17 January 2019

Essential Packing List for Your Borneo Sabah Expedition

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From trekking through pristine rainforest and climbing Southeast Asia’s highest summit, to spotting orangutans in the wild and swimming alongside sea turtles, Sabah is a paradise for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers. However, preparing for a journey into the wilderness can be intimidating; you won’t want to find yourself covered with leeches or freezing cold on top of Mount Kinabalu, right? That’s why we’ve put together an easy-to-follow packing list, covering all the essentials of what to bring on your Borneo Sabah expedition.

Whilst the main list comprises general items for a trip to Sabah, the bottom addition includes gear necessary for conquering Mount Kinabalu (or any other mountain on the island).

  • Closed shoes or trainers
  • Pair of sandals
  • Lots of socks
  • Leech socks
  • Lots of underwear (it’s hot & humid; you might be without laundry service for several days)
  • Swimwear
  • Quick-dry long-sleeve shirts
  • Quick-dry trousers
  • Quick-dry towels
  • Breathable, cotton clothing
  • Jumper (it can cool down at nights)
  • Rain gear, such as disposable poncho or waterproof jacket
  • Day backpack
  • Dry bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun glasses
  • Hat or any other head coverage
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Head-torch or flashlight
  • Basic toiletries and sanitary products for women
  • Basic first aid kit and medication
  • Mosquito repellent (with minimum 25% DEET) and anti-itch cream
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Power Adapter (Malaysia uses the same plugs as the UK)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Snorkel and mask (optional)
  • Borneo bird or wildlife guide book (optional)


If you plan to climb a mountain, don’t forget the following:

  • Several layers of warm clothing such as jumpers and long sleeve shirts
  • Warm jacket suitable for temperatures below 10-degrees Celsius
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Warm hat or head band
  • Gloves
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Sleeping bag liner (optional)

For some inspiration for your trip, be sure to check out our ultimate guide for a Sabah Borneo adventure, covering the best destinations and insider tips for active travel in the region. You can also get in touch with Buffalo Tours here to arrange a tailor-made trip to this wonderful state. 


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