Recommended Clothing

The basic requirement for hill walking is good sturdy footwear. I always recommend ankle high, waterproof boots. Equipped with these, together with gaiters, you will keep your feet dry and have good ankle support. You will be able to go almost anywhere and not have to worry about where you must put your next step! Without this basic equipment, you will limit your opportunities and experience.

Having said that, people do venture out with less and get away with it! However remember, in bad conditions when you are cold and wet all over the rest of your body and your feet are also cold and wet, that is where hypothermia will first seep into the body!

I have listed some of my recommendations for clothing items, equipment and general tips and tricks to make your walks more fun.

What is the best boot to get? If they fit your feet and your wallet(!), I recommend Meindl, which I believe are the best!

Some recommended hill walking boots:

You should use two pairs of walking socks, a light 1st layer and thick outer layer. Here are some that I recommend:

Gaiters protect the lower legs and stop debris and water from entering the boots.

Waterproof fleece-lined hat and gloves for winter walk and a sun hat for the summer walks are essential!

  1. Towelling Sports Scarf – to prevent rain running down your neck!
  2. Other clothing should preferably be made of synthetic fibre. This is much more comfortable to wear when wet (be it sweat or rain!) compared to natural fibres. DO NOT WEAR DENIM!
  3. And for after the walk – a change of clothing! Very important – it helps to make you feel famous!

Recommended Equipment

Once you are dressed properly to tackle the weather conditions, there are a few items that you could carry for added safety or for small emergencies, should they arise. Throughout my years of hill walking I have used these items and they can be extremely useful.

Two walking poles (€25 – €35 each – more expensive not necessary)

  1. Ordinance Survey map – (Discovery Series) Sheet 56 – Scale 1:50,000 for Wicklow – take a look at the OSI online store here
  2. East West Mapping – Wicklow Mountains Series – Scale 1:30,000
Silva Map reading compass – a model which includes the 1:50,000 scale.

If possible, a hand-held GPS is very useful as using a map and compass in the wind and rain can be tricky. GARMIN has a  super range to chose from, including ones with touch screen operation. You should have the map and compass with you as well – just in case!

Whistles are a great and simple way of attracting attention if you are lost or in difficulty or if you have simply been separated from the group – just in case! The mobile coverage can be unreliable in some areas so these can definitely come in useful.

First aid kit for those small emergencies that you can deal with yourself.

Recommended Care Products

When you invest money in proper equipment for your hill walks, you need to take care of  the leather products and I recommend the Renapur range of leather care products.

Recommended for sustaining yourself on the walks

  1. Water (water bag with drinking tube is very convenient).
  2. Snack (not supplied!).  Suggestions – dried fruit & nut mix, fresh banana, apple, chocolate (you will burn off the calories!). Sandwich if desired.
  3. For winter walking – a hot drink is very comforting.

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