Ten days to go

Day by day blog written by Charlie Vowden

With ten days to go until we set off on our big jungle adventure it’s no surprise that our packing lists are out and the ticking off of items has begun. Jelly babies , check. Inflatable pillow, check. Anti-chip nail polish that matches midnight blue backpack check.

No seriously, I promise you our 30-litre back packs will only be filled with sensibly selected survival equipment, the bare essentials. After all, we have to carry what we pack so the decision on what goes in and what stays at home won’t be taken lightly.

A sturdy pair of shoes is a must-have as we will be trekking through primary jungle from Kota Kinabalu for four days. The terrain will be challenging so walking boots that provide ankle support, fit well and are made from durable material are vital.

Staying hydrated is also critical so we will each carry a camel pack (a rubber back-pack for storing liquid) or water flask. To make the water safe to drink it will have to be treated with purification tablets, which unfortunately leave a rather unsavoury aftertaste.

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However, to the teams’ delight and appreciation, trekker Sarah has negotiated with a company called nuun UK, who specialise in rehydration methods, and they have agreed to donate flavoured tubes of electrolyte to add to the water. The tubes contain sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium which will help to keep us feeling refreshed, hydrated and full on energy.

Other key things we must each pack include a light-weight waterproof, first-aid kit, sleeping bag, torch and ear plugs; the jungle gets pretty noisy at night and it’s guaranteed someone is going to snore!

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As individuals and as a team we’ve been preparing for months, but not only on making decisions on what kit to use. We’ve been meeting for walks as often as possible, increasing distance and time gradually to prepare us for the challenge that lies ahead.

During these walks we’ve discussed a multitude of trek-related issues such as what insect repellent to use and how to prevent disasters on the trip, for example making sure we’ve all had our inoculations. We’ve encouraged each other to carry on despite aches and pains and have had many a giggle along the way.

We all have different reasons for wanting to make this journey but one thing is clear ? we are in it together. And come rain or shine or leech-attack (eek) it’s going to be an experience we will never forget.

But, without the support of friends, family and colleagues this challenge would not be going ahead so we would like to say a big thank you for your continuing support

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