Safety & Advice

Hillwalking, climbing and rambling are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

Advice On Clothing and Footwear

Walking in the Irish hills is a great way to see the scenery and to unwind at the same time. Walking on open hills involves an element of risk but taking simple precautions will minimise the risk. Be prepared for Ireland’s changeable weather. It’s possible to experience sunshine, strong winds and driving rain all on one afternoon. Remember that the temperature will be lower there and the winds stronger and you are more likely to get mist and rain. So come prepared and enjoy.

Essential Clothing and Equipment for all group members includes

Strong walking boots with good ankle support, waterproof if possible.

Waterproof jacket and overtrousers.

Wear comfortable clothing, outdoor shops have a range of clothing made from quick drying fabrics. Jeans and other cotton clothing tend to retain moisture which means that you get cold more quickly when weather is wet.

Rucksack / daypack to carry your gear for the day.

Keep a warm hat and gloves in you rucksack all year round, temperature in the hills will be lower and weather can change suddenly.

Extra warm layers, fleece jackets are good.

A change of clothing to keep in the car, good when you get wet or muddy during the walk.

Plenty of energy food and water, flask of tea is good.

Torch, whistle, your own survival bag. These can be bought cheaply in all outdoor shops

Personal first aid kit.

Your own map and compass, if you can use them.

Advice For LeadersIn addition to normal hillwalking gear leaders should also carry

First Aid Kit

Shelter tent

Map and compass with the ability to use them

Route plan

GPS and mobile phone (but do not depend on them entirely, signal or batteries may fail.

If leading a walk:

Planning is the key to safety.

Be prepared to change the planned walk to suit the weather conditions and the needs of the group. Think about river crossings, particularly after periods of rain.

Prepare a route plan but be flexible with it and plan how it can be changed if weather or the needs of the group dictate, especially if undertaking a long walk.

Make sure you have your map and compass with you.

Allow plenty of time for uphill sections and rest stops. Keep the group together and be considerate of the slower members of the group.

Country Code

Most of the Irish countryside is privately owned. Fortunately, the majority of Irish farmers do not object to walkers crossing their land provided they respect the country code. It also has to be said that there are areas in Ireland where there are problems to accessing hill areas.

Points to remember include:

Respect private property, farmland and rural areas.

Park carefully, avoid blocking farm gateways or narrow roads.

Where possible ask permission before crossing farmland.

Do not bring dogs onto the hill.

Avoid damage to fences, hedges and walls, use gates and stiles when crossing, if possible.

Leave all gates as you find them (open or closed)

Walk on the centre of tracks, dont trample vegetation on the edges

Take all litter home, even biodegradable items can take years to disappear.