Friday, April 25, 2008

The Versatile Backpacks

by Shanti Gunaratnam,
published in NST Travel Tips

It is a lot easier to pack a backpack and also carry it compared with conventional bags.

And backpacks come in many sizes — from five to 50 litres or even more — depending on what you are planning to use it for.

According to Ng Hock Soon, director of Yellow Stone Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of the Lafuma brand in Malaysia, the bigger backpacks come with rain covers and you can fit in more things, including your sleeping bags for your camping trips for two or three nights away from home.

The company offers everything for the outdoor enthusiast, whether for nature walking, travelling, camping or active pursuits such as trail running, hiking, trekking, climbing, adventure racing and cycling.

So how will one know what sort of backpack to buy?

Trying one is important, to see whether the backpacks come with good shoulder support. Liquid gel in the shoulder straps are comfortable.

Then check out the compartments and big backs that come with storage space at the bottom which can be used to put dirty laundry and also sleeping bags.

The big bags must have rain covers to protect the contents when one goes on long walks, trekking or spending time in the jungle.

The top part of the backpacks are usually for the more important things like snacks, first aid kit, jackets and other clothes.

When buying a backpack, Ng says always go for the one with internal frames as it will be more hardy. Always evaluate the things you need for a trip, be it hiking, trekking or camping.

Also, do not waste empty space and try to squeeze something in, like a tee-shirt or a small hand towel.

Ng also says it is important to distribute the weight evenly in your backpack to maintain good posture when you are carrying it.

The heaviest items should be in the middle, next to the frame and close to your back as it would be better for balance.

The bottom part is for the lightest things.

Ng says some sleeping bags are so light that they weigh only 580g and can be stuffed into the backpacks easily.

"Those travelling overseas and also within the country are opting for backpacks because they can be carried as hand luggage and need not be checked in. This cuts the waiting time at airports."

Moreover, many find they can pack more stuff into a backpack compared with conventional luggage. Some of the backpacks also come with wheels or rollers and this makes it easier to move them around,” he adds.

The smaller backpacks are normally used to carry snacks, water, one or two pieces of clothing and other personal items.

*See full article

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bukit Tabur Hike

Last weekend was a bit hectic for me, it was Gasing at first, followed by a concert in Genting, came down as early as 6am for Bukit Tabur Hike.

Came all the first timers at Tabur, Mr Ng and I met Peik Lean, Hui Gee, Englebert, Azman and Edina. Energetic at first, without knowing what to expect, we started off up the longest quartz ridge in the world. (For me, that was my sixth time up this pretty lil rock!)

Peik Lean was amazed with the scenery, saying that it was tougher yet better than the Mulu pinnacles. Meanwhile, Azman was there taking his sweet time enjoying his 'energy booster'.

The first timer trekker from Hungary, Edina, was busy taking photos and love what Malaysia nature could offer. I remembered that the siblings - Hui Gee and Englebert, the sister showed off her talent in sales during our Summer Products Preview as the brother who has a very special name was focusing on the shoes and jackets.

I guess Mr Ng was happy to see all of us finish the trek in 5 hours. The hardworking boss went back to the shop after the trek, as others might already went back for Roti Canai or Nasi Lemak which they last for during the trek.

More pictures, check out

Lafuma Boleh, Saya Pun Boleh!, by Barbara Foong

From left: Pooi Fan, Lee, Xin Tong, Wendy, Barbara, Jeanette, Ng and Joan

Come up, limber up those joints & muscles ala Xin Tong & H. S. Ng of YellowStone. Jolly good company, fresh & cool air, refreshing greenery plus a landslide to add excitement to the 2-hour hike was the lingiring memory of the recent Bukit Gasing Hike.

I have a trekking pole to help me but it got jammed. I know now that the proper way to care for trekking poles is:-

1) Dry-clean your poles after using ity and open the locking mechanism.
2) Always store your telescopic poles with non-fixed locking mechanism.
3) Never use lubricants on or in the shaft.

Wiser now, I did not follow above & I was blissfully ignorant. The end result now, I have a less-than-perfect trekking pole. However, thanks to the pole, I have protected my knee joints, muscles & tendons when trekking the steep & rough terrain at Bukit Gasing.

I like the lafuma outings such as the Bukit Gasing Hikes. One can meet interesting hikers like an ex-banker & Hash House Harrier guy (Mr Lim). He became our impromptu leader. Not only he set out a challenging pace - he was the 'rose' among six thorns!I would divide our group into two - The Frontiers and the Sweepers. Naturally 'Frontiers' like me and Jenny (all age from 53 to 61) were enjoying the jokes and stories told by Mr Lim. I must share one of his jokes. Here it goes..." Do you know what is the name of the man with one ball? Answer ( Ballwant Sing). How about the name of the guy with two balls? Answer (Balanc-ing). Now what do you call the mister with three balls? Answer ( He has to be Amaz-ing!)"

On overhearing the young ladies (below 30 age group) from the 'Sweepers' group talk about tackling altitude sickness, he shared the opinion that taking anti-depressant pills is not good. Jenny also shared that one will have little energy due to these pills. I guess panadol could help for the high altitude headache, plus proper & frequent hydration (drinking water & peeing as often as is possible).

Our group had a few Mount Kinabalu summiters or would-be summiters like Jenny who is training hard for the climb. I love the cool morning hike, crossing the monkey bridge and also the Lafuma products preview done at the tower platform. Like Jenny said, "Live life as full as you can. Everything starts with a first step." I agree and we both understand the word 'osteo-arthritis'. Move & enjoy the outdoors while the body still can function well. So folks make time to join Lafuma Malaysia Adventure Group (LMAG) hikes, you can get more information from the Lafuma Malaysia Blog. A picture say a thousand words, so enjoy the photo gallery. Cheerio. Lafuma boleh, Saya pun boleh!

Barbara Foong

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lafuma Leads the Way, by Barbara Foong

Admin: Special thanks to Barbara, Joleen and KC who attended the hike and to Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur, the main organizer.

Xin Tong & Ng Hock Soon of Lafuma win BIG on the recent Chilling Waterfall Hikes. I am 53 with lots of energy that was built upon hours of running and years of walking. I practise trekking and Nordic walking at FRIM. Hungry to wander further, I sought Lafuma's expertise who are experienced in leading such hikes. Though, it was my first water-crosssing (six in all), the experienced guides like Lyman, Nisha & of course Xin Tong (all are from the Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur) - about 40 young men & ladies age from 17 to below 30; led me through an exciting 2-hour hike (to & from) to enjoy the Chilling Waterfalls at Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor. I rate this experience as very repeatable. Much thanks to Lafuma's Ng Hock Soon & company. I also get to blog now!

Barbara Foong

Friday, April 4, 2008

Places to Set Foot at in April

This month, Lafuma Malaysia Adventure Group is going to raise our flags at these few places. Details are as below:

12 April (Saturday)
Hike to Sungai Chiling Waterfall + Lafuma Summer 08 Products Preview
Time : 7.00am
Duration : 5 hours
Meet Up Point : Lafuma Bangsar, Jalan Telawi
Charges : RM 15 (LMAG members)
RM 20 (non LMAG members)
Notes: (includes light snack + shared transport)
Transportation : Carpooling
Things to bring : Day pack, casual wear, sandals, swimming clothing, towel, water, snacks, extra clothes to change
Registration close on 9 April 2008.

19 April (Saturday)

Bukit Gasing, Morning Hike + Lafuma Summer 08 Products Preview

Time : 8.00am
Duration : 3 hours
Meet Up Point : Lafuma Bangsar, Jalan Telawi
Charges : FOC (for both LMAG members and non LMAG members)
Transportation : Carpooling
Things to bring : Day pack, casual wear, trekking shoes, rain jacket / poncho, water, snacks, extra clothes to change
Registration close on 16 April 2008.

20 April (Sunday)

Bukit Tabur, Morning Hike + Lafuma Summer 08 Products Preview

Time : 7.00am
Duration : 5 hours
Meet Up Point : Lafuma Bangsar, Jalan Telawi
Charges : FOC (LMAG members)
RM 5 (non LMAG members)
Transportation : Carpooling
Things to bring : Day pack, water, snacks, casual wear, trekking shoes, rain jacket / poncho, torch, extra clothes to change
Registration close on 16 April 2008.
Lafuma Ongoing Competition:

Mountain Conquest 2008 [Refer to one of our postings]

Lafuma Affialiate's Activities:

XPDC Gunung Lebah, 11-13 April 2008
Organiser : OGKL
Contact Person : Deeno 012-6294083

Cendana Hikathon Competition, 20 April 2008
Organiser : PAC
Contact Person : Loh 012-4766629

XPDC G.Semeru-Bromo-Arjuno-Walirang, 29 April - 4 May 2008
Organiser : OGKL
Contact Person : Deeno 012-6294083


Sirkit Cabaran Mendaki Gunung Negeri Sembilan
Wilderness Langkawi Challenge

Thursday, April 3, 2008

here April comes

Members Special (15% discount)
BAHO Jacket, IKER LS Tee Shirt, STORD GTX XCR Trail Running Shoes, IMPACT 22 Backpack, NANGA 40 Rucksack

April Promotion (10% discount)
INUIT II PARKA Jacket, MAGNUM Luggage, EFFECT 25 Backpack

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Earth Hour 290308, 7.30pm - 9.30pm

Date figure - 29 March 2008
Time figure - 1930hrs - 2130hrs

Few Earth Hour supporters gathered at Lafuma to spectaculate this global movement. The phrase went like this "Earth Hour 8 to 9. Turn off your lights." The whole shop was peach dark, with only a glow toob on with SOS signal.
Customers walked in with torches given and started their exploration journey in the shop. Apparently, they felt that they see better in the dark. Every single thread, every single zipper, never been missed with the explaination of our staffs to them. Especially our ECO products which we were promoting, they were stars of the night's sales.

Some came in, to grow their pledges on our ECO tree. Here are some of the pledges :

"We are all responsible to spread the global warming awareness message over the world! Let us make a difference to our earth! Let's support global cooling!" -- CK

"I pledge to use maximum 2 plastic bags per week, litter less, and use more paper-made stuff instead of x-biodegradable stuff." -- Kai Li

"More trees, keep the current forest & green lungs & ask the government & people in power to be more environ-conscious." -- Shih Chung

"I pledge to save more lifes in Kuantan!" -- Zhi Yong

"I pledge to NEVER litter and at the same time stop my friends from doing so as well." -- Jean Yee
While garnering awareness and serving customers, we had a bunch of Raleigh-ians putting up some funny lil' wayang kulit (shadow play) in front of the shop. It caught some attention of the passer-by, and the players prayed hard that the people got their message of saving our mother nature.

2 hours passed very quickly. And yes, Lafuma made a very good example to all and we believe that every single effort makes a difference in changing the world's climate.