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Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 posts
13 reviews
Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Hi,

I am intending to visit Solo in early August. I am interested in climbing Gunung Merbabu and camping on the summit for 2 nights.

Would like to check if this region would be safe for a lone female traveler? I have friends who told me that Solo tends to have a higher number of extremists/radicals and as such would be fairly unsafe (I'm sorry if this sounds offensive, I do not mean it to be).

Also, is there cellphone reception on Gunung Merbabu in case of emergency?

Would also appreciate any tips on getting around or on hiking :)

Terima kasih!

13 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
24 posts
1. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Im a solo female traveler just came back yesterday from bali

I did mount batur volcano trekking

They put you in groups

The same im assuming for your location so its best to check with your hotel or whoever your doing the booking with

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Hi, thanks for your reply!

Really should have put this out earlier but I'm intending to hike alone and not in a group...Mainly because I prefer to go at my own pace and have more flexibility for spending more nights camping. As such I will not be booking a guide or porter.

Bali, Indonesia
Destination Expert
for Ubud, Pemuteran, Yogyakarta Region
Level Contributor
12,571 posts
129 reviews
3. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

My advice...google the keywords hiker missing body merbabu. Usually only foreigners who die are reported in english language press but many more Indonesians die hiking Merbabu. Please do NOT try to hike by yourself, if not only for your own sake but for the sake of the others who might have to look for you if you are missing.

Solo is a very nice small city, people are great. Yes there are and have been problems but you are far more likely to experience danger from trying to hike by mountain by yourself than you are from any people.

Merbabu will be nothing like Batur on Bali..

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Thanks for the reply MangoMunky!

I wasn't actually intending to be totally alone per se, August is peak hiking season and I was expecting to be hiking alongside many others, as such I did not feel there was a need for a guide or porter. I had prior experience hiking in Japan alone and there were people all around, therefore I was expecting something similar. Would it be different on Merbabu? I'm not sure how the hiking culture is like in Indonesia.

Might you know how conditions on the mountain are like and if the trails are well-marked and fairly well-maintained? I'm aware that they had closed off all paths in February for maintenance.

Yogyakarta Region...
Level Contributor
138 posts
69 reviews
5. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

merbabu is a friendly mountain. especially at Agustus. myself several time hike Merbabu alone. there is 2 track that safe in my opinion. you can choose Kopeng or Wekas. id rather choose Wekas for water source reason. both track are not maintained well. but there is many directions that keeps you on track.

both track provide 2 camp grounds.

if you choose Wekas, you can set camp on camp2 or post 2. there is vast area and water sources are available. usually i left my bag and tent then hike to summit with daypack only.

many accident occurs on mountain is that because they neglect and disobey nature rules. as long as the stay clean, and pay respect to mother nature, we will get safe. as far as i know, Japan Mountain are more unfriendly than Java's mountain

though we are in the summit, sell coverage are minimum. best provider is Telkomsel, but you only can call and texting. my case, i had no internet signal up there.( des 2017 )

and my opinion, i dont like camping on summit because i have to bring all my baggage up hill. but if you insist, there is many place that people loved to camp below the summit. plenty places hill covered to avoid wind strike. and water sources, if you camp on summit, you have to hike down around 200-300 meters until spring.

Edited: 18 May 2018, 13:32
Level Contributor
39 posts
1 review
6. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Merbabu have 4 tracking route. I have only try from jalur Selo (Selo tracking route) enter from Magelang/ ketep (near Yogyakarta). Another tracking routes are Wekas, Suwanting and thekelan/kopeng.

As i only know Selo, this route didnt provide any water resource so you need to bring enough water for drink or cook. I stayed for 2 nights, camp on Pos 3 (nice Merapi view behind little hill) or you can stay on Sabana 2 (very good savanna view, only Selo have this view) before reach the summit. Selo offer the steepest track but the view is really worth. August usually have great weather, sunny days and i recomend you to hike on weekend though there might be many people who will go up. But i still suggest to find some friends because the sign/direction isnt so many and there might be some intersection that make you confuse (that actually used by farmer around)

Edited: 18 May 2018, 18:01
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 posts
13 reviews
7. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Poery B and Mega A,

Thank you for the replies! It is quite comforting to know that Merbabu is a friendly mountain :)

I am quite interested to start the trek from Wekas and finish in Selo. Might you guys know what transport options I have from either Yogyakarta or Solo to Wekas and which one would be better? I have not bought my flight tickets yet so I still have options as to where to fly into :) How much does transport usually cost in Indonesia?

Level Contributor
39 posts
1 review
8. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

That sounds good. There's no public transports that go direct to both basecamp wekas/selo. Maybe it's easier for you to hire an 'ojek'(in bahasa) its like grabBike or UberRide but no application needed 😅. Sometimes people around basecamp offer you a ride to the nearest bus terminal with a certain payment.

I think Yogyakarta is the best place for you to stay since its near wekas n selo.

Fyi, yogya-solo 2h by bus, 1h by train

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

Thank you Mega A!

At your advice I have decided to base myself in Yogyakarta this time. I have looked into Go-Jek and it seems that they offer Go-Car rides up to 75km, might you know if Go-Car drivers tend to accept rides of this distance? From Yogyakarta to Gerbang Wekas is around 50+km and it seems to be a viable transport option.

Yogyakarta Region...
Level Contributor
138 posts
69 reviews
10. Re: Safety in Solo for lone traveler + hiking/camping Merbabu

i dont think there is any Go Jek would pick you up until wekas. wekas is about 4 km away with stone-arranged-unpaved-road, and its all climb up. if you might do public transportation, choose kopeng instead. the basecamp only about 100metres from main road. aside there is no spring along track.

there is little bit tricky to reach Wekas with public transportation... myself, along my monthly trip to wekas, never use public transportation. i always ride bike then park it in Basecamp.

but if you insist to hike from Wekas, here is the ittn

1. take bus to Magelang from jombor or Giwangan bus Station,

2. from Magelang Bus Station, turn to smaller bus heading to Kopeng, then stop at Dakan village. Dakan village is your gate to Wekas

3. there is Ojek ride, but you have to bargain because somehow they will charge you expensive. Ojek post is on your left side of Dakan Hiking Gateway

if you choose to start from Kopeng, then, stop at Kopeng Hiking basecamp gateway

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