fbpx
Close
Articles by Year

<<     >>

Articles by Category
844 235 6240
Flag

Locations

Selected Trips

    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.

    Author: Patricia Doe, Managing Director
    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 & Footwear

    what to wear when hiking

    Hiking boots: These are an absolute must when hiking Ireland! Your hiking 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!

    Leg gaiters: 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.

    Socks: To avoid blisters, be sure to wear  top quality hiking socks and break your boots in at home before embarking on your hiking vacation. Avoid cotton socks!

    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 hiking

    Upper body: Water-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.

    Lower body: 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 rain pants/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.

    You’ve probably heard a lot about the negative effects of single-use plastics – it is for this reason that we do not supply water bottles on our trips, and recommend that you do not purchase single-use bottles while on your trip in Ireland. Instead, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle or two of your choice. 

    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 hikingChoosing 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

    Wilderness Ireland Departure DatesAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    3 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2024

    3 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    5th Oct - 11th Oct 2024

    2 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    29th Mar - 4th Apr 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,490Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    12th Apr - 18th Apr 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    19th Apr - 25th Apr 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    19th Apr - 25th Apr 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,490Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    26th Apr - 2nd May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    3rd May - 9th May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    10th May - 16th May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    10th May - 16th May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,490Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    24th May - 30th May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    24th May - 30th May 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    31st May - 6th Jun 2025

    3 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    7th Jun - 13th Jun 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    7th Jun - 13th Jun 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    14th Jun - 20th Jun 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    21st Jun - 27th Jun 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    5th Jul - 11th Jul 2025

    4 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,490Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    5th Jul - 11th Jul 2025

    5 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    5th Jul - 11th Jul 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    12th Jul - 18th Jul 2025

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    26th Jul - 1st Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    26th Jul - 1st Aug 2025

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    2nd Aug - 8th Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    9th Aug - 15th Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,490Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    16th Aug - 22nd Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    16th Aug - 22nd Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    23rd Aug - 29th Aug 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    30th Aug - 5th Sep 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    30th Aug - 5th Sep 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Cork & Kerry

    6th Sep - 12th Sep 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    13th Sep - 19th Sep 2025 Women only departure

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book Now
    Hiking – The Dingle Way

    13th Sep - 19th Sep 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,490Book Now
    Hiking – The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal

    13th Sep - 19th Sep 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,520Book Now
    Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast

    27th Sep - 3rd Oct 2025

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 2,390Book 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 profile More by Patricia

    mail

    Want more Wilderness in your life?

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