What to bring to your adventure.
- Comfortable fast dry clothing. No jeans or alike. If you are scared of scratches long sleeve/pants and gloves. At least one extra t-shirt in a plastic bag for the return, or a full change of clothes if you feel like. Going back home in HK transportation fully sweated can be more dangerous than any hiking path, with the air cons making you sick. Swimsuit below if you think you will want to dip into any stream/pool and a (tiny) towel.
- Best grip shoes you have for the terrain to be hiking on. For streams, specific canyoning or water shoes are the best. If you don’t want to invest in this kind of shoes your second best option are (trail) running shoes with softer soles: I have had good experience with NB Summit, Salomon Wings Pro, the Asics 2000 non-trail running series, and others. Try to avoid clunky, heavy and hard soled shoes or you will feel like on skates on the stream as soon as the rocks are bit wet. If you are going to be walking on anything that does not involve wet rocks, then standard hiking shoes/boots are a good option. In my case, I like to walk light and tend to use all the time trail running shoes though. Casual shoes are not a good hiking option: non-running Pumas, Sketchers, etc. They tend to have bad grip and easily breakable. Full article about shoes.
- A comfortable backpack which won’t swing around, ideally with a chest and/or a belly strap. No shoulder bags or similar stuff.
- Cap, sunscreen, etc. Sunburning in Hong Kong is a serious issue. Mosquito repellant if you attract them. Tissues.
For Coasteering you will need to add several things to your stream hiking gear:
- Extra protection: Gloves, in this case, are a must. Knee and elbow pads, or long sleeves and pants, can help avoid scratches getting in and out of the water (barnacles and others).
- A Waterproof bag, ideally sturdy and buoyant. The secondary option is to use your standard backpack with dry clothes and other stuff within, at least, a couple of zipper bags.
- Goggles can help you significantly in the (short) swim sections above all when trying to find the best “landing” point among the rocks, urchins and barnacles.
- Additional security gear. A helmet, life-jacket, rope and others can be handy depending on the route and your ability.
- A safety device that makes you way more visible in the water, you can hold to rest if tired and can be used for carrying your stuff within, when your swim entry and exit are going to be different. It is basically a waterproof bag which you can inflate and fasten to your waist, so that follows you while swimming, without much drag or discomfort. Like this one:
- If you are going to be swimming really long distance you might need to carry some water and food that you can drink/eat on the go. For that, I like to put the dry stuff within waterproof bags and just put the Gatorade, gels, jellies, or else out in the safety device. Be careful when opening the device in the open water, so that as little water as possible comes into. Stating the obvious…
- Good grip shoes on rocks and clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.
- Small backpack. You don’t want a bulky bag on you that will make your way in narrow passageways more difficult.
- A good torch or even better a headlamp, so that you have both your hands free. Bring some spare, just in case. Well charged mobile can be used for an emergency.
- If complex structure chalk to mark your way. Other option is to take a a strong long string or thin rope. Tie one end on the entrance and take the rope with you.
- Consider using a helmet.