emergency:

  • Whistle (Fox 40) – It’s loud and works underwater, but it does require a reasonably strong blow, so effectiveness in an emergency is yet to be tested
  • Signalling Mirror – Good as a general purpose mirror but also features a sighting hole which shows exactly where you’re pointing light
  • Emergency Blanket

Tools & Knives


AA battery included for size reference

  • Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian – A small but sturdy 3″ knife. Personally, I find it on the heavy side, but it serves me well. I keep it in a drybag (or wetbag) as tropical jungle humidity can ruin even 154CM steel. Alternatively, a 2.5″ SOG Flash 1.
  • Spyderco Ladybug H1 – Backup blade, very small but rustproof
  • Leatherman Juice Multitool – Decent for its size, although I don’t really like the can opener and scissors compared to those in Swiss Army Knives. Recently, I stopped carrying this as I didn’t find the need for pliers that often.
  • Swiss Army Knive (Tinker)

These days, I generally also pack a small 10″ machete/parang, Chandong style. While it’s really not big enough to do proper cutting, it’s still ok in emergencies, or clearing the odd bush or branch. I decided that if I got a bigger parang, I’d never carry it because of its weight!

Depending on the length of the trip, I may bring my set of sharpening stones – 4″ DMT diamond stones (photo below). At home, I use the Spyderco SharpMaker, and so keep all my knives with 15°/20° edges.


AA battery included for size reference

If you’re going on an uncleared path or need to do any serious work, a machete is essential. Unfortunately, I don’t have one right now.

Food & Hydration

Food tends to vary a lot, but I try to carry carbohydrate-rich snacks, and fatty food. This tends to be foods like nuts (cashew is my favorite), peanut butter/nutella sandwiches, oat bars, dried fruit, etc.

Now and then, I carry a small alcohol stove I made (a penny stove), with about 60ml of methylated spirits and a small mess tin, however, I’ve generally found this unnecessary as I bring foods which do not need cooking and already carry a good amount of water treatment devices.


AA battery included for size reference

For hydration, I sometimes carry the 2x 1 liter bottles pictured above, but these days tend to just use the standard lightweight plastic bottles (600ml and 1.5L), to carry anywhere between 1.2-6L of water. I tend to sweat a lot, so all liquid I carry is isotonic (I make my own isotonic drink with 50ml ribena + 1/4tsp salt per liter of water). On long climbs, one may have to refill water, so I carry a few measured packets of salt, each to be diluted in 1 liter of water, and 30 grams of sugar, as well as 75g of glucose drink mix. If I don’t consume enough salt, I start getting muscle cramps.

For water treatment, I carry:

  • Small carbon water filter, good for 75L of water, pictured above
  • 10 chlorine dioxide tablets, each good for 1L
  • LifeStraw 0.2 micron filter, good for 1000L, pictured below.

One thing I lack currently is a proper hydration pack, which would make life much easier!

Shelter

I carry a 7’x10′ lightweight tarp/flysheet, to which I’ve attached 4m of mini paracord (2mm) to each of the 6 attachment rings. In addition, I carry a hammock with an attached mosquito net. With this lightweight setup, I can pretty much camp anywhere if needed. (I.e. in case I can’t cross a river due to high levels, etc.) Of course, it does add about 1.2kg to my overall pack weight.

Rope/cordage

I’m a huge fan of ropes and knots, and even though I don’t do any climbing, I always have cord with me. On person, I always carry 10m/30ft of orange paracord.

In my bag, I have:

  • 30m/100ft of green paracord (pictured above)
  • 7m/23ft of 15kN 25mm tubular webbing
  • Some amount of 25mm/400kg rated webbing for my hammock
  • 30m of rafia string (mostly for marking trails)
  • 7m of mini paracord
  • 2x 30kN lightweight non-locking D-carabiners

I’d love to carry a good amount of proper 6-8mm static rope for me (i.e. Amsteel Blue), but costs just don’t allow me to do so right now.

Other

I generally carry a wooden hiking stick, which has many uses besides being a hiking stick.

I use a medium sized 32L Columbia backpack which isn’t suitable for camping (for which I borrow my friend’s 70L pack), but works well for day hikes, and has good waist support. Inside it:

  • 1st aid kit (medicine, bandages, tweezers, etc.)
  • Small tub of Vaseline (for preventing chaffing)
  • Small notebook, mini sharpie, mini pen
  • Sewing kit
  • Fishing kit (courtesy Lee YK)
  • Glue (Superglue & small hot glue stick)
  • Garbage bag & zip-lock bags
  • 25 liter Deuter dry/wet bag
  • Tissue paper & small towel
  • Bandanna
  • Roll of gaffer tape
  • Extra eyeglasses & swimming goggles – For full UV/impact/wind protection and swimming.
  • Clip-on sunglasses
  • Insect repellent (I have 2 types – Mosiguard [lemon eucalyptus oil] & DEET) – VERY important in the jungle!
  • Garden gloves

There are a few other small items I carry around but they’re not really related to hiking so I didn’t bother mentioning them.

In general, my pack’s weight without any liquids tends to weigh in about 5-7kg. There are times when I imagine I’d be able to complete a hike much easier if not for the extra weight on my back, but honestly, I consider it good training, and it’s comforting to know I have most of the essentials on me.

Bukit Kutu

A 3hr up + 2hr down hike through thick jungle to the peak of Bukit Kutu (1100m). Great view at the top, although not on the day we climbed (it was cloudy).

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

Location: Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor, Malaysia.
Start point: 3.572510N, 101.738128E ~300m a.s.l.
Summit: 3.543263N, 101.719998E 1103m a.s.l.
Difficulty: Moderate. No technical skills required, just a fair amount of stamina. The trail is not very steep, but it goes on for a fair amount of distance. Trail is easy to follow but has a fair number of obstacles (branches, fallen trees, etc.)

Date climbed: Thu 2 Aug 2012

View my post on my 2nd climb to Bukit Kutu (more details, photos, etc.)

Bukit Kutu is technically classified as a hill, but is higher than Mount (Gunung) Datuk which I climbed previously, probably due to its proximity to Fraser’s Hill, which stands even higher at over 1200m. While the name “Kutu” means head lice, I found no lice along the way. It is probably more likely that the name is a shortening of “Bukit Sekutu” which it has also been called in the past.

The drive from Petaling Jaya took about an hour and a half (North-South highway exiting at Bukit Beruntung, passing through Rasa and Kuala Kubu Bharu towards Fraser’s Hill, and then turning into Kg. Pertak). We drove along a narrow gravel road as far as the first bridge crossing, where there was some space at the side of the road to park about 4 cars. One can take a short walk down to the river, which would likely be an ideal picnic/recreational spot. On this particular day, we decided not to do so and to immediately begin our hike up Bukit Kutu.

From the start point, we crossed a total of 3 rivers and 3 streams. The hike through all these was on relatively flat ground. The first 2 rivers were crossed with bridges. The second bridge was broken (and has been broken for quite a while, as I understand), but was still easily crossed without any contact with the water. There are two forks in the path at which we kept right. (Going left at one of the forks apparently goes on to a waterfall, but I have not been there)

For the 3rd river, one can either take off your shoes & socks, and walk across (depth is less than 2ft/60cm), or try to leap from stone to stone (which one of my friends did successfully without getting wet). Keep in mind that if you do this, you may end up slipping into the water and getting your shoes wet. A stick can provide extra stability while crossing. The water was clear and refreshing, but as usual, don’t drink any water without treating/filtering it!


The 3rd river


The 3rd river from the other side

The next 3 streams can all be crossed with shoes on. Just test rocks before placing your weight on them, otherwise you may end up slipping and getting your feet wet – something you definitely would not enjoy with a whole climb ahead of you.

Somewhere around the last stream we walked through an area filled with many fruits such as durian, mangosteen, jackfruit and rambutan.


Durians!

After passing the streams, the trail gradually became steeper, although never as steep as Gunung Datuk is. Traction was limited as the path was sloping, although there are enough tree roots which form natural steps. The trail was abundant with bamboo.

After a while, we reached checkpoint 4 (not sure where CP1, 2, 3 were), and then CP5, which was where we encountered the famous huge boulders. From here, the trail became slower to traverse as there were many fallen trees and bamboo lying across the trail.


Checkpoint 4


Checkpoint 5

Near the summit, we came across the abandoned British outpost, where a chimney remained.


Chimney?

We rested here for a few minutes before climbing up to the summit via ladders. The summit is a small boulder on which you can probably fit, at the most, 5 people. Beware of a wasps nest which is on the underside of the first boulder! (still there as of August 2012) The last thing you would want is to be stung all the way up here. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side on the day we climbed, so we couldn’t see much. However, we managed to catch glimpses of the Sungai Selangor Dam, which we drove by on our way. On the plus side, the temperature was very cool and there was a strong breeze. The top provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.


View of Sg. Selangor dam from the summit

Total ascent time was 3.5hours, although it can be climbed in a much shorter time. We just decided to take a relaxed climb as we were in no hurry. We spent 40 minutes at the summit before beginning our 2 hour descent back to the car.

Extra Notes:

  • While Bukit Kutu has been known for leeches, we didn’t see any on this particular day, probably because it hadn’t been raining for a while.
  • I brought 2 liters of my homemade isotonic drink. This was just enough to last me through the climb, although I sweat a lot more than most people.

GPS Details

View my MUCH MORE detailed Bukit Kutu trail map post

Download GPX, KMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail (interactive map)

Total distance: 6.72 km (4.2 mi)
Total time: 3:24:06
Moving time: 1:52:19
Average speed: 1.97 km/h (1.2 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 3.59 km/h (2.2 mi/h)
Max speed: 14.96 km/h (9.3 mi/h)
Max elevation: 1103 m (3620 ft)
Min elevation: 287 m (941 ft)
Elevation gain: 905 m (2970 ft)

Download GPX, KMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail (interactive map)

Gunung Datuk

A 2 hour climb up the 714m mountain in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

Gunung Datuk a.k.a. Gunung Datok

Location: Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
Start point: 2.54344N, 102.169E 100m a.s.l.
End point: 2.550878N, 102.18251E 714m a.s.l.
Difficulty: For a person with regular exercise, fairly easy. No special skills needed, however, good as a first proper climb after attempting something like Gasing/Saga/Broga Hill. Trail is very clear from start to end.

Date climbed: Tue 24 July 2012

I climbed Gunung Datuk with 5 other friends. It took us just under 2 hours to drive from PJ to the start point. There is proper parking and facilities available at the start point. Climbing fees are said to be RM5/person but the people in charge of registration were not there on the day of our climb. Instead, a phone number was left at the registration booth (013-236-4443) which we called to inform them that we were climbing.

The start of the trail is to the right of the signpost.

Gunung Datuk entrance. Photo by MC.

We walked down the concrete paved path (downhill) and crossed the bridge, and started our ascent where the arrow is shown at ~10am. On this particular day, the stream was pretty small due to lack of rain.

Bridge & stream crossing. Photo by LYK

However, as shown in the next photo, the water levels can be much higher in rainy seasons, resulting in a miniature “waterfall” (if you can call it so!).

Tiny waterfall. Photo taken on 2nd trip – 2012.11.12

The first 30 minutes of the climb is quite steep, and can be tiring. Along the way, we passed by the famous tree with huge buttresses.

Tree with huge buttresses. Photo taken on 2nd trip – 2012.11.12

I imagine that anyone not used to climbing may find themselves exhausted, but the steepness only carried on as far as the first (broken) rest hut, after which the slopes became more gradual.

First (proper) rest stop – a broken hut

Eventually, we reached a few big boulders and a campsite. At the campsite, we climbed 3 sets of ladders to get up to the top of the boulders, which marked the end of our climb.

First set of ladders. Photo by MC.
Second ladder. Photo by MC.
Third & final set of ladders. Photo by MC.

The top is not actually the peak of Gunung Datuk, which is said to be 884m a.s.l., but is the best viewing point. Elevation is ~714m. The top is a great place to eat your lunch with a nice breeze, although it can be really hot if the sun is out (bring a cap or hat!). On this particular day, however, the sky was very grey and hazy, meaning that we couldn’t see that far. Because of that, here’s a panorama I took during my 2nd trip to Gunung Datuk in November 2012, which gave us much better views.

Sitting on the edge. Photo by LYK.

Descending took about an hour, and we were back in PJ before 4.30pm. All in all, a good half day climb and a good way to get out of the city and get some fresh mountain air.

GPS Details (from start to summit)

(These details are from my 2nd climb in November 2012)

Download GPXKMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail (interactive map)

Duration: 2 hours 11 minutes
Length: 2.8km
Average Speed: 1.3km/h
Max elevation: 714m
Min elevation: 99m
Vertical Up: 709m
Vertical Down: 96m

Preparation

Ascent time ~2hrs (First 30 mins of the climb are challenging as it’s pretty steep. After that, it gets easier.)
Descent time ~1hr+

Notes

  • RM5 entrance fee if there’s someone there
  • There are toilet facilities at the base
  • Poor/decent phone coverage (there’s reception at the summit and at some points along the trail)
  • In case of bad weather, injuries, etc., always be prepared for potential delays.
  • CHECK your shoes before so you don’t end up with broken shoes on the climb, which can be miserable
  • There are some leeches at Datuk, especially if the ground is wet

Essential Items

  • 2 Liters water (isotonic recommended)
  • snacks/lunch
  • hiking shoes (good grip)
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Plastic/waterproof bags for electronics in case of rain
  • Whistle (& small flashlight highly recommended)

Recommended Items

  • Cap/Hat (if sunny, summit is completely exposed)
  • Tissue paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hiking stick
  • Extra T-shirt
  • Salt (for isotonic drinks / leeches / etc.)
  • Wristwatch
  • Small hand towel
  • Emergency Gear: Knife, flashlight/headlamp, 1st aid kit, rope/cord, etc.

To leave in car

  • Extra drinking water (1L suggested)
  • Change of clothes/towel
  • TWO (2) large plastic bags, one for dirty shoes, one for dirty clothes
  • If required, something to sit on in the car (plastic bag, newspaper, etc.)
  • Clean slippers/sandals

(See my personal packing list here)

Do you wear a watch?

Sitting in a bus, or a train, or even walking about the streets is always a good opportunity to take a look at other people and to see if they are wearing a wrist watch. Ok, I don’t actually do that often, but it is always an interesting experiment to perform. I’ve recently heard arguments that [wrist] watches are no longer needed, that they are a thing of the past. People will now take a look at their phones to see what time it is, or glance at a clock on the wall. However, I think watches are still relevant in these modern days. Here’s why.

My watch!

Sitting in a bus, or a train, or even walking about the streets is always a good opportunity to take a look at other people and to see if they are wearing a wrist watch. Ok, I don’t actually do that often, but it is always an interesting experiment to perform.

I’ve recently heard arguments that [wrist] watches are no longer needed, that they are a thing of the past. People will now take a look at their phones to see what time it is, or glance at a clock on the wall. Granted, those are both reasonable ways to get the time, but to me, they compliment wearing a watch, rather than replacing it.

I myself have gone through various phases – I remember that I would wear my watch compulsively as a child, and set it every day to the radio. I would then know exactly to the second when the school bell would go off. Perhaps this was to know when I would be done with a boring class, or be free to go home, and in a way, it was pretty fun! In my teens, though, I stopped wearing a watch, although I can’t remember the reason. Perhaps it was because I lost my watch.

However, at some point or other, one will always need to know the time. When I went traveling for 2 months in 2008, I decided to start wearing a watch again. At first, it was actually annoying to wear it, and I always couldn’t wait to take it off. However, I decided to keep wearing it. After a while, I got used to it and since then, always wear one.

In the Fall 2010 semester, I decided to take a class on Celestial Navigation, and it was here that I really realized the advantage of using a wrist watch. I decided to make a list of why one should wear a wrist watch (My points generally refer to a digital wrist watch, but analog wristwatches still have uses), and here it is:

  • A watch is a simple device which won’t fail easily. If you kept up with the news, you may have heard about various glitches in the iPhone which caused its alarms to go haywire during the DST change and the New Year. Now, there are basic watches and fancy watches, but the vast majority of them are simple devices which perform a few tasks, and perform them well.
  • A watch will last a long time. How often do you change your computer, or your phone? Probably a lot more often than you’ll change your watch (as long as you don’t lose it). A watch will continue to do its task 10 years from now the same as it does it right now. That’s real value!
  • A watch is durable. Even the cheapest of watches can last a long time, and most of them can survive being dunked in water, taken for a swim, or a fall to the ground. You can’t say the same of most phones.
  • A watch has a long battery life. Ever gotten frustrated because your phone ran out of juice? While phone battery life is generally measured in hours or rarely, days, a watch has its battery life generally measured in years! For example, my cheap watch is supposed to last 10 years.
  • A watch is convenient to look at. You don’t have to take something out of your pocket, but you just glance at your arm. There are situations when the usage of phones is frowned upon, since people may not know you’re just checking the time. Further more, you don’t have to press a button to turn on / light up the screen to see the time (unless it is dark, of course)
  • A watch has a known accuracy. If you use your watch often, you will eventually know whether it’s fast or slow. For example, I know my watch gets fasts by one second every week, but anyway, I set it every week. Meanwhile, if you rely on some clock on the wall, you don’t know if it’s accurate! (Of course, most phones are able to synchronize themselves, which can be an advantage or disadvantage) There are cases where you need to know the time very accurately, especially if you are using it for navigation. (A watch which is 4 seconds off can result in your navigation being a mile off!)
  • A watch immediately tells you the seconds. Most phones won’t tell you the seconds, unless you launch a dedicated application to show it.
  • Cheap watches function arguably just as well as more expensive ones

Given the cheapness of watches these days, personally, I feel that there’s no reason not to wear one. Perhaps some people think it’s ugly, and I can’t say anything about that, but I know that there are a lot of fancy “fashion” watches around. Others feel that it’s uncomfortable, and that’s fair enough – it can be weird having something around your wrist all the time, but I say – try it for at least 2 weeks and only then if it’s still uncomfortable, take it off.

I don’t know, maybe there are valid reasons for not wearing a watch. Please feel free to let me know if you have one!

DIY Headlamp holder with nylon/paracord

Along the same lines as my DIY concealed belt, I realized that I don’t carry a headlamp with me all the time, but I have come across situations in which a headlamp would have come in useful. Since I already carry nylon cord and a flashlight, I made some DIY headlamp holder plans to help me out in those situations!

Along the same lines as my DIY concealed belt, I realized that I don’t carry a headlamp with me all the time, but I have come across situations in which a headlamp would have come in useful. Since I already carry nylon cord and a flashlight, I made some DIY headlamp holder plans to help me out in those situations!

1) Take a length of nylon cord / paracord (Of course, longer than the size of your head).

2) On one end, tie a bowline knot.

* In the next step, you will have to tie a loop whose name I have completely forgotten (If you know it, please let me know its name!). It is very similar to the Alpine butterfly, but with one less loop. Here’s a picture demonstrating how to tie it:


a) Loop the string 3 times around your fingers
b) Take the 3rd (right) loop and bring it across to the 1st loop…
c) …and push it under the 2 loops
d) Holding the loop, take the string off your fingers and tighten it

3) Just after the bowline knot, tie two of the above knots consecutively. Your string should now look like this:

4) Take the two loops, and place them around your flashlight, then pull them TIGHT.

5) Take the other untied end of the string, pull it through the bowline loop, and tie a taut-line hitch.

6) You’re done! Place the entire contraption over your head, and slide the taut-line hitch back and forth to adjust the size of the head lamp band. By adjusting the position of the 2 loops, you can, to some extent, change the angle at which the flashlight points. Don’t overdo it though – you may risk having your flashlight fall out from the loops! Additionally, you could probably make 2 more loops on the other side and mount a 2nd flashlight!

Here’s a picture of a CD/DVD container wearing a headlamp (This is my 4Sevens Quark AA flashlight):

And with a smaller flashlight (My Liteflux LF2XT):

I find that smaller flashlights tend to work better as they are lighter. However, there’s no rule against big flashlights! So, how’s a heavily modified Maglite 2D look as a “headlamp”?

Granted, my head started to tilt to one side with that huge behemoth attached!

Now, I don’t consider this to be a permanent solution for a headlamp – a real headlamp which is on the front of the head is still better, and can be angled up and down much more easily. However, if you ever happen to have only a hand-held flashlight and some cord, hopefully this guide comes in useful!

EDC while exercising – DIY concealed belt

If you have read my post on things I carry every day (EDC), you may be left wondering what I carry when I go exercising. Recently, I came up with a solution to carry my basic, essential items while jogging, without looking weird or weighing down my pockets.

If you have read my post on things I carry every day (EDC), you may be left wondering what I carry when I go exercising. Recently, I came up with a solution to carry my basic, essential items while jogging, without looking weird or weighing down my pockets.

I decided to make use of a length of string and some well known knots to make my own adjustable belt which I wear when I exercise, on which I can hang a number of items. In fact, after I made it, I found that it doesn’t bother me at all, and so I never take off my “belt” – I even wear it to sleep! (Of course, I do take off a couple items) So, I have decided to share this creation here!

1) Take a length of string. Preferably, you should use paracord, but any type of relatively durable/thick nylon cord should work. The length of the string depends on how many ‘hanging loops’ you want, but of course needs to be fairly longer than the circumference of your waist.

2) On one end, tie a bowline, double bowline, or figure-8 loop. In this example, I used a bowline because it’s a relatively simple and reliable knot, and I haven’t had issues with it.

3) Using the Alpine Butterfly knot, fashion as many loops as you want, in whatever positions you want them in. In this example, I made 4 loops, 2 for the left side of the waist, 2 for the right side.

4) Take the other (untied) end of the string, and pass it through the loop you made in step 2. You may want to wear your belt now to adjust the length as needed.

5) Tie a taut-line hitch. You can slide this knot back and forth to adjust the size of the belt to suit your waist. In my example, I used a slight variation (#1856) of the taut-line hitch, which is slightly less secure but easier to adjust.

Your belt is completed! Now, go ahead and hang items on it:

On my belt, I chose to hang the following items:

1) A small plastic namecard holder which holds my Malaysian National ID card, driving license, and some spare cash.
2) Swiss army knife
3) Whistle
4) Small flashlight

You can easily modify your belt to your needs! It’s simple, cheap and easy to make!

Now, when I go jogging, I don’t have to bother keeping my wallet with me because I have my ID & driving license. In addition, the spare cash can come in useful if needed.

Things I EDC (Everyday Carry), 2010

Sometimes, when I pull out something weird from my pockets, people ask me what kind of things I carry. Now, wonder no more – because this post will give you insight to the items I carry with me daily.
All items

Note: This list is outdated, and what I carry now is pretty different. Take a look at what I carry when hiking (not strictly EDC though).

Sometimes, when I pull out something weird from my pockets, people ask me what kind of things I carry. Now, wonder no more – because this post will give you insight to the items I carry with me daily. The term EDC (Every Day Carry) is often used to describe these kind of items, and you can google it to find out what kind of things people carry.

The items I personally carry are finely honed over years of carrying items, and so they may not be the best for other people. I continually change the items I carry, so what I will list is only effective at this current time. You can divide my EDC items into 2 categories:

1) Items I carry on myself
2) Items I carry in my backpack

Items I carry on myself

I generally try to conceal these items, as I don’t want to look like a person gone crazy – so when I am carrying these things, you probably wouldn’t even know, until I started taking things out of my pockets! These items tend to be small, and consist of things which have come in useful over time.

Here is a picture of all my on-person EDC items:
All items

From left to right:

[Top row]

  • Packet of tissues. This probably doesn’t need to be explained, it comes in handy all the time.
  • Phone. Again, doesn’t need to be explained.
  • Flashlight (Liteflux LF2XT). This one goes around my neck on a paracord lanyard, and is one of my favorite flashlights – it is fully programmable (various brightness levels which can be set), waterproof, and brighter than most of those big Maglights.
  • Concealed waist pouch. When I wear this, it is completely unnoticeable, which is great! Items inside shown later.
  • Flashlight (4Sevens Quark AA Tactical). My “main duty” flashlight, goes from really dim to really bright. It is tied to my waist pouch using a very useful quick release knot (The slipped lap knot), which prevents it from falling out, but at the same time provides quick & easy access. It is also clipped to my pants.
  • Swiss army Deluxe Tinker knife. This particular one comes with pliers in the middle.
  • Secondary wallet, with various items to be explained later.

[2nd row]

  • Wallet, which contains various items which will be shown later.
  • Keychain, which will be explained later.

[Not in picture] Clip-on sunglasses.

Concealable pouch

This contains items which will probably confuse you as to why I carry such random stuff, but here goes. It consists of a large back compartment, a medium middle compartment, and 2 small front (left and right) compartments. On the left and right are carabiners, to which are attached the swiss army knife, flashlight (Quark AA) and wallet (using nylon) [and not in picture, a 1 meter tape measure].


In the back compartment, from left to right:

  • A small 2 pronged fork. I have taped up the top to ensure it doesn’t poke anything
  • A small plastic spoon. I used to have a steel one, but it started rusting, and it was a bit heavy.
  • Comb. Self explanatory.
  • Extra ziplock bag (4″x6″). I’ve used this to store various items (I just used it to pack some leftover peanuts from a restaurant), as well as a waterproof container for my phone if it is raining.
  • Some tissues in a ziplock.
  • Guitar pick. It’s a Dunlop gator .71mm for strumming
  • Nylon fishing line
  • [Not in picture – several feet of copper wire]
  • Several rubber bands in a small ziplock
  • Foam earplugs (for nighttime use) in a ziplock
  • A twisty tie


In the middle compartment, left to right:

  • A small contact card with my details on it
  • Some paper and cotton buds in a ziplock
  • Extra plastic bag
  • A sealed plastic bag containing a surgical mask and star charts


In the front left compartment, left to right:

  • A tripled ziplocked bag (to keep out humidity) containing various meds like:
    • Carbon pills
    • Panadol/Tylenol
    • Piriton (antihistamine)
    • Buscopan
  • A ziplock bag containing:
    • A small lens (works as a magnifying lens)
    • 2 bandages
    • [not visible] some spare cash
  • A lighter
  • Small marker pen


In the front right compartment, left to right:

  • A signalling mirror in a ziplock, for use as a regular mirror as well as emergency signalling
  • A ziplock bag containing:
    • 2 rolls of masking tape
    • 1 roll of scotch tape
    • Nail clipper
    • Small and powerful magnet
    • Several paper clips
    • Several safety pins
  • A small vial of hand sanitizer (77% ethanol – also useful for cleaning)

Secondary wallet


I may not always carry this, depending on if I have enough pockets. Has 3 compartments, and contains the following, left to right, top to bottom:
[Top row]

  • Small plastic bag in small ziplock
  • One sad looking bandage
  • Some fishing line

[Middle row]

  • Chapstick (lip balm) for dry weather
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Err, silica gel to absorb humidity. I think it’s no longer working.
  • 2 batteries – A rechargeable Ni-Mh AA (Eneloop) and an Energizer Lithium AAA. (Sometimes, I carry a 3rd lithium ion battery)
  • A small black pen
  • Triple ziplock containing:
    • Safety pins
    • Rolled masking tape
    • Panadol/Tylenol and piriton (antihistamine)

[Bottom row]

  • Ziplock containing some paper, alcohol wipe and bandage
  • 2 toothpicks

Wallet


Besides the usual (some cards, id, cash, emergency contacts), I carry:

  • A ziplock containing an alcohol wipe, band aid, and a personal card
  • Picture of my college CF (HRAACF)
  • Some paper
  • A homemade chart of [music] notes and their frequencies, as well as my flashlight (Liteflux LF2XT) operation manual cheatsheet
  • Band-aid
  • A homemade chart containing various knots, in case I forget how to tie them

Keychain


Besides my keys:

That ends the list of all the things I carry with me at all times. I am, of course, missing some items which I wouldn’t mind adding, and some items which I should add. But I’m already at the limit of what I can carry without it becoming noticeable.

In general, if I were to recommend some items which EVERYONE should ALWAYS have, it would be these:

  • Tissue – I shouldn’t need to mention why
  • Small flashlight – Something which most people lack, but I have been in situations when the power went out, and I would have been trapped in a building if not for this. (Actually, it was because I got trapped in a dark building that I started to carry one) If you frequent the underground or buildings with sealed stairwells, THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Your cellphone screen does not count. You can get a simple coin flashlight for just $1 in most places, and it could save your life!
  • Whistle – If you get trapped, or if you are in a place out of sight
  • Small utility knife, if you can

Items I carry in my backpack

On longer trips or car trips, I will take my backpack with me. Now, this is where the ridiculousness starts, with the crazy amount of things I have in my backpack. Over time, I will probably streamline things a bit more, and take out some things which I don’t need.

Here’s my backpack:

It has 4 compartments and 2 side pockets.
Shown are the items in the side pockets: A small water bottle, emergency poncho, and emergency [mylar] “space” blanket.

The 1st back compartment is usually empty, and contains whatever I may need to carry. However, it does contain this flashlight:

which may look like your average Maglite 2D. However, looks can be deceiving – it is actually a VERY heavily modified maglite which puts out more lights than your car headlamps and can shine up to 200 meters away! It can even start newspaper on fire if you try…

The 2nd back compartment is also relatively empty for whatever goods I may need to place inside. However, it does contain these items:

  • Pack of tissue
  • In-Ear headphones (Etymotic er4p)
  • Spare socks & spare t-shirt, for emergencies if I need to change (both inside a plastic bag)

Here is where things get crazy:

3rd compartment (near the front):

This compartment contains several sub compartments, but I will just show everything in the 3rd compartment:
From left to right:
[Top row]

  • Umbrella
  • Ziplock containing notepad and pen
  • A couple meters of nylon rope (waiting to change this to paracord)
  • Small philips screwdriver
  • Large philips screwdriver
  • Long tipped pliers
  • Red decorative string in ziplock

[Middle row]

  • A couple CDs used for troubleshooting computers
  • Small swiss army knife
  • Lighter
  • Double sealed, small tube of superglue
  • Short stick of hot glue
  • Self winding Mini-USB cord
  • Ziplock containing contact treatment (for electrical contacts) – DeOxit Red & Gold
  • Ziplock containing 2 Energizer Lithium AAAs

[Bottom row]

  • Big plastic bag
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mini Card reader – a very popular item!
  • 3.5mm -> 6.5mm TRS converter (for headphones etc)

[Not in picture] 4GB USB flash drive


4th (front) compartment:
Left to right:
[Top row]

  • Metal chopsticks. They’ve come in more useful than chopsticks before, as they’re strong
  • Big ziplock containing:
    • Syringe
    • Surgical Gloves
    • Surgical Masks (2x)
    • Various 1st aid items such as:
      • Cotton buds
      • Antiseptic wipes
      • Bandages
      • Various pills
  • Tissue in ziplock
  • Ziplock containing various vials of:
    • Heavy grease/lubricant
    • Lighter fluid
    • Cleaning Alcohol (Isopropyl)
    • Detergent
    • Light oil
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

[Middle row]

  • Sealed bag of pemmican (Ground beef jerky & rendered beef fat) – Courtesy Shannon Wong who made this batch!
  • Two cereal bars
  • Small spray can containing water
  • Ziplock containing fork & spoon, teabags and aluminum foil

[Bottom row]

  • Tin can, in which I keep the remaining items on the bottom row. The tin can comes in useful as a bowl/cup, and it can also be put on a fire if needed (I did cook an egg in it once)
  • Ziplock containing roll of duct tape and masking tape
  • Ziplock containing soap
  • Ziplock containing eyemask