I don't know where to start. There's just so many things to share and I just want to clarify that all the things that I share here is my personal experience. Some of you may not agree, but if there's anything missing, you may add it to your list or leave a comments down below.
This time, I'd like to share the things that you might need to know before you hike.
1. Personal ID Tag
Before you pass the Timpohon Gate, it is extremely crucial for you to have the ID Tag. This is your permit and you have to display it all the time. The organizer will print your name and details of your trip on the tag. What happen if you lost it? You will not allowed to pass and you will not receive any climbing certificates. FYI, it is a CRIME for entering Mount Kinabalu without permit.
*On a very, very, very serious note: Make sure you have registered on the CERTIFIED team. Because they are so many Kinabalu scammers out there.
Me at Panalaban showing my ID
Subuh (Fajr) at Sabah is slightly earlier than Peninsula Malaysia, approximately around 0430. So if you are a Muslim, I would advice you to carry a small spray water bottle From Laban Rata (Panalaban) to the Summit. You can do your subuh at the Sayat-sayat hut, but there are usually so many people take some time to rest before they continue their journey.
You can just stop somewhere flat and perform subuh there.
3. Sandals/ Slippers ARE NOT ALLOWED!
You have to wear shoes all the time! Some of the rocky surfaces are very slippery. Wearing shoes is the best way to protect your feet. Trail shoes aren't so bad too. High cut or low cut is up to your personal preferences, but if you have the waterproof shoes, that's good too. Just in case if it rains.
On my way to Laban Rata, I saw this one girl from Taiwan was injured badly and she didn't wear any shoes. A mountain guide carried her at his back from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate. I talked to some of the mountain guide and they said she fell at Laban Rata and wearing slippers.
Plus, there are fireman guarding the whole place at all times up there. If they caught you wearing slippers, you'll be doomed.
One of the best reasons why you should wear shoes...
Any painkiller would work. Most of my friends have Panadol Actifast and some AMS pills. You will never know what will happen when you are hiking. It's cold, windy and there is not much oxygen up there. Make sure you hydrate properly or else you'll faint.
5. Extra Drinking Water
Back in the days, you can actually refill your drinks at each hut. Unfortunately the last time I visited Kinabalu, the water tank is no longer there. There's only one water station which is at Sayat-sayat Hut. You can purchase it at Laban Rata but it is expensive.
5. Sunblock, Lip Balm and Moisturizer
It is really dry up there. Nuff' said.
6. RESPECT MOUNT KINABALU
This is EXTREMELY CRUCIAL. Please don't do anything stupid or crazy up there. I'm a Muslim, but I do believe every places has its own spirit or guardian and it is a sacred place. In 2015, one month after my Kinabalu trip, there's this one group of notorious hikers did something so stupid and extremely disrespectful on the mountain, you can read it here. And guess what, there's an earthquake right after the incident.
Call me superstitious or anything, but please.
7. KEEP OUR MOUNTAIN CLEAN :)
Last but not least, keep our mountain clean. Do not litter, do not vandalize the environment.
I guess that's all for now. If you are unsure, ask as much questions as you want before you hike. I hope my advice helps :)