Tips for Winter Walking

If you are heading out up the mountains over the winter please take care.  Below are some basic tips to help you to stay safe.

  • Plan for poor weather conditions and consider the potential for fog and low light conditions.Visibility is impaired in fogVisibility is impaired in fog.
  • Head out early to allow enough time down off of the hill before it gets dark – bring a torch/head torch with you in case you end up there longer than anticipated;
  • The majority of injuries we encounter on the hills are lower leg injuries caused by slips. Good footwear with ankle support and a good grip can help prevent these injuries.
  • Be prepared to turn back or consider lower trails if conditions are poor;
  • Plan routes in advance considering how long they should take while allowing for breaks and the varying pace and abilities of walkers in the group.
  • Let someone know your plans, route and expected home time.
  • Keep phones charged and bring a battery pack. Battery life can reduce quicker in colder temperatures;
  • Pack plenty of food and drink to keep you going and for emergencies;
  • Bring warm layers and waterproof clothing.
  • If you do need assistance, remember that you will need to keep yourself warm/dry while emergency services attempt to get to you.Winter FogFoggy conditions on the hill
  • Keep emergency and landowner access clear.
  • Respect landowners and their requests for no dogs on the hills.
  • Map, compass and navigation skills can save your life on the hills particularly if visibility is poor. Smartphones and electronic navigation equipment are useful tools but should not be relied on as your only means of navigation;Night time Navigation.Night time Navigation.
  • Consider bringing a storm shelter and or an emergency survival bag;
  • In an emergency call 112 or 999.

To learn more about Mountain Skills courses including nighttime navigation see  Mountaineering Ireland

For additional advice see MREW – “Stay safe in Winter – Pro tips”  and MREW – Winter is Coming…

Other informative websites: – Walking in Winter


South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association, Ireland. Reg. Charity: CHY17543    Website by: Déise Design

South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association
Reg. Charity: CHY17543


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