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The Backpack: "House on your back" for mountaineers!

June 30, 2008 Comments (1) Outdoor Tips

The outdoor bums’ how to enjoy Lake Maughan camping

This enchanting place has swooned quite a number of outdoor lovers already. Some actually emailed me to inquire about how to go to Lake Maughan (or Lake Holon to the locals), on a pleasurable stride!
Joy V, a guest blogger here posted a “joy-ish” trekking experience in Lake Holon: A lake Trek to Remember. Pinoy Mountaineer has a detailed itinerary for Maughan and I short blogged about how I prepared for my first trip to Lake Maughan. I guess those articles were really enticing it pushed others to ask more.

So if you want to fill up that Lake Maughan craving, here is a “How to” (continue reading):

  1. Read about Lake Maughan‘s geography, people, terrain, weather conditions and security details on the net and most especially trough their local tourism office. My previous posts offer insightful look into Maughan’s beauty. But the local tourism officer and the local mountaineering group head could help you even better. So far they gave me the best and most accurate description (they had very good pictures on their PCs!) of Lake Maughan’s enticing outdoors.
  2. Prepare for your trek. No matter how “easy” the
    trail is, you’ll never know what’s coming when you’re up there. Summer (or during their festival) is best time to trek Maughan. The four to five hour trek from the jump off will require some level of physical fitness. A common 1-2 day hike using tropical camping gears will be enough. There’s minimal or no rock climbing that you’ll be doing along the trail. Trek water container is a must though there’s enough refilling spots along the trail. Group equipments like tents and cooking equipments are a must. If its rainy, be ready to bring protection for the cold atmosphere but dri fits seem to be more comfortable or best during while summer. If you want to swim at, get “adequately covered” (like a wet suit) but not on a skimpy trunk or two piece. Trust me it feels eerie swimming in such quite lake on bare skin.
  3. Coordinate your climb with the local tourism office. Arrangements, registration and orientations are best done before the planned climb, as this might take some time. The local tourism office is still about 1 1/ 2 hours by jeepney from the jump off site so consider this off your actual trekking time. There is a local mountaineering group who has been so cordial with campers and trekkers there. I suggest also you coordinate your trek with this group.
  4. Which makes it very important to plan and arrange for a transportation from your place to the mayors office and to the jump off site. This is usually accomplished by hiring a jeepney. Make sure your transportation is waiting for you at the jump off, to bring you back to the city when your group come down from the trek.
  5. Trail food is a must and we suggest you prepare a packed lunch (RTE) before jump off. If you’ll be in the campsite by night time, you can have a fiesta meal cooking if you want. Theres more than adequate area for cooking and loafing around.
  6. When already in the camp site, make sure to find a nice camping place and pitch your tent early, hopefully before dusk. That way, you’d be free to do other things early, like site photo ops. If the moon is up, be ready with your camera and you’ll find a number of nigh time landscapes worth taking!
  7. Be respectful to the solemn place. The “leave no trace” habits should always be observed.
  8. Be respectful to the “passersby”. Maughan and the campsite is a “crossroad” for some natives riding a boat and crossing the lake towards the opposite banks. Up to now, I still don’t know what lies in the other side of the lake. So I just maintain courtesy at all times.
  9. Be magnanimous to your guides. At night they also serve as your security personnels-from monkeys and otherwise.
  10. You can have a camp party at night but do it in moderation. No boisterous laughs. Giggle enough to be heared only by your camping mates.
  11. I suggest you do not drink water from the lake or if you do, boil it. There’s a drinking source opposite the lake, but you have to cross the lake on a boat to get it. That is not advisable at night.
  12. Swimming (or boat rides) on the lake is allowed. But be sure to swim at areas where the depth is known. Some parts of this lake has never been explored. And so are the other areas.
  13. Plant a tree like this one and help preserve the area for our future children to enjoy!
  14. Now if you enjoyed this trek, maybe you can spread the word about Lake Maughan!

One Response to The outdoor bums’ how to enjoy Lake Maughan camping

  1. baktin says:

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    Doc, I’ll be trekking Holon very soon. Thank you for this timely post once again. (I used your entry about the Tinago Falls in Sitio Kangko as a reference last time).

    Keep the posts coming!