The weather in Ireland is unpredictable at the best of times. The key is to expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Preparing and layering is the name of the game.You’ll need to know what to wear hiking in Ireland before you set off on your walking holiday.
This little island may have a bad reputation when it comes to summer walking conditions, but it’s really not deserved. In fact temperatures in the summer can get as high as 26C and rarely fall below 10C during the day. Sure, there are rain showers to contend with, but as long as you’re well prepared a shower on a long trek can be an altogether enjoyable experience. As long as you follow this easy checklist you’ll be covered for any eventuality.
So what should I wear hiking in Ireland?
When hiking in Ireland it’s essential to wear comfortable hiking boots with breathable socks. Irish weather is unpredictable, bring lots of layers to keep your body temperature regulated. Invest in a reliable waterproof jacket to keep you dry and always chose a backpack that’s comfortable to wear on the trail.
- Appropriate Boots
Preparation begins with good footwear. Don’t spare any expense with your hiking boots, they will be your greatest companion on the trail. Boots should be breathable so that moisture doesn’t get trapped and cause discomfort. You’ll also need them to be robust enough to ensure that you stay injury free. It’s essential to ‘break in’ your boots before hitting the hills. A pair of merino wool socks will keep your feet feeling fresh inside the boots. Make sure to pack a couple of spare pairs each day, changing your socks will really recharge your batteries on a long hike.
PRO TIP: Rub dry soap on the inside seams of new boots to soften them.
- Good Quality Backpack
You’re going to need a backpack that can withstand the elements and keep your belongings safe, that’s hiking 101! But what should you put in your hiking backpack? We never hit the trail without a rain jacket, spare socks, water, a camera, a book, maps, suncream and a towel.
PRO TIP: Chose a backpack with a mesh back panel for insulation to avoid accumulating back sweat.
- Insulation Layers
Ireland can be roasting hot one minute, and freezing cold the next. We recommend checking the weather forecast before setting off on the trail, but often this must be taken with a pinch of salt. You need to ensure that you have adequate layers packed for a range of conditions. That way you can adjust as the climate dictates.
PRO TIP: Go for 100% nylon or 100% polyester t-shirts. Cotton takes in your sweat and takes too long to dry out after a shower.
- Waterproof clothing
Staying dry is just as important as staying warm. Don’t be fooled if you look out the window in the morning and see beautiful sunshine. There’s a good chance that rain is on the way! A light rain jacket and waterproof trousers that can be rolled up and easily stored in your backpack will keep you happy and dry!
PRO TIP: Leg Gaitors are compact and will keep your legs and ankles dry in longer grass or muddy conditions.
- Hat and Gloves
A woolly hat is essential if you are hiking Ireland in Autumn or winter, but be careful, as they do retain moisture. Having a decent hood on your jacket can alleviate some of the problems this causes. Remember, the higher the altitude the colder it will be. Stick a pair of gloves in your backpack, looking down at blue shivering hands takes some of the fun out of a great hike!
PRO TIP: Chose a pair of gloves that are waterproof but also durable enough to be able to access your backpack without talking them off.
For more information on any of our walking or cycling tours, contact our travel specialists