The following female packing list for Ireland was submitted by Jordan. See all packing list posts here.
Ireland is full of rolling green hills, friendly people, picturesque cliff sides, and fantastic cider. I spent my summer on this tiny green island camping, hitchhiking, and walking to my heart’s content. I made friends for life, got myself into a few pickles, and learned exactly what to pack for a nomadic summer in Ireland.
The first thing to understand about summer in Ireland is that it’s pretty cold and very wet! Prioritize your packing to make sure you’re prepared for the weather. You should try to have things that are quick-drying and warm. Make sure you bring some sort of packing-system for them. I used a hobo roll and it worked great!
Note: It was generally in the mid-to-high 50s during the day, and at night it would fall to the mid 40s. This was, of course, added to by wind-chill factors on the coast.
- 1 pair shorts – it is summer, there are some warm, sunny days!
- 1 pair leggings – I like thick sporty ones that dry quickly
- 1 pair jeans – I mostly wore mine around the cities
- 3 shirts – I had 2 t-shirts and a long sleeve merino wool shirt from icebreaker
- 5 pairs underwear
- 2 bras – one sports bra, one normal
- 4 pairs socks – 3 pairs of sporty socks, and one pair of wooly ones
- 1 wool sweater – I had a nice thick one that was from a second hand shop
- 1 bikini – there is water everywhere, cold though it may be
- 1 rain jacket – this is SO important
- 1 beanie hat
- 1 pair hiking boots or running shoes – whatever you’re most comfortable walking in
- 1 pair flip flops – I wore mine all the time, especially while camping
- 1 dressy outfit – either a dress, or a skirt and blouse, Irish cities have fantastic nightlife
What toiletries you bring depend on your personal preferences and how you like to keep hygienic. I spent most of my camp time very near the coast, and the rest of my time either in hostels or couch-surfing. When I was near the coast, I’d just bathe in the ocean. As anyone who has ever had a new piercing can tell you, salt water is particularly good at cleaning, plus it does wonders for adding body to one’s hair.
>>See how long toiletries last.
- castile soap – I used the tea tree Doctor Bronner’s for pretty much everything
- diva cup – clean, easy, good for the environment, and inexpensive in the long run
- toothbrush and paste
- deodorant – just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to smell like it
- tiger balm – my cure for stuffed noses, sore muscles, and itchy bites
- lucas paw paw – great for scrapes, bug bites, and chapped lips
- hair bands – I generally keep 3 around my wrist at all times
- towel – I use a Turkish towel as they’re large, quick drying, and stylish
When camping, it’s relaxing to rely less on tech and more on your surroundings and people you meet to keep yourself happy and entertained, but there’s always a few things that you’ll need no matter what.
- Book or e-reader – for lazy days and bus trips
- Phone – have an offline map app, I use Here, but Maps.Me is also good
- Portable battery – I have two that I keep charged as often as possible, it’s important to have a charge when camping or hitching in case of emergencies
- Mp3 player and headphones – (optional) they’re entertaining and keep your phone charged
>>Check out our list of the best photography gear for travel.
If you’re neither camping nor hitching, you can ignore this part. I picked up a lot of camp gear in Romania before I got to Ireland, but once in Ireland, I found an abundance of camp stores (specifically in Dublin and Galway) where I could pick up other things. When hitch-hiking, the things I found most important were weather-proof gear, and making sure everything was light enough so that I could hike out to a good place without much effort. I personally do not use a sign as I didn’t usually have a set destination in mind.
- Tent – As I was mostly camping either alone or with one friend, I had a two-man. It was perfect for my needs, but adjust accordingly. The most important part of your tent is that it must be high quality and weather-proof. It’s very wet, rainy, and windy in Ireland in the summer. My tent stood up to gale-force winds on the Aran Islands, but I encountered some campers who spent the night in a leaky tent and didn’t wake up very happy in the morning. Expect to have to put your tent up and take it down in the rain. Pick a tent with this in mind. (Also, make sure your tent isn’t too heavy.)
- Sleep mat – Mine is self-inflating and it rolls up to be tiny. This is a personal essential as it keeps me warm and comfy while I’m sleeping.
- Sleeping bag – A two or three-season bag is entirely sufficient. It gets chilly at night, but nowhere below freezing.
- Hiking backpack – Mine is an Osprey Aura-AG 50L. It offered fantastic back support and easily held all of my things. Plus, it comes with a water-proof cover, which was essential!
>>Read reviews of the best travel backpacks for women.
- Headlamp – For reading, setting up my tent in the dark, and finding my way back to my camp spot after a night in town.
- Camp stove – I picked mine up in Dublin. It’s smaller than a lemon and screws onto a small propane tank.
- Matches/Lighter – For the camp stove
- Cooking pot – I cooked and ate out of mine, then washed it in the nearest sink or even coastline.
- Camp cutlery – I use a plastic spork from Light My Fire.
- Water bottle – I use a liter Nalgene bottle, but any will do. This is especially important when camping or hitching as both can lead you places that are a bit far from civilization.
- Map – This is probably my only hitching essential. A map will let you know where you are, where you want to go, where the best road to stand to get there is, and it never runs out of battery.
As a top-tip for camp spots, I recommend camping within a half-hour walk from town. There are plenty of campgrounds in Ireland, most on the outskirts of towns. I personally spent most of my time wild-camping to save money.
About the author: Jordan is a massive dork. She caught the travel bug from her parents and won’t stop until she’s been to all seven continents. When she’s not angsting over packing lists or camping, she’s documenting everything she does on Instagram. You can follow her adventures on Facebook or on Twitter.
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