Trekking & Camping Tips


This advice is intended to make your trek as easy and pleasant as possible. You must be completely self-sufficient on a climb – you cannot not rely upon others to share water, food, camping gear, tent space, cooking facilities, etc. But, sharing a sip of whisky at the summit is always a welcome gesture!

  • Check your gear carefully before leaving home: You don’t want to find you have forgotten your tent’s fly sheet or that your boots or backpack are falling apart.
  • Porter packs must not exceed 18 kg, including extra water. Exclude everything that is not essential. Leave the Gucci handbag behind!
  • Identify and introduce yourself to the porter carrying your porter pack: Experiences with porters are variable; some will stay close to you throughout the climb; others may linger and arrive at the camp site long after dark! Be patience in the event of delays. Enjoy the sunset!

  • Your day pack, that you carry yourself, must contain all your survival gear (see above). Leave all unnecessary accessories at home. You will enjoy the climb more if your day pack is as light as possible.

  • The ascent: Volcanoes are steep, usually 30+ degrees on upper slopes. The ascent is tough work requiring sheer will power to overcome exhaustion. Always start at a slow and steady pace until finding your own rhythm. Don’t try to keep up with the fast, fit ‘mountain goats’ in your group.

  • The descent: This can be even more challenging than the ascent. A different set of muscles come into play and can be painful if you are unfit. Voltaren, gel and tablets, can provide some relief.

  • Mobile phones: In the more remote parts of Indonesia, TELKOMSEL has the best coverage. Signals are spasmodic on mountains but guides usually know the points where a signal can be obtained. Use SMS, the signal will normally get through eventually. Most phones have GPS nowadays. This, together with the maps installed, are great in the hands of those who understand how to use them. If you have GPRS on your phone, you can send a map of your position, with coordinates, to another Whats App user. The major shortfall with phones is limited battery life; conserve power for emergencies; some people carry a recharge pack. Most importantly, ensure that you have the phone numbers of your leader and all trip members.

  • Reaching the ‘true summit’ (puncak) of a mountain: Guides generally consider that the puncak is anywhere on the crater rim – rather unhelpful! Java Lava does not seek to reach the highest point of a mountain if it is inaccessible/dangerous.  If you wish to do so, it is at your own risk!