Hiking is undoubtedly one of the most popular travel activities in the past few years. Even though hiking is popular, many travelers are saying “no no no” when invited to go for a hike. I won’t deny the fact that I’m of those who skip hiking because of 1.) I’m unfit, 2.) I’m too lazy to be fit.
I have a fair share of hiking experience in the following mountains:
- Mt. Sawi in Nueva Ecija
- Mt. Pinagbanderahan in Atimonan, Quezon
- Mt. Ulap in Benguet
- Nagpatong Rock in Rizal
- Mt. Maynoba and Cayabu in Rizal
- Mt. Mamara in Rizal
- Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Batangas
Deciding whether I’ll hike Mt. Pulag or not, is a big decision. I’ve been wanting to go to Mt. Pulag but I don’t have the courage to do so. But, for my 24th birthday, I decided to take a risk and finally conquer Mt. Pulag.
I’m glad to say that I successfully did it and here’s how I conquered Luzon’s highest peak.
- Plan and prepare. Whenever I plan to go on a hike, I make it a point to physically prepare for at least two weeks. For this trip, I signed up for a gym membership and went to the gym three days a week. I’m not a gym buff so my fitness pattern is intermittent but it does help to improve my stamina.
- Use lightweight yet high-quality jackets. One of the things that scare me about Mt. Pulag is the weather. I’m weak when it’s too hot or cold and I know that the weather in Mt. Pulag can be unforgiving considering its height. Thus, I made sure I have enough winter gear to keep me warm. During the hike, I wore a Volcom shirt, Patagonia wool-coated jacket, Uniqlo lightweight bubble jacket, and Esprit windbreaker. As you start with the hike, you will feel the cold breeze creeping in but as you traverse and as the sun rises, you need to remove extra jackets. I’m glad my jackets are lightweight and easy to stash in my dry bag.
- Use a dry bag. Whenever I hike, I make it a point to use a dry bag instead of other kinds of hiking bags. It just helps to ensure that my stuff is safe from unexpected rain.
- Bring food and water. I only hike when I’m with people whom I can trust. So, this Mt. Pulag trip is different. I chose to hike with strangers, people I just met during the trip. I booked the trip through Dulay Travel and Tours and it was fun to go on a hike with complete strangers who made my birthday trip memorable.
- Mentally prepare for the hike. To tell you frankly, Mt. Pulag is an easy hike! The trail is long and the weather can change drastically but it doesn’t mean it’s a difficult hike. For trails like Mt. Pulag, you have to mentally prepare your mindset. Focus on the goal and make sure that you won’t feed your mind with negative thoughts that may affect you during the hike.
Just like what I mentioned, even though Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak it’s not a difficult trail and beginners can definitely enjoy it. By ensuring that you’re prepared and ready to deal with the long trail and changing weather, you can easily conquer Luzon’s highest peak.