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FAQs

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Safety on the Track

Every morning before setting off your guide will brief trekkers on what will be happening today. Water availability, elevations on the track. What you will be stopping to look at. How long to get to the next camp site etc.

The track is either up or down there are no flat spots and it is unrelenting. Watch where you put your feet. Stop if you want to look up or take a photo. There are a lot of steep ridges and banks to climb. Your personal porter will always be behind you to hold your hand or steady you.

We try and avoid trekking at night. The only time trekkers will be asked to carry their head torches in their day packs is the first day. If the plane is delayed by weather getting into Kokoda we may be walking in the dark for a couple of hours to reach our first nights destination. This is not the norm, but has happened several times.

There will always be a porter out the front of the group. NEVER pass this porter. Your guide will be the last out the back. If you need to stop for any reason they will pick you up on the way through. If you need to go off the track please leave your poles across the track so that they know to wait for you.

All the rivers will be roped up. DO NOT cross any river until the group is all together. The porters will walk with you across the log crossings. Please unbuckle your pack waist belt before crossing.
  • All the log crossings will be roped up
  • Porters will walk you across the log
  • We will have a porter down river with a safety rope in the event a trekker or porter falls in.
  • Please unbuckle your back pack waist strap before crossing.
  • Only one person and porter on the log at any time.
  • Walk very slowly across the river and concentrate
Your guide will tell you when you should carry your thongs or night shoes in your pack for days when there are a number of water crossings without bridges. Never rock hop across streams. The rocks are moss covered and slippery and you will come to grief.

Walking

Always walk within yourself, this is not a race. Do not try and keep up with the person in front of you. Once your heart rate increases it is hard to get it back to normal. You will be gasping for breath. Only walk at a speed that you are able to hold a conversation.

Watch where you put your feet as there are a lot of roots, mud and steep ascents and descents. It is often ankle deep mud, slippery rocks, fallen trees to negotiate and raining. Take your time and be strong and steady when placing your foot down. Trust your boots and use your poles.

Do not walk right behind the trekker in front of you. If they are using poles you could end up getting stabbed. Also if they fall or come to a sudden stop you will not crash into them.
  • Never deviate off the track.
  • If you find you are walking by yourself wait for someone to catch up with you.
  • Always try and keep the person in front of you in sight.

Evacuation Considerations/Procedures

  • Evacuations have occurred each year for seriously injured trekkers. PNG Trekking Adventures has an excellent record.
  • Evacuations for tired or “I have given up” trekkers is rare as they are very expensive. You are not covered by insurance if you are just tired.. (i.e K4000.00+ per hour would be a starting price) Don’t even consider this as an option. Come to PNG to do Kokoda fit and healthy. WE WILL GET YOU TO THE FINISH
  • The PNG Trekking Adventures Guide will always have a satellite phone and track radio with them to call for help if needed. The first call is to your insurance company to determine if they will evacuate you given your current condition. This information is asked for in the Questionnaire that PNGTA requires trekkers to fill out. This cannot be taken for granted. Remember that, with the assistance of a porter, people have been able to continue with sprained ankles and other minor injuries.
  • There are well known locations along the Kokoda Trail that support the landing of helicopters or fixed wing aircraft. PNG Trekking Adventures will always aim to evacuate seriously injured persons from these locations (when possible) and if your insurance company has organized and tasked an aircraft to evacuate you.
  • The type of evacuation aircraft is determined at the time of the emergency by your insurance company and may be either helicopter or fixed wing aircraft (e.g small plane.) Most evacuations over the years have been by helicopter.
  • Emergency first aid will always be applied by the PNG Trekking Adventures Guide when needed at any location. Emergency paramedic services would have to be brought in by helicopter for very serious injuries and this kind of service is not typically available unless your Insurance Company has arrangements in place for this to be available.
  • If you are evacuated back to Port Moresby Pam or Mark will endeavor to remain in contact with you whilst your insurance company deals with the logistics of managing your injuries and hospital stay.
  • PNG Trekking Adventures will contact the number provided on your PNG Trekking Adventure questionnaire to notify your emergency contact.
Always remember that the Kokoda Trail is located in very rugged, remote mountain jungle terrain with rain, fog and bad weather a risk at any time. There are no roads, 4WD tracks or quick ways to get help to you unless it arrives by air or walks in.
< br /> Note:
  • It is ultimately up to the PNG Trekking Adventure Guide if an evacuation is necessary.
  • Pam and Mark the owners of PNG Trekking Adventures are based in Port Moresby and will also liaise with trekker’s insurance company where necessary and help facilitate aircrafts. Their knowledge and experience in dealing with the “PNG Factor” is invaluable.

Ordinances along the Track

We will be visiting a number of sites where we will still see bombs, grenades and weapons pits. They must be treated as “Live” “Unexploded” do not pick up, do not poke them with your poles and do not take anything home as a souvenir, this is illegal. The Australian Defence Force walked the track in 2011 and has disabled a lot of the live ordinance but not all.

There are several museums along the track which villagers have built and collected WW11 artifacts off the track. Again these may all still be very dangerous. Please do not handle.

The Dangers of Walking in the Heat and Humidity

No matter how fit you are, you need to be careful of the dangers of walking in the heat — especially if the humidity is high. Even experienced trekkers and athletes can fall victim to serious heat-related ailments if they don’t take special precautions. Your body’s built-in cooling system helps it to maintain its normal temperature of approximately 37-37 degrees Celsius when you’re in a hot environment. The evaporation of sweat from the surface of your skin causes cooling.

In addition, the blood vessels in your skin dilate (expand) to let more blood flow through them. (That’s why your skin gets flushed from a hard workout.) As your blood circulates through the innermost region of your body, known as the body core, it heats up. When it reaches the blood vessels in the skin, the heat radiates outward.

This natural “air-conditioning” system isn’t foolproof, however. If you don’t replace the water that you lose through sweat, you can become dehydrated. Without adequate water, your sweating mechanism can’t work effectively. In the extreme case, this mechanism can shut down completely.

High humidity coupled with warm temperatures can also greatly hamper your body’s ability to stay cool. When it’s humid, there’s already so much moisture in the air that your sweat can’t evaporate as quickly. As a result, your body loses water as it pumps out sweat, yet your body temperature continues to rise.

Another important factor in how well your body deals with heat is acclimatization. Your body needs anywhere from four days to two weeks to make physiological adjustments that allow it to

If you overdo it in the heat, you can develop a series of problems. There are three major types of heat illness: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Heat cramps are the least serious and heatstroke is the most threatening. Their symptoms overlap, however, and if proper measures aren’t taken at the first sign of heat injury, heat illness can progress to its most severe form.

Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms that occur during or after intense exercise. The spasms usually occur in the muscles that are being exercised and may be caused by the loss of water and salt through sweat. The body temperature is usually not elevated. Rest and replacement of fluids can usually help relieve heat cramps.

Heat exhaustion, also called heat prostration, is a common heat-related illness that occurs most often in people who are not acclimatized to hot weather. It sometimes occurs after excessive perspiration, coupled with inadequate consumption of water to replace lost liquids.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness; dizziness; collapse; headache; weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy skin; and dilated pupils. The victim of heat exhaustion usually has a near-normal body temperature and continues to sweat.

If you experience any of these symptoms while walking in hot weather, move to a cool place, rest, and drink plenty of water.

Heatstroke, also called sunstroke, is the most serious heat-related illness and requires immediate medical attention. Heatstroke occurs when the body cannot get rid of heat fast enough. The body’s cooling system is overwhelmed and simply breaks down.

Sweating usually stops, the circulatory system is strained, and body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or more. If immediate steps to cool the victim aren’t taken, body temperature will continue to rise and death may occur.

Symptoms of heatstroke include hot, dry skin; rapid pulse; high body temperature; headache; dizziness; abdominal cramps; and delirium. Often, however, the first visible sign of heatstroke is loss of consciousness.
  • Avoid the direct sunlight and getting sun burnt
  • Make sure you wear a light hat that lets the heat out.
  • Rest often
  • Keep eating and drinking
  • Wear clothing that is lose and cool
  • Walk at your pace

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