Participants should wear and carry the appropriate gear and individuals should be prepared at all times for unexpected weather and events.
1. Rain gear:
A waterproof jacket and over-trousers are always needed.
2. Walking boots:
Boots should be sturdy, with proper ankle support and a non-slip rigid sole. Waterproof boots are better, remember dry feet are happy feet.
Boots (Not Walking Shoes)
Multi layers work well:
(A number of light layers are better than 1 heavy layer)
- a baselayer,
- Walking Trousers (trousers with lots of pockets are really handy for gloves, lipbalm, tissues, sunscreen etc.) – no jeans
- A warm hat
- Woolly Socks are great to keep your feet warm even if they get wet (a thin pair of socks under the woolly socks work well to prevent blisters)
4. Other items:
- Water is essential on all walks – a typical amount: 1.5 litres.
- Bring plenty of hot liquids, and a packed lunch and maybe some extra food (e.g. high energy snacks) if we are out longer than expected.
- Whistle, plastic are best.
- A torch with a spare bulb and batteries.
- Survival bag or bivi bag.
- A small First Aid Kit.
- Map, map case and compass would be great to develop your navigation skills.
- Walking sticks are helpful to take the weight off your knees.
- Don’t forget the sun block, sunhat and sunglasses (for sunny days)
- A rucksack to carry it all (approx. 30 litres capacity works well)
- Water proof liner to keep the items in your rucksack dry
- A change of clothes and shoes at the end of the walk for the pub!
- Plastic bags to store wet gear in (to keep the car you travelled in nice and dry!)
- Mobile phone and ziploc bag to keep it dry
- Insect repellent/citronella/deet for ticks
- Any personal medication
Cotton retains moisture, making the wearer cold and may lead to hypothermia, so, NO cotton please. This applies to trousers too. Bring something extra, like another fleece – remember you could get cold and a spare hat and gloves in case yours get wet
Those not familiar with the Irish hills and weather may well wonder why do you need gaiters? Though not an essential item, there are a number of valid reasons to use them:
- Crossing small streams is usually a much drier experience!
- It rains a lot, so muck will get into the laces and over the tops of footwear.
- Even if it hasn’t been raining for a few days, you are still likely to meet a patch of bog at some point.
- Dirt worn into the bottom of trousers is very difficult to shift.
- Ticks live in the heather & bracken, attaching themselves to bare legs as you brush past. While a minor annoyance in themselves, they can pass Lyme Disease, which is not a minor ailment. If not caught in time, it can lead to symptoms like MS.
We need to emphasise the wearing of non-cotton clothing; cotton absorbs and retains moisture and isn’t suitable for strenuous sports.
For the safety of the group, please note that walk leaders have the right to refuse to let you go on a walk if you are not properly equipped.