Gears & Equipments

What do you need to hike to and stay at Laban Rata? What do you need to climb to summit?

1. Disposable lightweight rain coats (1 or 2 sets)
2. Hiking gloves (to hold your hiking pole and fence at the side of the trail). Cotton gloves is good for summit too but it will get wet.
3. Two to three bags:
  • You will need to carry one small lightweight hiking backpack from Kinabalu Park to Laban Rata. This is the bag you can put 2 - 4 bottles of water, a few energy bars, a set of dry cloth, etc.
  • You will let porter to carry your luggage bag to Laban Rata. You will need to pay the porter. In our case, RM8 (less than USD$3) per KG, up and down.
  • One luggage for flight & things that you don't need in the climb to Laban Rata and Mt Kinabalu peak. Leave the things you don’t need in Laban Rata & Summit at Kinabalu National Park's Operation Office. The cost is RM10 per bag.

4. Shrinkable hiking pole is good. You can buy wooden stick from the mountain guides at RM3 (US$1) right before the climb. Edited on 30 Sep 2011: You can no longer buy wooden stick from mountain guides due to a new rule to reduce impacts on environmental. However, we managed to buy proper hiking sticks (shrinkable) at Transport Office (the small hut right beside Reception Office) at HQ of Kinabalu Park.

A skeptical friend asked me whether hiking stick is of any practical use. Goodness, hiking stick is extremely useful. On my way up, it helped me to lift my body weight away from my legs. I used my hands and arms to help my legs. On my way down, it reduced the shocks and impacts on my knees. I did put quite a lot of my body weight on the hiking stick.

5. Bring 3-4 bottles of water for the 6km climb to Laban Rata and 2 bottles of water for the summit climb (from 3am - 9am, it can turn out be a 6 hour climb and descent).

6. Ankle guard & knee guard.

7. Bring extra torch light to Laban Rata as light will be off from 2-6 pm (still look dark in the room / washroom). Bring head lamp/ torch light wherever u go at Laban Rata since electricity is not stable. In our case, we were not able to charge our camera battery, phone bettery, etc. at Laban Rata as the circuit breaker tripped frequently.

Specifically for the night climb to summit of Mt Kinabalu:

1. MUST bring headlamp, it is extremely important for safety. The summit climb starts at 2.30am in the morning.

2. Get extra batteries for head lamp. Cold weather may reduce battery life span. Change new battery for your head lamp before going up.

Other advices

1. Try your headlamp, ankle guard, knee guard and shoes in an actual training
2. Bring energy bar. May become tired and hungry.
3. It is easy to sprain your ankle walking on the plateau of the summit due to steep slope (45 degree). Wear ankle guard.


I find it very difficult to write this post as come to think of it, there is not many "Gears" or "Equipments" to talk about, other than climbing pole and headlamp. In climbing Mt Kinabalu, you will just hike and walk up to the summit. You have warm bed, clean bathroom, buffet cafetaria in Laban Rata, the base camp. There is no rock climbing part that required gears, etc.

So what gears or equipments? :-P

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