Mt. Maculot Experience + Day Hike Essentials

March 24, 2017 Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines

Mt. Maculot Rockies Summit

It would be a shame if we're working on a travel website, encouraging others to do the same while we're not traveling, right? So earlier this year, our company has decided to organize a team-building activity at least thrice or 4 times a year including a few out-of-town trips and activities. And last February, we were set to hike Mt. Maculot.

Mt. Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas

Mt. Maculot (or Macolod) is situated in the municipality of Cuenca, Batangas, a 2-3 hour drive from Metro Manila. Okay, to be upfront, this is not going to be another itinerary post because, let's be honest, you've got tons of that on Google search (and this will probably appear on the last page), but I'll leave a link here just in case you need it. (Read: Mt. Maculot Itinerary)

Weeks before the hike, we were told to prepare ourselves physically since half of us are first-timers. Do some jogging, a few leg workouts and all that. And yep you guessed it right... I chose to disregard that warning. Mt. Maculot has a 3/9 trail difficulty. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, compared to other mountains with a 6/9 or 7/9 difficulty, at least. But what I learned from this experience is that you should never ever underestimate a trail, most especially when you're a beginner. Those ratings are based on experienced mountaineers and you're gonna have slimmer chances of making it through if you're unfit and unprepared.

After barely making it to the 3rd station (out of 13), we were already breathing heavily. Our legs and thighs hurt so much and we were really close to regretting that we agreed to this in the first place.

Mt. Maculot trail

I'm sure you've all seen the prettiest sunsets and breath-taking summit views. Perhaps that mesmerizing sea of clouds or the exciting thrill encouraged you to join the hiking craze as well. But that isn't the totality of a hike.

All trails are different. Some may be slippery, grainy, rocky, muddy. There are trails which will require a lot of extra effort where you need to rappel down a slope, or climb a steep rock formation. There would always be moments where your limits would be challenged. Tiring, yes, but definitely worth it.

trail to the Rockies Summit
Mt. Maculot day hike


HIKING ESSENTIALS

day hike essentials
  • HIKING BAG - This will literally contain your entire life when hiking. For starters, it doesn't have to be those expensive, waterproof, heavy-duty backpacks. You could start with regular ones but don't forget to line it with plastic bags or ziplocs to keep your items from getting wet (due to rain or your sweat).
  • WATER - And lots of it! Ideally, you should bring at least a liter of water for a day hike (more if you really drink a lot) but as much as possible, drink only when needed. You don't want to stop for a pee in the mountains.
  • ENERGY FOOD - Nuts, protein bars, peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, beef jerky.
  • FIRST AID - This would normally depend on the duration of the trip or the area that you'll be hiking into. Safety doesn't happen by accident so make sure to pack up some first aid essentials on your day hike such as bandages, gauze, tape, alcohol, antihistamine, etc.
  • INSECT REPELLENT - Mountains, of course, are full of trees and grasses, so protect yourself from the insect bites, especially from mosquitos! 
  • HIKING SHOES - Again, it doesn't have to be the one for pros. You could start with your regular  rubber shoes or trekking sandals. Just make sure that it has soft inner soles for your comfortability, and rough tread patterns that could hold onto terrains.
  • CAP and RAIN GEAR* - To protect you from the scorching heat or rain. Both are optional. Check the weather forecast a day before your hike to get more accurate results, then prepare accordingly. 

And that's about it for my first—but definitely not the last—hiking experience! We're almost done with the first quarter of the year, and I'm glad I did a little progress with my bucket list. To end this post, here's my obligatory buwis-buhay shot at the Rockies Summit!

Mt. Maculot Rockies Summit


Did I miss other day hike essentials?
Have you experienced climbing a mountain?
Share your stories below.

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