by Rob D'Eon
July 2018
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Trekking in the Baliem Valley: Gear

In a few words, the gear you want/need is the same as that for a wilderness spring/summer/fall backpacking trip (I’m from Canada, so interpret that for your own situation). While the villages offer hot water (i.e., boiled), and shelter from rain, that is pretty much all villages offer. You are on your own for everything else.

Standard room in wood house
So, the usual stuff applies: good footwear, good backpack, we use poles (which have become indispensable to us), and good hiking/camping clothes and gear. We hiked in quick-dry shorts and t-shirts every day, which I would recommend. Nights cool off, so having a change of warmer clothes for evening is good. Amy brought, and used, a light down jacket in the evenings. I didn’t, but put on a long-sleeve layer once in a while. No gloves or toques (Canadian for “winter hat”) required. Be prepared for rain. We got rained on one day, and several evenings. Bring a good rain jacket.

Hot tips:

A few things I would say you should bring, that may not be obvious:

§  Good hiking footwear in good condition (your feet are almost always wet, and footwear in bad shape will disintegrate)

§  Sleeping bag (rated to 0oC)

§  Sleeping mat

§  Rain jacket

§  Head lamp with lots of batteries

§  Small thermos (see “food” section)

§  Hiking poles (if you are like us)

§  First Aid kit, and any meds you might want (there is nothing in the villages)

§  2 litres worth of water bottles

§  Your own personal mug/eating dishes (dishes are generally available, but can be sketchy)

§  Toilet paper + personal hygiene items

A note on communication: there was no cell coverage on our route, and no land lines of any kind. i.e., no telephone communication while out in the villages. So, cell phones are useless as a phone. If you are one of those satellite phone people, bring it.

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