What to bring on a hike


As a general rule of thumb you should always pack with the assumption that you may end up having to stay out after dark, even if it is through no fault of your own (for example you may be required to help another walker in distress). Try to be an asset and not a burden to any group that you are a part of. A minimum list of equipment to carry on a day's hillwalk includes the following:
  • Waterproof jacket and leggings
  • Quality walking boots
  • Plenty of warm clothing (nylon or fleece, but not cotton)
  • Hat and gloves
  • Map and compass (and the ability to use them!)
  • Food and fluids (and spare food!)
  • Survival bag
  • First aid kit (including pencil and waterproof paper if possible)
  • Torch (+ spare battery and bulb)
  • Whistle
  • Rucksack
Other items to consider include sleeping bag, emergency shelter, walking rope, ice axe and crampons, walking pole, rucksack liner, gaiters, watch, sun cream and hat (we all live in hope!), binoculars, camera, penknife etc..
Mobile phones can be useful to carry, and there is no doubt that in some emergency situations they can save hours in calling for help, and can be extremely useful for enabling Mountain Rescue Teams to communicate directly with a party on the hill.

Be aware, however, that coverage in many mountainous areas is still poor and a signal may not always be possible. A sensible approach is to carry a phone but not to depend on it (ie. carry it with the assumption that it will not work, and view it as a bonus if it does). It should certainly not be viewed as a substitute for knowledge, experience and essential equipment. Remember the mountaineering ethic of self-reliance, and please don't call out a Mountain Rescue team prematurely.

Above info courtesy of  Kerry Mountain Rescue Team

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