First thing that you have to consider when thinking of a sunrise trekking, regardless if it’s Bali or elsewhere, it’s the necessary gear and take into account the weather conditions.
For instance, when I was planning to hike Mount Agung (Bali) my first thought was “I don’t need warm clothes, it’s warm in Bali”. Error!! It’s cold up there.
So, based on my experience climbing Mount Agung before the sunrise, here it’s what you need:
- Wear appropriate shoes (and socks): go for hiking shoes and ideally hiking boots, waterproof if possible. Avoid any type of trainers or other types of shoes. Flip flops, no way!! The paths can be slippery and you are going to appreciate wearing the appropriate shoes. Socks are as important as the shoes, hence avoid ankle socks and it is better to go for medium length to avoid blisters. It can ruin your experience.
- Warm clothes: “it’s warm enough” you think. Yes, down here but not up there. My recommendation would be to wear multiple layers and don’t forget a waterproof jacket, just in case it rains, which also will warm you up a little bit.
- Hiking trousers: ideally convertible trousers, so you can start with the shorts version and when necessary you can attach the bottom part.
- Headlamp: for these type of hikes you really need an ultra bright headlamp. I wouldn’t have minded spending more money on a headlamp, it was so dark and my headlamp was not bright enough. However, my mate had a more appropiate one, brigther, and you could really tell the difference. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries with you, in case you run out. Also it´s better to go for a headlamp than a torch, so you can have your hands free as you are going to need them. In some instances, your guide will provide you one, but just in case, be prepared beforehand, it´s not 100% guaranteed.
- Backpack: a small one but big enough to store the warm clothes you are going to need later on. Back adjustment is really important to avoid pack pain. A 20-30L backpack is more than enough, but it really depends on gender, weight and height.
- Gloves: it’s a nice thing to have although not a must, to protect your hands in the last part, when you are more climbing rather than hiking.
- Suncream: I didn’t need it because it was cloudy, but if it’s sunny, and you never know, you are going to need suncream. There is not shelter to protect yourself against the sun.
- Painkillers: paracetamol, ibuprofen or similar, for headache or general pain. It really helps when you are up there and it doesn’t weigh nor waste space in your backpack or pockets.
- Water or an isotonic drink: or both to avoid dehydration. Usually your guide will give you a bottle of water, so I would bring with me an isotonic drink. Please be wise and carry just the minimum weight as you will have to carry all of these up there.
- A banana: or two or three. For the sugar rush, because it fills you up when you are hungry… for loads of different reasons, bring something to eat with you, a couple of snacks, something with sugar, that supplies you energy. For these reasons, bananas are your best shot and bananas are sportsmen/ sportswomen best friend.
- Cash: cash?? Yes, just in case your leader has to carry you half way down, as it was my case. Be generous enough. You can find out more about my experience clicking on here.
And below you can watch a video taken on our way down. I was exhausted, couldn´t keep still and kept falling. But as you can see the views are amazing and the place was only for the three of us. It is truly and fully one of the best (and worse) experiences of my life. I don´t regret it at all and now I can say that definitely will do it again.
And some final thoughts:
Be advised that Mount Agung sunrise trekking is not an easy hike, it is not for everyone. It is extremely demanding, and not just for the complexity of the paths or length. The hike is at night, your internal clock will notice that something is wrong, out of place, and it’s about 12h if you start from Besakih temple (8h if you start from Pasar Agung). Rest well enough beforehand: we didn’t do it, because we wanted to make the most of our time in Ubud and what a mistake! When we reached the summit and we were waiting for the sunrise, I almost fell asleep sitting down on a rock, not the most comfortable place as you can imagine, and still couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Have you ever done a sunrise trekking? Or climbed a volcano? How was your experience? Please feel free to share your thoughts and add comments. Happy to hear from you guys.
Thanks and see you around witties!
Note: the links provided are just to show you examples of what is needed. I´m not getting any commission or making any business by sharing them. They are just for you to have a visual reference.