Northern Ireland Outdoors Forum - Hiking, camping and more

General => Meets, places, trips and reviews => Topic started by: walker1 on August 24, 2012

Title: The Western Way
Post by: walker1 on August 24, 2012
Has any one on here done part/all of the Western Way? (from lough talt in Sligo to Oughterard Galway).
Any info would be really appreciated as i am planning to try and do the whole thing, probably staying in b&b's or hostels/campsites, i would love to wild camp but  i'll be on my own and i don't have the confidence to do it.
I'm thinking of setting out before the end of August.
So if anyone knows anything about the state of paths/waymarking issues/route changes (there seem to be a few..) /good places to stay etc.
Also are there any other girls who do a lot of solo hiking/wild camping? because i would love to have the confidence to do long distance walks and wild camp along the way but i have met a lot of people who think its a bad idea.
Any thoughts?
Title: Re: The Western Way
Post by: twentyclicks on August 24, 2012
Hi Walker1,

I have no idea about the Western Way other than to wish you well and an enjoyable jaunt.
I'm also not a woman, but I've done a number of solo trips or camps and my advice would be much the same as for a man:

* don't reveal your itinerary/plans to strangers - be cautious even chatting in public places like buying supplies at a store. Easy to be friendly and can't deny you are hiking but details can be avoided.
* can always let on you are ahead/behind some other friends or are day-hiking (depends on your pack size I guess) or staying with friends.
* be vague or elude that you're playing it by ear and are going where you feel like
* be observant of people going the same way or who you see a few times.
* be confident - if you seem like you know what you are doing and can look after yourself you don't give out the vibes of a victim.
* if wild camping don't signal your site... there are usually a few spots, start looking late in the day. If you want to observe somewhere take a drink or get your map out while you look around so that looks why you stopped. Walk on past somewhere if there are a few people about and swing back later. Even don't set everything up too early...easier said if the weather is nice. Cook dinner first if you are not sure.
* if you don't feel safe for some reason even get some transport to skip a day or two ahead for some space.

I'm sure someone will offer more. Generally there is little danger about, and if there is there are other decent people to turn to. Hikers doing a similar route will look out for one-another. Make friends with couples, families, elderly, reputable establishments... people who are not threats.

In terms of other concerns like injury or weather danger, do leave your itinerary with someone you trust (even back home) and check in with them everyday if you can, even by text.