Many of my treks, however, are unplanned. And I have been frustrated so many times--- like having failed to visit Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary because I haven't caught the right schedule of the boat from Coron, aborted climb to Mt. Lumot due to storm and many more...
INDEED, NOT EVERY VENTURE ENDS IN CLIMAX...
Some misfortunes are even life-threatening. I am, somehow, grateful that my mishaps can still be counted by my fingers.
Here are my top trekking misadventures:
TOP 7. Feasted on by leeches in Mt. Makiling. A solo trek where I was not indeed alone. These creeping vampires accompanied me to the peak, causing my BP to soar and my heart to palpitate even more.
LESSON: Apply repellents. Do not fear the leeches to calm your chest. Bear in mind that leeches are good for blood detoxifying (but bad for heart attack). Wahahaha!
TOP 6. Stormstruck in Mt. Dulang-dulang. A very frustrating trek. We departed from the jump-off with already no view on sight. And worse, a traverse to Mt. Maagnaw was aborted.
Lesson: Try to appreciate PAGASA.
TOP 5. Food Poisoned in Mt. Kanlaon. After doing a daredevil stunt at the volcano's rim, clouds overpowered the clear weather, my stomach started to rumble, I threw up thrice, got rained in an El Niño season, feasted on by giant leeches, suffered LBM and got a high fever.
Lesson: Don't eat night leftovers. Don't be lazy. Cook or do not eat at all.
TOP 4. Broke my cameras in Mt. Hamiguitan, Hundred Islands and Lake Calibato. My first digicam broke down into pieces after slipping my hand at the rocky waterfalls in Mt. Hamiguitan. My second, water submersible for 10 meters and shockproof for 3 meters, was hooked to my body when I jumped at around 20 meters high hole in a rock. My SLR broke and drowned when my tripod misbehaved in Lake Calibato, the 6th of the 7-lakes I trekked in Laguna.
Lessons: 1. Use "Master" to eliminate facial oil. Do not rub your face with your bare palm that holds your gadget.
2. Know the limits of your waterproof and shockproof camera.
3. Do not rely on cheap and "Made in -----" tripods.
TOP 3. Spilled Blood in Tinago Falls. A slippery seldomly used steps in Tinago Falls caused me to fall into a rocky muck that etched a trekero's mark on my left foot, keeping the record as my longest and deepest scar ever.
Lesson: While still walking, watch your steps. Do not glue your eyes on the falls, it's not what you're stepping on.
TOP 2. Stung by Poison Ivy in Mt. Kalatungan. My first camping during my visit to a falls in Mt. Kalatungan Range left me puzzled what insect might have bitten me so painfully and itchy. The itch later on spread over my body. My meals almost choked me. I was hardly gasping for air. My heart then beat abnormally. I didn't know antihistamine that time. Later was I informed that I was stung by a plant specie that I cleared to pitch my tent. Different species of Poison Ivy abundantly grow in the mountains.
Lesson: Always bring antihistamine in the outdoors. Never slap nor crush poison ivy even when you are so angry with it.
TOP 1. Almost frozen in Mt. Pulag. So confident that there are tents and comforters for rent, I didn't bring my own camping shelter as they are bulky during flight. With freezing temperature, all my clothes and garments were of no help. I was shivering all night until 3 am that I almost couldn't breath and move. I later on got aid from a little fire from my stove. And decided to proceed to the summit to energize/heat up my almost frozen body.
Lesson: Bring your thickest mountain apparels in the very cold mountains or try to sleep naked inside a freezer to acclimatize.