Advice and Planning

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” Alfred Wainwright (1907 – 1991) Hillwaker and guidebook Author

Although it is important to be safe and plan your walk or any other activity, don’t be put off by rain! Be prepared for changeable weather at all times. While Rain, mist and cloud can cause visibility problems, heat can also cause sunburn, heatstroke and dehydration. Be prepared!

Below are a few useful links and advice to plan your perfect trip.

Choose and Plan your Activity

  • Decide what type of activity you want and how long you have to do it
  • Choose an activity that suits everybody in your group. You’re only as fast as slowest member
  • Check the weather, tide and daylight hours. See below
  • Carry the right paper map and have it in plastic to keep it dry
  • Leave details of your plans with somebody. Maybe share the activity on Facebook, twitter or email
  • Don’t forget to contact that person later to say you have returned safely.


The Met Eireann 5-Day Forcast is very handy and is unusually accurate in the short term!!!. They also have many other features usefull for various activities, inlcuding their interactive maps on our homepage and other forecasts below:

There are many Free Weather Apps available if required and Met Eireann also have a mobile friendly website here.

Estimate your Walking Time

Based on ‘Naismith’s rule’, the basic walk time for a route can be estimated using the typical 5km/hour (3mph) walk speed over flat terrain and ADD an extra half hour for every 300m (1,000ft) of ascent (average fitness) and 1 minute for every 30m of steep continuous descent. See more detail here.

Navigation: Bring a Map and know how to use it

At all times in the mountains and in remote areas you should bring a suitable map and importantly know how to navigate using it. See a list of suitable maps here and below see a simple example of compass navigation and taking a compass bearing by Nathan Kingerlee of Outdoors Ireland. This video is a great step by step example but does not include adjusting for magnetic declination. See our Navigation Page for more info on this. 

You should also consider doing some training to give yourself more confidence and importantly the techniques and experience to navigate safely in the mountains and deal with most eventualities, such as thick mist, night navigation, emergencies or exposed ground. Mountaineering Ireland have list of courses by location here.

Daylight Times – Sunrise and Sunset

This Daylight time calculator is set for Dublin but the times for the rest of Ireland only differ slightly +/- 10 mins from east to west. A Free iPhone App is also available here.

Tide Times

The Irish Times has daily tide times here. Other sources of tide information include Pocket Size Tides.  iPhone: A Free App is available for Northern Ireland tide times called Tide Times NI.  and a paid App called Ireland Tides costing €1.59 is also available.

Sea Swell Forecast

The common go to site for sea swell forcasts is This site is used by surfer friends but also fishermen and boat tours operators (i.e. the Skellig Islands) for very different reasons!!  This website also has an App available here for iPhone and here for Android

Wind Forecast

Some handy wind forecasting sites include Winderfinder and Windguru