Top 15 things to pack for Iceland: An evergreen list

Other than, when is the most effective time to go to Iceland, the largest follow-up query I are likely to get is:

What ought to I pack when coming to Iceland?

Nicely firstly, you’d assume (rightly and wrongly) that travelling to Iceland in winter goes to require a really completely different suitcase than if you’re travelling in summer season. In spite of everything, the winter is stuffed with snowy landscapes, blue ice caves and nighttime Northern Lights hunts. Whereas the summer season is thought for its 24 hours of daylight, the midnight solar and flourishing wildlife.

And but, this record that I’m dubbing an evergreen record truly works fairly nicely 12 months spherical with solely minor adjustments to the suitcase. Essentially the most notable being the sheer variety of layers you propose on carrying every day, possibly 4 or 5 in winter however solely 2 or 3 in summer season. Other than that, there appears to be a motive for bringing every one of many beneath objects all 12 months spherical. Fairly helpful for me actually, with the ability to ship the identical response every time.

So how can a secluded, small island, in the midst of the Atlantic ocean, skirting the Arctic Circle have an evergreen packing record?

Nicely fortunately (and sadly) the climate doesn’t fluctuate across the calendar 12 months as a lot as you may assume. That is thanks, partly, to the gulf stream sending heat water from the equator 12 months spherical. This forces winter to be loads hotter than it must be and permits summer season to remain fairly cool.

Nonetheless, the opposite factor that Iceland is thought for is its temperate local weather. Or, as I desire to say, temperamental local weather. Which means, whether or not it’s spring, summer season, autumn or winter any given day will be sunny, calm and heat or windy, chilly and moist.

In brief, it’s essential be ready for all climate varieties (good and unhealthy) all 12 months spherical. All a part of Iceland’s attraction. So right here it goes with the evergreen packing record. Be happy to remark in case you assume something must be added.

High 15 issues to pack for Iceland

1. Hats, gloves and a buff

Whether or not it’s summer season or winter is irrelevant for this one. Typically it will get chilly and windy. Easy as that. In summer season, you’re much less more likely to want them day-after-day however on the times you do want them, like on a glacier hike or snowmobile tour, you’ll be glad you packed them. Scarves additionally work, although buffs are likely to work higher within the wind and permit slightly extra breathability if it’s protecting your face.

2. A number of layers

With a passing cloud, a gust of wind or a downpour of rain can change the warmest day into the coldest of your vacation. The other will be stated in case you’re on the way in which to a dormant volcano and occur to be perspiring fairly a bit. It’s slightly arduous to take off a pair of ski pants half approach up a hill if all you’re carrying beneath is your unmentionables. The identical goes if you’re strolling alongside the Black Sand Seashore in shorts and realise a heat pair of pants is extra acceptable.

It’s all the time higher to have a base layer (Merino wool is a favorite of mine) with a heat sweater and one thing skinny and waterproof to guard you from the wind and rain. That’s a summer season advice. In winter, I’d echo the identical sentiment however possibly make a few of the layers slightly extra thick or add a number of layers to that record.

3. Waterproof outer layer

If I used to be to get loopy about one factor on this record it could be this one. You’ll be stunned what number of instances a buyer has proven up for a glacier hike in denims and a jumper in the midst of winter. Regardless of what number of layers you’re carrying, in case you get moist, you keep moist. There’s none of that heat summer season breeze or noon warmth to dry you off. So convey a skinny (or thick) waterproof jacket and skinny waterproof pants. Belief me, you’ll solely look misplaced not carrying them.

If I’m sincere, any absolutely waterproof outer layer works nicely to your trip so long as it isn’t too free becoming like a plastic poncho since they don’t are likely to survive very lengthy within the wind.

4. Backpack or small day bag

This one is a little bit of a no brainer. For those who’re bringing numerous layers so as to add and take away all through the day you’re going to want someplace to hold them when not utilizing them. As a lot as I like waterproof pants, I’d a lot moderately have them in my backpack on a heat sunny day than on my legs inflicting me to sweat unnecessarily.

5. Reusable water bottle and/or Thermos

Water is clear and clear throughout the nation due to all these melting glaciers so bringing a reusable bottle is much better to your pockets (and the surroundings) in case you simply refill everytime you discover a chilly stream. For those who resolve to be good and produce an enormous thermos then you possibly can simply swap the water for a scorching beverage on the nights that you just’re out trying to find the Northern Lights. Sizzling chocolate and marshmallows are by no means very far-off as you drive by the coastal cities in Iceland.

6. Sun shades and sunscreen

Yup, even this entry will get a 12 months spherical sticker. A number of the worst sunburn (and snow blindness) I’ve skilled in Iceland was in winter. You’ll thank me for this recommendation when mountain climbing on a glacier, getting into a blue ice cave or strolling by the snowy panorama in the midst of winter with the ‘barely risen’ solar reflecting off the white surfaces. Through the darker days of the 12 months the solar is perpetually within the ‘golden hour’ part, so it might get slightly painful for driving when the solar is consistently shining in your eyes.

Polarised sun shades and Issue 30+ sunscreen are my suggestions however any safety will serve you nicely in Iceland.

7. Debit or bank cards (Visa, Mastercard or AMEX)

In every single place makes use of card. Actually. I’ve personally not taken money from an ATM a single time within the final 6 years for that motive. In actual fact, the one time you’re doubtless to make use of money is in case you resolve to tip your information or waiter. Tipping isn’t necessary in Iceland however it’s a good gesture in case you had fun. You’ll be able to tip in your native foreign money if simpler.

The primary factor to think about here’s what prices you get from your individual financial institution so do some investigating earlier than you come to keep away from huge prices. Additionally, it’s finest to inform your financial institution that you just’re travelling to Iceland earlier than coming too to keep away from your financial institution flagging fraud alerts whereas right here.

8. Digicam and tripod

A digital camera was once a given however with smartphones getting higher and higher, you possibly can even take fairly first rate photos of the Northern Lights in your telephone nowadays. The primary problem in Iceland with getting that good atmospheric waterfall image or illuminating Aurora is stability. Particularly if it will get slightly windy that day.

The extra devoted photographers amongst you could be imagining a 5 ft extendable and adjustable tripod. Positive, that is nice. However even the hand sized tripods with a time delay in your digital camera will do the trick more often than not.

On a private word, I wouldn’t suggest bringing your drone. Most locations don’t permit them or in the event that they do you’ll have to get a allow that tends to take longer to be authorized than the size of your vacation. They aren’t so good on windy or moist days anyway. Not price the additional weight for my part.


In case you are studying this text anyplace apart from on A Luxurious Journey Weblog, then the probabilities are that this content material has been stolen with out permission.

Please make a remark of the online handle above and speak to A Luxurious Journey Weblog to advise them of this problem.

Thanks to your assist in combatting content material theft.

9. Sturdy boots and heat socks

This is applicable 12 months spherical. Don’t assume as a result of it’s summer season {that a} mild pair of sneakers will do on an outside journey. You’ll be able to convey each in fact however if you wish to hold your toes dry, your ankles protected in uneven terrain (numerous that in Iceland) and your toes heat then pair of mountain climbing boots and heat socks might be your new finest good friend.

At all times keep in mind to interrupt in your boots earlier than travelling with them. There’s nothing worse than strolling by a volcanic panorama with blisters eroding your happiness ranges. I’ve heard many alternative timescales for breaking in your boots. Something from 100km of strolling to carrying them round the home day-after-day for a month. Both approach, simply be sure you’ve used them sufficient to really feel snug earlier than travelling.

10. A telephone that works

This can be a little bit of a foolish factor to say however having your telephone set to worldwide roaming can actually assist you to really feel related whereas in Iceland. Don’t get me flawed, there’s loads of wifi however not within the wilderness whenever you’re strolling alongside a 100 metre deep gorge. You should buy worldwide SIMs on the airport or from most telephone retailers and even quite a lot of grocery shops in downtown Reykjavík.

One other caveat to that is that Iceland can get fairly chilly, which performs havoc with battery life. So when you have a journey sized battery pack that you may convey with you it will prevent from lacking out on that good image simply as your telephone dies.

11. Fluffy issues for the in between instances

My colleague referred to her informal garments as fluffy issues so I promised her I’d add it to this record. It’s true although. Whereas in Iceland you’re not going to be spending all of your day trip in Iceland’s uncooked and wild nature. You’ll calm down in scorching swimming pools, sit back in your resort room and dine in a few of the finest eating places you’ll ever encounter. So be sure to have one thing cozy to swap into. That could possibly be your favorite pair of sneakers, a comfortable pair of denims, a fluffy sweater or perhaps a good pair of slippers. I’ve to confess I don’t go anyplace with out my prized slippers nowadays. Bought to maintain these toes heat.

12. Effective eating apparel

That is an odd one so as to add to the record since I’m successfully saying that this isn’t one thing it’s essential convey. Trying good is all the time enjoyable. Who doesn’t like to get all dressed up for an evening out or a elaborate dinner. Be happy to convey a shirt and tie or elegant costume however I’m right here to inform you that there are just about no locations which have a strict costume code to enter. Even on the Michelin really helpful eating places they gained’t flip you away for not wanting the half (inside motive). So I’d say in case you reaching your baggage restrict then that is the one to restrict or at the very least double it up with a few of the fluffy issues that work in each settings. Denims and a shirt is a superbly cheap apparel to put on in all settings.

13. Snacks from residence

Once more, this isn’t a compulsory factor to convey. Nonetheless, Iceland will be actually fairly costly. And a few of the snacks aren’t to everybody’s liking. I’m taking a look at you Harðfiskur (dried cod) so that you may desire to convey an extended a number of dozen energy bars or snacks so that you don’t get rid of half pf your spending cash on the native fuel station since you’re slightly peckish.

14. Skincare merchandise

Whether or not it’s solar harm or wind chill, I do know all too nicely {that a} good moisturiser and lipbalm can really feel like heaven after a day trip within the chilly. You should buy these in Iceland too in fact however the identical applies because the snacks. We don’t have each model and so they do are typically unnecessarily costly.

15. Micro-spikes

OK, you bought me. This final one isn’t evergreen per se. Nonetheless, in case you made it all the way down to his a part of the record then I’m prepared to wager that you’re actually taking packing significantly so that you don’t thoughts the additional tidbit, even when it doesn’t strictly talking apply to summer season journey (more often than not). These are also called yak traks and snow chains. To not be mistaken with their rather more excessive larger brother, the crampon.

Honourable mentions

  • First help equipment and different survival objects like a map, compass and binoculars. The one motive this isn’t in the primary record (anymore) is as a result of quite a lot of this stuff are both supplied whilst you’re on a tour (or in your rent automotive) or are hooked up to your tremendous fancy new telephone and digital camera. Nonetheless, nothing flawed with being over ready, particularly in case you intend going off the crushed path sooner or later.
  • Flip flops are nice in case you intend on visiting numerous pure scorching swimming pools to cease snow going between your toes.
  • Fast dry towels will be folded up very small in your bag and are nice for a fast dry off after you get out of a scorching pool. It additionally works nicely as an impromptu picnic blanket or further heat layer.

Thanks and pleased packing!

Ryan Connolly is Co-Founding father of Hidden Iceland. Hidden Iceland specialises in personal journeys, taking you to a few of the hidden gems of Iceland with a passionate and skilled information.

If you need to be a visitor blogger on A Luxurious Journey Weblog with a purpose to elevate your profile, please contact us.