I purchased a chain ladder that was re-usable. I used the excellent Saf-Escape fire escape ladder, as shown above, removing the metal structure that is used to hook over the window frame (Please note that, of course, no recommendations are made by the manufacturer to adapt their ladder).
In all I travelled 121.1 miles, averaging about 12 miles a day, discounting a day in Killaloe when I had to wait for permission to go through the Ardnacusha lock. The first day was the most energetic, with about 16 miles and 7 locks. I started at about 9.30 am and finished 8.00 pm, this experience making me realise my schedule was too ambitious, so I scaled back the distances/ number of locks on any subsequent days. I found the locks tended to take longer than expected, up to 40 minutes.