Clothing and Equipment
The days are hot and humid however you will spend most of the time under jungle canopy. The nights can be quite cold (it can get down to 1°C at the higher altitudes at certain times of the year).
You will need a set of casual clothing for your short stay in Papua New Guinea pre and post-trek. This could be the clothing you travel in, or a spare set. Either way you can store this clothing at the Sogeri Lodge until you return from the trek.
Avoid heavy-weight cotton clothing which does not breathe, is very heavy when wet and is almost impossible to dry out in PNG’s humidity.
For trekking we recommend you wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants (lightweight and quick dry) for proper protection from both the elements and malarial mosquitoes, however, it is OK to trek in shorts and t-shirt if you wish (but you should apply tropical strength mosquito repellent to any exposed skin in the morning and late afternoon as this is when the malarial mosquito is active).
Long pants and long sleeve shirts provide protection against sunburn; from some plants that tend to sting when you brush past them; and from leeches, bugs and creepy crawlies on the ground.
For protection against chafing it is a good idea to wear a pair of nylon jogging shorts, lycra gym shorts or skins (compression shorts) as underwear.
On most nights you will camp near a creek with plenty of fast flowing, crystal clear mountain water or have access to a bush shower in a village campsite. You will therefore always have the opportunity to have a good refreshing wash. After this you will want to change into a lightweight tracksuit which you will sleep in).
Women should bring a sarong wear between the campsites and the bathing areas.
Because it rains on a regular basis it is a good idea to have a waterproof poncho or light rain jacket.
It is a good idea to store your spare clothing and sleeping gear in a ‘dry sack’ which are available in camping stores. This will ensure you always have something dry to put on each evening.
The trekking boots you select should be lightweight, fit well and have a good tread. We recommend boots with a synthetic upper in preference to leather – they are lighter, more ‘breathable’ and do not need to be ‘broken-in’ like leather boots. Synthetic uppers are usually made from cordura and suede.
Your boots must fit properly. To test the fit first, with the boot unlaced, you should be able to get two fingers easily down behind your heel, then you should lace up the boot and kick the ground with your toe. If your toe hits the end of the boot it is too short – this means your piggies will not be happy on the downhill sections of the track!
The boot needs to support your foot without compressing it. Some brands fit narrow feet better than wide ones; other brands do the opposite. Don’t be conned by a brand name – buy the boots that fit your feet.
The boots you choose should have good ankle support to assist with stability – we do not recommend hiking shoes. You should also make sure the sole of the boot flexes at the ball of the foot and not in the middle. Check the under-foot cushioning to ensure it is firm and supportive. Handy hint: make sure you buy the socks you are going to trek in before you buy your boots - then use these socks to try on the boots you intend to buy.
If you are not an experienced trekker we strongly recommend you visit reputable trekking shops such as Paddy Pallin, Trek and Travel, Mainpeak etc who have experienced trekkers as staff and who can give good advice on equipment selection, fitting etc.
Trek sandals or reef walkers are essential for water crossings where you want to remove your boots and socks to keep them dry. You also need to wear them when you bathe in rivers and creeks and for walking around the campsite at the end of the day's trekking.
Do not bring thongs and we don’t recommend Crocs as they have no grip and are too slippery. Do not bring joggers as when they are wet they become very heavy and you need dry shoes at night to avoid foot problems.
We strongly recommend that you use two trekking poles. These not only take some pressure off your leg joints on the uphills and downhills but also provide stability for your feet on rough ground – and it is all rough!
If you choose to carry your own gear your backpack should have a capacity of 75 – 80 litres. The ‘dry weight’ (ie less water) should not exceed 12 kg (if it weighs more than this you are carrying too much). Avoid carrying extraneous items – stick to the lists at Appendices 1 to 3.
Our group carriers carry our group camping equipment, trekkers tents, food for our main meals, group first aid kits, ropes, machetes, shovels, emergency equipment and radios. They erect and dismantle our tents each day.
If you engage a Personal Carrier you need only bring your daypack 30-49L. It should weigh no more than 4-6kg, including water (1 litre water = 1kg). We will provide your carrier’s pack.
If you wish you can hire the following gear from Adventure Kokoda for the duration of your trek:
|Backpack* (75 litre)||$35|
|Sleeping Mat (thick foam)||$15|
|Trekking Poles (pair)||$35|
These items need to be booked and paid for in advance of your arrival in PNG and preferably when you settle your final trek payment.
* Our sleeping bags are not suitable if you are over 5'10" tall
* Backpack 75 litre is only required if you choose not to engage a Personal Carrier
|One rimmed hat or peak cap (and a beanie for night-time is suggested)|
|One waterproof poncho or light rain/spray jacket|
|Two long-sleeve shirts (lightweight and quick-dry)|
|Two pair of quick dry long pants (lightweight and quick-dry)|
|One pair of lightweight long thermal underwear (Polypro)|
|One long-sleeve top for warmth (lightweight and quick-dry)|
|One sweat rag|
|One trek towel (we recommend the ‘chamois’ variety not the microfibre)|
|Two pairs of Skins/lycra gym shorts (to wear as underwear – helps prevent chafing)|
|One Sarong or long shirt (for women)|
|Swimming costume (for bathing in)|
|One pair of quality trekking boots (refer Clothing and Equipment section) and spare bootlaces|
|One pair of sandals (for the end of the day – we recommend Shimano Evair sandal or Teva sandal)
Thongs and crocs are not suitable as they have no grip and are too slippery and avoid joggers as when they are wet they become very heavy and you need dry shoes at night to avoid foot problems
|Short gaiters (Oilskin Overboots available from Trek and Travel www.trekandtravel.com.au are a popular choice)|
|Three (3) pair of socks suitable for trekking|
|Backpack (only required if you choose not to engage a Personal Carrier)
(75 litre backpack can be hired from Adventure Kokoda for $35)
|Daypack 30-40 litre (required only if you engage a Personal Carrier to carry your gear)|
|A pack-cover for your backpack or daypack to help keep your gear dry|
|Two Trekking Poles
(Can be hired from Adventure Kokoda for $35)
|A small camping pillow (blow-up variety)|
|Sleeping Bag (lightweight – +10 degrees is normally okay but for the period Jul-Sep 0 to +5 degrees is recommended)
(+10 degree Sleeping Bag Can be hired from Adventure Kokoda for $25)*
*If you are over 5’10” tall you are best to bring your own Sleeping Bag
|Dry sacks or dry compression bags in various sizes for your sleeping bag,
clothes, socks, etc are recommended (match the size to what they are to contain and a number of smaller bags make packing easier than too many items in one
or two big bags)
|Sleeping mat (thick foam or Thermarest - lightweight)
(A Foam Sleeping Mat can be hired from Adventure Kokoda for $15)
|Sleeping Bag Silk Liner|
|A good quality head torch with spare batteries (avoid cheap brands – they don’t last)|
|Pocket-knife (to lend to one of our PNG guides if you would like them to carve a souvenir walking stick - don’t pack it in your carry-on luggage)|
|A plastic bowl, enamel or plastic mug, and a spoon|
|Hydration bladder (2 or 3 litre)|
|One (1) 1-litre water bottle|
|Small (30cm X 30cm) closed cell foam mat for use as a seat (available from camping stores as interlocking floor mats)|
|Small car chamois (useful for drying your boots – cleaning the floor of your tent, etc)|
|Camera with spare batteries (there are limited opportunities to charge your
battery during the trek).