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Trekking is an extreme sport. The more adventurous you are, the more you decide to climb the mountain alone. In this article, Tropical Trekking will provide you with the necessary information, the do's and don'ts when deciding to trek/hike alone.

Prepare before trekking

There are several steps you need to take before your trip to help ensure your safety:

  • Find out the routes you plan to take. Note that you bring and know how to use offline maps on your phone or paper maps and compass.
  • Identify important milestones, dangerous roads.
  • Make sure you let your family and friends know where you are going and when you will return. When you don't get back on time, this will sound like an alarm to everyone that you've lost your way.
  • Check the weather forecast for the days of your trip and for the days ahead. You should not participate on rainy days. Heavy rain makes the road slippery and more dangerous when trekking alone.
  • Prepare all the necessary tools and equipment.
  • Note that identification is always with you, your phone is fully charged, and emergency numbers are saved.

Remember to repare carefully before trekking

Determine the direction

Use the compass to determine the direction

When it comes to determining direction, the compass is the first device that comes to mind. Because they are convenient, easy to carry, and high precision. When using a compass, you need to keep away from metal and fire devices because they lose the magnetism of the magnets, causing incorrect results.

However, the compass is only useful when you know the place you want to go. In some cases like getting lost, carrying a compass won't help much without a map to locate the location. Remember that the compass and map duo always go together. You can also use your phone or a GPS device, but be aware of the battery status.

Remember to repare carefully before trekking

Determine the direction by the sun

Determining the direction by the sun is the simplest method that everyone knows, especially in tropical forest areas with a lot of sunshine.

  • Sun rises in the east and sets in the west,
  • You as the center of gravity, straighten your arms at shoulder height,
  • The right hand points East, the left hand points West,
  • Then the front will be North, the back will be South.
  • It should be noted that around 9-10am the sun will be in the Southeast direction, 15-16 pm the sun will be in the Southwest direction.

Remember to repare carefully before trekking

Determine direction using a straight stick and the sun

  • Look around the forest for a vertical log, about 1 meter long.
  • At 12 noon, you put the stick perpendicular to the ground
  • Taking the point of intersection of the stick with the ground as the center, draw a small circle starting from point A.
  • Standing in the sun at noon, the tree's shadow is short, but in the afternoon, the stick's shadow will be longer according to the sun.
  • Then you will see the intersection of the circle and the ball of the stick. Mark that intersection as point B.
  • Draw a straight line from A to B.
  • From the center of the circle draw a line passing through the midpoint of segment AB, this is the direction North.

This method is a bit lengthy and takes a little more time, but gives fairly accurate results. You can apply this method in case you forget to bring your compass.

Remember to repare carefully before trekking

Check the wind direction for direction finding.

Vietnam has a humid tropical climate, so taking advantage of the wind to determine the direction is an effective way. Vietnam's climate has 2 main types of wind: Northeast monsoon and Southwest monsoon.

  • If you go trekking from May to October, this is the time when the southwest monsoon is active. The wind will blow from the Southwest to the Northeast.
  • In contrast, from November to April of the next year, you will encounter the Northeast wind blowing to the Southwest.
  • On windy days, it is quite easy to guess the wind direction by looking at the tops of trees, grass, etc. You should choose an area that is open and easy to feel the wind direction.
  • Another more effective way is to wet your index finger, then raise it. Which side of the finger is cold first, the wind will blow from that direction.

Remember to repare carefully before trekking


Regardless of all your preparations from professional equipment, maps, compasses to the necessary skills, there are still rare cases that happen. You also need to practice strong willpower because when you get lost, you can fall into a state of panic, fear. So a strong will will be a tranquilizer to help you control everything that is going on and do the necessary things.


To ensure safety, Tropical Trekking recommends that you do not participate in trekking/hiking alone, especially for those of you who have not had much experience. Instead you can refer to trekking / hiking tours from reputable units or tours led by the National Park.

The video below is a safety guide and rules you should take to heart so you can navigate and find your way out if you get lost in the woods.

Wish you have interesting trekking experiences. If you find this article useful, please give Tropical Trekking a like!



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