Shoes – walking shoes are recommended, they are designed in a particular way to enhance the body’s natural stride. However these can be expensive so when starting out pick a pair of shoes that are comfortable and will not cause pain when worn for long periods of time.
Clothing – loose, light layers are best, they help you move freely and help you adjust you core temperature by adding or removing a layer. Ideally the layer next to your skin should be a wicking layer, which takes perspiration away from the skin to the outside of the garment. A light fleece is recommended as one of your layers, this can provide a nice bit of heat on cooler days and is not heavy to carry if you get too warm.
Waterproofs – a lightweight, breathable, rainproof jacket can be worn or folded into a pouch. On more committing walks consider bringing rain pants along too and a more durable jacket.
Extras – A small light weight backpack can be useful to carry extra little bit and pieces. On colder days a warm had and gloves will keep you more comfortable. It is strongly recommended that you wear high-viz clothing while walking on roads. The Road Safety Authority will send out free high-viz gear, please order here: https://www.rsaorders.ie/orders-online/?ProductID=RUCKCVR.
Walking in the dark
Carrying a light is highly recommended when walking at night, not only will it help you see the way but it will also enable other to see you more easily. High-viz clothing is essential remember the RSA’s slogan – be safe, be seen. If walking on roads please stay on the right hand side, facing oncoming traffic, and keep well into the edge.
Do I need to bring anything else?
Please carry your mobile phone with you when out walking. It’s handy for tracking your route and listening to music but most importantly should an accident occur you can call for help.
Water and a small snack are always great to have along on a walk.
Preparing for your walk
It is recommended to do a short stretching warm up at the start of your walk, this will help you limber up. And don’t skip the cool down at the end, this can be incorporated into the last 10 minutes of the walk.
Planning a hill walk
Mountainous area are not marked and have no trails, the navigational skills of map reading and following a compass are a must if going into these areas. Plan your route in advance, check the weather forecast and take this into consideration when planning. Ensure you have adequate equipment to spend a night in the mountains, should an accident occur you may be out on the mountains for a few hours at least. Always leave details of you plans with somebody and don’t forget to contact them once you have returned safely.