As camping and trekking are not especially popular with Malaysians, you need to bring your own gear if possible – especially core items like tents and sleeping bags – or buy the locally made version available at markets and general product stores. These might not look good or even last long, but at least won’t cost a fortune.

Hiking boots are especially hard to find, though one-piece rubber slip-on shoes (kasut gatah)costing just RM10 are sold everywhere (up to around size 40). Many national park guides use them as they dry out instantly and give good grip on forest floors, but they’re not suitable for multi-day trekking in difficult terrain.

There are small (and very expensive) “proper” outdoor gear stores in KL, Kota Bharu and elsewhere; you might also be able to rent some of what you’ll need on site, especially at Taman Negara, or have it supplied as part of a hiking package.

Essentials

Backpack

Sleeping bag

Tent (if sleeping out)

Mosquito net

Water bottle

Water purification tablets

Toiletries and toilet paper

Torch (and/or head torch)

Sewing kit

Pocket knife

Sunglasses (UV protective)

Sun block and lip balm

Insect repellent

Compass

Breathable shirts/T-shirts

Lightweight, quick-drying trousers

Rainproof coat or poncho

Cotton hat with brim

Fleece jacket

Trekking boots

Sandals (for wading through streams)

Cotton and woollen socks

Basic first-aid kit

Other useful items

Heavy-duty refuse bag (to rainproof your pack)

Emergency snack food

Spare bootlaces

Small towel

Insulation mat

Binoculars

Leech socks

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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