Summer is finally here and the mountains and trails are calling to us all. The longer days, the (sometimes) better weather and the absolute beauty of Ireland in its full green summer bloom will always inspire to get us out and about.
What will you need to bring with you for your day long adventure trek into the highways and byways? Traveling light is essential, particularly if the temperatures are creeping up. Yet, you will need to pack something for every eventuality that an Irish summer can bring. Here is an essential guide to warm weather summer hiking. This simple and common sense list will cover all your needs while guaranteeing that you won’t be staggering uphill with an overweight backpack
The usual rules for hiking still apply.
Wear suitable footwear. Unsuitable footwear is the most common reasons for slips, falls and broken ankles. Ditch the flip flops and the fancy wedge sandals in favour of a good walking shoe or boot. Walking sandals are perfect for some terrain, but if you plan to be off road, you may expect a few scrapes and cuts from the undergrowth. Socks and sandals may be a fashion faux pas, but they make sense on the gorse covered mountain ranges.
Use a good, waterproof backpack that has been adjusted to suit your body.
A walking or trekking pole, adjusted for the terrain and your own personal body type is invaluable.
Yes, sometimes we see the sun in Ireland. Use sunscreen. Wear a hat and protect your eyes with a nifty pair of sunglasses.
We often see rain and it is possible to experience a variety of climates all in the same day in Ireland. It makes sense to expect the odd downpour or two. A lightweight pair of over trousers will take a small amount of space in the haversack and you will bless their lightweight goodness when the sideways rain comes in from the Atlantic. A rain poncho is the perfect answer to keeping the worst of a summer rain shower off you and your backpack. Quick drying upper body clothing makes sense in the Irish climate. At Outdoor Adventure Store, we have a wide range of waterproofs and rainwear to keep you dry till those dark clouds pass.
Rehydration is a serious consideration for summer hiking. Make sure you bring enough water with you. And then, bring some more! Consider the real convenience of a water bladder. These clever hiking essentials can contain up to 2 litres and allow you to fill up and head off on any adventure without having to worry about searching for water.
Be Prepared! A lightweight First Aid kit will take up a small corner and add little weight to your journey. You may, hopefully, never have to use it. But, it is always better to have one with you come rain or shine. A comprehensive first aid kit need not be expensive and OAS have some for under €20 that can assist in almost every emergency.
We all eat a little less in the heat and so, you might be tempted not to bring hearty food on a summer hike. However, you expend more energy climbing in the heat, so do not be tempted to skimp on the calories you will need. Eat well. Stock up on high performing snacks, nuts, trail mix etc. Quality rather than quantity might be your summer watchword as you avoid melty chocolate in favour of high protein snacks.
Torch and navigational Equipment
The sunshine makes us happier and may lull us into a false sense of security regarding wild walking and off road trekking. We may be less inclined to plan for the unfortunate things that may happen. Unfortunately, you can get lost while hiking in summer too. A change of weather, an influx of low lying cloud or rain, can change the landscape very quickly. Accidents or incidents may slow you down and leave you out for longer than planned. Pack your torch and whatever navigational equipment you use. Don’t rely on the phone for directions, as coverage may be sparse. A map and compass is still a great option in a digital age. Tell someone your route before you go out and check in on your return.
What to wear
Choose lightweight, loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Fabrics that breathes well will help your body to regulate temperature. There is a vast choice of suitable trekking gear. The Dare2B range has a tech-tee that actually moves sweat away from your skin and keeps you feeling fresh. It looks good too. Nylon and polyester clothes are good choices. Avoid cotton. When cotton gets wet, it takes an age to dry and it is really not suited to the warmer weather. Avoid overheating by not wearing too much but at the same time, be aware that the top of mountains can be much colder than sea- level. Pack for a ‘Layer up’ should you need to address dramatic changes in temperature. Pastels are so in for hill walking dahling! Black clothing attracts the heat so choose lighter colours; white, khaki or tan to get the cool factor.
Pack spare socks. Trust us! You can thank us the next time you call into the shop. Spare socks are always needed.
Insect repellent. Midges, mosquitos and general flying, biting, winged creatures may need to be repulsed. Carry the necessary repulsion lotions!
All this looks like a lot to think about, but it is a relatively small list, not too bulky or heavy, and guaranteeing you a good trekking adventure, with all eventualities covered.
Now get out there and soak up those rays!!