The Problems With Mini-Stores in the Philippine Mountains


I guess it’s safe to say that a vast majority of hikers, adventurers and weekend warriors had already seen some of those mini sari-sari stores that people fondly call as “7-11’s” atop various beginner’s mountains (batulao, maculot, etc.).  For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about; these “7-11s” are mini stores set-up on camp sites and summits usually selling coconut juices, soft drinks, junk foods and other food items by the locals residing in the area as a means of income.

Who wouldn’t love to have an ice cold drink the moment you reach the summit while watching the sun go down? Conveniently enough the local “7-11” store is right there at your service. Well, isn’t that nice? Lack of water or food can be viewed as a safety issue; having drinks and snacks served near your campsite can be seen as necessary safety nets. People handling these stores undoubtedly want hikers to enjoy their visit. Just like a taste of your friendly neighborhood “tindahan” wherever you are; even at the outdoors!

Though some of us may think that it’s a good thing having them around, however I will disagree. I will share with you guys a few of my insights why I’m against it.

1. It gives hikers the wrong mindset (Especially for Beginners)

These Mini stores can give others a mindset that they do not need to be self contained. Having these type of conveniences may give you false sense of security of being prepared in the mountains. Let’s face it, how many of you here have already experienced having left out or forgotten some important items (matches, lighters, whistle, FOOD), hoping you can buy it along the way?

2. Trash Builds Up around it and is Improperly Disposed

Hikers are usually tempted to leave their trash there especially if they bought something from the store. Some of these local mini stores either just dump them on the side of the cliff or just burn it.

3. It Defeats the Purpose of Going Outdoors

Why go hiking in the first place? The reason you went to the outdoors was because you want to get away from the city stresses. Having a store near you ruins the simple life of the outdoors.

4. Camping Grounds turns into a commercial park.

Imagine having already pitched down then all of a sudden you hear a bell ring and someone shouts “Ice Cream! Ice Cream Kayo Diyan!” By having the store or someone near by selling you stuff will just turn the place into a commercial park.

5. Brought in Pets by the Store Owners

Some of those who put up these mini stores brings their pets along.  Dogs and cats usually makes a mess around the campsite, Scavenging for leftovers, making noise, marking territories(peeing on your stuff!) and leave poop wherever they like it. Cats also hunts small mammals in the area.

Remember the Mountaineers’ Creed;

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time”

By having self-contained you will be better prepared and not depending on the “outside” source for your safety. Besides, being self-contained helps you understand the gear you use and greater degree of knowing yourself.

If you have other things to add to the list. Please feel free to comment below 🙂

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