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.
Tent (if sleeping out)
Water purification tablets
Toiletries and toilet paper
Torch (and/or head torch)
Sunglasses (UV protective)
Sun block and lip balm
Lightweight, quick-drying trousers
Rainproof coat or poncho
Cotton hat with brim
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