Charmaine’s Mountaineer Sack – What’s in the bag series

Mountain hiking Philippines

What’s in The Bag: Charmaine’s Mountaineer Sack

The mountains provide a distinct, imposing feel. Once you get to the peak, you’ll soon realize that amidst the noise and conflict that the world is under right now, there is solace. There is hope. Surely, a trek in the mountains is always a good option for travelers who long for adventure and tranquility. For the person who I talked with just recently, it isn’t only a matter of options. It is her choice to persistently rise, both figuratively in literally, to the challenge.

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A bit of yoga at the peak.

Aside from her pretty face and warm persona, you wouldn’t figure out so easily that Charmaine Bernus is a passionate hiker. She said that her love for the mountains breeds from her chosen field of study which is Geology. Majoring in that program allows her continuously to travel to places not just to educate herself, but to relish the scenes and the vibe all the same.

In this exciting chapter of What’s in the Bag, I will give you a sneak peek on Charmaine’s active lifestyle, her studies and how she goes about bag-packing to conquer the mountains. Are you in for this crazy ride?

Mountaineering Bags are Perfect

Charm, as many of her friends fondly call this fair lady, said that hiking is always the most enjoyable part of her travels be it academically of just for leisure. As I’ve tried hiking and trekking on my own, I asked specifically what type of bag she usually brings in her trips. And most importantly, I asked whether she ever used a regular bag pack or not.

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Your bag carries all that you need once you start your climb.

With a big smile, she shared to me that an ordinary bag would suffice. But for higher peaks, you are likely required to bring more supplies. On that thought, she pointed that if you’re really passionate about hiking, then a mountaineering bag will perfectly suit your needs. She explained that it will not only have a bigger compartment for your necessities, it is also specifically made to support you back for easier carrying.

She added that there are brands which are specific to selling mountaineering gear such as those kinds of bags. “Personally, I have my Rhinox bag which is very useful. Since I have scoliosis, it is very important for me to consider how my bag will affect my back and hips. My bag is also lightweight and water proof.”

As she spoke about her condition, I was quick to follow up on her scoliosis and how it affects her travels. She answered that mountaineering is her passion and it would be betrayal to not allow herself to find the middle ground. “My bag makes all the difference.” She is a true testament that if there’s a will, there’s a way!

Water Bottle

Mountaineering Philippines
You should know how much water you need. Plan ahead.

Hiking is a strenuous activity that requires physical endurance and mental fortitude. In order to achieve the goal to reach the peak, you must be able to withstand all the obstacles that nature fronts you with. Charm is aware of that since she already trekked and hiked countless times. With that, she advices that it is utmost significance to bring a water container.

“Always bring your water bottle. Mountains climate can be tricky at times. There can be times when the heat is too strong that your body becomes dehydrated. The name of the game in this adventure is readiness.” She shared also that even without the strong heat, you still need to be rehydrated because this is a physically demanding activity to begin with.

Protection yourself with Sunblock

Mountaineering Philippines
Protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

It is easily identifiable if you’re continuously ravaged by the heat if you look at your skin. As for Charmaine’s case, it seems all to different. Her blooming, light complexion is still a big irony for me. When I asked how she achieves such skin, she was quick to point out that a sunblock is always an item she never forgets on her trips.

“I’ve always made sure that my skin is protected from the extreme climates of the mountains. Most people will care less for this. As for me, I take it as a responsibility to take care of my body because I don’t want to regret once I get home and suffer from a sunburn.” True indeed!

On another note, she added that this is supposed to be mantra not only for women hikers or travelers, but for all people who will go to unfamiliar territory such as the mountains. “It’s kind of a given thing. Not only will you be able to protect yourself, you’re also saving yourself from the effects right after.”

Mountaineering Philippines
Scoliosis hasn’t stopped Charmaine from mountaineering.

You desire to connect with nature. Your body needs to be fit to connect with it. I must say that nature also has its standards. Let’s respect it

But what got me the most in my conversation with her is that she linked her keen sense for her health to her passion.

Proper Clothing and Gear

Mountaineering Philippines
Extremely important to have good functional gear.

Just like her stylish vibe when I sat with her in a coffee shop, I just knew that Charm will not go on a mountain trip without flashing her own style. With that thought, I specifically asked her how she clothes herself in her journeys. She agreed that she indeed has her own style and fashion in the mountains. But aside from that, she noted that you need to have proper clothing and gear to be able to truly enjoy the mountains.

With a lovely smirk she shared “Again, the weather is different once you actually set foot on the mountain itself. Depending on the location, it may be extremely hot or extremely cold. You need to prepare the proper clothing and research beforehand. I swear, you will not enjoy wearing sleeveless tops and shorts in Mt. Pulag where I hiked most recently.”

Mountaineering Philippines
Temperatures can differ on top of mountains. Do your research.

On the flipside, she said that there are times when you have more freedom to express your fashion. She said that mountains that have tropical climates usually offer more choices. “When I hiked Mt. Maculot, it was easier for me to dress up and change.”

Mountaineering is indeed a delightful option to choose when you’re travelling. Charmaine is a proud testament that you can enjoy it more if you’re prepared for what’s in store. With a confident aura and a gorgeous face to boot, Charm proves to be an independent woman who is likely to conquer every peak that she so desires.

Mountaineering Philippines.
The more prepared you are, the more you will enjoy the hike.

Until next time, this is Maria. See you on my next blog.

What is this “What’s in the bag series”, anyway? Read about it here:

What’s in the bag


Photo ofCharmaine Bernus
Charmaine Bernus
Job Title
Mountaineer in the Philippines

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