Food Allergies

We purchase all our food from the supermarkets in Port Moresby however we are finding it increasingly difficult to cater for some of the allergies people have to some foods.  

It is essential that you advise Tracie at tracie@kokodatreks.com if you have any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.  If we are not able to obtain these in Port Moresby we will advise you to bring the food you require with you.  It should be packed and labelled with your name.  If this is necessary you should bring a receipt for the cost of the food with you and we will reimburse you in PNG.

Dehydration

There is plenty of water along the trail however always check with your guides that the creek or stream is OK before you refill your water bladders as some are located downstream near villages.  You must also bring water purification tablets to sterilise your water to ensure you don’t pick up any bugs. 

You will also need to bring electrolyte replacement tablets or powder to compensate for loss of salt due to excessive sweating.  A word of warning though - mix and drink electrolytes according to instructions because if you absorb more than your body needs to replace those lost in sweat it will have the reverse effect and cause you to become dehydrated.

Rule of thumb is one dose of electrolyte for every two litres of water consumed.  Ensure you drink at least every 15 minutes during the first few days whilst your body is acclimatising to the tropical conditions.

Heat Exhaustion

You are at great risk of heat exhaustion while your body acclimatizes to the hot and humid tropical conditions so it is important to drink plenty of water often during the first few days. 

An early sign of dehydration is concentrated urine (dark straw colour) and reduced frequency of urination. If this occurs, drink more water and electrolyte drinks. Monitor yourself closely.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body cannot lose heat fast enough. If not treated quickly, it can lead to heat stroke which is a much more serious condition. If heat exhaustion is recognized and treated promptly, the effects can be reversed.

The symptoms can often occur suddenly.  They are:

  • Feeling hot, weak and fatigued
  • Often pale/ashen colour with cool, clammy skin
  • Sweating profusely
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe muscle fatigue or cramping
  • Headache, thirst, or nausea
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Giddiness or faint
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sometimes heat exhaustion can result in visual hallucinations and vomiting.

Treatment

  • Stop walking and move to a cool place!
  • Drink plenty of water and electrolyte replacement drinks. Drink half-a-glass of fluid every 15-20 minutes. Do not drink alcohol or caffeine
  • Lay down and elevate your legs slightly
  • Loosen your clothing
  • Bring your temperature down with cool sponging

In most cases you will begin to feel better within 30 minutes. If symptoms do not improve or they worsen, medical evacuation will need to be arranged.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. 

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body’s normal cooling system fails to function. It can be fatal as a result of heart failure, kidney failure or brain damage caused by the excess body heat.  If left untreated, a person with heat stroke can slip into a coma and die.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Elevated core body temperature
  • Hot, dry, flushed skin (not sweaty)
  • Pounding, rapid pulse which gradually weakens
  • Confusion, dizziness  and visual disturbance, leading to unconsciousness
  • Headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Hyperventilation

Treatment

  • Trek leader to arrange for immediate evacuation by satellite phone or VHF radio
  • Remove most clothing 
  • Apply cold water to neck, groin and armpits – fan to assist cooling.
  • Trekker will need to be moved on a stretcher or carried  

Any alteration in your own or someone else’s condition should be reported to the Trek Leader.  The Carriers or other trekkers are usually close by to send messages while you stop to attend to someone or stop to treat yourself. 

It is everyone’s responsibility to “look out” for each other.

Personal Health and Hygiene

The tropics can be unforgiving on the body if one is not strict in the area of personal hygiene.  There are ample opportunities to wash and bathe and to rinse your clothes.  Make sure you maintain a high standard of personal discipline in this area and you will be OK.

It is imperative that you wash your hands before meals and after toilet stops.  We recommend you use an antibacterial hand gel which can be purchased from chemists for this purpose.