Since Sagada is all about adventure and exploration, it will help if you’ll think like a backpacker. What does a backpacker pack on a trip?
“Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack or other luggage that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; a longer duration to the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. It is typically associated with young adults, who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel. They also have less money to spend on hotels or private vehicles. It may include wilderness adventures or be limited to travel within settled areas”. – en.wikipedia.org
Sagada is a small town with no luxurious hotel, neither do not expect bellboys to gather your luggage or welcome you with red carpet. Expect that you’ll always be out and walking in any type of weather conditions.
1. Backpack. Carry a backpack which is not too small and not to big. Just enough to carry all your stuffs which is essential for your trips. Travel light.
2. Footwear. Adventures in Sagada involves walking, trekking and caving. You can bring your rubber or hiking shoes, sandals or slippers and even aqua socks. But you wouldn’t dare to bring it all right? To save a lot of space in the bag, to keep your feet safe and which will allow you to do all these exploration, it’s best advise to use your trekking sandals. Why?
In spelunking or caving (cave connection), you’ll walk first in a cemented trail going to Lumiang Cave; then upon entering the cave, you’ll walk in the soil/mud and rest of the path involves walking into sharp, rough and slippery rocks. You’ll even need to swim inside the cave, thus you need protect the sole of your feet. Once in the Sumaging cave, they will tell you to remove your shoes, slippers or sandals.
For trekking Bomod-ok falls, there are some parts which are steep and some are wet, too. The spike in the sandals will contribute to the friction, lesser chance of slipping or falling into the rice fields. Then, upon arriving in the falls if you want to get near it, you’ll have to cross those large boulders.
Note: You have to protect your feet. That’s all that really matters because Sagada is all about walking. Yet Violet do not recommend shoes for caving and trekking to the falls, it will get wet and it could be to difficult to dry. Slippers can snap easily. Violet used her sandugo sandal for trekking (doesn’t need to be removing even while dipping into the waters) and for caving. She also brought her slippers, for early morning walks, dinner walks, walking in the guesthouse and when her feet needs little comforting.
3. Clothes. Do not bring your entire closet! Just bring light clothes, walking short, leg and arm covers, jogging/ trekking pants, tees and undergarments.
4. Jacket and night socks. People in Sagada even in the mid noon do still wear jacket. It can be cold the entire day and at night especially when you leave your windows open.
5. Drawstring bag/ knapsack. A small bag is an essential to keep your valuables, food and drinks and essential stuffs.
Violet used drawstring bag. To avoid water in entering inside the bag and to keep the bag in her back. Inside her bag:
Speluking: card wallet, cellphone, camera, sarong, bottled water.
Trekking: Shades, cellphone, card wallet, camera, sarong, bottled water and food.
Tip: it is also good to use backpack/ waterproof bags rather than shoulder or sling bags.
6. Toiletries. Soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner, alcohol, mosquito repellant lotion and sunblock.
Tip: Violet uses a clear zip-locked bag (a t-shirt container from bench) with a snaplink on it, so it can be hang anywhere. A goggle (she often forget to bring so she also) placed in it the toiletry bag.
7. Sarongs. These materials are very efficient, it can serve as a blanket, head and body cover, accessory, beach towel and bath towel. It dries faster, too.
8. Cellphone. Smart and Globe is really working in this place. There’s even wifi in every guesthouse and restaurants. 3G is really workingin the town but not as good when in Kiltepan peak. It can serve as a camera, too.
9. Money. Do not forget this. Well, you can sleep in the streets of Sagada (and suffer hypothermia), eat nothing and walk until your legs get numb. You wouldn’t want that.
10. Camera. This is something you should never ever forget. Capture every moment and record everything with your own light.