hiking | great western | Travel Diaries

The Sinhala and Tamil new year, or as we know it, Avurudu is upon us. For all you travel enthusiasts out there, this usually means one thing. Avurudu holidays. It seems like the perfect time to pack our bags and go for a hiking trip during the long weekend. After all, if its one thing that’s rewarding about living in Sri Lanka, its the country’s natural beauty.

But hiking isn’t always fun and games. If you’re not careful, you could fall in a lot of trouble. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of conquering that mountain and end up forgetting something essential. Proper preparation goes a long way and sometimes, might even save your life. Here’s a list of 5 must-haves for your hiking journey.

1. An itinerary: your entire travel plan mapped out

Before deciding on packing up and heading off to the unknown, it’s vital that you have your entire journey mapped out. When I say mapped out, I’m not referring to a physical map with marked sketches everywhere. Although an actual map wouldn’t be a bad idea either. What I mean is sorting out the essential details. Where exactly will you go? How will you go? What will you do there? When will you leave? All valid questions.

hiking | great western
Get a guide if you really must

If you have been following the recent news then you might know about the 7 hikers who got lost hiking in the Knuckles. Thankfully the 7 have been found. But if this incident is any indication, it’s that you have to ensure that you have everything planned out. So yes, get that itinerary done and sort out everything in your potential travel plan. Once you finalize things down to the dot, your work is pretty much half done. Sort of.

2. Cooked meals/snacks

This might sound a bit obvious but you’d be surprised to know how many people forget to grab enough grub. Trekking for most of the day is tiring and having something to eat on the go is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re going solo or with a group. Just pack in plenty. In case you’re thinking of grabbing something on the way, don’t. Better safe than sorry.

hiking | ella rock
Never go unprepared, specially with food

If your trip involves camping as well, you might want to think twice about that campfire. Of course, it’s certainly an enjoyable experience to prep up a meal at a campsite up high in a mountain. But if you’re not mindful about things like the weather, you’ll be in quite a bit of trouble. All it takes is a bit of rain and everything goes to s***.

3. Place to stay overnight

Maybe camping is not your cup of tea. Maybe your destination makes it impossible to do so. Either way, you’ll want to find a place to rest at night. Personally, I prefer lodging at a budget location  as I usually reserve most my expenses for the other stuff. I’ve always found Booking.com to be quite useful here. Almost every booking I’ve made here turned out as good as you would expect.

Hiking | camping | great western
Hiking might not be everybody’s cup of tea

But of course there are other options out there. Here’s a listicle I did sometime back on some of them. If you want to go full techie, you can download the apps as well.

4. Tools and other whatnot

Yes, I know its a hiking trip and not a secret commando mission. Then again, there’s no such thing as going too prepared. You never know when a Swiss Army knife might come in handy. Heck, they even have different versions for hikers too. In any case, what should you pack for your journey? Here are few things we think you should pack.

  • Feature phone: You might have your smartphone phone. But it’s always a safe option to have a phone with you that could last days instead of hours
  • Raincoat: weather can become very unpredictable. by any chance if it rains, you’re in big trouble
  • Hiker’s swiss knife: This may not be an essential exactly. But you’d be surprised how useful a swiss army knife can be
  • Cash in hand: This sounds obvious, yes. But like I said before, you can never be too prepared


5. Don’t forget a flashlight!

Last, but not least. Don’t ever forget a flashlight for your hikes. You might be camping in the middle of the jungle. You might be spending the night on top of a mountain to catch the sunrise. A flashlight will only make your trip a lot more convenient.

So where will you head off to?

These are only some of the things that we felt were worth mentioning for all you inspiring travelers out there. Essentially your “must haves” list varies with where you plan on heading off to. But in general, the above list should suffice for any possible hiking trip around the country.

So where do you plan on going? Do let us know if you feel like we left out anything important from the list.



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