Everything about my Zambales trip was something I never hoped for.
That’s what I like about traveling, you will never be sure about anything. Even if you planned everything to the dot, there are things that wouldn’t just go as planned.
Well, My trip didn’t meet certain things, to begin with because I never plan anything. I’m a spontaneous kind of person. And being NOT sure about anything makes me excited to go even more.
Our trip was not the ideal experience you’d like for your own personal travel. We were late, got rained on, some tents have holes on it, firewood got wet, my gadgets got wet too. And the list goes on. As sad as it seems, I actually had A LOT of learnings and memories to take with me. This trip would be the epitome of epic fails and misfortunes.
If you don’t want to experience the same things as what I have experienced, here is a list of what to do or bring when traveling to Zambales:
1. Check your tent before bringing it!
Trust me, if you’re planning to bring a tent OR borrow from someone else, please do check it before actually using it. Check if the things needed to put up a tent are there (this includes the hooks). You’ll never know what weather you will face when you’re staying the night under the stars.
When me and some of my ‘couple friends’ (yes, third wheeling again) decided to go to Zambales, we first agreed to bring our own tents. However, when we contacted a boatman that would take us to different islands around Zambales (will be posting my itinerary soon), he mentioned that tents are already included in their package. So, my friends didn’t bring any and I too was tempted to do the same but decided to bring my own tent anyway.
I’m still thanking my lucky stars for enlightening me to bring my own tent. Coz turns out, the tents they borrowed was full of holes. And they found those holes in the worst way possible. The weather was bad. REALLY BAD. It rained all day and wind was gushing, that we even saw some tents flying out-of-place. Luckily, my friends found a way to stay dry for the rest of our trip, which is good.
Special shout out to ‘The North Face’ for producing high-quality gears. That’s the brand of the tent I brought with me and it didn’t fail me.
(Note: I’ll be blogging about some of the things I normally bring with me and some key points as well.)
2. Check the weather forecast
Following the no. 1 thing I wrote off this list and is the reason why we got rained on in the first place, WE DIDN’T FREAKIN’ CHECKED THE WEATHER FORECAST.
We were blindsided by the fact that we were camping on an island when there is a storm coming to the Philippines on the same weekend. Ugggh, remembering it now makes me want to smack my ‘past me’ on the head for not checking the weather first before making any plans. Instead of us enjoying the full potential of Zambales, we were face stricken with our situation.
3. Have a checklist of your “Things to Bring”
I did a last-minute packing for our trip (I know, I know, what was I thinking). I forgot most of the things I needed and left it at home. For your benefit, please make a written list (not just taking a mental note of things you need) to fully remember them. Most of the things I usually forget when traveling are those Basic necessities like toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. So, in order to avoid this situation, have a travel kit which contains your personal necessities.
4. Bring a waterproof casing
And following another epic result of my spontaneity, almost all of my stuff got wet during the trip to Zambales. Yep, we weren’t even on the island yet and all my things got wet from the boat ride.
For your personal safety, and your thing’s safety, please bring waterproof casing for your stuff. If you can’t afford one, there are other alternatives and very affordable ways to make your things dry. Placing it inside a trash bag is one. It is cheap and reusable. Besides, you’ll only need it for the boat ride to and from the islands.
5. Charge every gadget you own
There is no source of electricity within the island. That means you can’t charge your gadgets while you’re on the island. So if I were you, charge them beforehand and bring power banks if needed. You’ll thank yourself for charging all your gadgets and not missing out a photo-op in Zambales.
Since there is no electricity, there is no light as well (duh, LOL). Bring a handy flashlight so you wouldn’t blindly walk around your campsite without any light to guide you.
There is something magical about how time is relatively slow in the province than it is in the city. When you are used to the fast pace of the city life, being immersed in the rural areas for a day or two tends to be slower. A minute feels like more than a minute and the problem with that is how to enjoy it. Bring some sort of entertainment for your ‘barkada’. A guitar or playing cards are highly recommended especially when paired with a good drink like a cold beer *wink**wink*.
8. Cooking necessities
Although part of the packaged we booked for our Zambales trip includes kitchen tools like pans and whatnot, you should probably bring small kitchen tools that you think you may need. I think you should plan out first what you think you may want to eat on the island first and from there, decide what to bring that may help you cooked it.
We didn’t bring any single kitchen tools because again, it was part of the package. What we didn’t know is that plates, knife, coal for the grill and other small stuff weren’t included in the package. It was a real struggle trying to figure out what to do since our equipment weren’t complete. Plus the weather wasn’t cooperating with us and it tested our surviving skills. At the end, it went well. We improvised on the things we forgot and use the things that were already there to its full potential. Who would’ve known that junk food wrappers could be used as a makeshift fan for grilling and pot covers could be used as plates?
9. Don’t be shy and ask for help
shootout to our fellow campers who lend some help when we needed it the most. We lacked some equipment for cooking. And as a last resort, we asked for other campers to let us borrow or asked for their spare equipment. They gladly helped us and of course, we were humbled by their response. What I learned about our situation the most is that you need you need to have the courage and not be shy to ask for help when you can’t do it all on your own anymore. Chances are, they’d understand and will help you.
That’s what I learned about my trip to Zambales. If there are things you want to add-on my tips, feel free to post it down below. I’ll be posting my own itinerary and budget for this up on another post. So for now, adios!