Tips to hiking safely, alone or in a group.

Tips to hiking safely, alone or in a group.

Hiking, hill walking & outdoor adventures are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland which we love to see. At Outwest, one of our major goals is to encourage more people to get outdoors more, explore their surroundings and keep active.

And whether you are embarking on solo adventures, climbing with some friends or exploring a new peak with your club, staying safe while on the hills is key. Often it is the simplest steps that can be taken to ensure your safety.

So to help you, we have compiled this short guide & checklist with our top tips:

1. Check the weather

This is fundamental. Check the weather the day before and the morning of. Here in Ireland especially, we know how quickly the weather can change, so no matter where in the world your adventure takes you, be sure to check the weather forecast beforehand. Some good smartphone apps are XCWeather, Windy & Accuweather

2. Pack appropriately

It's always so surprising how often people head into the outdoors without the proper kit. Having proper footwear and outerwear is a non-negotiable when it comes to hiking. You should always put a little bit of extra thought into this especially if you are hiking or going on an adventure in a new area. As per the first point, the weather can change quickly and it's better for you to be prepared and to not get caught in a tricky situation.

3. Plan your route

Put some thoughtful consideration into your chosen route. People visit our Outwest store on a daily basis looking for hiking recommendations and we always say to download the All Trails App. This app has hikes pre-loaded from all over the world with routes, notes & other people's experiences.

4. Inform people of your plans

It is good practice to let someone know if you are going on a solo hike or adventure. Whether that is your family, friends or, if you are travelling, perhaps your accommodation provider. Always have a fully charged phone and consider sharing your WhatsApp live location with someone too.

5. Team up

Hiking and hill walking solo is great, but if you enjoy chatting and the company of others consider joining a local hiking group, social club or if you are ever visiting the Dingle Peninsula be sure to join our Outwest Outdoor Club which is open to everyone. Aside from the obvious safety benefit, the added advantage of joining a group is that you might get to see and hike to places you didn’t know about!

6. Ask a local

A good way to ensure you are making the right decision is to ask a local for their advice before you depart! They are sure to have a wealth of knowledge about your route and can give valuable information to help you avoid any mishaps.

We hope this short blog post is useful and feel free to share it with anyone who might enjoy reading it. We are very passionate about getting people outdoors but it's important to do so safely.

Stay safe,

Bec and Shane

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