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Safety and Equipment

Connemara Mountains Hiking & Trekking:
Safety & Equipment Guidelines

County Mayo & County Galway in the Connemara region of the West of Ireland offer some of the best mountain walks in Europe. A Connemara mountain day is unlike any other because of the unique blend of majestic old hills, splendid isolation, panoramic views of ocean, lake, river and sky all coming together to form a unique unspoiled environment. There are almost no tracks here so those who would venture forth need to follow some simple rules. If you do then you are certain to have an unforgettable day in Connemara.

Do not undertake a walk or hike which is beyond your level of competence. If you are fit enough but lack map reading and navigational experience then the safest and most enjoyable thing to do is to use the services of a local experienced guide.

Click here for more Hiking & Trekking information:

Unguided walkers please note the following:

 Mountain weather in the west of Ireland can change from bright sunshine to mist and rain in the course of a day, so be prepared, experienced and competent enough to finish your walk in poor visibility and perhaps darkness. This applies particularly if you are doing a long high level walk.

Route Planning
 Please leave details of your intended route and expected time of return with someone at the lodge and do let them know when you have returned. Plan your route giving careful consideration to distance, height gain, daylight hours available, nature of terrain, fitness of walkers, escape routes and weather forecast.

 It is wise to pack for all four seasons when you venture onto the mountains of Connemara. Our Atlantic weather can change frequently in the course of a day. Temperatures can vary by as much as 7℃ between sea level and summit. It is also wise to assume that an emergency, either yours or someone else’s, may necessitate you spending a night out, so be prepared.

Guided and unguided walkers:

Whether you are walking with or without the services of a guide, your equipment should include:

  • Rucksack
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket and leggings
  • A few layers which you can put on or take off as required, wool, nylon and fleece are recommended, not cotton.
  • Hat and gloves -spare gloves are a good idea
  • Survival bag
  • Food and fluid, plus some to spare
  • Torch and spare battery
  • Mobile phone but remember there may not be coverage so don’t depend on it

If you are not using a guide then your equipment should also include:

  • OS map
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit
  • Specialised gear for winter conditions
  • Emergency

If things do go wrong, which hopefully they won’t, stay put, stay calm, take time, make a plan and stay warm. If you need help and you have phone coverage then phone 999 or 112 and request Mountain Rescue. If that is not possible then safely send preferably two people for help with details of your location (a 6 figure grid reference).

Finally, don’t be put off by this page. Accidents are a rare event in these mountains. With common sense and a little planning you will have a Great Connemara Mountain Day