It is the holiday season again; and with the festive mood comes a host of head scratching as to where you are headed off to with friends and family to enjoy a perfect vacation. The blue seas and sprawling beaches are a much loved retreat, as are the hills and the mountains. However, if you are looking for a truly adventurous and enjoyable vacation this time around, head over to the jungles. A pristine setting, with flora and fauna you have never seen before awaits you. You can lose yourself in a world so cut off from the outside; it is as though you are on another planet. Forest trips and safaris are unique because they are both educational as well as great fun. However, if you are sold on the idea, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you set out.
A jungle vacation is unlike any other. There are no hotel rooms or room service. It is just you, your family and Mother Nature. If your site is exotic and well-removed, you may not even get cell service, and hence help may be even more difficult to secure. You must go prepared with the basics. The first things you need to carry are thick, padded shoes or boots. The forest floor is home to a number of things, none of which you would like creeping up your legs.
Another crucial part of your travel bag has to be a first aid kit. Cuts and bruises are quite common, and so are insect bites. Carry a set of paracetamol tablets as well; you never know when they come in handy. Raincoats and other protective gear aren’t a bad idea either, as the weather in these places can be rather unpredictable.
You must also carry all the necessary camping gear, and ensure it is easy to set up, as you may need to set up camp if you are feeling tired or if there is a cloudburst or a storm, and a good set would mean you would be able to set it up and take shelter much faster.
Pack Carefully, Pack Well
While it is true that you have to think of you and your family while packing, you should also think about the ecosystem. For example, flash photography is a bad idea. You can carry a camera, but the flash could be startling, even to the extent of causing damage to certain species of animals there.
Also, if you are planning on carrying a drone or an RC helicopter and would like to take high-quality bird’s eye photographs or videos, think twice. You will have to be very good at navigating it, because the jungle canopy isn’t quite your open garden now, is it? If you do crash the drone, not only will you be losing a rather expensive drone, you will also be risking a forest fire. A damaged drone may well burst into flames, and forested areas are prone to catching fire extremely quickly. You could destroy a huge part of a natural resource.
Another vital thing you will need to keep in mind is NO HUNTING. It is immoral, unethical and absolutely abominable. It is also illegal in most places and could lead to serious repercussions. However, you may carry a gun along, only for self defense purposes. Do not use it unless absolutely necessary.
Getting lost in a forest, with no connectivity and no one to turn to; it isn’t a particularly nice prospect. While most forests now have tourist offices near them, so getting a guide might not be an issue. However, if you are extremely adventurous and want to foray into the wild, untapped areas without a guide, it is a good idea to read up as much as you can, and also go prepared with a set of printed maps. GPS may not be able to help out there; keep that in mind.
A Jungle is not a Zoo
This is one of the important things you need to keep in mind. There are no cages or barriers between you and wild animals. Do not pet them. Do not feed them. Do not take pictures of them from close range, especially with flash. Try to avoid anything which incites them, and steer clear if they are angry. Allow your common sense to prevail over your thirst for adventure.
Douse Your Campfires
As mentioned earlier, you have to be very conscious about the environment. A major source of forest fires is a few sparks from a poorly doused campfire. You should always follow the correct procedure for extinguishing the flames, namely, douse with water, stirring the ashes and dousing it again before going to sleep or setting off from the site.
Author Bio: Jeremy Rowland is an adventure junkie and a travel blogger. He also takes an active interest in firearms of all types, so when he is not hacking away recounting tales from his travels, he is reading up new information on sites like http://www.shooting.org/.