I've heard people coming back from such trips grumbling about how bad a time they had from the beginning of the expedition right up to the end. When they narrated their bad experiences, it is easy to see why they ended up having such bad luck. It's not because the environment was bad , but more of the lack of basic knowledge and preparation for it. Knowledge is indeed, power and in most cases, may even keep you alive.
If you are trekking within the country, and going deep within the jungle, I suggest you take a professional guide with you. A better option would be the locals, for example, the Orang Asli. Orang Asli is like the Sherpa of the Himalayas, provided we can communicate with them that is. Otherwise, be prepared to end your trekking rendezvous somewhere deep in Thailand jungle.
Some professional guides' charges tend to be the more likely the COD ( cause of death) rather than being eaten by the bears in the jungle. In such cases, perhaps you would want to go with a group of friends. This is when knowledge and skill is even more so important. It's better to be armed with survival skill rather than to rely on others, just in case the group gets separated.
There were people, foreigners who were lost in our thick jungle; you can read it in three British backpackers got lost in the Malaysian jungle , Biologist lost in the Fraser's Hill Jungles. His case was more of an overconfident one. But again, with knowledge, he managed to survive 5 days in the thick Malaysian jungle without food and occasional deprivation of water. It was his cell phone that saved his life. Well, that and 150 police officers who were deployed into the forest in a search party that had nothing to do with Google. It was a good story. Only thing, they had forgotten to ask him, was whether he had spotted any peculiar looking creature stalking him around. Some creature that look like this:
Seriously, isn't it a bit arrogant for these tourists to not contemplate getting lost in Malaysian jungles, when Malaysians ourselves often get lost in our own city, driving around and following the Malaysian Signboards!!
Bottom line, you've just got to be prepared and always presume that some things may go wrong and prepare for them. There are many books that i feel useful to read especially those written by people who actually gone to the place. I find the "Lonely Planet" series to be useful. They even have a "Trekking so and so" series. Do read book on the basic jungle surviving skills. They are extremely helpful. There are many useful link to read up. One that I find quite good would be "http://www.artoftravel.com " where they will even tell you how to pack your luggage, what type of sleeping bags to purchase for what season etc. Do check it out, it's a brilliant site!!
Rule of thumb for trekkers :
Enter the jungle with the hope of not facing any problem but at the same time anticipate and be prepared for them.
Most of the excellent sites/books are written by Western writers. They are excellent in presentation except that they lack certain type of preparation into the jungle that only the Malay books not to mention the Malay Bomohs can offer - Preparation against the spirits. Don't laugh. Even the Singaporeans have stories of the freaky type to tell about jungles in Malaysia. Here's one from a Singaporean. Of course they like to talk bad about Malaysian jungle, since they have no jungle of their own to bitch about.
Stories of Spirits enchanting children and bringing them to a mansion, deep in the jungle. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if those kids had made up the stories based on fiction of Hansel and Gretel due to sugar crave and to get out of trouble, especially when they know the adults will not only buy such stories instantly, but will blame shift the cause of them missing in the jungle to the spirits automatically. The need for further investigations into the mischief done by this kids will overruled by the need to investigate the spirits instead.
Or, I won't be surprised if these kids had stumbled upon one of Toyo's secret 3.5 Million mansion tucked deep in the jungle, and upon narrating, they had thought these kids had said the word "Istana Toyol", hence the misconception of the close encounter of a spirit in the jungle.
I think the broom gave him away......wonder if this broom can actually fly..
Well, here is where I come in, trying to give more information of the spirits that allegedly rule the Malaysian Jungle. It's bad enough that we have to cope with hantus in our parliament, now we've got to take care of the hantus in our beloved jungle. Do not belittle their importance, lest during the General Elections because apparently, their votes counts too!!
Ahhh..politicians. Let us not start on them. If Natural Selection is right, then their descendants should have noses longer than their dicks.
CLICK ON RABBIT HOLE TO KNOW HOW ONE CAN EFF UP A SIMPLE TREKKING TRIP AND BLAME IT ON THE SPIRITS....
Here are some of the the ways in how a simple trekking trip can be F##up and how you can blame it on the Spirits. Firstly, there are a few basic Spirits that you may need to be aware of, understand it's nature before you can pin the crime on them.
Spirit #I : Hantu Tetek a.k.a Hantu Kopek.
Hantu kopek is known to hide people especially kids beneath their huge breasts. I can't figure out what the Breast Ghost gets out of hiding people underneath their huge breasts. The horror on the human side depends very much on what type of breasts involved as the hideout. If you get these pairs:
Then I suppose you can call it horror ghost stories. But if you get these
lovely pairs belonging to Malaysian Hantu Kopek's cousins in the western side, then what's there to complain. I'm sure even the father of the kids wouldn't mind being abducted by the cousin of Malaysian Hantu Tetek.
Here's a logical probable explanation:
1. Maybe the child just wants to get away from the hustle and bustle or even chores and went off somewhere then claim he got hidden by hantu tetek?
2. Maybe the kid fell asleep from sheer lethargy after running around in the jungle?
3. Maybe the kid found mommy and daddy's "grass", and imagined being abducted by a pair of tits?
....and they are too scared to tell their parents the truth.
I mean think about it...have you ever heard of a full grown man being hidden by the Hantu Kopek? More importantly, have you heard of a full grown man being hidden by the Hantu Kopek AND complaining? Ponder on that....
Spirit # II : Toyol.
Toyol is a creature, small and dark in complexion, trained to be a thief. It's suppose to look like the picture below:
Oh, while Googling, I cannot but notice this picture below, purely coincidental finding I can assure you...
Seriously. There are people who swear that "Once you go black, you'll never turn back", but although toyol is "black", it's small and unless he can drag his bigger than life penis around whilst orchestrating a theft, I doubt he's got the proper tool to rape anything except a squirrel.
Now, in relation to the jungle trekking, please remember to guard your belongings, especially your food. Yes, things do tend to get missing but as far as my experience takes me, it's not the Toyo or the toyol that is responsible, but THESE be the culprits!!!
Yes folks. When you camp, be aware of monkeys. They are thieves, and best yet, the Hudud Law does not apply to them. So they get to keeps their hands to resume their looting. Hmm..maybe they too have an association amongst them UmNO - United monyet N Orangutans, not to be mistaken with their parallel humanly organization, who have more use for your money, compared to their sister organization.
Scientists though, may even research the method for Biological Control of species by merely causing extinction to the monkeys simply by feeding them with information from our newspaper such Berita Harian, or Metro. The monkeys will die instantly from laughter.
Well, technically, monkeys are pests so even though Biological Control is mainly for killing insects, but it may work on humans too. I mean when Ib Ali had that massive cardiac, it must have been from a covert operation exposing him to other parties that proved to be detrimental to his health. Basically, it was attempted murder in the eyes of Biological Control methods.
As for this fler below;
It doesn't take a genius to figure out some campers had left their drinks unattended....or maybe it had just snitched some tapai...
Spirit #3 : The Exorcissers ? (whatever they call the evil spirits that causes exorcism lar).
Wait. Before I resume. Let me share with you my experience with a patient who was "possessed". They called me to attend to this lady who was supposedly possessed, (clearly they called the wrong person because all I could do at that point in time was offer her some yippee drugs, which this bloody whatever that was suppose to possess her refuse to consume....it's not like we have a tranquilizer gun or anything like that...) and many funny (to my mind,....then again, I'm not her psychiatrist) happened but I recall one that I felt the funniest. We managed to get her voluntarily into the transportation to the hospital, lying to her saying we were sending her home instead, as she refused to seek medical treatment (like duuuh). I had already managed to drug her somehow ( don't ask), and off and on, she'd ricocheted from dozing off and being alert.
Unfortunately, the van was stuck in traffic and she was asking why were we on the road that is not heading towards her home, and why it was taking too long. She said aloud in a hoarse voice which was not suppose to be hers, "Why is it taking so loooong? Why don't you just open up the windows and let me just fly home. It's faster that way". I didn't hear the silence that seized the few people who attended to her inside the van, which was narrated to me later on because I was busy giggling inside my mind.....I think these spirits must think that humans are dumb creatures..
So back to the spirits that possess human bodies. When humans get lost in the jungle, especially in high altitudes, bear in mind, that when they behave irrationally, utterly confused or start to throw tantrums, then please think exorcism as the last explanation, until you consider these options for explanation, because the former diagnosis may lead the victim to one of the politicians' bomohs and these bomohs do not have Oxygen supply other than that contained in their farts sufficient to revive a victim of:
Tadaaaaa...... Brain hypoxia; or lack of oxygen in the brain, which is one of the symptoms of AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) and hypoxic victims tend to mimic in actions, those who are allegedly "possessed". A word of reminder. If you see some of our politicians holding the Keris, and talking like they are possessed, it is only because they too suffer from brain hypoxia. Try giving them Oxygen via mask (keep it to 98-99%) when you see such incidences at some of our political gatherings. Don't worry, not much oxygen consumption needed as one need to possess an actual homo sapien size brain to empty half of the oxygen cylinder.
Spirit #4 : Orang Bunian :
Orang Bunian are known to abduct people especially children who are fair and pretty. Dang... I was hoping to have the whole of Hindraf and Perkasa abducted. I don't think even the Aliens would want to abduct these bunch. Well, they are known to abduct humans for the purpose of studying our brains, so enough said :-)
If people go missing in the jungle, please think of these Bunian after you think of these explanations. It could be the victim suffers from:
1. Hypothermia. One of the symptoms of hypothermia is sluggish thinking, and amnesia which I suspect to be Tun Mahathir's working diagnosis of some non progressive Malays when he said, "Melayu mudah lupa". Well, Malays are generally known to be good at playing it coooool, so cooooool that they become hypothermic followed by sluggish in thinking ( that's just science being polite by the way).
How on earth do one get hypothermia when trekking? Well, we don't realize that as we incline, the temperature drops. In Malaysia even, when it rains, it is cold in the jungle. I have trekked with a bunch of egoistic goo goos that think it's cool to trek in singlets. Showing off the muscles is great for others but at the risk of getting hypothermic. Here's a tip, and probably a life saving one. AVOID wearing cotton attires. Why? Well, cotton do not have the property to wick moist.
What this means is that, when you wear cotton T-Shirts for example, this shirt will absorb your sweat but do not radiate it out of the material. What happens next is the insidious attempt of your body to dry this sweat from your t-shirt. That's simple physics. How do things get dried? Energy from heat, which in this case comes from heat generated from our body. So we loose heat without even realizing so hence end up becoming hypothermic.
Avoid cotton socks too because for the same reason that it does not wick our sweat, and the damp socks may cause blisters on our feet. Trust me, any trekker will tell you not to underestimate even the dawn of a blister. If you have the extra cash, purchase a Gore-Tex shoe because it'll keep your feet dry. In the case of trekking in wet conditions, then don't forget to invest in a mud gear, because Gore-Tex is expensive and a great shoe but once water comes into the shoes not through it, you can kiss your dry feet bye bye. THIS is how Gore-Tex material works.
Since we're in the topic of keeping warm, do bring along the aluminium blanket for emergency warming up. I got mine from the ACE hardware store in Mid Valley Megamall. I had a guy, well, the same dodo head who wore the singlet to trek, turned smurfy on me. I handed him my emergency aluminium blanket for him to keep warm. Well, if he looked like Gerard Butler, I may have joined him in the blanket as an adjuvant treatment.
THIS is how it looks like when used and THIS is how it's packed, at the size of the palm of your hands. A word of caution. Once used, please inform others before they mistaken you for another spirit called Hantu Bungkus. Then you may not only need to warm a hypothermic victim, but probably standby to ressucitate a probable heart attack too. I think any Hantu Bungkus that fancies aluminium blankets must inherit MJ's likings for shining costumes.
2. Hypoglycemia, simply means body low in sugar. Same symptoms of confusion where trekkers are prone to make mistakes. It doesn't help that when one is lost, they tend to go around in circles. One needs to carbo load with food that has a low glycemic index. (Oh....just google it). The same group of whom I had to hand over my aluminium blanket were the same smartie pants who served mee hoon, overcooked, I just called it bubur mee hoon and would you believe what was served when we reached the top of the gunung? OMG...maggee mee!!! I kid you not. You need a steady release of sugar in the body and some knowledge on food especially carbo loading and glycemic index may carry a long way...away from "the path of the evil spirit"....
Okay, here are some other tips on how not to F up and blame it on the spirits.
1. Carry your backpack or day pack light. If you back pack and trek, then you should carry a load of between 1/3 to 1/4 of your body weight. After a while, even 1 kilo feels like 10 and you don't want to blame the spirits for pulling you from behind. So, yes, if you know your stuff well, you don't have to abide to the "Jangan Pandang Belakang" scare.
2. Notice some folks have the habit of telling others not to say out loud or "tegur" when your nostrils buds caught some foul smell? Well, don't bother getting spooked. It's probable that someone had missed their shower or have not heard of Dr Scholls. I think it's a bit ridiculous having to endure one of your friend's fart and letting him get away with it, because no one was allowed to point the obvious, in case wrath will bestow upon you. Well, you are more likely to die from the consequences of not using your brains, rather than from the spirits. I think even if they do exist, they have better things to do than to have anything to do with the arrogant human beings.
3. If you have parked your vehicle somewhere, make sure it's at a safe place. You don't want to risk the Hantu Rempits stealing your vehicle now would you?
Any difference from the Human Rempits?
So remember folks. Knowledge is power, especially to survive. Frankly, most of the time, I am more scared of humans with bad intentions more than I am concern about bumping into spirits in the jungle. Men can be more evil than evil himself.
Knowledge will also do the Spirits justice, as they need not burden the guilt of men's idiosyncrasy by walking into the jungle unequipted and ignorant. So remember folks, when you trek the jungle, have a check list and don't forget to bring the important things.
But most of all, don't forget your brains...do not leave home without it!!!
Even a monkey gets the last message.............. ...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....