Before You Hike in Dongguan

trailgear1 DIY Trail Gear

There is no reason to overspend while preparing for your trip. If you can’t handle being in public without Gucci, the great outdoors is likely not for you anyway. Luckily, China is full of ways to get it done on a budget.

PLA Combat Boots

Ask for: Jiěfàngjūn xié (解放军鞋 )

Usage: By supplementing the trail kit with gear found at one of the city’s Army/Navy Stores, the hike can be done safely with cheap, sturdy PLA Military Boots. Their RMB 40 price tag means marching up the mountain will be safe and dry. Many styles even have a removable lining for winter runs.


Ask for: Kuàizi (筷子)

Usage: Cheap stainless steel chop- sticks are the survivalists dream when it comes to multifaceted trail gear. With a little imagination they can be used in many places – tent stake, kitchen whisk or even as finger splints in emergencies.

Motorcycle Poncho

Ask for: Mótuōchē yǔyī (摩托车雨衣)

Usage: These are so cheap and pack down so tight that bringing a few is a good plan. Beyond keeping head body and gear dry on the hike, they can be used as a ground cloth for tents or gear. Then take them on a picnic, use as a spare bag or to carry emergency water back to camp.

DIY Camp Food

Take a look at your local grocery before blazing the trails for nonperishable, easy-to-cook supplies. Many popular Asian foodstuffs are conveniently packaged, nutritious and can be cooked by adding boiling water.

Soy Beans

Ask for: Huángdòu (黄豆)

Recipe: For herbivore hikers, these bean bundles deliver daily pockets of protein. After purchase, fry them profusely to remove all moisture, store them in a container to be eaten on the trail as a snack or a as a foundational breakfast.

Dried Scallops and Shrimp

Ask for: Gān yuánbèi (干元贝), Xiā mǐ (虾米)

Recipe: Available at most wet markets or grocery stores these cured morsels of the ocean are the way to go if you want a seafood dinner on the trail. Add to soup, broths, congee or eat in plain rice or bread for a quick fix.

Taiwanese Sausage

Ask for: Táiwān xiāngcháng (台湾香肠) Recipe: Fried, boiled or cold, they are a great source of protein and flavor for almost any dish. Eat them in a bun like a hotdog, slice them for a sandwich or add to rice pots, stews.

Safety First

Dongguan Civil Services, a team designated to search and rescue, are in the training phases of bringing a safety team to the city and its many parks and wildlife areas. Mai Ruinan, a trainer, suggests following a protocol of informing friends or colleagues of your destination, route and time of return. Alerting local authorities may be “hit or miss,” but it is also recommended if there aren’t other choices. In emergency situations call the Shenzhen Civil Services: 0755-8258 1125 Mobile: 138 2877 9071


Category Feature Stories