||Outdoor Clothing & Equipment|
Always dress sensibly before setting off on a walk.
In Ireland, it is best to assume that it could rain on any day. Always take a waterproof layer into the mountains. Windproof clothes can significantly reduce the cooling effects of winds on exposed summits. It is advisable to use more thin layers of clothing rather than a few thick ones as it allows more flexibility and easier control of body temperature.
Never assume that it will be a hot day at the summit of an 800m mountain just because it is 25°C at sea level. It will be a few degrees colder up there, and a strong, chilling wind could easily bring temperatures down to single figures. Best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Always keep a hat and gloves in your rucksack, just in case.
In the mountains, walking boots will provide support to your ankles when crossing uneven terrain. A good well-fitted rucksack will prevent injury to your back and shoulders. For crossing boggy ground, waterproof gaiters for the lower legs are a worthy investment. Walking poles can make things easier by transferring some burden from the legs to the arms, especially on longer walks - don't forget to shorten poles for uphill walking and extend them for downhill sections.
Always carry spare food and plenty of water, especially on a hot day. When venturing into the hills or a large forested area, always carry a map and compass (and / or GPS). Just in case the worst should happen, don't forget your mobile phone - although don't rely on always getting a good signal.
Although this advice is most applicable to moderate, challenging and demanding walks, it may not all be relevant to easier walks.
To help you find the start point for a walk, an in-car satnav unit can be a useful investment.