Preparation

O Sullivan

If you wish to have a Passport it is necessary to contact bearabreifneway.ie as very few of the Stamp locations have Passports.

Having proper suitable clothing for the time of year is more than half the battle. Remember that you are carrying everything, so less is more. Light weight waterproofs are ideal as they fold up into fist size and weigh very little. Water proof leggings can be worn instead of walking pants if they have a breathable lining.

Layers are important both for heat and for the cold. Again breathable are suitable for all conditions. Two layers for under a gortex coat seem perfect for us. Two are usually needed for early in the morning, and at the end of the day, once we have stopped walking, we find that we cool down very quickly.  Neck cowl's are more convenient than a scarf, as they can be taken on and off and will fit into the pocket of a coat or a backpack strap.

Gloves are important early in the day too, especially if using walking sticks. We use two pairs, one cheap and cheerful, as with the cowl, they can be tucked away easily. The second pair are the waterfroof ones, which are taken out purposefully for use with the sticks when conditions call for them, so there is less chance of loosing them. A warm water repellant hat, again neat in size to tuck away easily.

A high visability vest is important, again a light weight one. Good boots, lightweight and waterproof, and we have found that 1,000 mile socks suit us best. They are double skinned to prevent friction and they work. Toe tubes have revolutionised distance walking for me. I use them as a prevention instead of a cure for blisters. 

Undertaking any long distance walk is a good challenge and needs to be approached carefully.

Plenty of walking beforehand is a good idea to build up stamina, and to prepare the feet, it's not all about distance. Unforeseen things happen for example, if you miss a turn or Way Marking you may find yourself way off track, with no option but to retrace your steps. This is not a good thing mentally, if you've walked 15k or more, so a good attitude is required.

It's not a race, it's a walk, Walk It Your way and most of all...... ENJOY !

 haretort