Q. When does your Club go out walking?
A. A full calendar of our walks is available on our website. Swilly Hiking Club walk on Wednesday evenings and Saturday/Sunday during the summer and on Saturday/Sunday only during the winter.
Q. At what time do you leave?
A. On Wednesday evenings we leave the Church of Irish Martyrs car park at 6.30pm. On Saturday and Sundays we leave the car park at the rear LYIT at 9.00 am. Club members are notified of any slight variations which may be required in order to allow longer travel time.
Q. Can anyone join a hike with Swilly Hiking Club?
A. Yes, you are welcome to come along and try out a walk. However it is advisable to contact a club member in advance as it is important to be physically capable of completing the hike and you also must be properly kitted out. A charge of €5 per hike is requested from non-members. People contemplating membership are advised to try out a few walks before deciding to join. Any money paid prior to joining will be deducted from membership fee. The club can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a message on 0035386 0530060. Facebook messenger can also be used
Q. How much is the membership fee?
A. The Membership fee is €50 per annum, November to November. This includes the insurance, membership of Mountaineering Ireland, a €5 donation to Donegal Mountain Rescue, plus a small donation to the club.
Q. As I don’t have a car, can transport be arranged?
A. Yes. When we meet up at the designated locations we operate car pooling. This is for economical reasons and so as to avoid congestion at the start of a walk where space is often restricted. A car pooling fee is encouraged.
Q. Will I be fit enough?
A. A normal healthy person who has been doing some walking or other regular exercise should be fit enough to join our club. Start with some of the easy or moderate walks. If in doubt consider a Wednesday walk. You will get help and advice along the way.
Q. How long do the walks last?
A. The walks usually last in the region of 4 hours. This is depending on the length of the actual walk being undertaken, the weather and any other consideration on the day. Some walks only last 3 hours while others can take up to 6 hours. Wednesday evening walks are always shorter.
Q. Where do you go walking, is it all on the mountains?
A. Most of our walks are in mountainous areas but not usually in the steep rocky areas. We don’t do cliff climbing. We cover a lot of the coastal walks of Donegal. In bad weather or to suit a particular occasion we go hiking along the trails of forest parks and on tracks. We also undertake walks in various parts of Ireland as well as trips abroad.
Q. Can I bring children?
A. No. Only children over 14 can become club members along with a parent or guardian but they must be accompanied by such parent/guardian on a hike.
Q. Can I bring my dog on a lead?
A. No. Sorry we have a no pet’s policy. A lot of the hills we hike can have sheep grazing or birds nesting. Dogs can be a nuisance on the hill and are not welcome.
Q. What would I need to wear?
A. It is important to have a good pair of comfortable boots with a good pair of hiking socks. Depending on the weather and time of year, you must have suitable raingear, inner layers, hat and gloves etc. These are outlined under safety. Our group leaders will not let a walker commence a hike if they are not properly attired.
Q. Do I need to take a bag and what would I need to bring with me?
A. It is advisable to take a rucksack in order to carry some extra clothing for wearing or which has been removed. It is also important to carry an ample supply of water and food for the hike. Items like sunscreen and a basic first aid kit are a necessity. Many hikers like to carry a camera and indeed many other accessories in their rucksack.