Climbing a mountain is like going through the stages of a relationship. You get kilig at first, excited for a new adventure. You fight the first few struggles, not even noticing how long you’ve been on it because you’re having so much fun, and then as you go along you gather it’s not as easy as you thought. You reach the rigid, steep part—the turning point of every relationship—where you ask if you should go on or if you should just end it and turn back. If you decide to push forward, you eventually reach the summit and realize it was all worth it. But then of course you know it doesn’t end there because you still have to hike back down to the real world… until the next climb.
Here are a few things one must keep in mind before you get to say you’re on top of the world.
1. Do your research.
Aside from having lots of pristine beaches, the Philippines is also blessed with so many mountains. Before you decide to head to the ever-popular Mt. Pulag, consider the fact that peaks are categorized by difficulty level and that maybe you should start small first. With 10 being the hardest, maybe you should opt for those with 2/10 difficulty ratings first such as Taal, Pico de Loro, or Gulugod Baboy.
2. Pack well.
Make sure to pack at least two sets of clothing (bring flip flops!) to go with your water, packed lunch, snacks (bring trail mix for an instant source of energy), garbage bag (it’s a must!), flashlight, and other essentials like tissue or wipes. That said, don’t forget to ziplock all of your belongings including your camera or phone!
3. Don’t wear a cotton hoodie.
It’s incredibly heavy when soaked in rain water. Wear something light and comfortable; a Dri-FIT shirt is your best bet since it keeps your body cool. You can be in a sleeveless top and shorts, too. To protect yourself from getting cut by the sharp ends of tall grass and getting itchy from weeds, wear a light rain jacket and a pair of long socks.
4. Trust your shoes.
If they're for hiking, they'll withstand the obstacles that you’re bound to meet—mud, rocks, and rivers included—comfort guaranteed.
5. Have fun!
Know that no one has it easy the first time, and that the sea of clouds, the view, not to mention the IG-worthy photo you’ll get when you reach the top, will make the climb 101% worth it.
This story originally appeared on Stylebible.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors