For your comfort:
A good sturdy pair of walking boots is essential for all of the club’s walks.
Cotton is NOT recommended, particularly as a base layer (the layer next to your skin). This is because cotton absorbs moisture (perspiration), which then cools and chills you. Modern base layers are synthetic and designed to wick the moisture from your skin to the surface where it can evaporate.
It is recommended that walkers wear several layers of clothing. Normally in addition to a base layer you wear a mid layer (for insulation, often a fleece) and an outer layer (windproof and/or waterproof). How many layers you wear and how warm they are depends on the weather. If buying suitable clothes consider size so that you can layer several layers if necessary.
The vagaries of Irish weather are well known so adding and subtracting layers during the day’s walk is recommended.
You should try to anticipate conditions. i.e. set out “cool” as walking is going to warm you up. Put on an extra layer when you stop for lunch and remove it before you move on. React appropriately to wind, rain and sun. The less you perspire the more comfortable you will be.
Ideally all clothes should be breathable. You should also have rain gear (jacket and pants with zipped legs so that you can put them on (and take them off) without taking off your boots), as well as gloves and a hat. Again, these help in maintaining comfort.
In cold weather, hats and gloves are highly recommended. Don’t forget that it is usually colder up on the mountainside due to the altitude and to the fact that the slopes are exposed to winds.
A rucksack (small day sack) is highly recommended. Along with your water and some of the safety items recommended, it can hold an extra layer, as well as any discarded layer of clothing.
- Gaiters help keep the bottoms of your trouser legs dry
- Poles which help balance and distribute part of the effort to your arms
- Water and food (see under safety)
- Blister plasters. A blister on your foot can make for a very uncomfortable day on the hills .
- Spare laces are also useful.
- Spare pair of socks in case the original pair get wet. Wearing wet socks increases the chances of a walker getting blisters.