Mountain Mike's Top Hiking Tips

Mountain Mike's Top Hiking Tips

Dia Daoibh, my name is Michael Quinn (Mountain Mike) and I'm a social care worker from Westport Co. Mayo.

My passion for the outdoors and nature has compelled me to become an avid hillwalker/hiker. Hiking has brought me to many countries but about five years ago I decided it was time to explore more of Ireland.

My greatest achievement to date was hiking over 1000km from the bottom to the top of Ireland and raising over €11,000 in the process for two charities. And so we come to 2022 where my next big adventure begins as I compete in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships. Joining me will be a group of mighty Mayo people as we not only hope to set the Individual Championships alight but the County Championships also. I hope you all enjoy the adventures to come to Mayo Abú agus slan.

 

My Top 3 Hiking Tips

Bulletproof those legs 

I can’t stress enough the importance of mobility training for those of you who wish to be hiking or enjoying outdoor activities for many years to come. Stretching and strengthening joints, ligaments and tendons are very undervalued but just doing 10mins a day can reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

Mobility has been a game-changer for me over the last three years and it’s not too late to get those legs conditioned. Taking care of your legs will allow you to stay healthy so you can continue to get some exercise out in the fresh air.

 

Trekking Poles are your friends 

Many people I have spoken to over the years find trekking poles really annoying and they just get in the way when walking and hiking. It’s a shame because I think they are extremely valuable and will be of great benefit to your physical health in the long run. They offer balance and stability allowing you to walk safely during harsh weather conditions such as wind and rain.

 

Learn navigational skills 

When you get your driver's license, you get this fabulous liberty that you can travel anywhere, that is pretty much the same when it comes to navigational skills. Once learned, a whole new world of hills, mountains and nature opens up for you to walk, climb or hike as you like.

No longer are you limited to trails and mountains with good weather conditions, you will gain the confidence and skills needed to reach places you thought inaccessible. If you are looking for some trekking poles you can find ones of great quality at Portwests Irelands outdoor shop.

 

How to Keep Safe While Hiking and Walking

Plan and Know Your Route 

Plan and know your route but also let someone else know your route in case you get into trouble and are unable to call for help.  

 

Know Your Limits 

If you don’t have enough in the tank to get to the top, turn back. What people seem to forget is that you are only halfway once you get to the top because you need to get down safely. From my understanding, most injuries come from people coming back down because they lose focus and are tired.  

 

Be Prepared For All Eventualities 

Be aware of rapidly changing conditions. I don’t know how many times I’ve been out in lovely blue sky sunny weather to be enveloped by a cloud that’s come out of nowhere in less than five minutes. However, also be aware that forecasts can get it very wrong, and when promised sunny spells you can often be met by wind and rain. To prepare for this make sure you carry outdoor clothing and rainwear such as waterproof boots and waterproof jackets.

 

   Take-over Friday the 18th of February

Have more questions about Hiking or the All Ireland Championships,Tune into @portwestireland's Instagram on Friday the 18th, where I will be doing a Take-Over to answer all your questions.