Malaysia, not only known for its diverse mix of awesome food, culture, city life, but also the rich flora and fauna that e are so proud to present to you.
Picture credit: KLHiking Group
This hiking trend has been growing and getting popular since 2010, as evident from the sudden boom of outdoor retail businesses, as well as the increase in local hiking groups nationwide.
Fitness/outdoor enthusiasts get to enjoy cool clean air, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Apart from the fresh air, one can also take a dip in the crystal clear and cool rivers and waterfalls.
However, one such activity that is still not widely adopted, is hiking at night. The thrill of being in darkness, the cooler breeze and the quietness of the night, some will love it, while others are fearful of it.
Although you do not get to enjoy much of the surrounding scenery (due to darkness), but you get to focus on your path right in front of you, illumined by your headlamp, and not being troubled or demotivated by the strenuous treks ahead of you (like continuous uphill path). The reward? A breathtaking view of the valley down below and its magnificent city and street lights. One can also enjoy a cuppa at the peak, sipping hot tea or coffee while enjoying the cold night breeze. Some hikers even camped till morning to watch sunrise, which provides another amazing photography opportunity.
But before we embark on night hiking, here are some basic list of items you should bring along with you:
Headlamp – this is a must, as certain trails require you to use both hands to ascend and descend. Being hands free and able to know where you trek is important. Also bring along spare batteries and torch light. Water resistant is a must (in case it rains)
Water – never overestimate yourself. In this humid environment, you need to be well hydrated as you are bound to sweat a lot.
Shoes with profile – proper hiking shoes is required. Seen many Nike running shoes with their soles dropped off, due to the muddy terrains.
Emergency food – always a few bars of emergency food, just in case.
Whistle – In case if you slip and fall, easier to call for help.
Knife and parachord – in case you get lost, you can still do makeshift shelter with these two useful tools
Lighter – preferably windproof. Good for lighting up your stove to boil water, or keep yourself warm with fire. In our humid forests, primitive methods to start a fire will never work.
Gas stove – usually butane gas. This is optional though. Good to relax and sip hot coffee after sweating it out, at the peak.
Microfiber attire – do not wear cotton. Microfiber clothing is crucial as it can dry off easily from sweat and rain. Equip with microfiber towels too.
First aid – simple items such as antiseptic lotions, gauzes, plaster, alcohol gel, etc.
Common gears used for day/night hikes.
Places for Night Hiking
Hiking trail #1: Gunung Nuang
Located right at the border of Selangor – Pahang, this place is located next to the Langat dam, the end road for Jalan Hulu Langat, Pangsun.
Why hiking at night here is best?
Because the long and winding and steep dirt path ahead of you can make you curse and regret ever being there. Commonly called the Never Ending Road, with a distance of about 4km, and at 500meters above sea level. At night, you will hardly notice the dreaded path, because your head will be focused at your feet when you hike.
There are 6 booths for you to rest, with each booth indicating the distance remaining to the camp site (Camp Lolo) and the carpark. 4km stretch on the never ending road, and another 1km uphill climb till the camp site. Total about 2hours hiking uphill (time is an estimate, it can be faster if you are not carrying 15kg++ backpacks). Our usual time is about 3 to 4 hours due to our laziness in loitering at the booths.
Hiking trail #2: Broga Hill
Located at Semenyih, after Nottingham University Malaysia, with the entrance located among palm oil plantations.
This hill offers a short 1hour hike uphill towards the peak, with the upper segment being mostly rocky and sandy. It will be dangerous if it rains, since the path will be very slippery. Hiking poles are adviced to be used when going down hill, for the added support. Headlamp is a must because you will be using both hands during ascending and descending when you are near the peak.
Upon reaching the peak, you will be greeted with the beautiful view of the valley. The street and city lights are bound to mesmerize you, making you want to stay there longer. Cool chilly winds are expected, although there would be strong winds. A wind breaker would be handy.
It is also advisable to descend before 9am, because when the sun hits, it will be unbearably hot because there are no trees around at the peak. Besides, hiking at night is far less congested as compared to weekends in the early morning. You won’t even have time to enjoy your moment, let alone a space to lounge. Hence, night hiking is a must for this hill.