Training & Preparation
It is not possible to train or prepare for heat and humidity in the UK, except perhaps to have lots of saunas, but it will be important to train in advance of any trip to the mountains with regular hill walking and a rucksack on your back. Mt Kinabalu in particular has a large number of steps which put a lot of strain on the thigh and calf muscles. Take care with not over-training and allow time before the trip to scale down any training, in case of last minute injuries.
None of our trips to Borneo require any specific training programmes, but clearly a good level of fitness will ensure that you enjoy the experience more. The Three Peaks trip and the Roof of Borneo trip are physically harder than the others and we would suggest a structured approach to training as one would for any physical challenge.
Put simply the more training and preparation you can do before you arrive, the quicker you will start to enjoy your trip. The Adventure Alternative Borneo trips vary in terms of physical rating but they all share some common facts: whilst out trekking it is generally very hot and sweaty and most hills are steep – up or down. The more practice you can get of these beforehand the easier you will find it. Increase your strength by training using the backpack you will be bringing with you and gradually increase the weight inside. Make sure you break in those new walking boots! By all means go and find a sauna at least a couple of times a week for a month before your departure – this will open your sweat pores and mentally give you an idea of what expect – unlike like a sauna, whilst trekking there is nearly always a cool shower or waterfall not too far away!
First impressions of Borneo often surprise and even disappoint. It is a rapidly changing place, especially in the cities, but it is without doubt most definitely Asian. Mentally prepare yourself by leaving any pre-conceptions you may have, good or bad, at the airport and arrive with an open mind. A good expression to learn and appreciate is that of 'Jam Karat’ - literally translated this means rubber time - in the rural areas where we spend most of the time this is very much the case. This is to say do not expect the timings within each day to run to exact minutes and seconds - try removing your watch when you step off the plane and slow down.