This is what I pack for a long day of hiking in Ireland i.e., 4–12-hour hike. Most of these items live in my hiking bag and I always make sure to check all items are in working order or fully charged before setting off. I hope this list helps with your hiking adventures and gives you some inspiration or guidance on what to pack.
These bright coloured bags are not only fantastic to keep items dry but, they’re super light and great to colour coordinate your hiking bag. It’s really helpful when looking for items in a rush e.g., first aid/extra layers/electronics to have them all separated in their “coded colours”.
This will depend on the person and the route you plan to take. Make sure you remember to up your hydration on warmer days and always bring more than you think you’ll need.
When it comes to nutrition this will once again depend on your route, time out and day. I always have an emergency stash in my bag for myself or others that has come in handy a few times, so don’t underestimate packing snacks for two!
No matter the weather, make sure you bring SPF. Even on an overcast day you need it to protect your skin.
Also great to have a head light or torch for sunrise/sunset hikes, but it’s also part of my safety kit in case I somehow get caught in darkness.
I’ve luckily never had to use this to light up a fire, but it always comes with it in case I do.
Navigation Tools i.e., map and compass
Obviously, it’s extra handy if you can use a map and compass! I highly recommend signing up for a mountain skills course to help with navigation if you want to feel more confident on the hills. Otherwise, a great app to use on your phone offline is view ranger to get an exact location whilst hiking.
This will be helpful if you suffer from dry chapped lips like me from the wild elements.
We all have a bottle after the last year. It’s very handy to bring hiking before digging into lunch, or after using the toilet in the wild or scrambling.
An essential part of your kit. Make sure you keep it updated and replace items after using. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve had to take this out for myself and others for minor cuts and blisters. Mine also includes insect repellent, blister patches and painkillers.
Shelter (storm shelter)
This may seem extreme but these handy storm shelters are fantastic and could really save someone. You can create a warm calm environment using one of these which could be used to shelter someone who has fallen whilst they wait for help, or in case you get lost and need a warm place to hold tight that is bright for other hikers to see from afar. I have also stopped to have my lunch in it a few times to escape the wind and cold.
Small but mighty. A piece of equipment that doesn’t add weight to your bag but could add so much value in case of emergencies.
For people who feel the cold like myself during winter, I love to carry these warmers. Light to carry and can really make the descent a little warmer on your hands and feet.
Portable Phone Charger
In case your battery dies, or you stay out longer than expected, it’s reassuring to know you can contact people if needs be.
Never a bad idea to bring extra layers especially for the summit and descent. Including gloves/buffs and hats.
With the growing number of ticks in Ireland, a tick remover is a great addition to your bag to ensure you can remove them properly.
I’ve only got to use mine once helping a sheep from wire, but they can be a handy piece of kit for food.
Wipes + Bag
For nature’s toilet and to keep things clean down there don’t forget some wipes and something to carry them in until you can access a bin.