It’s important when out in the hills to know where you are at all times. That seems pretty obvious, but unfortunately it is often ignored when hiking through open and mountainous terrain.  Navigation is essentially about getting from A to B, but unless you know where A is then how can you find B? If, at some point during your hike you no longer know where you are, either because of poor visibility or through a navigational error, then this three stage guide will help you relocate yourself. 1) Don’t Panic We have all felt that rising sense of dread

  What is ‘Wind Chill’?   The core temperature of a human body is around 37C. The air around us is usually cooler than this and so we lose body heat, particularly from exposed skin. Wind chill is the term that describes this heat loss, and the increased effects of low temperatures and wind. When wind blows across the surface of exposed skin it will remove heat from that surface, making us feel colder than we would in still conditions. Wet skin and wet clothing will exacerbate the problem, as the rate of heat loss increases from wet surfaces. The

As the nights draw in and the available daylight hours decrease, there is an increasing risk of having to finish your hike in the dark. Or on the other hand, maybe you want to try a bit of hiking after nightfall? Either way, hiking at night is a completely different experience, your perception of height and depth is radically altered and familiar landmarks disappear from view, so being prepared is essential. Whether you are looking for a bit of adventurous night hiking, or you find yourself out later than you expected, the basic rules for survival and comfort in the

The mountains of south Mayo and north Galway straddle the border between the two counties, and here, on the rugged Atlantic coast they meet in the vicinity of Killary Harbour, the only fjord in Ireland. South of the fjord the mountains of the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks dominate, their pale grey quartzite crags a magnet for hikers from all over Ireland and beyond. But here, in Mayo, they are of ancient hard sandstones, which give the mountains a severe and slightly malevolent presence, particularly when under low, glowering cloud. Magnificent Mweelrea from Ben Gorm. The best known of Mayo’s

Normally your body temperature lies between 36.5 and 37.5C. If it begins to drop below this you will feel cold, you might start to shiver, rub your hands together or look in your pack for a fleece. If it drops below 35C you will start to shiver, your mood may change, your lips may go blue, you may become clumsy and irrational. You have hypothermia At this stage there is plenty you, or your buddies, can do to reverse the cooling process, and you need to act immediately to prevent the situation worsening. But how did you get to this

Glencorbet, at the northern end of the 12 Bens range in Connemara, Co. Galway, does not immediately inspire like it’s southern counterpart, the Glencoaghan horseshoe. And whilst on a sunny day Glencoaghan will attract many hikers, you can find relative solitude to the north. Glencorbet, like all the glens here, was formed by scouring glacial processes during the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, and is currently drained by the Kylemore river, which flows into the lough of the same name. Here you will find the well know tourist destination of Kylemore Abbey, with its Victorian gardens and well

When organising our hill skills overnight trips, we give our clients a list of the essential gear they should take. In this blog I have expanded that list to add explanations and notes on my own experiences of over 35 years of wild camping. Perhaps the overriding consideration is the overall weight of your full pack, it is no good packing to make your trip uber comfortable only to find you cannot lift the rucksack off the floor, ( believe me, I have seen this). A good guideline for total pack weight is that it should not exceed 20% of

  Heading towards Beenkeragh On a hot summers day in June, a few days before the summer solstice, I hiked a popular route in the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, a compact but stunning range of mountains in the southwest of Ireland.  This circular route is known as the Coomloughra Horseshoe. The hike is around 12 km ( 8 miles), with 1300 metres (4265 ft.), of total ascent in the day, and goes over the summits of the three highest mountains in Ireland; Carrauntoohil, Beenkeragh and Caher. At 1040 metres Carrauntoohil is not a huge mountain, but its high crags rise from near

The west coast of Ireland boasts a treasure trove of natural wonders and astonishing landscapes, and in County Clare there are two of the best, the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. We based ourselves for three days of exploration in the seaside village of Ballyvaughan, which boasts a small harbour, several hotels and a number of excellent restaurants. We began our trip with a day hiking in the Burren, an example of a karst limestone landscape, and an area of national ecological importance. The karst landscape of the Burren Here, limestone rock is exposed at the surface, where the

On the weekend of 14th-17th March, a Saint Patrick’s Day holiday weekend in Ireland, I ran a trip for the Hillwalkers Club from Dublin, to the ruggedly raw and beautiful mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales. This remarkable area of mountains lies close to the coast at the northwest corner of Wales, and is within easy reach of Dublin by ferry and car. Seven of us arrived around 20.00 at our accommodation in Llanberis village, a cosy guest house, and soon headed to the neighbouring pub for dinner and a discussion of the weekends plans. The forecast was for dry but