Close
Articles by Year

<<     >>

Articles by Category

EU +353 (0) 91 457 898

What to Wear When Hiking in Ireland

When planning what to wear when hiking in Ireland, the key is to plan for a little bit of everything – not to mention waterproofs and lots of layers!

See below for our advice on what is best to wear on a hiking holiday in Ireland.

By Patricia Doe, General Manager
More by Patricia

Get Ready to Gear Up

While Irish people lament the lack of a ‘proper summer,’ this means perfect conditions for hikers and walkers! Average temperatures range between 12 °C (54 °F) and 18 °C (64.5 °F) from May to September. We didn’t get our reputation as the ‘Emerald Isle’ for nothing – all that lovely green grass comes from steep annual rainfall.

The good news is this doesn’t fall in one day, or even one season! The rain is usually light (think mist and drizzle) and doesn’t last long with the sun breaking through before too long – cue amazing rainbows and fantastic light. In general you can expect a bit of everything weather wise – sunshine, rain, warm and cool when hiking in Ireland. So it’s best to prepare for all eventualities when thinking about what to wear when hiking here.

1. Good Boots

what to wear when hikingThese are an absolute must when hiking Ireland! Your hill-walking boots must have a sturdy sole and good ankle support – and be sure they are waterproof; even in mid-summer, the ground can be wet and boggy underfoot. Even on our easiest trips you will find that the off-the-beaten-track places you’ll visit will require a solid pair of boots!

Terrain is uneven in places and the routes are rarely paved. When hiking in Ireland, leg gaiters are a great addition to protect your lower legs in wet grass, especially on dry days when you won’t want to wear waterproof over-trousers. To avoid blisters, be sure to wear  top quality hiking socks and break your boots in at home before embarking on your hiking vacation.

Want more information? We also recommend that you read our companion article: What to Wear – Hiking Footwear: Boot vs. Shoe

2. Layers & Accessories

The most important thing is to bring a selection of quick-drying upper-body layers of various weights to allow you to adapt quickly to the various conditions. Irish weather can be changeable, with the Atlantic Ocean and our prevailing south-westerly winds bringing new weather fronts across the country regularly. Even in June, July and August, you’ll need to have warm, long-sleeved clothing. This means you may have to put on or take off a layer several times during each day’s hike. Ireland can be warm one moment, and cold or rainy the next. 

When hiking in Ireland, it’s important to avoid cotton, which is both slow-drying and gets heavy when wet. Bring a heavy-weight fleece jacket for when the weather gets chilly – boat journeys and mountain tops for example. Avoid cotton (especially denim) trousers – choose lightweight, quick-drying trousers instead.

Ireland may not be very hot, but sunburns are a real thing here. You may want to bring a sun-hat or baseball cap to keep off the sun (and sunscreen too of course). We also recommend keeping a warm hat as well in your day bag, particularly for mountaintops where it can be cold and windy.

Need more information about Irish weather? Check out All You Need to Know: Irish Weather

3. Water-proofs

what to wear when hikingWater-proofs are a key feature of any Irish outdoor wardrobe. You’ll find most Irish people have their waterproofs in their pack even on the clearest of sunny days ‘just in case.’ Fully waterproof, breathable jacket and over-trousers/rain pants are a must when hiking in Ireland. Breathability is important – if your waterproofs are not breathable, you’ll get wet from the inside out instead of vice versa which defeats the purpose of a water-proof.

Avoiding getting wet is paramount to enjoying your trip to the fullest! Chances are even if the day starts with a drizzle, the waterproofs will be in our bags before long, so over-trousers with side zips that allow you to get them on and off over boots are a great option. The pants with side zips usually start at a higher price point, but with the unpredictable and quickly-changing weather as well as the wet, boggy ground, being able to pull on your rain pants without removing boots etc. is a big plus.  

4. Water

It’s always important to stay hydrated when hiking in Ireland, and because it isn’t usually hot, this is sometimes hard to remember. With that in mind, it’s essential to bring a good quality, light and reusable water bottle (or a hydration pack) on your Ireland vacation. We keep large water containers in our van to allow you to refill your bottle, and we encourage our clients not to buy disposable water bottles to avoid adding unnecessary plastic to our landfills.

5. Day-Pack

what to wear when hiking

Choosing your hiking wardrobe by looking out the window in the morning doesn’t necessarily work in Ireland. Irish weather can change quickly so it’s advisable to bring a day-pack with waterproofs, some extra layers and water. This will also come in handy for carrying your delicious packed-lunch – which are a regular feature of our trips – your camera, snacks, sunscreen (in Ireland, the UV index can be high even when it doesn’t seem sunny, which often catches people unawares even on cooler days), etc. A 25-35 litres pack is perfect, ideally with both waist and shoulder straps. Dry-bags or a waterproof cover to keep your belongings dry in the rain are a great idea too.

Where to Buy your Hiking Gear

We work in partnership with internationally-renowned organisation Haglöfs whose outdoor clothing has kept us warm and dry in all types of conditions. Haglöfs‘ industry-leading commitment to sustainability and the environment fits perfectly with our own ethos and their products come with a high level of functionality, good design and value for money to people who invest in an active outdoor lifestyle, and if you need any new gear for your trip, we highly recommend you check out Haglöfs‘ collection.

However, it’s always a good idea to head to your local outdoor retailer to get fitted for all of your gear as having gear that keeps you warm and dry is important – but so it having gear that is the comfortable and the right fit for you!

Learn more about what to expect while hiking in Ireland here.

Related Departures

Trip Date Price Availability Book
Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal 14th Mar - 20th Mar 2020 €1,7108 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast 25th Apr - 1st May 2020 €1,8708 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal 9th May - 15th May 2020 €1,7953 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast 16th May - 22nd May 2020 €1,8704 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020 €1,9106 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - Dingle Way 13th Jun - 19th Jun 2020 €1,7954 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Mountains of Connemara and Mayo 20th Jun - 26th Jun 2020 €1,7957 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Wicklow Way 27th Jun - 4th Jul 2020 €1,8707 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020 €1,9107 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal 18th Jul - 24th Jul 2020 €1,7953 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast 25th Jul - 31st Jul 2020 €1,8703 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Mountains of Connemara and Mayo 1st Aug - 7th Aug 2020 €1,7956 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal 8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020 €1,7958 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast 15th Aug - 21st Aug 2020 €1,8703 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2020 €1,9108 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Mountains of Connemara and Mayo 29th Aug - 4th Sep 2020 €1,7957 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - Ireland's National Parks 5th Sep - 11th Sep 2020 €1,6958 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 5th Sep - 11th Sep 2020 €1,9106 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal 12th Sep - 18th Sep 2020 €1,7958 place(s) leftBook Now

Meet the Author: Patricia Doe

“A Sligo native, Patricia spent several years in the upscale hospitality industry and knows everything there is to know about luxury accommodations in Ireland! A keen cyclist and runner, Patricia has travelled the world - including a honeymoon road trip through Middle America! Patrica is Wilderness Ireland's General Manager, having joined the team in 2015.”

View profileMore by Patricia

News & Offers

Be the first to hear about new trips, locations and activities with our monthly newsletter

We use cookies to ensure you have an exceptional browsing experience on our website. Learn more

Accept