How To Start
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How To Start

Stay Safe when walking in the Irish hills and countryside. Walking is one of the best ways to experience Ireland’s beautiful landscapes. There are a variety of beautiful, signposted walking trails for people with different levels of experience. Those with map reading and compass skills can explore Ireland’s rugged upland areas. Whatever level you are walking at remember, your personal safety is your responsibility. 

Here you will find some useful advice on planning your walk, what to bring with you, getting a weather forecast and who to call in an emergency. Scroll down for more information.

Planning A Walk

Be realistic and choose a route which matches your skills and ability. All the trails on are signposted and graded.

In most upland areas there will be no marked walking trails so you will need map-reading skills, or you may be able to hire a local guide.

Start out early to leave enough time to complete the planned walk.

Leave details of your planned walk with somebody reliable.

Irish Weather

It is possible to experience sunshine, strong winds and heavy rain all in one day.

Get a forecast before setting off, watch out for any changes, if the weather deteriorates, be prepared to alter your route or turn back.

If you plan to walk in the hills remember that the temperature will be lower there, the winds stronger and you are more likely to get rain.

Mist is a serious problem; you can quickly lose all visibility, especially on coastal hills.

What To Do If You Get Lost

Keep calm – think about where you have walked and the last place you saw a marker post or a definite feature. 

Check if it is possible to retrace your steps. 

If mist is down, descend to get below cloud level

What To Do In An Emergency

If lost or injured dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Gardaí/Police and tell them you need Mountain Rescue. Treat any injuries as best you can and keep the casualty warm and comfortable  

Enjoy The Outdoors Responsibly

Our enjoyment of Ireland’s trails and hills comes with a responsibility to care for the place we’re visiting, and to be considerate towards landowners and local residents.

Park carefully – avoid blocking gateways or narrow roads, remember that large farm vehicles or the emergency services may need access. Leave nothing visible in your car.

Dogs may not be welcome – Due to the presence of farm animals, dogs are not welcome on farmland and in most upland areas. Dogs are allowed on some marked trails, check in advance.

Prevent erosion – keep to the centre of the path, even when it’s wet or muddy. This prevents damaged areas becoming wider.

Leave no litter behind - Litter takes from the beauty of the landscape and it can be harmful to wildlife. Pack a spare bag to take away all litter, including biodegradable items such as fruit peels and tea bags.


A guide to the essentials to bring for your level of walking

Essentials For Shorter Walks Check
Sturdy Shoes Or Boots
Small Backpack
Warm Hat & Sun Hat (For Those Sunny Days)
Warm Layers
Mobile Phone (Charged)
Food & Drink
Waterproof Jacket

Happy Hiking Programme

Hill Skills Days 2023 – this year as part of our Happy Hiking campaign we will be running a number of skills days throughout the summer and autumn months aimed at novices and people new to the hills. The programme will be open to individual members and club participants (non-leaders), as well as non-members of Mountaineering Ireland.

This programme is run and subsidised by Mountaineering Ireland and is aimed at anyone new to the hills or those who want to upskill and learn navigation. Participants will get an opportunity to join a qualified instructor for a full day’s training and gain useful information and skills that will help keep them safe on the hills.

As dates come available they will be shown on our home/events page. Any questions on this programme please contact Caoilainn: or 01 809 7318. 

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