Are you thinking of heading on a hill walk or trail walk this June Bank Holiday weekend?
With the June Bank Holiday just around the corner, many of us will be taking to Ireland’s coastal trails and mountain walks to enjoy the first days of summer. From breaking in your shoes to charging your phone, Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) has some top tips to keep you on the right track in Ireland’s great outdoors.
Break in your shoes
Make sure your footwear is suitable for the terrain you’ll be walking on. Don’t wear a brand-new pair of shoes, make sure you ‘break the shoes in’ before your hike to ensure they’re comfortable.
Learn how to read a map
The truth is that regardless of what smart equipment you have at your disposal, batteries can run out and GPS apps can lose signal. Knowing how to read a paper map and compass effectively will ensure you won’t get lost.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
The key to avoiding getting into serious difficulty is always preparation. Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back at, plan your route and charge your phone.
Obey the rules of the road
If your trail brings you along the side of the road remember to walk on the right-hand side, facing oncoming traffic and keep as close as possible to the side of the road. If walking along the roadside at night be sure to put on a hi-vis bib or jacket in to help increase visibility.
Respect private property
Hillwalkers and other outdoor enthusiasts might be surprised to know that there is no legal right of access to the Irish countryside. When a trail crosses private property in the countryside those that follow the trail are doing so under the permission of the landowner. All land is owned by somebody and you use that land with the goodwill of the owner, not as a legal right.
Leave it as you found it
If you come across an open gate, leave it open and close any gates you have to open yourself. Look out for any signs or notices that indicate otherwise. If you are stopping for a moment to eat, leave no trace of yourself behind and check to see you’ve left no litter on the ground.
Whatever your level of experience, make sure that you know how to stay safe. Read the OSi’s Essential Guide to Walking Safety before you head off on your next walk. If you or one of your party are in serious danger, then use your phone to call Mountain Rescue on 999 or 112 immediately.
For more tips and advice, and to find a full range of Tourism and Leisure paper maps visit www.osi.ie or check out their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.