Tips on Getting Ready for the Taman Negara Sungai Relau Merapoh Adventure: May save you not only time but your money too.
For your packing list, we would recommend you have comfortable clothes like t-shirt (easy dry long pants are better than shorts). For caving, wear something that you won’t mind getting dirty. You can wear this same clothes when you visit the Kuala Juram Sanctuary the next day as both these visits are ‘wet’. Please have comfortable shoes for the trip. Wear something you wouldn’t mind getting wet and dirty but gives a good grip when you walk. This will be especially useful when you walk in the cave or in the stream on Day 2 of your trip.
Wearing something like the TEVA river sandals are good. You don’t have to buy Teva though because they are very expensive. I have tried them on wet rocks and they suck. You can get these teva like velcro sandals at the Bata shop and most sports shop in town. They are easy to dry and feels better than walking in wet shoes. To select a good pair, look for those with soles that are rubbery and soft – they are good for slippery surfaces.
You will also need a headlamp for each of you for the caving. Headlamps are better that flashlights because you can keep your hands free because there will be some climbing, grabbing, holding etc involved in the cave.
If you are travelling in a group, make sure everyone in your group has one. It feels a lot better with your own headlamp than sharing the same light source with others.
These headlamps (made in China) can be found cheap at our night markets they cost about RM15- RM30 each. They are good enough for the caving and night walk which you will be doing. You don’t really need to get those expensive Petzl headlamps to use only during these 2 activities. Find a headlamp which uses the CREE light source. They are newer technology and emits brighter light than than the LED types. Make sure you replace the free battery they give you with fresh alkaline batteries to make sure that your light will not fade on you in the cave. Go for branded batteries like Energizer or Duracell – don’t rely on the cheap made in China batteries.
If you are bringing your family and you have young children, get insect repellant for your kids’ comfort. Can be in cream or stick form. They are available at any of our drug stores like Guardian or Watsons. I find the more expensive they are the more effective .. so you get what you pay for.
Pack some high energy food and food your kids like. There are not many stores in Merapoh or the park that you can get food which your kids may be familiar with especially if you are coming from overseas and not used to the local food.