Trekkers will disembark their international flight at Jacksons Airport. It is a very small terminal with an ATM and money changer where you collect your baggage just through immigration and an ATM and BSP Bank where you can change money in the arrival complex. There are bathrooms in immigration and in the arrival area.
Visitors to PNG will be required to fill our customs arrival and departure information forms provided on the plane. On arrival the queues can be very long and getting through immigration can at times be very tedious. Remember to be a relaxed travel you are now on island time. You line up in the queue either with someone with a PNG Visa or without a PNG Visa. Please go to our website “Other Services” and click onto “Visiting Papua New Guinea” for visa information.
Trekkers will be met at the airport by Pam. They will have arranged transport to your hotel and will have organized your room keys already. If by some chance we have been delayed getting to the airport. Please wait for us.
Your accommodation in Port Moresby is at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. 15 minutes drive from the International Airport. Pam will have arranged your rooms based on twin share unless otherwise advised by trekkers that they would like single accommodation.
• 24 hour front desk
• Child minding
• Currency exchange
• Room Service
• Dry cleaning/laundry
• Serviced Apartments
• Non-smoking floors
• Conference rooms
• Outdoor swimming pool
• Souvenir Shop
• Lotus Spa (Massages/Pedicures etc)
The standard continental breakfast is included in the expedition costs, any other beverages, food and personal expenses must be paid by trekkers.
There is free secure baggage store. Please make sure all your bags that you are leaving behind are locked. Do not have any loose items attached to your bags.
Please make sure you leave your rooms clean before leaving the hotel to fly back to Australia. There are a number of hotels now that will not accommodate trekkers
We urge all our clients to employ a Personal Porter. Unless you are an experienced trekker and familiar with carrying weights of 20kgs or more. Remember you will be carrying your personal gear, your tent 2.8kgs, first aid kit, 1 days food and water 2-3 litres. A Personal Porter costs $790.00 this is under $100.00 per day. Very inexpensive in the big scheme of things. Walking the track is a once in a life time dream. Please come and enjoy, don’t make it a hard slog where you only see from your knees down and are completely exhausted at the end of the day. Too exhausted to sit around the fire at night and enjoy the ambience and company of your fellow trekkers and sing with the porters. But in saying this if you choose to carry your own pack and have done the training we will support you all the way. If a trekker is employing a Personal Porter they still have to supply the large pack as per equipment list. Trekkers weight allowance is 12-13kgs in their large packs. The porters need space for their personal gear and the tent. If trekkers back pack is above 13kgs they will be asked to carry the excess weight or hire another Personal Porter. We do not allow trekkers to share a personal porter.
If you decide to carry your own pack please take note that there is problems getting trekkers a personal porter once they start walking. If we are unable to secure a porter for you along the track and you are unable to carry on you will be flown off the track. There is no insurance for not being able to carry your pack. Please note that if we are able to procure a personal porter, we have not catered for food, shelter or repatriation back to his village for him. The full fee of $790.00 will be charged immediately to clients credit card
PNG Trekking send all clients a medical certificate that must be filled and signed by their Dr before a trek commences. Check with your local doctor to see which vaccinations are recommended. You should ensure your tetanus booster is current. Malaria poses the most serious health risk. Advise you Doctor you are going to PNG for 11 days or so and will be spending 6-9 of those on the Kokoda Track. Your Doctor will brief you on the requirements for malarial precautions, which include. Avoiding mosquito bites by using ‘Rid’ repellent and by wearing suitable clothing. Taking anti-malarial drugs as prescribed sleeping under a mosquito net.
Back packing equipment for camping can be purchased from outdoor shops or hired from us. If you are carrying your own pack and not taking a Personal Porter one of the most important items is a good backpack. One that can be adjusted so approximately two-thirds of the weight will sit on your hips and one-third on your shoulders. Ensure the belt is well padded to avoid chafing. You will need a medium weight sleeping bag for although it is quite hot and humid during the day it can be very chilly at night along the Kokoda plateau. If you have a good set of thermal underwear, a self-inflating sleeping mat, small pillow and a sleeping bag you will enjoy a deep, comfortable sleep each night. There is the opportunity to stay at village guesthouse accommodation at Isurava, Alolo, Efogi, Menari and Naoro. For the other locations we will sleep in tents. You will also need a plate, canteen/cup and eating utensils. We will provide all cooking pots.
Very important that all your clothes, sleeping bag etc are put into zip lock bags, plastic bags or dry sacks to help keep them dry.
Also please line your pack with a large garbage bag.
Bring a couple of large garbage bags to put over your big pack if it does not come with a pack cover.
During the day it can be quite hot and humid. The nights can get quite cold. It is recommended that you wear long sleeve shirts. You should also bring a bandana to wear around your neck, a hat or peak cap, thick socks, walking boots and gaiters. If you are prone to chafing it is a good idea to wear a pair of Lycra gym shorts under of ordinary shorts. Or make sure that you Vaseline those areas well prior to starting out each day. Each night we either stay in villages or camp beside a creek with plenty of fast flowing, crystal clear mountain water. We always have the opportunity to have a good refreshing bath. After this you will want to change into a spare set of dry clothing. You must be prepared for rain, you must bring plastic bags/zip lock bags or better still dry sacks to store spare clothing, sleeping bag etc within your pack. This will ensure you always have something dry to put on.
The following is the equipment list you require for this trek:
- One rimmed Hat or Peak Cap
- One pair of gaiters (gaiters keep socks and (protection against rain and/or sun) tops of your boots clean. Help stop leaches and grass cuts)
- Two long sleeve quick dry shirts
- Bandana (optional)
- Two pairs of quick dry shorts (some people may prefer to walk in long zip off trekking pants)
- One polypro top (evening)
- Four-six pair of thick socks (recommend woollen)
- One track suit pants or similar (evening)
- Two pair of thin sock liners – optional
- One long sleeved warm top (evening)
- One pair of bush walking boots (with good grip, ankle support and preferably waterproof, must be broken in)
- Two/three sets of underwear
- One pair of sneakers/sandals (for day’s end)
- One poncho style rain jacket. The really cheap plastic ones are okay.
- One towel (the quick drying sports towel, you can buy from camping stores are ideal)
- One pair of lycra gym shorts. (optional)
- One 85-90 litre large backpack-must have pack cover Must be this size
- One day pack (35 litres) must be good quality and have chest and hip straps. Must have pack cover & must be this size
- One medium weight sleeping bag (Plus 10 celcius)
- One thermarest (self inflating mattress) or one rubber sleeping mat
- Small pillow
- Mosquito Net (please tie a long piece of string to the tabs so you can tie the net up.)
- Trekking poles
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Camel pack – this is a bladder which enables you to drink via a tube from your daypack (3 litre capacity for water)
- 500 litre bottle to go on outside of pack with electrolites to drink.
- Sarong (for the ladies)
- Small light weight stool (optional)
- Personal: Camera (spare battery), (extra memory card), note book,
- Toothbrush/paste, wet wipes, toilet paper, soap, shampoo etc
- Small nail brush to clean boots & poles after trek
- Extra bag for leaving gear in Port Moresby while on the trek.
Sectioned Gear List:
- Shorts / Trousers, 2 pairs
- One pair of lycra gym shorts or Skins. (optional)
- Shirts, 2
- Underwear, 2 to 3
- Socks, 3 to 4 pair
- Bandana. (optional)
- One brimmed Hat or Peak Cap(protection against rain and/or sun)
- Boots- worn in
- Trekking poles
- One 85-90 litre back pack-must be this size-Personal Porter carries this
- One day pack (35 litre) must be this size
- Camel pack (3 litre capacity for water)
- Gaiters (long or short either is suitable)
- 500ml litre drink sports bottle (for made up Staminade or similar)
- Sun Glasses
- Poncho/ spray jacket
- Pack Cover for when it rains
- Head light & spare batteries
- Toilet paper, Ethanol hand gel, detol wipes, deodorant
- Camera/go pro, diary/book
- Towel, soap, toothbrush & paste etc
Night Wear: Camp fire
- Long zip off trekking Pants
- Long sleeve quick dry trekking shirt
- Poly tech Jumper
- Reef shoes/sand shoes
Night Wear: Sleep
- One thermal top
- One thermal pants
- Long sleeve T-shirt
- Anti-fungal foot powder
- thermarest/ exped 7 w downe, is our recommendation
- One light sleeping bag
- Watch ( to avoid middle of night guessing what time it is)
- Earplugs (roosters in villages, 3am ,sometimes)
- Mosquito Net (please tie a long piece of string to the tabs so you can tie the net up.)
- Tent (we provide)
- Spoon, cup, bowl, fork, knife
We carry a basic first aid kit for the group however there are items which you should bring to treat minor ailments or irritations. The major area of concern is your feet. Ensure you have a comfortable pair of walking boots and good thick socks (bring a couple of pair of thin socks as they can be worn with the thick ones to prevent blisters). Each night you will have the opportunity to thoroughly wash and dry your feet. It is then a good idea to give them a liberal covering of tinea or anti fungal powder to dry them out during the night. Next morning it is advisable to give them a liberal coating of Vaseline. We recommend tea tree antiseptic oil or cream to treat any minor scratches or bites you might have. The best protection against malaria is to avoid being bitten. Mosquitoes are not a major problem on the Kokoda Track because of the altitude. Nevertheless they are about. We therefore advise you to wear long sleeved shirts and apply ‘Rid’ mosquito repellent to any exposed areas of skin whenever you stop and rest. Blisters should not be a problem if you have good boots and have broken them in properly. Even so it is a wise precaution to have a blister kit with you. The Spenko blister kit contains a soothing ‘second skin’ and is highly recommended.
We recommend you bring the following in your personal first-aid kit.
- Anti malarial tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
- Antihistamine (such as Benadryl)-useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, or ease the itch from insect bites or stings.
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
- Antibiotic eye and ear drops
- Antiseptic –Antibiotic cream or powder– for cuts and scratches
- Anti Fungal Powder
- Calamine lotion – to ease irritation from bites or stings.
- Imodium or Lomotil – for stomach upsets
- Amoxolin, Keflex, stemitol antibiotics
- Rehydration mixture – for dehydration, especially that caused by severe diarrhea
- Aquim Antibacterial Gel
- Canistene Antiseptic Liquid
- Canasten (ladies)
- Salt tablets for those that know they sweat a lot.
- Vaseline/Paw Paw cream or similar for chafing
- Insect repellant (Rid) (no aerosol cans please)
- Staminade (only enough for 2tbls per day-in zip lock bag)
- One packet of glucose tablets
- Two (2) Dr Scholl or Spenko blister packs
- Two (2) Rolls of broad elasticated bandage
- Two rolls of Leukoplast waterproof elastoplast (5 cm X 5 m)
- Band-Aids (waterproof)
- Panadol Forte/Aspirin tablets/capsules
- Codral cold and flu tablets
- Scissors, tweezers, and safety pins
- Water Purification Tablets
- One ankle and knee guard
Important: Trekkers must purify their water
All our guides are highly qualified in First Aid. They either are Wilderness First Aid Certificated or Flight Para Medics. They will apply emergency first aid when required.
Trekkers also need to know how to look after themselves using their own personal first aid kit.
Feet: Most important, if a trekkers is unable to walk due to blisters then they will have to be medivaced off the track. This is so preventable. When you arrive in PNG you may find that your feet will swell due to the heat. This may cause hot spots/friction blisters. STOP immediately and attend to this. Do not leave it until you get into camp, it will be too late.
All trekkers should know how to:
- Apply band aids/blister pack
- Appropriate management of blisters. (your guide will have suggestions)
- Cuts and scratches
- Applying antiseptic Cream or Powder
- Strap ankles/knees
Blisters: Highly effective method for preventing blisters is in the morning prior to putting on your socks cover your feet in vaseline. This will help prevent friction; we have always used this along Kokoda and never had a blister.
As soon as you get into camp in the evenings take off your boots and let your feet enjoy the fresh air. Every evening before getting into your sleeping bag dry your feet off and rub in foot powder. In the morning put on dry socks. If your boots are wet please give them to the boys and they will attempt to dry them overnight for you.
The first sign of blisters will be redness over the skin, possibly at the back of the heel, the instep or toes.
Apply a second skin dressing or blister plaster, tape the affected area.
Ensure the feet are dry and change socks, not possible if during the day.
When should you pop blisters? For larger blisters or those which are causing problems, it may be necessary to pop them. Popping blisters should be done with caution, following these guidelines.
Make a small hole at the edge with a sterilised pin or needle, particularly if the blister is on a weight bearing surface. A pin can be sterilised by passing it through a flame.
Do not drain a blood filled blister.
Drain the fluid but leave as much of the skin as possible covering the wound. This is an important protective layer for the underlying skin and will help to prevent infected blisters.
Clean the blister with a sterilising wipe.
Cover the wound with a second skin or blister plaster – take the time to apply it correctly.
For additional security apply tape over top.
How to get rid of blisters? Blisters will usually just drain and heal on their own. Even if you have had to pop a blister, you should then simply clean the area, cover it to protect it and leave it to heal naturally.
Cuts and Abrasions: Trekkers should know how to treat any cuts, scratches or abrasions. If this occurs along the track please attend to immediately. In the heat and humidity any tiny scratch can become instantly infected.
Clean the wound thoroughly, either with water or saline solution. Dry, then dress the wound with either a sterile pad or antibiotic ointment/powder and cover with gauze and a dressing. Change the dressing every evening after bathing.
Only use antibiotic medications if the wound becomes infected.
Chafing: The heat and humidity and jungle environment can cause chafing, salt build up in your clothing especially between your legs can also cause chafing this is all extremely uncomfortable and painful. Serious cases can also lead to bleeding and skin infections.
Stop immediately and apply an ointment such as Bepanthen or Paw Paw cream. Also apply this in the required areas in the mornings before dressing.
A trekker should also be well aware of food preparation. This mainly applies on the track where trekker’s food is usually cooked by porters, but can also be relevant when in Port Moresby before starting across the Owen Stanley Ranges.
- The cooking rule means that the heat will have killed off any of the bugs and bacteria that might have been lurking in things like meat, vegetables and in the water.
- A hiker who opens a food item himself can have some confidence the food is free from bugs. These are items like tinned food, packets of biscuits, cans of drink and fruit.
- Buying fruit from the villages along the track is one of the simple pleasures of a trek along the Kokoda Trail. And if a trekker opens the fruit, such as a banana, themselves there is the check of contamination.
- A trekker also needs to be aware of dragging the mouthpiece of their hydration bladder in the dirt when taking the backpack on and off. The dirt can contain bad organisms and these can easily be ingested when taking the next sip from the hydration bladder mouthpiece.
- Do not share food, eating utensils or drink out of other trekker’s water bottles or camel packs.
- Make sure when you are eating that you sit your eating utensils on top of your plates or bowls. Do not sit them down on campsite table or ground.
Everyone will have done their best to be as fit as they possibly can for their Kokoda adventure. There may be health issues with members of the group that don’t appear until they are on the track. Your Guide and our Head PNG guide will do their best to manage the circumstances. It is not unusual for treks to split into two groups. Not all of us are super men or women for 8 days straight. We will have our “off” days no matter how fit we are. The reality is the group can only travel as fast as the slowest trekker. Remember it was mate ship that got a lot of the diggers through the Kokoda Campaign. Always be patient, kind and helpful if someone is feeling demoralized or just having a rotten day. Work as a team it makes the experience a lot easier and friendships will be formed that will last a life time.
The track is challenging, a lot of people that come to walk Kokoda have never trekked before let alone in such extreme conditions. They are completely out of their comfort zone. For them to have the courage to come to Papua New Guinea and walk Kokoda is to be admired. Be tolerant of your other trekkers.
At the end of the trek you have all shared something totally unique. Every trek is different and the stories you have to tell are special to your trek.
Remember it is an adventure and you are here to enjoy.
Please contact us if you have special dietary requirements we can cater for most food allergies and food issues that trekkers may have.
Below is what we supply along the track in our ration packs. This may vary day to day. The breakfasts, lunches and dinners are freeze dried packets from New Zealand. If you have anything special that you particularly like to nibble on and we don’t supply please feel free to bring along. (not too much remember you have to carry it) All evening meals accompanied by rice which our boys prepare. Your guide will also try and purchase fresh vegetables and fruit where possible. Please note we do not cook fresh meat e.g sausages/steak along the track due to contamination. There is plenty of food. Please do not come to PNG with bags of food. Remember weight is always issue.
Day 1 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Honey Soy Chicken – Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 2 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Porridge Supreme
- Beef Teriyaki-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 3 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Wheatflakes and Fruit Salad
- Roast Lamb and Vegetables-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 4 Ration pack consisting of:
- Yoghurt and Muesli
- Roast Chicken-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 5 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Porridge Supreme
- Classic Beef Curry-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 6 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Wheatflakes and Fruit Salad
- Mexican Chicken-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 7 Ration Pack consisting of:
- Yoghurt and Muesli
- Roast Lamb and Vegetables-Dinner
- Snacks and Drinks
Day 8 Ration Packs consisting of:
- Porridge Supreme
- Snacks and Drinks
- Chicken/Ham Rolls
- Cold soft drinks
Snack Packs consist of:
- 2 sweet biscuits
- 2 beef biscuits
- 1 can of tuna
- Cheese & biscuits
- Soy sauce/chilli sauce
- Beef Jerky
- Stewed fruit
- Trail Mix
- 1 pkt lollies
- 1 pkt choco M & M’s
- 1pkt of powdered sports drink
- 1 chocolate drink
- 2 coffee sachets
- 2 tea bags
- 4 sugar sachets
- 2 salt sachets
- 1 pepper sachet
- 4 creamers
- 1 pkt of tissues
- 1 plastic spoon
- 2 minute noodles
All evening meals are complimented with rice and where possible your guide will purchase fresh vegetables and fruit.
Personal hygiene is one area that a trekker needs to be extra vigilant while on the Kokoda Track. The entire trip can quickly turn into a disaster if a stomach bug is picked up. All the training in the world, the best equipment, boots and trekking with the best tour company can quickly be negated if drinking contaminated water or food.
- Therefore, the first requirement is to treat all water. Chemical or other treatment, such as a Steripen should be used or purification tablets. A trekker must not rely on boiling water, as a fire won’t always be available.
- Hands should be washed regularly; especially after ablutions and just prior to eating. Like normal hygiene measures in the city to avoid catching bacteria and viruses, a trekker should avoid putting dirty hands in their mouth, nose and eyes as this is a common way for nasties to enter the body.
- The alcohol based hand wash gels are perfect for trekking. Just a small amount is required to effectively sterilise the hands, so only a small bottle needs to be carried.
- Chewing betel nut in Papua New Guinea is a common practice and causes ongoing health issues for those who chew. Cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and stomach.
- Do not try this. It is a ghastly habit and is carcinogenic to humans.
- It will make you feel nauseas, hot and cold and could easily ruin your trek.
- All toilets along the track are pit latrines (long drops). A hint is to roll off the amount of paper you need to take to the toilet. Preventing the chance you may drop your roll down the toilet.
- Most important-remember to use your hand gel afterwards.
- We encourage our trekkers to use showers in the villages where available. If in a camp site please use environmentally soaps and shampoos.
Get into a routine of taking medication such as anti malarial tablets. Either at night or in the morning.
- Make sure all medication is taken with purified water.
PNG Trekking Adventures supplies 2 person tents for all our trekkers. We find that a 1 person tent is just that only enough room for 1 body not much else. With a 2 person tent you will be able to get your gear in it with you. They all have a fly with vestibules so trekkers can leave their large pack and boots, poles in this area and will stay dry. The tents are all mosquito and bug proof.
We also stay in guest houses in villages which we have helped furnish with foam mattresses and pillows. If you choose to sleep in a guest house you must put up your mosquito net. They are traditionally built, wooden floors, bamboo walls, and thatched roofs. One door and windows with no glass.
Our village families will prepare special treats for our trekkers and boys. Pumpkin tips, tapioca, fried sweet potato and greens to compliment our evening meals.
Trekkers please make sure that you bring in all your clothes, boots etc each evening. Do not leave it hanging out side. The track is still used by local people to commute between Popendetta and Port Moresby. If they see a pair a boots laying in the middle of a camp site it may be just too tempting for them to pass by without taking them. Our boys will try and ensure that all gear is put away at night but there is always the possibility they may miss something. Also in saying this, we have never had anything stolen from any of our camp sites.
Please remember to never leave any food outside your tent or lying around the campsite. There are often dogs roaming around which are used for hunting by the villagers, they will be off with it in an instant. Always have food inside your zipped up tent.
Our boys have their own accommodation in villages and campsite. You will hear them at night softly telling stories around their campfire and singing songs.
Your personal porter will be carrying the majority of your gear in your large pack which you have purchased or hired off PNG Trekking Adventures, including the tent. It is very important that trekkers have a 35ltr day pack. It must have comfortable waist and shoulder straps. Remember you will be wearing this pack 6-10 hours per day for 8 days.
You should have in your daypack.
- Camel pack or water bottles that will take 2-3 litres of water and purification tablets.
- insect repellant
- Cup, fork, spoon, knife and plate/bowl. We supply all other cooking utensils.
- hand antiseptic wash/wipes.
- one days rations (issued each evening)
- Rain coat. Light cheap poncho style is good. Remember it will still be warm even though it’s raining.
- Staminade or some form of energy drink made up in bottle on outside of your pack.
- Personal items such as plasters, headache tablets, toilet paper.
- Head torch (in case we get caught out trekking at night) there is always the possibility that this may happen on our first day out depending on what time we fly into Kokoda. Sometimes the plane is delayed due to weather.
- Water Purification Tablets-all drinking water must be purified.
Please keep your daypack as light as possible. Your personal porter will never be far away, if you need anything out of your large pack during the day this will not be a problem.
PNG Trekking Adventures predominately uses Tropic Air for their Private Charters into Kokoda. Please go onto the website below for more information on the planes. It is a 30 minute flight from Port Moresby to Kokoda.
There is some mobile coverage at the beginning and end of the track. This is very sporadic and can not be relied upon.
PNG Trekking Adventures carries satellite phones and track radios. The sat phone is used every evening to report into the office about how the trek is going and any other funny stories that have happened that day. This is then uploaded onto the PNG Trekking Adventures Facebook so family and friends can monitor the trek. Both the sat phone and radio can be affected by the weather and terrain that we are in. If it is overcast and we are deep in a valley camping then it is sometimes difficult to get a satellite. If we are unable to chat with the office that evening we endeavor to get through as soon as we are on higher ground the next morning.
Trekkers who bring up mobile phones please leave them back at the hotel. Do not take out on the track. In Port Moresby they can be used if you are with Vodafone, Telstra, Optus, H3G, or have International Roaming. Otherwise if you want to call home there is the option of using the land line phone in your hotel room. Please check your mobile phone carrier or Digicel our PNG Carrier website for more information.
Proper hydration is one of the essential requirements when trekking under the conditions you will experience in Papua New Guinea.
- Water is plentiful on most parts of the track.
- Treatment of your drinking water is required at all times.
- Most tablets generally require half an hour to treat the water before it is drinkable. Please check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Water treatment tablets are available at chemists and camping stores.
- You will need to purchase these in Australia prior to departure and bring enough to treat up to 3-4 litres of water per day for two weeks.
- Bottled water is not available on the track.
- Nikki or Chris will advise you on where to fill your drink bottles and camel back.
- Not all of the streams and rivers are advisable to use for drinking water. Always ensure that you have a bottle of treated water available while you are waiting for your replenished water supply to undergo treatment.
- It is of great importance that you monitor your water intake.
- You will be losing fluids from your body at a much greater rate than what you are accustomed to.
- A person exercising in the heat can readily lose one litre of water per hour.
- Drinking small volumes of water regularly will maintain hydration and will reduce the risks of nausea or stomach upsets.
- This occurs with the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
- It is vitally important to maintain your fluid intake.
- Do not wait until you feel thirsty. Drink small amounts regularly at all times.
- Monitor your toilet stops and ensure normal fluid transfer through your body is being maintained and the colour of your urine is not yellow or smelling strong.
- You must take extreme care in this area to look after yourself and a simple question to a fellow trekker about their fluid intake can be of assistance to them.
- Signs and symptoms are pale, cold clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, rapid breathing, profuse and prolonged sweating, thirst, nausea, vomiting, a constant headache and cramps.
- If you feel yourself or observe another member experiencing any of these signs or symptoms tell your guides Nikki or Chris immediately.
- Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which has a 70 per cent mortality rate. This statistic is not meant to alarm you. It is to illustrate how vital it is that we look after ourselves and each other, to prevent this happening.
- Fluid intake does not stop when we cease walking. It must continue during our rest periods and morning and night. When resting sit in the shade, cool yourself with a wet sweat rag and rest properly when required.
- Groups normally get into campsites between 2:30-5:30pm.
- Make sure your friends/family have arrived .
- Help your porter erect your tent and set up your gear in the tent
- Go and fill your camel pack and water bottle and purify
- Take your boots off, put on camp shoes and go and have a cuppa and a snack
- Or go and have a swim or shower first.
- Relax, drink lots of tea. Walk around the camp site/village or have a nana nap in your tent before dinner. Have a sing along with the boys around the camp fire before retiring.
- Heat cramps can occur after heavy sweating in a hot environment when the body loses more fluid through sweating than it can replace.
- Signs and symptoms are pale, clammy skin, cramping pains in the affected area and nausea.
- If this occurs, stop, tell your guide and rest. Gentle stretching and gradual fluid intake will aid in recovery.
On day 1 the group will be transferred to Tropic Air terminal to connect with our private charter to Kokoda settlement. Our boys will be at the airstrip (grass) to meet us and will carry all our gear up to the museum. It takes 15 minutes to walk up to the plateau where the musuem is. Once there your guide will show you around the memorials and you can visit the museum. Our boys will in the mean time be sorting out the packs and your personal porter will be putting their gear into your pack. After everyone has had a good look around, we will then introduce everyone to our team and your personal porter. Then off we go.
Wake up call is 5am every morning. Walking by 6:30am. No exceptions. Two reasons for this. We want to start walking before the heat of the day sets in and also want to be in camp at a reasonable hour so trekkers have time to have a swim/wash set up their tents, rest up for the next day and have an early dinner before retiring around 7:30-8pm most nights.
- Wake up call 5am
- Tend to your feet, strapping, vaseline etc, and put dry socks on.
- Pack up your gear. Sleeping bag, thermarest etc.
- Fill up camel pack and water bottle – Must be purified
- Have breakfast (most important-your body needs fuel to trek all day)
- Make sure you have some sweets or snacks in your pocket.
- Help your porter take down your tent
- Your guide will brief the group of what is going to happen today. E.g WW11 sites we will be visiting. Water availability along the track. How many ups and downs today etc.
- Have a good slug of water before setting out.
- Never go past the head porter
- Always make sure you are in site of the person in front and behind you
- Remember to stop and look up and take photo’s
- Stop and attend to any blisters or problems immediately
- Nikki/Chris will always be walking at the back to pick up any trekkers that may have had to stop for any reason.
- Enjoy the day, enjoy the experience. Be one with the track don’t fight it as it will always win.
- We stop for lunch for 1 hour and will boil water for a hot a drink.
- Remember to hydrate
Sodium plays a key role in your body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body’s fluid balance.
When the sodium level in your blood becomes too low, extra water enters your cells and causes them to swell. Swelling in your brain is especially dangerous because the brain is confined by your skull and unable to expand without causing symptoms.
Drinking too much water during exercise (exertional hyponatremia).Because you lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can dilute the sodium content of your blood.
Signs and Symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of energy
- Restlessness and irritability
- Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
- Take precautions during high-intensity activities. Athletes should drink only as much fluid as they lose due to sweating during high intensity exercise — usually no more than about 1 liter of water an hour during extended exercise.
- Consider drinking sports beverages during demanding activities. Ask your doctor about replacing water with sports beverages that contain electrolytes when participating in endurance events such as marathons, triathlons and other demanding activities.
- Drink water in moderation. Drinking water is vital for your health, so make sure you drink enough fluids. But don’t overdo it. Thirst and the color of your urine are usually the best indications of how much water you need. If you’re not thirsty and your urine is pale yellow, you are likely getting enough wate
Smart Traveler Registration
- If traveling on an Australian Passport the Australian Government recommend you register with Smart Traveler so they can assist you better if you run into trouble. www.smartraveller.gov.au/ it is free.
You’re Training Regime
- Trekkers should be tapering now. You have done the work. Busting your foo foo now is not going to make any difference with just a couple of weeks to go. Also reduces the risk of any last minute injuries, you want to be well rested and ready to go.
What you Eat
- If you are fortunate enough to have a personal trainer or fitness instructor have a chat to them about your diet before coming up to PNG. A lot of people like to carbo load a few days before coming to PNG. It is not necessary if you are not used to doing this. If everything is working, don’t change it. Stay away from foods whilst traveling to PNG that may be susceptible to food poisoning for example.
- Please check with your Dr as to when you should start taking your anti malaria medication. Make sure that if you are taking any medication that you have enough for the duration. PNG Trekking Adventures does not supply any medicines and we can take no legal responsibility for any medical treatment or professional medical support for our trekkers.
This is fun, so sit back and enjoy the journey. No phones, no television, no contact with the outside world. Be one with nature and make the most of it.
You are about to embark on a trek of a lifetime. It will be physically challenging and an emotional roller coaster. You will cry and laugh, be sad and happy. This is a journey that we want to share with you. You will grow as a person and may even make some life changing decisions. Like any expedition in life be prepared and do everything you possibly can to enhance your experience.
- Start planning early, now.
- Work out when you would like to trek and make the commitment. Book it now. You need at least 6 months lead up time to train for any of our treks here in PNG.
- Book your flights now. Virgin Australia and Air Nuigini/Qantas code share into Port Moresby from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.
- Make sure you book your leave well in advance with your employer.
- Work on your budget. Unfortunately travelling and tourism in Papua New Guinea is not cheap. But then again mother nature’s secrets are not easy to get to or else everyone would be doing it.
- Australians visiting PNG must have visa prior to arrival.
- Travel Insurance – if you do not have this then please speak to your travel agent regards this they will be able to organise this for you. Make sure you have in writing that helicopter evacuations are included. Once you book your trek get the insurance as it may also cover other aspects of your trip like airline problems/cancellations etc. Check your policy.
- Read everything that we have on the website regards equipment, clothing medical. If you are a first time trekker and do not intend to trek again consider hiring gear off us. A large pack is only $10 per day. Better than outlaying $300-$400 for a pack you may never use again. Make sure you are training in the gear you will be using and wearing.
- Medical Preparation – this includes a thorough fitness test early on to see what you need to do to prepare for the trek, and a medical check up from your Doctor to ensure you are not at risk whilst walking in the remote jungle of PNG. Also check with your Dr what inoculations/immunisations you require and obtain Anti Malaria medication. We require all our trekkers to get our medical form filled out by your Dr before you embark on any of PNGTA expeditions.
- Training, training and training you are coming up to walk in one of the toughest countries in the world. There are no flat areas it is either up and down. It is relentless and unforgiving. It is hot and humid. When you commit to trek in PNG be as fit as you possibly can. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy your experience.
- If you have time research and learn the history of the track as you will enjoy your trek more knowing what happened and where as you pass through each of the significant battle sites. There are lots of good books.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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