Iceland Gear – What You Need to Bring
Iceland is a fun country to visit. There are so many outdoor activities to do and sites to check out, you will be busy trying to get it all done!
Part of the having fun on a trip to Iceland though is ensuring you have all the right gear. Nothing ruins a trip like getting soaked and being cold for the rest of the day.
Below are some of the items that we brought on our trip that might help you when you are packing for yours.
I would highly recommend bringing a rain jacket. Something like this Helly Hansen jacket would work! You will likely be visiting Skogafoss and Seljellandsfoss which give off quite a bit of spray and if it is windy, you could get cold. You could also opt for a Poncho which would be much cheaper and take up less space in your baggage. Either way, you are going to need some sort of water proof/wind proof covering for your upper body.
Purchasing rain pants is also highly recommended! Like I said, the two big waterfalls that you will likely visit give off a lot of spray, and we found our pants were quite wet by the time we left each area. This is something we regretted not having, so don’t make the same mistake!
A vest is handy to have just because the weather changes so quickly on the island. This is the vest I had and I found it kept me super warm, even on days where it was extremely windy. These vests also squish down quite small, so they are handy for packing.
*You can see in the pictures, the bf often wore a rain jacket. The weather is really unpredictable in Iceland, so it can get windy or start raining without much notice, so we found we wore our rain jackets constantly.
I found having athletic leggings to be the most useful kind of pants for Iceland, only because you are doing activities all the time. They are also good if it is cold out as you can add a different kind of pant on top. For this trip I mostly just packed athletic wear and found that it was well suited to what we were doing.
For shirts, I brought both long sleeve and short sleeve. During the first 5 days of the trip along the east coast of the island we experienced some pretty high winds, so it was nice to have long sleeve layers. Once we made it to the north part of the island, we hit some sunshine and having short sleeve layers was handy. I also usually wore a medium ¾ zip long sleeve, regardless of where we were. Again this was perfect because the weather changes so dramatically and so quickly so having layers was important.
Because you will be doing a lot of walking and hiking outside, it is important to have a quality hiking shoe. They don’t necessary need to be full ankle support hiking boots, but something that has good grip on the bottom and is comfortable to walk in each day is key.
I also advise bringing flip-flops or some kind of sandal. You will need them if you go to any hot springs location, such as the Blue Lagoon or the Myvatn pools. They are also handy because they don’t take up too much room in your baggage, so there is no reason to go without!
You will need swimwear! Whether it be for the Blue Lagoon or a natural hot spring, you don’t want to be stuck without and miss out on the experience. Any swimwear will do – just remember they make you shower before and after the Blue Lagoon, to remove any chemicals from lotions on your skin. I brought a couple of swimsuits so that they each had a chance to dry out before I wore them again.
Bring a camera! You will want to document the sites that you see, I guarantee that. A phone camera is fine, but if you want to blow up any of the pictures afterwards it would be helpful to have a bigger camera. We brought both our phones, a GoPro, and my Nikon D5300. I think in the 14 day trip I came back with 900 pictures just on my Nikon… so you will definitely want to make sure you have lots of card space for photos, and battery life.
Cards! We played many games of Hearts on this trip… so it was useful to have a deck of cards. We picked some up from a souvenir shop because we forgot to bring some from home with us. But it was worth it because it filled the evenings when we got home from that day’s activities.
For baggage, we found that backpacks worked quite well. This is what my backpack looks like, but it mine was only a 37L which had enough room for me to keep all my layers in (there were many!). We found backpacks the most convenient because we were also moving in and out of the vehicle, and they were easier to carry than standard luggage.
Click here for more information on Iceland, and what you MUST visit!