Hiking is not only a great way of exploring the wonderful scenic views but also to build up your fitness. There is no better way to reinvigorate yourself, awaken your senses, and discover the beauty of this lovely island that is Ireland than by hiking through its amazing hidden corners. It is pure nourishment for the mind and body. There are so many excellent hiking and walking tours both guided or self-guided to enjoy in Ireland some include Kerry Way, Wicklow Way, Antrim Glens and Coastline, Dingle Peninsula, and the Cooley and Mourne Mountains to name a few. Always be prepared for any hiking tour so here are some very helpful tips for hiking in Ireland which will make your trip safer, easier, and more enjoyable.
Plan your Route
It is necessary to be realistic about your fitness levels when planning what route that you are choosing to go on. If you don’t have navigation skills, choose a hiking route or tour that is marked or signposted for you along the way. A good choice would be a looped walk this way you won’t have to double back over the same track. Whether you are on your own or in a group, always have a map with you and know your landmarks.
Purchase a large backpack that is big enough to carry all your essential items. It should have convenient pockets and storage compartments which are easily accessible while walking. Make sure it is a good quality bag.
Let someone know where you are going
Always let a family member or a friend know where you are going and what time you are expected back. If you find yourself in trouble while out hiking, at least they will be to track down you down at any stage of your tour.
No matter what weather rain, hail, sleet, or snow, you will always need to have plenty of water with you to keep hydrated. Always carry at least 1 litre of water depending on how far you are walking. Carry at least 1.5 litres for a hike of over 4 hours long. If you are hiking up a mountain you can always top up your bottles, the higher mountain water stream would be the cleanest option.
The right footwear is crucial
Long distance or even short distance hikes it is important to have the right footwear, comfort is the key. Purchase the lightest pair of waterproof hiking boots with plenty of ankle support. Buy a pair that is at least half a size bigger than your normal this will give you plenty of extra room to wear nice and thick socks inside the boots. Always break in your boots at home.
Having the right clothing on is important for going hiking or walking. It is Ireland so you could expect some rainfall along the way. You will need the following:
- Waterproof gear (pants, socks, waterproof jacket)
- Dress in layers (long sleeve tops, vests)
- Warm clothing (fleece, hoodie, hat, gloves)
Think light, breathable, and quick dry fabrics but warm layers in case it is cold. Always carry a waterproof jacket and pants in case of rain. If you are hiking in the colder months always carry a hat and gloves to stay warm while you are active.
Bring plenty of Food
There will be a lot of calories burnt while out on your hike so it is very important you carry plenty of energy rich foods like nuts, fruit, granola bars, and even some chocolate, this way you will maintain your energy levels while enjoying the wonderful scenic views.
Always carry a first aid kit
It is always a good idea to carry a first aid kit while out hiking. It should have all the essentials that you would need inside it which include plasters, bandages, medical cold pack, anti-septic wipes, tape, and a scissors. These are very practical items in case an accident may occur while out hiking.
Other essential items
- Spare clothing (socks, pants)
- Trekking poles
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Extra food and water
Carry a map and a compass
A map and a compass are two navigation components that you would need while on your hiking tour. Not only do they tell you where you are but how far to go. A map produced by ordnance survey Irelandshows all the different routes such as the Wicklow Way and the topographical features such as lakes, rivers, and mountain peaks.
Carry emergency gear
Always carry a torch, whistle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and spare batteries while out on tour. A whistle is a very effective item if you got lost while hiking in the case of an emergency. Wrap it around your neck or keep it in your backpack.