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wicklore
2012-02-04 16:43:56
Highwalker & Lugnaquillia
Highwalker it sounds like you have put a lot of thought into your trek. It would be an extremely ambitious plan for most hillwalkers, let alone a newcomer to the sport! If you live near Dublin send me a message on the messaging service and we can meet up to look at your plans. Maybe I can help with some of the route planning. Watching bushcraft videos isn't really necessary - I'd suggest concentrating on basics such as:

Ensuring your hiking boots are well broken in before your trek (helps to avoid blisters, and makes sure they fit!)

Having comfortable walking clothes with rain coat and rain trousers in the bag essential

First aid kit, AND knowing how to use what's in it

Map and compass, AND knowing how to use them

A charged phone, with spare battery for your 5 day trek

An adequate supply of water and food for the walking element ( e.g- fellow MountainViewer Bleck Cra doesn't drink liquid or eat while hiking, I drink litres of water and snack away on energy bars - so know your own needs)

There are also a host of tips you won't necessarily read anywhere, and can only learn through experience. Such as:
Bring Vaseline - there's nothing worse than the chafing of wet clothes!

Bring nappy bags or other waterproof bags. Keep everything in your rucksack in bags, including spare clothes. Rucksacks are NOT waterproof, especially when it comes to Irish rain!

Waterproof doesn mean warm, and warm doesn't mean waterproof. You will need different types of gloves, jacket, hat etc and wear them as needed.

Despite Naismiths Rule, there is no way to guarantee your walking pace. Between taking photos, stopping to take in the views, changing in and out of wet gear etc you could be considerably slower than planned. Know what time it will get dark, and aim to be finished each day's walking well before that.

Layers, layers, layers. Dress like an onion and peel off or add on as you walk. When you start walking you will warm up quickly and need to take a layer off. As you gain height it gets colder or windy and the layers go back on. Also make sure your trousers and jacket will fit over these layers. When you fight your way through a painful spruce forest you have to protect yourself from the whipping and cutting branches. Every time you climb a fence or fall on your backside you don't want to hear the sound of ripping fabric!

These tips are only scratching the surface of being prepared. There are lots of other considerations when trekking - are you wearing your rucksack properly, are your socks wrinkled, do your toes hurt...a minor pain will become a major problem when trekking! Some people prefer to travel light - and others bring the kitchen sink. Whatever you bring, bring enough to be prepared.
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