As an unofficial Iceland ambassador for my friends, one of the hot topics that comes up a lot more than you think is, “What should I pack for my Iceland adventure?!”. In fact, one of my Canadian friends is currently planning her packing list and quickly turned to me for advice. So, I thought it was about time I passed on my wisdom with you, too, Happy Campers!
A few things to keep in mind before pulling out your essentials based on my personal experience:
Assuming most travelers go on a road trip one week or less, I’ve come up with a list of essential gear to pack:
Wind & Waterproof Outer ShellMake sure it’s breathable material so you can comfortably walk around the nature. Water resistant is also fine, especially in the summer months.
SweaterOne wool or fleece sweater is acceptable and you won’t regret it on those chilly mornings and evenings, even during summer solstice.
T-Shirt & TanksKeep in mind these items will be in contact with your skin, and therefore will dirty fast. I bring one for every day of the itinerary.
PantsIt’s all based on preference; however, my sweet spot is three pairs of pants I love walking in, no matter how long the trip is. Usually this entails stretchy, sporty pants or leggings. Hiking and slush pants are great options as well!
PajamasIf you’re okay wearing the same thing day and night, go for it! But it’s always good to have a designated set of pajamas just in case.
Underwear & SocksThis is a given. Personally, I pack enough for the trip plus one extra of each. As a lady, I also bring both a normal and sports bra.
Hat & GlovesAt the least, have these ready so you’re prepared for anything. A scarf may be necessary in the colder months as well.
Hiking Boots – Ideally WaterproofCasual shoes will suffice for easy walks in and out of the city. However, if you plan to do more serious hiking on rougher terrain like on a glacier or up a mountain, protect your tootsies in proper hiking boots. Cold and/or wet feet equal one unhappy camper.
ToiletriesBring whatever is absolutely necessary, but in travel sized containers. Or buy when you arrive. Remember the carry-on airline rule if you’re not checking in a bag!
Bathing SuitI always encourage my guests to bring along a swimsuit. Bathing in a hot pot- whether it’s a local pool or a natural hot spring- is mandatory for the cultural experience! Pack a plastic bag with you as well to hold future wet gear.
TowelIf you forgo a shower for the entirety of your Iceland adventure, good on you! It’s a camping trip, so no one’s judging. However, a towel is versatile when you decide to take a dip in a hot spring (see point above), rinse your hair in a sink, or sit on it as a picnic blanket.
Water BottleDo not- I repeat, DO NOT- purchase plastic water bottles when in Iceland. Tap water is perfectly safe to drink. Run the water on cold for a while or refill your bottle at a flowing stream during your hike. You’ll thank me later as you experience the best water in the world!
DaypackFor days when you opt for a tour or hike, a small backpack will be handy for holding several items like your water bottle, snacks, wallet, and camera.
SmartphoneCamera. Check. GPS. Check! A phone with a camera is yet another versatile tool, this time to keep your memories and anecdotes in order. We understand your need to post Insta stories, so our Happy Campers are equipped with wifi as add-ons if you desire access to the World Wide Web.
Disclaimer: There’s nothing more I dislike than having to waste time cleaning clothes. If you’re unlike me, feel free to alter the number of items you take, making extra space for souvenirs! Coin operated washing machines are at most campgrounds for those who are on the road long term.
This is by no means set in stone and is free for interpretation, but I do feel strongly this is an essential packing list for any Iceland adventure! Have I missed anything? What are you going to pack to make your tour around Iceland more comfortable. Let us know in the comments!
Until next time, happy travels!
To check out Lea’s adventures, follow her on Instagram @coolitchcowski
To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:A Rejuvenating Experience at Myvatn Nature BathsReykjavik Food WalkPólar Hestar Horseback Riding in North Iceland