Roam If You Want To

  • Sep
  • 6


Essential Gear for a Benguet Mountain Adventure



Essential Gear for a Benguet Mountain Adventure



People tend to neglect the pull of the outdoors when left cooped up in the city for too long; forget how essential it is to hit pause and escape from the bustle. It was this oversight that four intrepid friends hoped to amend as they loaded their bags into the back of an old Land Cruiser with plans to drive up to Benguet for a weekend and soak in the highlands of the Cordilleras. The group was comprised of Anton, a footballer; Maureen, a track and field star; and Carmen and Paulo, both filmmakers; as outdoorsy a group as there ever was, packed inside a 4×4 equipped with camping gear, a guitar, and a couple of books to pass the time. Let the fun begin.


Four friends make their way up to Benguet for a weekend (From left to right): Antonio, Carmen, Maureen, and Paulo.

It isn’t as bold a claim to say that Baguio City, along with its neighbor, Benguet, holds a soft spot in every lowlander’s heart. As the jump-off point to a number of the region’s sights, it offers travelers a taste of what makes the Cordillera a cultural and adventure powerhouse. Plus, there’s the cool weather, the crisp mountain air, to look forward to; a much-needed break from the metropolis.

It was four hours and counting when the silhouette of great pines finally came into view and the group decided that a quick hike at higher altitudes was in order. It would take another hour to get to the foot of Mt. Yangbew’s trail but it was still dark when they started making their way up. The moon kept its watch but the sky was already starting to shift colors. It had rained the previous afternoon, making the mud soft and slippery, and the trail up the mountain was steep in places. There were a handful of slips here and there, but this was a hardy crew and they made short work of the trek; arriving at the peak a little out of breath but just in time for the sun to cast its morning light over La Trinidad, over the valley below blanketed by clouds. It was just what the crew needed to ease into the weekend.


On Carmen: Pile Lined Sweat Hoodie (Php 1490, available late September). On Maureen: Fluffy Fleece Jacket (Php 990).

“It’s a long ride to Benguet. Having your creature comforts around is a must.”
– Carmen


It took some time, but they finally found a place to temporarily set up camp for the day. They had heard of a couple more trails at BSU Nature Park, some ten kilometers away from Mt. Yangbew’s trailhead, and were keen to continue exploring at a leisurely pace. There was a clearing surrounded by pines, and it provided the perfect space for the day’s base before it was time to pack up and look for another spot for the night. The day was wide open; no fixed schedule, no destinations to chase, nothing other than the desire to lose themselves in nature. Antonio and Paulo prepared the camp, while Carmen weaved in and out of the trees, fetching random bits of flora that caught her eye. Maureen found herself clutching her jacket closer to her body as a passing fog descended and the four stopped to appreciate its calm, spectral beauty. They would be heading back to the rest of the world in a day or two. But for now, they had this.

After Mt. Yangbew, the team settles into their temporary camp at BSU Nature Park.


On Paulo: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 2990); Flannel Checked Shirt (Php 990); Slim Fit Jeans (Php 990)


On Antonio: Washed Striped Crew Neck T-Shirt (Php 990); Fleece Jacket (Php 990); HEATTECH Knitted Cap (Php 590, available mid-September).


A basic breakdown of what you need to bring on a camping trip

1. Quick-drying clothes. Start with this formula: # of days + 1 extra set

2. Toiletries

3. Trail running shoes or any shoe with good traction

4. Cookset. Pot, frying pan, camping stove, fuel, utensils and food containers

5. Water and water filters. 2L per person per day + 1L for the group’s use + 1L to consume on the trail

6. Shelter (tents or tarps). Parts are usually divided among the team to share the load.

7. Sleeping bags or sleeping pads

8. Lights. Flashlights, headlamps, etc.

9. Whistle

10. First aid kit for common injuries and ailments


On Maureen: Ultra Light Down Compact Jacket (Php 2490); Pocketable Parka (Php 1490); AIRism Seamless Leggings (Php 990); DRY-EX Ultra Stretch Short Pants (Php 990); AIRism Seamless T-Shirt (Php 990)


On Carmen: Ultra Light Down Vest (Php 1990); Flannel Check Shirt (Php 990); HEATTECH Crew Neck T-Shirt (Php 790)


On Antonio: Pile Lined Sweat Hoodie (Php 1490); Cotton Cashmere Cable Sweater (Php 1490); Slim Fit Jeans (Php 990)



It was a chilly 16°C when the group summited Mt. Yangbew.


Adventure-seekers need pieces that won’t hold them down, because every gram counts when they’re on the move. ULTRA LIGHT DOWN is unobtrusively light, perfect for layering, and multifunctional—the kind of jacket that’ll keep you warm, from office buildings to mountain tops.

  • Compact mobile pack
  • With durable coating to protect against light rain
  • No down packs, except in the collar, to ensure lightness

Learn more about Travel Essentials from UNIQLO. Go to


“Practical, handy, and durable for any condition I’ll have to face in the outdoors.”
– Antonio

The four make it just in time to watch the sunrise.


From left | On Antonio: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 2990); Flannel Check Shirt (Php 990); Regular Fit Jeans (Php 1990). On Carmen: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 2990); HEATTECH Fleece Turtle Neck (Php 790); Flannel Check Shirt (Php 990); High Waist Chino Wide Pants (Php 1490), HEATTECH Knitted Cap (Php 590, available mid-September) On Maureen: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 2990); Men’s Denim Shirt (Php 1490); Oversized High Neck Shirt (Php 590); HEATTECH Leggings Pants (Pph 1490) On Paulo: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 2990); HEATTECH Turtle Neck (Php 790, available in select stores); Flannel Checked Shirt (Php 990); BLOCKTECH Warm Lined Pants (Php 1990, available early October)


“Cozy and warm—and it doesn’t take up too much space in the bag.”
– Carmen


Carmen keeps warm in the morning with HEATTECH and a comforting cup of coffee.

While Benguet and Baguio are easy choices for those looking to flee to cooler climates, temperatures can dip below the mid-teens, especially in the morning. Suffice it to say, waking up warm is a blessing on the trail. Whether worn as innerwear or on its own, HEATTECH keeps you toasty without the added bulk.


Learn more about Travel Essentials from UNIQLO. Go to



A reminder for the road

1. Supports communities. If it’s an option, consider a homestay instead of setting up camp, and public transport instead of bringing a car. This eases the burden off you and contributes to the local economy. Buying supplies from local vendors is always a good way to help sustain livelihoods.

2. Familiarizes themselves with the local culture. Read up on local customs and make sure to adhere to a place’s rules and regulations. It’s in everybody’s interest to avoid being disruptive. Expand your worldview by taking the time to interact with the residents.

3. Minimizes their impact. When it comes to mountaineering, let’s start with an oldie but goodie: don’t leave anything that wasn’t there in the first place. In addition to picking up after yourself, make the effort to leave the place in a better state than it was when you first arrived. Forego single-use items for more sustainable options such as nondisposable food and water containers.

Maintaining a clean area and using reusable containers; this outdoorsy crew knows how to travel responsibly.


On Carmen: Ultra Light Down Vest (Php 1990); Flannel Check Shirt (Php 990); Slim Boyfriend Fit Jeans (Php 1490). On Paulo: Ultra Light Down Vest (Php 1990); Flannel Check Shirt (Php 990); Vintage Regular Fit Chino Pants (Php 1490). On Maureen: Ultra Light Down Jacket (Php 1990); Men’s Denim Shirt (Php 1490); Oversized High Neck Shirt (Php 590); HEATTECH Leggings Pants (Php 1490). On Antonio: Pile Lined Sweat Hoodie (Php 1490); Cotton Cashmere Cable Sweater (Php 1490); Slim Fit Jeans (Php 990)

Photography by Francisco Guerrero
Models: Carmen del Prado, Antonio Celdran,
Maureen Schrijvers and Paulo Alampay
Make up by Sylvina Lopez
Styling by Nayna Katigbak

Shot on location in Benguet.


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GRID | Roam If You Want To

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