I love taking off on my days off to climb a mountain, hike a trail or just go for a long walk (would love to add in jumping in a lake here but I haven’t done that yet!) So when you have a day off from shift why not get out for the day and go for a hike, have a picnic, jump in puddles, jump in a lake and make a day of it. You won’t regret it 🙂
Where to go:
We are blessed in Ireland with the amount of work that has been done in recent times to make walks easier than ever. They are so well signposted and marked out that there is surely a walk closer to you than you realise. There are 101+ places to go. No matter what country you are in, you can go walking. Check local websites and forums to get details on walks in your locality. Some of my favorite places are listed below (all in Ireland):
- Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
- Keeper Hill, Co. Tipperary
- Clare Glens, Co. Tipperary
- Ballyhoura, Co. Limerick/Cork
- The Galtees, Spread across the Golden Vale of Co. Tipperary and Co.Limerick
- Craogh Patrick, Co. Mayo
- The Cliff walk (Liscannor to Doolin), Co. Clare
- 12 O’Clock Hills, Sixmilebridge, Co.Clare
- Cong, Straddles Co. Galway and Co. Mayo
- Blennerville ‘The Kerry Camino’, Kerry
- Carrauntoohil- Kilarney, Co. Kerry
Forgive me if I have gotten counties and lands wrong, I am just guessing.
What to pack:
There are a few essentials that you should always have on you when you head off hiking depending on how long the hike is and what the weather is like (in Ireland it can be a very mixed bag). Here is a list of things below that are great to have (aside from these you should have good walking shoes and breathable/waterproof clothes). I usually keep all these items in a box and then when I want to hit the road I know where they all are at the drop of a hat.
- Sun-cream (always wear this regardless, of the weather)
- Mini First Aid Kit (Plasters, Scissors, Alcohol Wipes, Bandage…)
- A jacket and waterproofs (If cold: Hat, scarf and gloves and a neck gaiter. )
- GPS, Maps, Compass (Make sure you can use them)
- Johnson & Johnson Baby Wipes (Handy for all eventualities)
- A Spork (cause they are just so cool, see below!!!!)
- You might want to leave spare clothes, socks and shoes in your car.
- Water and Food (Food Ideas listed below in the next section)
What to eat:
So, for me this is the fun part. If I am off hiking for the day (5-6 hours), I usually bring way too much food but it always better to have too much. So here is a list of my hiking essentials:
- Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Oranges. No fuss fruit that doesn’t need any preparation.
- Trail Mix: A selection of nuts, dried fruits and seeds. They are great because they are packed with energy.
- Energy Bars/Balls/Biscuits: We all love Fulfil bars, make your own (see my blog on energy balls: https://fairymojo.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/energy-balls-healthy-snacks/). Fig rolls are my go to hiking snack 🙂
- Feta and Tomato salad: I made this when I went to Glendalough and it was really refreshing. Just sliced vine tomatoes, feta cheese drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh basil 🙂
- Wraps: You can out what you want inside them: Ham, Cheese, Tomato, Spinach, Tuna, More Cheese Cajun Chicken, Hummus, Cous-Cous, Egg Salad, Peanut Butter and Banana. I find wraps good because they aren’t as messy as a sandwich.
- Tea/ Coffee: I bought a Thermos-Cafe in TK-Maxx for a steal and it keeps your tea or coffee warm for up to 8 hours 🙂
- Water: CamelBak all the way.
- Beer : A cheeky bottle of beer for after the hike is a great idea, trust me (As long as you aren’t driving of course).
Enjoy yourself, don’t forget to stop and look around you. So many people walk with their heads down aiming only to get to the end of the trail or the top of the hill. Half the joy in the outdoors is taking it all in and enjoying every minute of it. You don’t need to super fit to go so don’t let that be an excuse. You can go by yourself, just make sure you tell someone where you are going when you expect to be back. If you do plan on going by yourself make sure that you know the area well and you are safe. Why don’t you try and set up a walking group with yourself and your friends at work to get you all motivated to get up and go on your days off work?? All it takes is a simple email 🙂
For further details look at these websites:
Email me with ideas for new routes or places that you love 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org