Hiking Kawah Ijen : What To Prepare, Do's & Don'ts

Comparing with Mount Bromo, Hiking Kawah Ijen is more challenging. The track was very steep and we have to wake up at midnight to see the blue fire. It need good physical condition, because there is no jeep which can take us to the top like in Bromo. So that you need to be well prepared before hiking to Kawah Ijen, here are some tips that probably will help you to hike Kawah Ijen safely...

Sleep before the hike

Arriving at Banyuwangi in the late evening then directly take a tour to Kawah Ijen seems like a good idea so that you can save your budget as you won't need to book accommodation. But we highly advise to book an accommodation for one night, even you will arrive late evening at least you just have a short sleep before the hike. When you get back from Kawah Ijen, you can still use the bed to take a rest to recover your body before going to your next destination.

What To Bring

To ensure the tour is going well and comfortable, there are some stuffs you need to bring for the hike :
  • Warm clothes, jacket, and long trousers. Scarf, hat, gloves are optional
  • The track is dominated by sandy and rocky trail, Trekking shoes with a good grip will be helpful
  • Rain coat, it is optional when the weather is cloudy but we can buy the the nearby shop
  • Proper Gas Mask,will be helpful to breath easier when the sulfur gas coming trough us (provided)
  • Extra clothes to change (optional)
  • Full charge smartphone or camera, extra battery for camera is optional
  • Water bottle, we can buy on the road after pick up
  • Small backpack for your belonging
Ok...Seems like you have already prepared all the stuffs needed for the hike but these are also some things you need to know to make sure your Kawah  Ijen tour more safe and comfortable.

A sulfur miner carrying 80 kg of sulfur on his basket
1. Remove Jewelry & Eye Lens
You will visit the most acid volcano in Indonesia, it produce sulfur material and gas. Sulfur will make anything contain any metal contain stuffs easily get rusted. It is also effected to any electronic device like camera and smartphone, so that bring a protector is better (like a waterproof bag for smartphone). Meanwhile the acid sulfur gas will easily cause irritation when it get into your eyes and It will cause any jewelry turn to black color.

2. Be Respectful To The Miners
The is only one way to get to Kawah Ijen, from starting point until going to the blue flame spot.There is no special track for tourists, visitors need to share the same path with the miner. Please give them more respect, by doing these simple ways :

  • Stop for a while and let them go first, they are carrying 80 Kg of sulfur rocks on their shoulders. The path is narrow, it is won't fit for 2 persons passing.
  • Ask for their permission before stopping them to take picture of them, remember they are not a tourist attraction. They are also human,so be more respectful to them.
  • Do not disturb their work, when you are at the crater bottom give more space for the miners to do their work instead of disturbing them only for taking blue flame photos.
3. Follow Your Tour Guide Advices
For your own safety please be careful and always follow your tour guide advices because he knows very well the place like his own play yard. Most of the accident at Kawah Ijen occurred due to behaving carelessly. 

Buy a sulfur souvenir, is it worth..?

Frankly speaking, NO. It is useless. The souvenirs are made of hardened molten sulfur, it is really fragile (easily to get broken). Sulfur is considered as a dangerous chemical material, you can not take them on the flight. But if you want to contribute to local economic, you can buy one of the souvenirs. It is better way i think compare than giving money directly to the miners. Some of tourists give them a pack of cigarettes that make even worse.

Coffee,snack, and meal

Don't worry about getting hunger, at the parking area there few local shops selling for snacks, coffee,and local food for breakfast. Even there are some locals offer for renting gas mask, jacket, hiking sticks. There are also local shop selling for gloves, hat, and rain coat when needed.

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