More about our Hiking Club

We are a mainly Dublin-based club although we have members from all corners of the country (and all over the world). We do most of our walking in the Wicklow/Dublin area.

Each Sunday we have four hikes, a Short Hike of 14 – 16km, an Intermediate Hike which is usually 15 – 19km, and a Long Hike, usually 19km-plus and geared towards those who like a tougher day in the mountains and which requires a high level of fitness.  We also have an Intermediate Plus Hike, which is intended to be the same as the Long Hike, but done at a more moderate pace.

Each hike has a member of the club acting as leader. Without leaders we have no hikes and no club, so you will see a lot of emphasis on encouraging people to lead (and we support people to do so).

New hikers are expected to do the Short Hike initially, unless they have good hillwalking experience and have been advised to try a longer hike.

During the course of the year, we may also visit other mountain ranges, such as the Galtys, Blackstairs, Maumturks, Mournes, Reeks. These are usually during weekend-away trips on Bank Holidays and during the summer.

Purchasing outdoor clothing and equipment can be bewildering to even the most experienced hiker. If you are just starting out, get advice from other members – it’s one of their favourite topics of conversation and they will be only too willing to advise you. We understand that when you are starting out in hillwalking your gear may not be the best, but over time you’ll be expected to upgrade (which you’ll probably do anyway for your own comfort).

More often than not, we leave the tracks and trails behind and trek over rough terrain. When you join the club, there is essential hiking equipment that you are expected to carry. Because Irish mountains often experience cold and wet weather, even small incidents such as a twisted ankle can quickly lead to hypothermia – so it is important to carry enough kit to keep yourself warm and dry whatever might happen.

Vital Equipment

  1. Rucksack – Typically 25-35 litre in size.
  2. Hiking Boots with good ankle support. You will NOT be allowed on walks without boots.
  3. Raingear – Waterproof and windproof jacket and over-trousers.
  4. Extra layers – Fleeces, light wool jumpers, down jackets. Several light layers are usually more flexible than one or two heavy layers. Be aware that down loses its insulation properties if it gets wet (although you can buy synthetic down which can be water resistant), therefore your rain jacket has to be able to fit over your down jacket if required.
  5. Hat and Gloves – Two pairs are recommended in the winter, so as to have a change if they get wet.
  6. Wool or fleece hat to cover head and ears.
  7. Food – Good quality high energy foods, hot drink, plenty of water (Have a good breakfast before setting out!)
  8. First Aid Kit – And any medicine you need personally. (Details of any illness, personal medicine, who to contact in the event of an emergency, car registration, should be carried in your first aid kit).
  9. Wear comfortable clothing! Warm clothes, like tracksuit bottoms, fleece, sports top (non-cotton), warm comfortable socks. Cotton is heavy and cold when wet, so avoid it.
  10. Bring a change of clothes & footwear in a separate bag for after the hike.Jeans and trainers are not permitted on our hikes under any circumstances. Jeans are extremely cold when wet and, because of the rough terrain we cross, proper footwear is essential to reduce the risk of lower-leg injuries. While we realise that some people prefer hiking in trail runners and feel they are suitable, our leaders are not footwear experts and will probably refuse to lead you if you are not wearing boots. Trail runners work well on nice dry trails in the Alps, but might not be so suitable for crossing a wet slippery boggy area of Wicklow!

It is not unusual to have four seasons in one day in the Irish Mountains (which is half the enjoyment).


Although you will be in the company of experienced walkers, your safety is ultimately your own responsibility, therefore take the following into account before setting out.

Check the weather forecast.

Be properly equipped

Consider your fitness in relation to the hike which you are undertaking.

Stay with the group and follow the leader’s instructions – remember there is safety in numbers.

Do not leave the group without informing the leader or the rear leader.


Each year the club runs a number of courses in basic and advanced navigation, First Aid and Leadership. If you are not familiar with use of map and compass, training courses are provided for those skills also.

We encourage people to take part in the navigation course at a minimum – navigation is a key hillwalking skill which will allow you to explore mountains in safety at your own pace, will allow you develop your leadership skills leading a club hike and is a skill that will be useful where-ever you are in the world. One committee member takes responsibility for training. If you would like guidance the Training Officer will be pleased to assist you.

New members of the club are expected to attend a Mountain Skills MS1 course within two years of joining the club.


The annual subscription fee rates are on the ‘join the club’ page. Your full year subscription automatically includes membership of the Mountaineering Ireland (MI). When you receive your MI membership card you can use it to obtain a discount in most of the outdoor shops in Dublin and around the country. You will also receive the club’s monthly newsletter keeping you up to date on the happenings in the club.


The Club encourages car-sharing wherever possible, to reduce both our environmental impact and the pressure on limited parking areas in the mountains, and to share travel expenses.


If you have any doubt in relation to your health and fitness we advise you to consult your own medical advisor before taking on exercise which you might find strenuous. Even our ‘Short’ hike is a lengthy hike over rough ground, and is not recommended without a good basic fitness.


Throughout the year there are social outings including trips to the cinema, theatre and other cultural events. These events are initiated and organised be club members, and details are published in our monthly newsletter.

Our Environmental Obligation

The mountainous areas of Ireland are very special places. The Wayfarers Association supports the protection of the environment and is very conscious of conservation of the areas in which we spend so much of our leisure time.

Remember the saying “leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photographs”