Here’s a list of recommended equipment that you should bring along even on easy or low-level walks. We appreciate that you may not want to spend a lot of money before your first hike, but remember that it’s your responsibility to be suitably dressed and equipped. If you show up for a hike in totally unsuitable gear for the weather and terrain you’re likely to encounter on the day, the walk leaders for that day may strongly recommend that you don’t come along. This is for the safety of both you and the rest of the group, so don’t be having a hissy fit 😉

• Sturdy Footwear

Proper walking boots are obviously the best footwear for hill walking, worn along with a thick pair of socks to help prevent blisters. If you don’t own a pair of hiking boots we recommend that you wear sturdy boots or shoes with good grip and ankle support. We don’t recommend trainers, flat-soled shoes, sandals, carpet slippers or stilettos, unless we’re doing a walk that is specifically described in the calendar as featuring paved footpaths or tarmac. It’s also a good idea to bring along a change of socks and a spare set of footwear: leave them in the car so you can change into them if your feet get wet during the hike.

• Warm Clothing

It’s better to wear several thin layers instead of one heavy item. This way you can regulate your temperature by removing or adding layers as required. We don’t recommend denim jackets or jeans as they get really heavy and uncomfortable when wet and take ages to dry out. Combats are a good alternative and they look hot too 😉 On cold or windy days bring a hat and gloves. Feather boas tend to get caught in barbed wire and brambles and will frighten away the sheep. It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes and leave them in the car in case you get wet or mucky up the hills.

• Waterproof & Windproof Jacket

Hello? This is Northern Ireland, not Playa del Ingles, people! Just because it’s sunny in the morning doesn’t mean it won’t be pissing down by lunchtime, so always bring a coat. Even on warm days, it can be surprisingly cold when you gain a bit of altitude and the wind starts blowing, or when you sit down to have your lunch.

• Waterproof Over-Trousers

Not strictly necessary but you’ll really appreciate them on rainy days or during sudden downpours. They’re also handy if you end up sitting on the grass when you’re having lunch – nobody likes a soggy arse.

• Gaiters

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