BUDGETING – Extras not included in your package:
- Passport (see following paragraphs)
- PNG entry visa. (see following paragraphs)
- Travel Insurance (including remote area Medivac) (there may be additional costs to cover existing conditions).
- Medical Certificate (see following paragraphs)
- Personal Camping equipment (see following paragraphs)
- Anti-malarial medication (see following paragraphs)
- First-Aid items (see following paragraphs)
- Personal porter (see following paragraphs – please advise when booking)
- Gratuities / Gifts (see following paragraphs)
- Meals / snacks in Port Moresby (other than those included in your package), phone calls (note: some mobile phones with global roaming will work in Port Moresby, but not all, you should check with your provider before you depart Australia and remember to turn off auto updates, find my phone etc or you get hit with a big bill when you get home), Wireless Internet (pre paid cards are available at the hotel), souvenirs, drinks and any other personal expenses.
A $600 deposit is required at the time of booking, together with a completed Booking Form. The balance of payment is due 60 days before your departure date.
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS:
Cancellation of confirmed bookings are to be in writing. The following penalties will apply:
* 60-30 days prior to departure: Loss of deposit plus 50% of trek payment.
* Less than 30 days: Loss of 100% of trek payment
A passport, valid for at least 6 months at time of travel, is required for all visitors. For Australian passport holders Visas can be purchased through the PNG Consulate in Canberra before your trek (allow plenty of time). Other passport holders should check visa requirements with us.
You will provide Toogee Treks with proof that you have an appropriate travel insuranve policy in place prior to the commencement of your trek. We recommend Travelsure. View / download the policy here. travelsurePDS
FITNESS & HEALTH:
This is a demanding A Grade trek and you need to be fit. Begin training at least 8 weeks before departure and work towards being able to carry a 16-18kg pack up hills or stairs. Go here for more.
PACK WEIGHT & WHAT YOU CARRY:
If you intend to carry your own pack please try and limit weight to a total weight 16 – 18 kilos. Unless you are an experienced trekker or have a high level of fitness I recommend you employ a Personal Porter (see below). If you do have a personal porter you will still carry say 5 – 7 kilos, please consider this during your pre-trek training.
Engaging a Personal Porter is mandatory for ALL trekkers 55 years and older.
Group porters carry group cooking and camping equipment and are not available to carry any trekkers excess weight. Please note: If a porter has to be engaged during the trek additional fees will apply (please refer to booking terms and conditions)
OPTIONAL PORTER FOR YOUR BACKPACK:
If you wish to walk the track but not carry your pack, a porter can be arranged at an additional cost of $650. Please notify us in advance if a porter is required. One porter shared between two people to lighten your own load is often a good compromise and makes for a more relaxed trip.
You should bring two sets of casual clothing. One set for the flight and a change for our stay in Port Moresby. You can leave these clothes in storage at the hotel while we are on the track.
Regarding our trekking clothes. The weather is hot and humid during the day, however as we spend most of the time under the jungle canopy the nights can be quite cold.
You should therefore wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants for proper protection from both the elements and mosquitoes. Other essential items to wear whilst trekking include a sweat rag to wear around your neck, a hat or peak cap, thick socks, walking boots and gaiters. For protection against chafing it is a good idea to wear a pair of lycra gym shorts as underwear.
Each night we camp beside creeks with plenty of fast flowing, crystal clear, mountain water. We always have the opportunity to have a good refreshing bath. After this you will change into a spare set of dry clothing and your joggers.
It’s a good idea to have a waterproof poncho because it rains on a fairly regular basis. You should wrap your spare clothing in plastic snap lock bags and then store these with a heavy-duty garbage bag in your pack. This will ensure you always have something dry to wear around the campfire each night.
PERSONAL CLOTHING CHECKLIST:
- 1 Hat: Soft rimmed hat or peak (basketball type)
- 1 Shirt: Light cotton – I recommend long sleeve (if you choose to wear short sleeve make sure you use your insect repellant)
- 1 Pants: Light cotton – I recommend long pants (if you choose to wear shorts make sure you use your insect repellant)
- 1 Set of long thermal underwear (it can get cold at night)
- 1 Tracksuit OR 1 track suit pants and 1 Sloppy Joe or Hoody
- 1 pair shorts and a T-Shirt
- 2 Sets underwear
- 2 Pair of trekking socks
- 1 Pair of thin silk or cotton sock (to wear as an inner sock to prevent friction)
- 1 Nylon Poncho
- 1 Pair gloves (optional – to protect from your walking stick giving you blisters)
- 1 Pair boots (if you need to buy them please allow time to wear them in prior to the trek)
- 1 Pair sneakers of sandals (for the end of day while your walking boots are drying) – crocs are great.
- 1 Sweat rag (available at disposal stores)
- 1 Pack towel (like a big wettex cloth – can be purchased at camping stores – not too big)
- 1 Pair Lycra gym shorts (MUST HAVE – prevents chafing)
CAMPING / PERSONAL EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST:
You should be able to beg, borrow or steal most of the items listed below that you need for the trek.
- 1 Sleeping Bag (lightweight)
- 1 Sleeping Mat
- 1 Blowup pillow (not too big)
- 1 LED Head light
- 1 Pocket knife / Swiss army knife (nothing too flash)
- 1 Bic cigarette lighter
- 1 Dinner plate (enamel or plastic)
- 1 Cereal bowl (enamel or plastic)
- 1 Knife / fork / spoon set
- 1 Enamel / Plastic mug
- 2 1 litre water bottles (or 1 – 2 litre water bladder our packs have pockets to fit bladders)
- 1 – 1 litre water bottle (for your electrolytes)
- 1 Soap / toothbrush / toothpaste
- 1 Roll of toilet paper (keep it in a good ziplock bag)
- Some antibacterial wipes or liquid
- 6 waterproof plastic bags (1 h/d garbage size & some big snap lock bags). To waterproof your gear.
- 1 Digital Camera (with a spare battery and enough memory for 300/400 photos) OR 1 Camera (with 10 rolls of film – this is based on previous trekkers experience)
- 1/ 1 litre light aluminum container to carry your rum (or whatever)
- Supply of energy snacks (Work out how many snacks you will need and bag each day separately)
We carry a first-aid kit for the group however there are items you should bring to treat minor ailments or irritations. Plan to look after your feet. Ensure you have a comfortable pair of army boots and good thick socks. Each night after your bath you should give your feet a liberal sprinkling of anti-fungal foot powder to dry them out during the night. Next morning it is advisable to liberally coat them with ‘Bepanthen’ antiseptic cream for protection. Blisters won’t be a problem if you have a good fitting pair of boots. Nevertheless it is a wise precaution to have a couple of blister kits with you. The ‘Spenko Blister Kit’ contains a soothing ‘second skin’ and is highly recommended.
FIRST – AID CHECKLIST:
- Anti-malarial tablets (as prescribed by your doctor)
- 1 large tube of ‘Bepanthen’ Antiseptic Cream with B5 (for your feet), make sure you get the ‘thick’ one not the new ‘First Aid’ version.
- 1 Small jar Vaseline
- Mosquito repellent – Bushmans is best but very strong, it burns my skin, I use RID tropical strength.
- 1 Packet Panadol / Disprin (or heavier duty if that’s what you normally use)
- 1 blister kit
- 2 Rolls of broad elastic bandage
- 2 Rolls of ‘Leukoplast Waterproof’ elastoplast (5 cm x 5m)
- 1 Packet Bandaids
- 1 Anti-histamine (Benadryl) or the tablet equivalent (useful as a decongestant for colds or allergies and to ease the itch of insect bites or stings)
- 1 Sunscreen
- 1 Scissors
- 1 Tweezers
- 6 Big safety pins
- Staminade / Gatorade / etc electrolyte powder (for the ‘acclimatisation’ period at the start of the trek)
You may want to include items such as anti-diarrhea, anti-vomiting tablets etc depending on your constitution.
The trek is tough and physically demanding. The deaths over the past years are testament to this. It is therefore imperative you are healthy and physically fit.
You should have a thorough medical examination prior to commencing your training programme and be assessed again closer to the trek date.
You will be required to have a Medical Doctor certify that you are in good health and physically capable of completing the trek. If you are over the age of 40 and are identified with at least one cardiac risk factor you will be required to undertake either an exercise stress test, a myocardial perfusion scan or have a stress echo as recommended by your medical doctor before you can obtain a medical clearance.
This certification must be forwarded to Toogee Treks at least 60 days prior to the commencement of your trek.
There are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into PNG. However you should discuss this with your doctor and ensure your tetanus cover is up to date. Also double-check the requirements for cholera, typhoid and hepatitis. You might visit Smartraveller for the latest updates www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Papua
Malaria is a major concern within PNG. The best protection is to avoid being bitten – and the best way to do that is to wear long sleeve shirts / long pants and apply Bushmans or RID mosquito repellent to exposed areas of the skin prior to sunset. Another prevention is to sleep in your mosquito proof tent each night.
Advise your Doctor that you are going to PNG for 10 days and will on the Kokoda track in the Owen Stanley Range. He/She will prescribe the necessary anti-malarial medication for you.
We take advantage of our visit to the Duty Free Shop at the airport prior to departure to purchase a carton of cigarettes each (any brand, but only mid strength). At the start of the trek we give these to our Guide to distribute to the porters. This is one of life’s small luxuries for them and the gesture is well appreciated. During the course of the trek you will see how much it is appreciated – and how much they deserve it as they inevitably go out of their way to assist each and every one of us at some stage.
The second necessary item to procure is a litre of Bundaberg Rum (or whatever your favourite reviver might be!) I find a nip in the coffee at the end of the day’s trekking does wonders for the soul. You will need to decant this into a light aluminium container to carry in your backpack. Film and Batteries may also be purchased duty free prior to departure. NOTE: You can now purchase goods to be taken overseas prior to leaving and then claim back the tax at the airport before departure – has to be $300 + purchased at the on time from the one store though)
PERSONAL GIFTS FOR GUIDES:
Besides the carton of cigarettes and the gratuity for the group porters (say $20 each trekker), past trekkers have always wanted to give something a little extra for their guides at the end of the trek. You will understand why when we finish. The most valuable item you could give is a football jumper (size L will fit all). It doesn’t have to be new – a good second hand one will do or T-shirt from your wardrobe would also be appreciated. For those trekkers engaging Personal Porters who might like to give their porter something extra, $50 would be an appropriate amount.
Each year Toogee Treks provides funding for the continued education of several village children, usually the younger siblings of our guides and porters. If you feel you would like to provide funds for this worthwhile cause please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
You will need about $200-$300 in cash – change it into Kina (small notes) at the airport before departure or through your bank before hand. ($50 PNG entry visa, gratuities for your porters at the end of the trek; and $20 for purchases of fresh tropical fruits, drinks etc along the track, plus personal expenses in Port Moresby).
In Port Moresby you will only need extra money for any additional drinks, room service or telephone / internet charges you incur at the Hotel.
Souvenirs may be purchased when we visit the PNG Primitive Arts warehouse.
Visa / Mastercard / AMEX are accepted at the hotels and PNG Art. ATMs are available at the airport, some hotels and at banks. Note – you cannot use Bankcard in PNG.
DEED OF AGREEMENT:
You will be required to sign the deed of Agreement to ensure that you have been made aware of the nature of the trek (the deed is part of the booking form – please read it).
The trek is physically demanding – you therefore should be physically fit!
Your training plan should include a program to improve your aerobic fitness and leg strength.
Aerobic fitness can be gained by commencing a vigorous walking program. The minimum requirement is to start with walks of 45 minutes duration. This should be increased by intervals of 10% per week. After a couple of weeks you should include some hills in your circuit.
As you progress it is a good idea to mix in some slow jogging.
Other good aerobic activities include aerobic step classes at the local gym, jogging and cycling (for at least 45 minutes per session).
Strength can be improved by completing specific exercises at a certain intensity. The best place to do this is at your local gym. Step machines are ideal! Plan a program to strengthen your leg and abdominal muscles.
Treadmills are also ideal for physical preparation. You can get a good feel for the trek by setting the machine on maximum elevation with walking speed of 6 km/h for 40 minutes.
Acclimatisation is a problem as we move suddenly from a temperate to a tropical climate. It is therefore a good idea to workout in a tracksuit. The fitter you are the quicker you will acclimatise.
Think of your training as a deposit in your fitness account – everything you do between now and the trek will pay a dividend on the track. You can’t cheat on yourself in preparing for the trek! If you do the work you’ll complete it with ease – although there will be some patches where you might have a bit of doubt.
The only other characteristic you require is mental toughness.
But no matter how fit you are at the start – you will have to pull your belt in a couple of notches by the time we get to the finish of the trek!