How to Start Hiking in Ireland- A Beginner's Guide

Hiking in Ireland has reached new heights in popularity over the last 3 years. And it’s easy to see why.


More and more of you are appreciating the rolling hills and ancient forests on your doorstep. Whether you are a novice in the hiking world or just need a refresher, Portwest- The Outdoor Shop are here to guide you through starting your hiking journey in Ireland. We focus on providing quality outdoor clothing and equipment to ensure your hiking experience is comfortable and safe.


Hiking is not merely a physical activity; it’s a gateway to experiencing the breathtaking beauty and the rich, cultural heritage of Ireland. It's about connecting with nature, finding peace, and challenging yourself. Embarking on a hiking journey might seem daunting initially, but with the right guidance and preparation, it can be a profoundly rewarding experience. We’ve put together this guide to take the mystery out of hiking for you.


Choose a Beginner-Friendly Trail:


For your first hike it won’t be a wise decision to start with Carrauntoohil. Start with a beginner-friendly trail to acclimate yourself to the hiking experience. Start with a shorter trail with little to no elevation to build your fitness and confidence. Some recommended trails are Ticknock, Co. Dublin, Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow, and The Causeway Coast Way, Co. Antrim. These trails offer varied terrain and spectacular views, providing a fantastic introduction to hiking in Ireland.


Keep Your Phone Charged:

Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and consider carrying a portable charger. Mobile phones are essential for navigation and emergencies. And consider sharing your location on Google Maps before you set off with a loved on one.


Inform Someone:

Always inform someone about your hiking plans, including your expected return time. This provides an additional layer of safety should any unforeseen situations arise.


Carry a Map and Compass:

While technology is handy, having a traditional map and compass as backups is wise because you'll find you won't always have signal on your mobile.


Check The Weather:

While you can’t predict the weather, one thing you can be sure of, is the weather will change during your hike. Always check the weather forecast before setting out and be prepared to turn back if the conditions become change drastically.

Now, let's get down to your checklist:



Clothing & Footwear

Alright, first things first. A sturdy pair of hiking boots is non-negotiable. Make sure they're waterproof, supportive, and feel like a second skin. Ireland's trails have its share of rocky paths and grassy slopes, with some boggy areas thrown in for good measure. Your feet will sing your praises, trust us. For your clothing, wear less to start because you'll warm up as you reach the top.



Backpack Essentials

You're going to need a trusty backpack to carry your gear. Opt for one with a rain cover or waterproof bag – those Irish showers love to surprise us.




    First Aid Essentials

    Now, strictly speaking, you could argue food and water are not items you'd usually find in your first aid kit but you could soon find yourself in a bit of a pickle without them. And you'll come to enjoy your snack and hot cuppa at the summit just as much as the views.



      Remember, this is just a starting point. Depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and your personal requirements, you might need to adjust this list. However, no matter how well-equipped you are, never underestimate the mountain. The essence of hiking lies in the journey, not the destination. Every hike starts with having the right clothing and gear because it means you're more likely to enjoy your day out.


      You can shop our Hiking range here or call in to one of our 4 stores nationwide.


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