Youve seen the what to bring pointers from our previous intrepid Vagabond and Driftwood adventurers now its our turn to recommend!
When it comes to what you should wear and pack, we have seen it all, so here are a few pointers.
Lets start at the bottom and work our way up.
Put your best foot forward in Ireland:
Most of our hikes/walks are on trails that comprise uneven broken ground that can also be wet or boggy (well explain that when you get here!) underfoot.
So, what you should be looking for is good tread on the sole, some ankle support and, of course, a comfortable fit. If you are buying new, dont wait until you get here to break them in! Whether or not you want waterproof footwear is entirely up to you and your budget.
If you feel trainers will suffice, thats fine, but be prepared to get them wet and maybe muddy. Sometimes its just impossible to avoid the sheep poop! We have also seen our hardy travellers bring wellington boots (named after that famous Irishman the Duke of Wellington). And thats fine, they are the only guaranteed waterproof boot, but maybe not the most comfortable and may lead to blisters.
Dont forget socks! Mountaineering Ireland recommends that: Socks should be snug, with a smooth knit, good shape, and elasticity, and made of wool or synthetic fibres to draw moisture away.
What type of jacket should I bring to Ireland?
We do have the odd summer shower here that shower normally starts in May and stops in October ! So please do bring a waterproof jacket with a hood. Again, if you are buying new, the range available will completely depend on what you want to spend. If its just for your trip, then you might not want or need top of the range breathable gear. However, it is important to have a hood and it should be of sufficient length (mid-thigh suggested). Remember it also has to keep you dry on the way back from the pub in the evening!
We recommend base and mid-layers as they allow you adjust your clothing as you heat up or cool down. These should always be of synthetic material avoid cotton!
Perfect pants to wear in Ireland:
Very straightforward this one synthetic material hiking pants are the ones for the job. They are not overly expensive, and many of the materials are quick drying which we find almost as good as waterproof overtrousers. You may choose to bring hiking shorts, but sometimes we do go through long grass and areas that may contain ticks, so better safe than sorry!
Something we dont recommend for hikes are denim jeans if they get wet they will dry slowly and cause your body temperature to drop as they dont retain heat when wet. Keep them for the pub!
Other essential to pack for Ireland:
Previous travellers mentioned walking poles. Do feel free to bring your own, but we do carry a pair in all the Vagatrons. They are very useful, especially when descending (for those of us whose joints arent as silent as they used to be!).
Backpack a small backpack is very handy to have. You can use it to carry camera equipment, water, your valuables and sweets for your guide. Its also handy to store your jacket for when (if) the sun does come out to play. While on that subject, do pack suncream and bug spray. Our Irish midges (gnats) love to snack on overseas visitors almost as much as they do the guides!
If you want further advice, click this link here.
And remember - The only piece of outdoor gear that is 100 per cent breathable and waterproof [is]...the humble umbrella.Andy Kirkpatrick, world renowned climber.
Photo credit: Drew Coffman, Stacey Price, Kat Stan & Vicky Scott