So you’ve got your transport sorted, your route planned and your Instagram filters on standby– what else is required for your Gaisce Adventure Journey?
For all those about to hike – we salute you! We’ve put together eight tips to help make sure that your trek up a mountain is a walk in the park
Bring the right shoes
Hiking boots aren’t strictly required for a Bronze level hike. Ideally your footwear should be rainproof and give your feet and ankles good support. For longer (Silver or Gold Award level) hikes a good pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes will be ideal. At Bronze level, regular running shoes should do the job – but be warned, if it pours rain, your feet may not thank you!
Dress for the weather (i.e. any weather!)
Let’s face it, whether your Adventure Journey is in June or December – you’ll need to plan for any possible weather… Chances are, you’ll experience all four seasons throughout your hike – this is Ireland after all!
When hiking up mountains, the higher you hike, the colder and windier it becomes. Make sure you bring lots of layers so you can easily adapt to the weather. A thick pair of socks will serve you well – along with some spare pairs.
Don’t forget your sun cream
Stunning Day, here in @GlendaloughDist small walk to finish off the @GaisceAward adventure. pic.twitter.com/BSd6JMIwg9
— Stconleths (@Saintconleths) April 12, 2016
If you are very lucky, you might encounter some sunshine! Don’t forget to pack some sun cream and apply regularly if it’s sunny out – the sun can do damage at almost any time of the year. We recommend you bring plenty of sun cream, a hat and sunglasses.
Snacks, glorious snacks
Hiking requires energy and energy needs to be replaced so make sure to come prepared and bring lots of food with you. This will keep your energy levels up and will help to ensure that you breeze through your hike. Fruit, energy bars and flapjacks make for great snacks along the journey!
Water is your best friend
Essential for life and absolutely essential for hiking! Unless there is an option to refill during the hike you should bring a good supply – for a hike of more than four hours you will need at least 1.5 litres.
Be prepared… but not over-prepared!
When packing your rucksack for the trip, remember – everything you pack, you will have to carry! Try and keep it to the essentials – whether it’s 25km for Bronze, 50km for Silver or even 80km for Gold – it will feel shorter with a lighter bag!
Keep your phone handy
Stop and take in the views
Your Adventure Journey is an amazing opportunity to see all that our country’s landscapes have to offer – don’t forget to pause and take it all in!