I hear people talking about jungle bushcraft and jungle survival in Malaysia all the time. Someone asked me what my thoughts are on both. Well, to be quite honest I am not 100% sure myself. But if I had to give an answer, I would say the former is more of practice and acquisition of knowledge and skills which (hopefully) would then help you in the latter. And of course, the word bushcraft really does have a calmer soothing tone while survival seems a bit too extreme. One is voluntary while the other is not.
The best jungle survivall skills teacher may just be yourself. It all boils down to how much you are willing to learn and the amount of practise you have invested in mastering the appropriate skills. You can actually learn jungle survival skills from the internet or by reading books but some of these knowledge would require you to practice (fire making, shelter building, knife handling etc). Spending time in the jungle helps to expand your comfort zone and understanding of the jungle better.
Here are a few jungle survival skills teachers I have met in the past. While some may not claim to be teachers, I still learnt a lot from them. If I had to name jungle survival teachers (whom I know personally) here in Malaysia, these would be the individuals.
Disclaimer: The following are based strictly on my personal experience and opinion.
Everyone wanting to actively camp and hike should make learning jungle survival in Malaysia a must. In my previous write-up on jungle survival courses in Malaysia, I suggested there are many self-proclaimed jungle survival experts who may not offer the right kind of knowledge and skills to the public. How then can we gauge whether the person or organization is capable or otherwise? Well, there is no set guidelines or standard out there but there are certainly some steps we can take to make a better assessment. They may not be the best but I think at the very least you can narrow down your search and lessen your loss.
Note that these are strictly my personal opinions.
Jungle survival courses in Malaysia are aplenty but one that is taught by someone knowledgeable and experienced is really hard to come by. I have personally attended jungle survival courses and have come to the conclusion that some are just a waste of time. There are only a handful of individuals whom I have met that (to my honest opinion) are good enough to actually deliver a useful course. Many are interested to attend a jungle survival course but finding a good one is really hard.
Kedai pisau Ganzo milik Dannie telah berpindah ke tempat baru, tidak jauh dari lokasi lamanya di Ara Damansara. Selain pisau jenama Ganzo, kedai Radiant Den juga menjual barangan lain seperti lampu LED, bateri cas semula (rechargables) dan aksesori hiking. Dengan satu sudut ‘workshop’ baru di dalam kedai, Dannie kini dapat mendalami minat dan hobinya.
Explorer Outfitter is another local Malaysian outdoor gear retailer. They have been around for several years now but I never did have the chance (nor took the effort actually) to visit any of their stores. Rumours and whispers about this outdoor gear retailer has been mixed from the very beginning. Some say it has a lot of variety while others think the quality is crap. When a friend told me a new outlet is opening up in Damen USJ (near to me), I decided to check it out myself.
Here’s an older Norlund brand axe I dug up from the pile of tool my dad kept in the store. Dad wanted me to take down a tree and asked me to go get a cutting tool. Didn’t know what brand the axe was until I have done the task asked off me. Quite a good little axe. Even just after a brief use, I felt it outperforms the Silky Ono and Gransfors I tried out previously.
There are several places where you can buy camping hammock in KL. Online selling sites like Mudah and Lelong has much to offer, though some may not be suitable at all for jungle camping because of the size, design and especially weight. The gem hammock I found recently was at Decathlon, a sporting gear retailer I am loving more and more. Decathlon stores are located at Sri Damansara and USJ (beside Summit USJ).
Jungle footwear is an important consideration for extended jungle expedition trips. What is a suitable shoe for the jungle? A pair of Adidas kampong or gum buts? Or should it be something made of waterproof material to keep the water out? These are some questions I started asking myself since I started jungle camping. Over time, through self experiments and reading resources on the internet, I have come to the following conclusion.
Hammock for jungle camping is the best option for those who truly want to do long term jungle trips. I have been watching episodes of Naked & Afraid and Marooned with Ed Stafford and each time it comes to the jungle, two things stand out consistently…you have to get off the jungle floor and you got to protect yourself from the little creatures.