Surviving Mt Kinabalu – Food & Drinks

Before my trip to Mt Kinabalu, I talked about what to eat on your way up the mountain. I concluded that I would make GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts) and I had a really happy time at the supermarket buying Nuts, Raisins, and Chocolates. I was really proud of myself getting baked nuts, unsweetened raisins and yummy M&Ms!

Then I did the very practical thing. There are about 7 rest stops along the trek up, this means another 7 rest stops down. The experts say, you need food along the way for energy. I calculated for every 2 rest stops, I can replenish my energy. This means I need 6 little ziplock bags of GORP, plus maybe 2 extra bags in case of emergencies.

Now if this sounds realistic to you, and totally plausible, I know you are no expert! You see, it’s way TOO MUCH! Sigh… of course no one told me that. I had to learn it the hard way. I packed 8 little packs, and thought I even have enough to share with my friends! (Check out the final weight count of my GORP!)

GORP Mountain Trail Pack

During the actual climb, I ate only 1.5 packets on my way UP, and 1 packet on my way DOWN. I ended up distributing my packets to my fellow hikers. And even brought 3 packets back to Singapore for work-time snack! (I was really happy my fellow hikers enjoyed my GORP! It was a good mix!)

Besides GORP, the group of us had extra help! Let me explain. Out of the 11 of us, there are 5 of us who were deeply concerned about our muscles being overworked and exhausted. We were very worried about muscle cramps during and after the climb. We were afraid our leg muscles would start hurting before we embark on our summit climb, or worse, totally give way when we make our descent.

And of course science and marketing played a part to allay our fears. Look at what we bought! (Can you see the COME BACK STRONGER? Kudos to marketing department for adding that phrase! We were sold!!)


Did it work? Well, our muscles didn’t cramp and they didn’t give way at all. On the other hand, when we were back home, the muscles did ache, and they were sore. I mean even the very fit ones experienced some muscle soreness, how can I, the super non-athlete, be totally free from it? I would think if I didn’t take these drinks, I may have suffered some big time muscle cramp up on Mt KK!

Muscle Recovery

Apart from these muscle drinks, I had POCARI Sweat powder added to my water bag. This was super nice when I was tired and panting from the climb. It is a mild-tasting, light non-carbonated sweet beverage that replenishes electrolytes lost when perspiring. I strongly recommend this powder! It beats carrying bottles of 100-Plus up the mountain!

Pocari Sweat Powder

Finally, up at the resthouse Laban Rata, we had sumptuous buffet dinner and breakfast. I didn’t do my usual low-carbs selection. I followed the experts—Load up on rice, had lots of meat and eggs and hot hot soup to warm myself.

On our way up Mt Kinabalu

Come back stronger

This sums up how we fed ourselves while we climbed Mt Kinabalu. Do note that this is a non-expert version of surviving Mt KK!


This is a part of the series of posts on Adventures up Mount Kinabalu.

Adventures up Mt KK

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