The must-haves for a pleasant hike experience in sunny Singapore. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.
The sunny island of Singapore might not hold a candle to Mount Kinabalu or the Everest Base Camp when it comes to scenic hikes, but it’s certainly got its own charming trails. If you’re ready to explore the diverse terrain that the city-state has to offer, from the Southern Ridges to the 36-kilometers long coast-to-coast trail, be sure to come prepared with these essentials.
The first thing on your checklist ought to be a lightweight and waterproof backpack that fits all your hiking necessities, including a water bottle, wet wipes, insect repellent, some snacks, and even a quick change of clothes if necessary.
While city sneakers and running shoes work fine if you’re on a paved nature trail, rougher terrain with rocks and roots call for proper hiking shoes or boots with the ability to stand up to wear and tear, while protecting your feet and offering extra stability.
Considering the generally flat terrain in Singapore, you probably won’t be needing any climbing equipment. That said, trekking poles might help provide anchor points when you trek downhill or venture upslope.
Whether you’re trekking in the early morning or just before dusk, sunscreen is non-negotiable if you’re looking to protect your skin from sunburn and damage. For long treks, choose a high SPF sunscreen and remember to reapply whenever necessary. To boost sun protection, choose clothing with UV shield properties.
For a pleasant hiking experience, ward off pesky mosquitos and other insects you might encounter on the trails with a handy repellent. Popular options include chemical spray-type repellents such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or plant-based ones like oil of citronella.
The last thing you want is for your smartphone to run out of juice while navigating your route or when you’re using the phone’s flashlight function to see in the dark. A fully charged, portable charger shared among a group of trekkers can be helpful when you least expect it.
Water and food
Plan your route well to ensure that you’re never too far away from a pitstop with a toilet and water cooler. When in doubt, come prepared with at least a litre of water and some fuss-free snacks like bananas, sandwiches, and cereal bars.