Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Zi Tan Stream Adventure

A one of a kind adventure.

We started off on a fine cloudy day with a relative humidity that is usually unbearable to the locals of Hong Kong. We were meant to assemble in a Central Bus Terminus and 45 minutes before we gather, I received a message from a friend saying he made a mistake about the meeting place and I quickly responded to the point where we can easily get together so we can proceed to our hiking location easily. Told him to take responsibilities of calling all people he invited and I will handle all my guests and in no time we're all gathered together in Sai Wan Ho MTR Station and took bus number 14 to Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir where we can begin our thrilling adventure.

When we arrived at Tai Tam Tuk, we setup ourselves as we wait to the two remaining Mountaineers who were supposed to join us in this event and in just a short time they've arrived...we quickly meet and greet and Go!

We walk alongside the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir until we get to our starting area which is just across the end of the first bridge and we start scrambling through the refreshing stream all the way up to the top of the hill. After all the oops, oohs and aah along initial part of the trail we found a couple of small water holes to rejuvenate our senses so that we can all push on and found the main entrance of Zi Tan Stream.

We were welcomed with some refreshing rain, slippery path and perilous trail of Zi Tan Stream but it's not like something we cannot afford to manage. One thing that I noticed though, the water is way cooler and refreshing in the stream than the one in the reservoir. We spent some valuable time bushwacking until we get to the main waterfall,  took our chance to swim and produced a couple of great photos and videos while we're having all the fun we can get because the next part of the trail should be more challenging as anticipated.

So, wall after wall of climbing on huge boulders, weaving through mossy and perilous trail we all managed to overcome all the hurdles and trials of the trail, we even use the rope just to get everyone into safety. There were minor slips, slides, bumps, cuts and bruises but no major injuries and serious casualties (Thanks be unto God Almighty).

Then finally, Bridge #10 atop is reached and the adventure for the day is good and done. We all spent sometime at Repulse Bay Beach for some R&R and end up at Wing Wah Restaurant to celebrate the success of the event and post birthday celebration of our dear friend.

Overall, the best possible time is totally well spent on the most exciting trail with the greatest adventurers I've known.

Thanks to all who participated in this memorable event and I hope to see you again soon on our next exciting adventure.

Friday, May 30, 2014

OUTDOORS SURVIVAL GEAR TIPS

Time and time again, we are reminded about safety and staying on track with a great knowledge on bearing points during outdoors adventure because a sudden miscalculation could lead to a disastrous situation; nevertheless a certain scenario could teach a careless adventurer a huge amount understanding and awareness.

Before embarking on a new adventure, study all about the dos and donts for your own safety. Getting on the edge may be pretty cool and easy but getting yourself trapped and finding no means of way out is just plain "Careless".

Preparedness is the key to success and having the right knowledge on what to carry during your adventure increased your chance of survival.

Please note that the gear listed below and featured on the photo is/are for reference only and you can definitely modify (add/remove) your own survival gear on the type of adventure your getting into. The 5 items on top and a reliable backpack are the most essential gear to consider and the rest are fully optional.

Survival Gear Essentials In A Pack:

1.) CUTTING TOOL - A knife with 5 inch diameter blade, full tang, high carbon steel with a capacity to throw sparks when stroked by flint steel or ferro rod.

2.) CONTAINER - A steel container that can be used to process food or water and has the capacity to transport liquids.

3.) COMBUSTION KIT - Redundancy is the key! Lighter, waterproof matches, Ferro Rod or Flint are some of the most modern tool in making fire but learning a special or primitive type of techniques can ease the burden...and everyone should learn it!

4.) COVER (Shelter) - An 8ft X 10ft or 10ft X 10ft Waterproof treated TARP Shelter can come in handy when needed. There are tons of choices from a regular thick black colored rubbish bag to high quality tarp...the choice is totally up to you.

5.) CORDAGE - I highly suggest everyone to use a "Paracord" because of its functionality and durability. It's a versatile type of cord and a good 30ft-50ft of cordage should definitely be enough to sustain your needs.

Other gear essential are somewhat optional in there own ways but I personally like to carry them during my adventure to maximize my chance to survive or to get out alive. 

1.) Two-Way Radio is one of the most reliable means of communication and with the right knowledge on how to use it can definitely secure your safety, especially when you know the right frequency.

2.) Portable Phone, Extra Battery & Power Bank are a sure win in terms of calling for rescue as long as you have good network coverage.

3.) Torch or Head Light and Extra Battery can definitely make a big difference specially when trying to figure out things in the dark.

4.) Writing Pad, Pencil & Pen - Not only you can log all the proceedings of your event but it's another way of keeping yourself sane...trust me on this one because history has its potential means of repeating by itself and others may learn immensely from other adventurer's account.

5.) Clothing - It is wise to wear a layer of clothes according to the exact weather conditions. A great deal of knowledge on conduction,  convection and precipitation could save you from the natural elements in the great outdoors.

6.) Ration - As a responsible and organized adventurist, you should know the extended period of time of a certain event so that you can easily recharge and refuel without consuming your emergency ration.

7.) Identification - carrying all means of identifying you in case something goes wrong can be useful. I personally carry a piece of paper with my Name, Address and who to contact in case of Emergency. (Be sure to add the things that you might be allergic into so that it can be prevented by your rescuers...example: penicilline and so on...)

8.) First Aid Kit - Bandaid (Big & Small), Gauge, Batadine, Wet Wipes, Aspirin Tablets, Inflammatory Tablets, Water Treatment Tablets, Diarrhea Tablets and Duck Tape Role are some of the things inside my first aid kit.

As for my final advise, you should go and explore the outdoors according to your capabilities or with a relatively experienced adventurist who knows how to act accordingly in term of emergency situation.

Be Safe And Enjoy The Great Outdoors!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PUI O CAMPSITE & SUNSET PEAK

These are my favorite Adventure site in Hong Kong. Pui O campsite offers a modern camping experience with great facilities and restaurants nearby. It has clean lavatory, shower areas and changing rooms. The beach is clean and well maintained by Hong Kong's Leisure & Cultural Service Department (LCSD). The Campground has two selection, one within the cubicle (metal fencing camp ground) and the other, open type camp ground. The camping facility offers barbecue-pit, picnic tables and chairs. Bringing your own cooking stove is possible as well because there's a perfect place for it. Fresh water for cooking and dish washing area is also available. The best part is that the beach offers not only refreshing swim but it's rich with sea shells and fish that can be harvested and consumed within the campsite or you even take it home.

SUNSET PEAK (869masl) - is the 3rd highest mountain peak in Hong Kong. The range offers great scenery atop and the range is link to many great mountain peaks as well, like LIN FA SHAN (766masl) and YI TUNG SHAN (747masl). It starts at Luk Tei Tung and Ends at Pak Kung Au.

Feel free to visit this beautiful Campsite and feel the power being rejuvenated and at one with nature.






Friendly Reminder
Enjoy The Wilderness & Leave No Trace


Thursday, August 22, 2013

HOW TO SELECT A GOOD CAMPSITE

I'm an Outdoor enthusiast and I really like doing Camper; with that said I also met a number of people who wish to do camping but they don't know how and where to start, so they end up not going for any outdoor activities and never attempt to do something new in their lives. This article will give you some ideas before you get started. 


If you're a new Camper and just getting started... I highly suggest that you should visit some of the camping ground preferably close to your home which is managed by the government agencies like Bureau of Land Management or Country Park Management Office. Be sure to choose the one that has perfect scenic spot that you, your family and friends would love and enjoy.


CHOOSING YOUR CAMPING SPOT:
  • Choose a Tent spot that is relatively high ground because in this manner the rain will flow away from the tent in case if it rains and this will prevent your gear from getting wet as well. Avoid setting your tent along the slope though.
  • Pick a site that has shades during the hotter time of the day. So, choose the one that's near the trees.
  • Check if the campsite is near the water source because you will be needing plenty of water for cooking, washing, drinking and even showering.
  • Check if the campsite has grilling station, picnic tables and chairs.
  • Check if the campsite has enough space for you to use a cooking stove.
  • Be sure to check if you can build a campfire because nothing's more fun than roasting a Mallows with your children or stay warm during the cold season. (See if the fire won't spread out so pick an area where there's enough space and flat).
  • If your camping with your kids be sure to check if the campground has a nearby playground or play areas or a huge space to fly a kite or play some ball game like beach volleyball or beach football.
  • Check if the location is near the lake or beach for some fishing, boating, swimming or even snorkeling. 
Backpacking is FUN! So before you go and experience the outdoors, practice setting up your Tent on daylight and at night if possible in your yard to estimate the space you need on the campsite and to get familiar with your gear. Most of the camping ground are not made according to your liking even if you request from the attendant of the country park about your preferred location and with that said, you should clean your preferred spot from twigs, rocks or vines because these will cause damage to the base layer of the tent and might puncture your sleeping matte. 

Finally, experience is the best teacher and soon you'll realized more do's and don't as well as the proper gear to take along with you depending on how many days your going to be in the Campsite. Even thinking of bringing a purifying agent/tablet if you don't get clean water.

Have fun camping and enjoy the outdoors!





Friendly Reminder
Enjoy The Wilderness & Leave No Trace



Sunday, August 18, 2013

CAPE D'AGUILAR

HOW TO GET THERE:
  • Take the MTR to SHAU KEI WAN
  • Leave the MTR Station via Exit A1 or A3 (Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus)
  • Board into Bus No.9 or Green Mini Bus heading towards Shek O
  • Alight at the Bus Station near Cape D' Aguilar Road.

TRAIL INFO:
  • Difficulty: 1/5 
  • Duration: 3.5 - 4.0 Hours
  • Distance: 3.5 Km
  • Type: Loop Trail
  • GPS Coverage: Excellent
  • Phone Coverage: Excellent

LOGISTICS:


  • Packs: 8L - 18L
  • Liquid Supplement: 1L - 1.5L
  • Food Supplement: Bread, Power Bar or Fruit
  • Clothing: Shorts and Shirt
  • Shoes: Proper Hiking Shoes (Specially if you take the Rockies) 
  • Extras: (Summer) Sunglasses, Hat &Sun Cream. (Winter) Wind Breaker & Convertible Pants.
LET'S GO! 

Cape D' Aguilar Bus Station

Okay, I have two suggestions so you won't miss the bus stop at Cape D'Aguilar. Option 1: Tell the driver ahead of your journey that your going to get off at the bus station at Cape D'Aguilar. Option 2: Sit  on the upper front deck of the bus and peel your eyes because when you see the "T" junction road you need to get off at the bus station with the "Blue Colored Sign" that says Cape D'Aguilar.

Walk alongside of the road  until you reach the round about where you can locate the starting point as well. (Be very careful around here!)

STARTING POINT
From here onward, you will be walking on concrete road but don't worry because you will be covered by the shades of trees.


To reach the Marine Reserved Area is by simply walking all the way downhill until you each the Main Gate.


ENTRY POINT #1
This entry point is just another option to get to the rocky part of the island and the other one is just alongside of the main gate.

MAIN GATE
Entry Point #2. There will be a foot path along the right side of the main gate, take that and hike alongside of the green metal fencing. 

Hike downhill and you eventually hit the shoreline and please beware of the High Voltage Antennas along the trail.

Almost there...

Enjoy the moment along the shoreline and the rockies. This area is protected by the Marine Conservation of Hong Kong so please act accordingly and beware of the sharp rocky pathways.

The best part of the trail is to Trek your way to the Marine Reserved Facility along the rocky shoreline than walking on the concrete pathways. Please be very careful on the slippery rocks!



When your done Trekking along the Rockies, you should end up finding this signs on the main road and the Cave of  Cape D'Aguilar is just adjacent to this signboards and you can actually hear a loud flow of the water within the cave.

CAPE D'AGUILAR CAVE

MARINE RESERVED MAIN OFFICE



HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRAIL



Like I mentioned on the Trail Info, this trail is LOOP Trail and the way to get yourself out from this area is to walk on the concrete pathways and when you reached the main gate again, just simply walk along the side the green fencing again until you get to your Entry Point.

Walk uphill on the concrete road until you reach the Bus Station at the main entrance which will take you back to Shau Kei Wan MTR Station.





Friendly Reminder
Enjoy The Wilderness & Leave No Trace



Friday, August 16, 2013

HONG KONG TRAIL SECTION 4

HOW TO GET THERE:
The easiest and the fastest way is to take NWFB No.15 starting at the Exchange Square Bus Terminus heading towards the PEAK and get off at Wan Chai Gap by the end of Stubbs Road. Then take the Aberdeen Reservoir Road downhill for a short distance to begin Section 4.

TRAIL INFO: 
  • Difficulty: 2/5 (Easy Hike)
  • Distance: 7.5 Km
  • Duration: 2.0 Hour
  • Terrain: 50% / 50% of Natural trail and well maintained trail with a combination of concrete stairs, water catchment and uphill road. 
  • Scenery: There's perfect greenery on this trail and when you get to an opening, you will have glimpses of Aberdeen Reservoir and Ocean Park (Hong Kong's Amusement/Themed Park).
  • GPR Coverage: Excellent
  • Phone Coverage: Great
LOGISTICS:
  • Packs: 4L - 8L 
  • Liquid Supplements: 500 ml  > 800 ml
  • Food Supplement: Power Bar or Fruit
  • Clothing: (Summer) Shorts & Shirt (Winter) + Wind Breaker and Convertible Pants
  • Extras: (Some are optional) Shirt, Hat, Sunglasses and Mosquito Repellent and Sun Screen.
LET'S GO!


STARTING POINT / INFORMATION BOARD
Located after crossing the bridge when you pass the main starting area of Section 4.

A friendly sign post next to the Information Board. You will see plenty of this sign post in the trail to ensure your safety on this Trail.


ENTRY POINT
Alright, after spending a few second at the information board and knowing your trail path, here is the main Entrance to Section 4. 

Like I mentioned, the trail is carefully marked with this kind of post so please don't get confused on your route. 

As you get deeper into the trail...you will feel the comfort of shade and shelter from the trees and the coolness of the breeze passing between the and through the trail.

Well this section is very refreshing! This photo is actually taken on top of the bridge but don't hesitate to go in and re-hydrate yourself during summer hike. A pretty good place to have your photo taken while the other person is on the opposite side (on the bridge) but be careful on the slippery rocks. 

OCEAN PARK
Located at Aberdeen but a pretty good view along the trail.

After enjoying a moment on the open section of the trail, now it's time to get inside the wilderness again. Another dome type shelter from the trees will continue to give shelter along the trail.

It's very quiet around here knowing Hong Kong is a small City, but and all you can hear is just the sound of water cascading, birds singing and the rejuvenating sounds of the forest in the modern wilderness of Hong Kong. "Pretty impressive!" - I might say.

On a clear day, if you get lucky...you will have a chance to see the Aberdeen Reservoir and its neighborhood.

MOUNT CAMERON
After hiking through the natural trail, you will get to meet another concrete road with a wooden pavilion nearby. The Road is called "Black Link's" and at the opposite side of the road, you will see a sign post again that will lead you towards you exit point. The arrow pointing to the left will lead you back to your starting point at Wan Chai Gap Road and the one on the right will lead you to Wong Nei Chung Gap Road. I suggest you to take the route to the right to continue with the original trail!

MOUNT NICHOLSON
As you end the hike you will be walking along side with Mt. Nicholson and it is really very entertaining on this section because you will have plenty of opening to see the Repulse Bay Beach and Golf Course, Twin Peak, Violet Hill and Parkview ...these are some of the best part to expect on your way out to finish the Hike.

Even though this trail is very easy, it is rather enjoyable because of its scenic views! I usually run when I take this section and it's really a perfect place for it but you need to be careful because the senior citizens are doing their early morning walk around here as well.





Friendly Reminder
Enjoy The Wilderness & Leave NO Trace

HONG KONG TRAIL SECTION 3

HOW TO GET THERE:
Take public transport to Aberdeen Reservoir Road. Walk up Peel Rise by Pui Tak Canossian College for about 30 minutes to the starting point of Hong Kong Trail Section 3.
Transport routes available are:

City Bus:
No. 7 - running between Central Ferry Piers and Shek Pai Wan in Aberdeen
No. 76 - running between Shek Pai Wan in Aberdeen and Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace)

NWFB:
No. 95 - running betwee Ap Lei Chau and Shek Pai Wan in Aberdeen

Mini Bus:
No. 52 - running between Shek Pai Wan in Aberden and Chung Hom Kok in Stanley (Ma Hang)

For your return journey, walk down Aberdeen Reservoir Road for about 15 minutes to Wan Chai Gap for public transport:

NWFB:
No. 15 - running between Central (Exchange Square) and the Peak
No. 15B - running between Tin Hau MTR Station and the Peak (Sundays and Public Holiday only)

TRAIL INFO:
  • Difficulty: 2/5
  • Distance: 6.5 Km
  • Duration: 2.5 Hrs.
  • Terrain: 20% Concrete and 80% Natural Trail
  • GPS Coverage: Good
  • Phone Coverage: Great
  • Route: Peel Rise > Wan Chai Gap
LOGISTIC:
  • Pack: 8L - 10L 
  • Liquid Supplement: 500ml > 1000ml
  • Clothing: Shorts & Shirt (Summer), Leggings & Wind Breaker (Winter)
  • Shoes: Regular rubber shoes works (but proper Hiking Shoes is better)
  • Food Supplement: Fruit or Snack (Optional)
  • Extras: Hiking Pole (Optional), Extra shirt, Hat, Mosquito Repellent & Sunglasses
LET'S GO!

STARTING POINT
(Roughly about 1/4hrs from Aberdeen Reservoir & 30 minutes from Chi Fu Estate)

Hong Kong Trail Section 3: Information Board

Another friendly trail sign; the trail is fully covered with signs to ensure your safe journey inside the trail.

Section 3 is perfectly shaded by trees so walking in this trail is very comfortable and cool and this is an awesome hiking ground for beginners, friends and family. 

Surprisingly beautiful. This stream comes to life during wet season in Hong Kong, the flow of water is very cool and refreshing.

When you reach this bridge you need to turn and proceed to the right side and try not to take the stairs.

DECISION  POINT
This is where you need to make a decision whether if you will turn right and end at Aberdeen Reservoir or turn left to continue with Hong Kong Trail Section 3 and end at Wan Chai Gap. Both will take at least 30 minutes between either point. I highly suggest that you proceed with the rest of the Hong Kong Trail Section 3 and end at Wan Chai Gap because in this manner you will only need to catch NWFB No.15 or 15B to return to the city.

END POINT
Finally the trail is done! But because Hong Kong Trail Section 3 is too easy for some hikers, many will quickly jump in and continue Section 4. The starting area is immediately located near the end point of Section 3. If you decided to finish the hike though, simply walk uphill and pass the barrier gate and turn left heading towards the main road (Wan Chai Gap) and take NWFB 15 heading Central Exchange Square passing through Ruttongee Hospital, Hopewell Centre, Pacific Place, Admiralty and finally Central.






Friendly Reminder
Enjoy The Wilderness & Leave No Trace