Iceland: What To Pack

So, you're planning a trip to Iceland and you have no idea what to pack? We've got you covered.

Iceland is an island of insane and unpredictable weather, which makes packing a bit tricky. You need to be ready for sunshine, rain, snow, mud, and wind no matter what time of year it is and sometimes you’ll experience all kinds of weather in one day.

With that in mind, we’ve pulled together our packing tips & tricks for your trip to Iceland. We’ve also created a printable checklist for you to make packing that much easier. Download your printable checklist here. 

Also, be sure to check out our Iceland Travel Guide for all your travel planning needs! 

THE ESSENTIALS

[ ] Insulated down coat

[ ] Light weight ski jacket (We <3 Orsden)

[ ] 3-4 pairs of hiking pants

[ ] 5-6 tops for layering

[ ] 2 sweaters

[ ] Warm pajamas

[ ] Warm waterproof hiking boots (You'll want snow boots in winter)

[ ] 1 nice outfit for dinner in Reykjavik

[ ] Ski hat

[ ] Gloves

[ ] Thick wool socks

[ ] Underwear

[ ] Hiking backpack

 

RAIN GEAR
(Also essential.)

[ ] Waterproof rain jacket with hood

[ ] Umbrella

[ ] Waterproof cover for backpack (You can find these on Amazon for around $10)

 

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR

[ ] Digital camera

[ ] Wide angle lens (To snap those insane landscapes)

[ ] A sturdy tripod (Seriously - the wind will knock over a flimsy one)

[ ] Camera cleaning kit (Harsh weather means you’ll need to clean your lens more often)

[ ] Extra batteries (You’re going to be taking a ton of photos without a way to recharge your camera unless you have a car charger - Make sure you have back up batteries.)

[ ] Remote control to take photos without touching the camera (Great for night shots and/or selfies)

[ ] Fingerless gloves (Dilemma: it’s really hard to take photos with gloves on but you need gloves in Iceland. #ProTip: wear fingerless gloves to keep your fingers free to adjust camera settings and then insert a hand warmer into the palm of each glove for extra warmth.)

[ ] Brightly colored hat and rain jacket (The landscapes are so expansive in Iceland that it’s great to get a human in your shots for scale. Said human should wear a bright color for ultimate contrast and impact.)

[ ] Head lamp (If you’re planning to photograph the stars or northern lights it’s nice to be able to see where you’re going.)

SELF-DRIVING ESSENTIALS

[ ] Sunglasses

[ ] Car charger for iPhone

[ ] A USB or audio cord to play music

[ ] Google maps offline (Download your entire driving route ahead of time so you don't have to use your data while you're on the road.)

[ ] A small towel for drying off after rain storms

 

EXTRA NICE-TO-HAVES

[ ] Hand warmers (These are a life saver, especially if you’re hiking or photographing in the cold.)

[ ] Thermos (Get a really solid one that’s made for camping and fill it up with hot water every morning before you hit the road.)

[ ] Hot chocolate & oatmeal packets (Use the hot water from your Thermos to make instant hot chocolate or oatmeal. #WildTerrainsTip: It’s really fun to sit in front of a waterfall and eat your breakfast or warm up with hot cocoa.)

[ ] Enamel camping mug & spoon (To make previously mentioned hot chocolate and oatmeal in!)

[ ] Protein bars & trail mix (In case you end up hungry while you’re out adventuring and far from food sources.)

 
 

Lauren Bates

Lauren is the Creator of Wild Terrains and Head of Marketing at UrbanStems. She is a storyteller, brand builder and digital marketing expert. She currently lives in Washington, DC.