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FAQs

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Medical

PNG Trekking send all clients a medical certificate that must be filled and signed by their Dr before a trek commences. Check with your local doctor to see which vaccinations are recommended. You should ensure your tetanus booster is current. Malaria poses the most serious health risk. Advise you Doctor you are going to PNG for 11 days or so and will be spending 6-9 of those on the Kokoda Track. Your Doctor will brief you on the requirements for malarial precautions, which include. Avoiding mosquito bites by using ‘Rid’ repellent and by wearing suitable clothing. Taking anti-malarial drugs as prescribed sleeping under a mosquito net.

Equipment

Back packing equipment for camping can be purchased from outdoor shops or hired from us. If you are carrying your own pack and not taking a Personal Porter one of the most important items is a good backpack. One that can be adjusted so approximately two-thirds of the weight will sit on your hips and one-third on your shoulders. Ensure the belt is well padded to avoid chafing. You will need a medium weight sleeping bag for although it is quite hot and humid during the day it can be very chilly at night along the Kokoda plateau. If you have a good set of thermal underwear, a self-inflating sleeping mat, small pillow and a sleeping bag you will enjoy a deep, comfortable sleep each night. There is the opportunity to stay at village guesthouse accommodation at Isurava, Alolo, Efogi, Menari and Naoro. For the other locations we will sleep in tents. You will also need a plate, canteen/cup and eating utensils. We will provide all cooking pots.

Very important that all your clothes, sleeping bag etc are put into zip lock bags, plastic bags or dry sacks to help keep them dry.

Also please line your pack with a large garbage bag.

Bring a couple of large garbage bags to put over your big pack if it does not come with a pack cover.

Clothing

During the day it can be quite hot and humid. The nights can get quite cold. It is recommended that you wear long sleeve shirts. You should also bring a bandana to wear around your neck, a hat or peak cap, thick socks, walking boots and gaiters. If you are prone to chafing it is a good idea to wear a pair of Lycra gym shorts under of ordinary shorts. Or make sure that you Vaseline those areas well prior to starting out each day. Each night we either stay in villages or camp beside a creek with plenty of fast flowing, crystal clear mountain water. We always have the opportunity to have a good refreshing bath. After this you will want to change into a spare set of dry clothing. You must be prepared for rain, you must bring plastic bags/zip lock bags or better still dry sacks to store spare clothing, sleeping bag etc within your pack. This will ensure you always have something dry to put on.

Equipment List / Requirements

The following is the equipment list you require for this trek:
  • One rimmed Hat or Peak Cap
  • One pair of gaiters (gaiters keep socks and (protection against rain and/or sun) tops of your boots clean. Help stop leaches and grass cuts)
  • Two long sleeve quick dry shirts
  • Bandana (optional)
  • Two pairs of quick dry shorts (some people may prefer to walk in long zip off trekking pants)
  • One polypro top (evening)
  • Four-six pair of thick socks (recommend woollen)
  • One track suit pants or similar (evening)
  • Two pair of thin sock liners – optional
  • One long sleeved warm top (evening)
  • One pair of bush walking boots (with good grip, ankle support and preferably waterproof, must be broken in)
  • Two/three sets of underwear
  • One pair of sneakers/sandals (for day’s end)
  • One poncho style rain jacket. The really cheap plastic ones are okay.
  • One towel (the quick drying sports towel, you can buy from camping stores are ideal)
  • One pair of lycra gym shorts. (optional)
  • One 85-90 litre large backpack-must have pack cover Must be this size
  • One day pack (35 litres) must be good quality and have chest and hip straps. Must have pack cover & must be this size
  • One medium weight sleeping bag (Plus 10 celcius)
  • One thermarest (self inflating mattress) or one rubber sleeping mat
  • Small pillow
  • Mosquito Net (please tie a long piece of string to the tabs so you can tie the net up.)
  • Whistle
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking poles
  • Head torch & spare batteries
  • Camel pack – this is a bladder which enables you to drink via a tube from your daypack (3 litre capacity for water)
  • 500 litre bottle to go on outside of pack with electrolites to drink.
  • Spoon/cup/bowl/utensils
  • Swimmers
  • Sarong (for the ladies)
  • Small light weight stool (optional)
  • Personal: Camera (spare battery), (extra memory card), note book,
  • Toothbrush/paste, wet wipes, toilet paper, soap, shampoo etc
  • Small nail brush to clean boots & poles after trek
  • Extra bag for leaving gear in Port Moresby while on the trek.
Sectioned Gear List: Day Wear
  • Shorts / Trousers, 2 pairs
  • One pair of lycra gym shorts or Skins. (optional)
  • Shirts, 2
  • Underwear, 2 to 3
  • Socks, 3 to 4 pair
  • Bandana. (optional)
  • One brimmed Hat or Peak Cap(protection against rain and/or sun)
Trekking Gear
  • Boots- worn in
  • Trekking poles
  • One 85-90 litre back pack-must be this size-Personal Porter carries this
  • One day pack (35 litre) must be this size
  • Camel pack (3 litre capacity for water)
  • Gaiters (long or short either is suitable)
  • 500ml litre drink sports bottle (for made up Staminade or similar)
  • Sun Glasses
  • Poncho/ spray jacket
  • Pack Cover for when it rains
  • Whistle
  • Head light & spare batteries
Personal:
  • Toilet paper, Ethanol hand gel, detol wipes, deodorant
  • Camera/go pro, diary/book
Bath Gear
  • Towel, soap, toothbrush & paste etc
Night Wear: Camp fire
  • Long zip off trekking Pants
  • Long sleeve quick dry trekking shirt
  • Poly tech Jumper
  • Reef shoes/sand shoes
Night Wear: Sleep
  • One thermal top
  • One thermal pants
  • Long sleeve T-shirt
  • Anti-fungal foot powder
Sleeping Gear
  • thermarest/ exped 7 w downe, is our recommendation
  • One light sleeping bag
  • Watch ( to avoid middle of night guessing what time it is)
  • Earplugs (roosters in villages, 3am ,sometimes)
  • Mosquito Net (please tie a long piece of string to the tabs so you can tie the net up.)
  • Pillow
  • Tent (we provide)
Eating Utensils:
  • Spoon, cup, bowl, fork, knife

First Aid

We carry a basic first aid kit for the group however there are items which you should bring to treat minor ailments or irritations. The major area of concern is your feet. Ensure you have a comfortable pair of walking boots and good thick socks (bring a couple of pair of thin socks as they can be worn with the thick ones to prevent blisters). Each night you will have the opportunity to thoroughly wash and dry your feet. It is then a good idea to give them a liberal covering of tinea or anti fungal powder to dry them out during the night. Next morning it is advisable to give them a liberal coating of Vaseline. We recommend tea tree antiseptic oil or cream to treat any minor scratches or bites you might have. The best protection against malaria is to avoid being bitten. Mosquitoes are not a major problem on the Kokoda Track because of the altitude. Nevertheless they are about. We therefore advise you to wear long sleeved shirts and apply ‘Rid’ mosquito repellent to any exposed areas of skin whenever you stop and rest. Blisters should not be a problem if you have good boots and have broken them in properly. Even so it is a wise precaution to have a blister kit with you. The Spenko blister kit contains a soothing ‘second skin’ and is highly recommended.

We recommend you bring the following in your personal first-aid kit.

  • Anti malarial tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
  • Antihistamine (such as Benadryl)-useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, or ease the itch from insect bites or stings.
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
  • Antibiotic eye and ear drops
  • Antiseptic –Antibiotic cream or powder– for cuts and scratches
  • Anti Fungal Powder
  • Calamine lotion – to ease irritation from bites or stings.
  • Imodium or Lomotil – for stomach upsets
  • Amoxolin, Keflex, stemitol antibiotics
  • Rehydration mixture – for dehydration, especially that caused by severe diarrhea
  • Aquim Antibacterial Gel
  • Canistene Antiseptic Liquid
  • Canasten (ladies)
  • Salt tablets for those that know they sweat a lot.
  • Vaseline/Paw Paw cream or similar for chafing
  • Insect repellant (Rid) (no aerosol cans please)
  • Staminade (only enough for 2tbls per day-in zip lock bag)
  • One packet of glucose tablets
  • Two (2) Dr Scholl or Spenko blister packs
  • Two (2) Rolls of broad elasticated bandage
  • Two rolls of Leukoplast waterproof elastoplast (5 cm X 5 m)
  • Band-Aids (waterproof)
  • Panadol Forte/Aspirin tablets/capsules
  • Codral cold and flu tablets
  • Sunscreen
  • Scissors, tweezers, and safety pins
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • One ankle and knee guard
Important: Trekkers must purify their water

All our guides are highly qualified in First Aid. They either are Wilderness First Aid Certificated or Flight Para Medics. They will apply emergency first aid when required.

Trekkers also need to know how to look after themselves using their own personal first aid kit.

Feet: Most important, if a trekkers is unable to walk due to blisters then they will have to be medivaced off the track. This is so preventable. When you arrive in PNG you may find that your feet will swell due to the heat. This may cause hot spots/friction blisters. STOP immediately and attend to this. Do not leave it until you get into camp, it will be too late.

All trekkers should know how to:
  • Apply band aids/blister pack
  • Appropriate management of blisters. (your guide will have suggestions)
  • Cuts and scratches
  • Applying antiseptic Cream or Powder
  • Strap ankles/knees
Blisters: Highly effective method for preventing blisters is in the morning prior to putting on your socks cover your feet in vaseline. This will help prevent friction; we have always used this along Kokoda and never had a blister.

As soon as you get into camp in the evenings take off your boots and let your feet enjoy the fresh air. Every evening before getting into your sleeping bag dry your feet off and rub in foot powder. In the morning put on dry socks. If your boots are wet please give them to the boys and they will attempt to dry them overnight for you.

The first sign of blisters will be redness over the skin, possibly at the back of the heel, the instep or toes. Apply a second skin dressing or blister plaster, tape the affected area. Ensure the feet are dry and change socks, not possible if during the day.

When should you pop blisters? For larger blisters or those which are causing problems, it may be necessary to pop them. Popping blisters should be done with caution, following these guidelines.

Make a small hole at the edge with a sterilised pin or needle, particularly if the blister is on a weight bearing surface. A pin can be sterilised by passing it through a flame. Do not drain a blood filled blister. Drain the fluid but leave as much of the skin as possible covering the wound. This is an important protective layer for the underlying skin and will help to prevent infected blisters. Clean the blister with a sterilising wipe. Cover the wound with a second skin or blister plaster – take the time to apply it correctly. For additional security apply tape over top.

How to get rid of blisters? Blisters will usually just drain and heal on their own. Even if you have had to pop a blister, you should then simply clean the area, cover it to protect it and leave it to heal naturally.

Cuts and Abrasions: Trekkers should know how to treat any cuts, scratches or abrasions. If this occurs along the track please attend to immediately. In the heat and humidity any tiny scratch can become instantly infected.

Clean the wound thoroughly, either with water or saline solution. Dry, then dress the wound with either a sterile pad or antibiotic ointment/powder and cover with gauze and a dressing. Change the dressing every evening after bathing.

Only use antibiotic medications if the wound becomes infected.

Chafing: The heat and humidity and jungle environment can cause chafing, salt build up in your clothing especially between your legs can also cause chafing this is all extremely uncomfortable and painful. Serious cases can also lead to bleeding and skin infections.

Stop immediately and apply an ointment such as Bepanthen or Paw Paw cream. Also apply this in the required areas in the mornings before dressing.

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