January 30, 2023


All About Women

A Smarter Iceland Packing Listing + What to Put on in Iceland

14 min read

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Placing collectively the best Iceland packing record is among the most necessary issues you are able to do earlier than your journey! Iceland is a vacation spot identified for its chilly and windy climate.

Not solely that, Iceland is moist, moist, moist — and for those who’re not adequately lined in waterproof clothes on a wet day, you’ll be depressing.

Moreover, Iceland is a rural nation. More often than not, I like to recommend shopping for issues regionally if you’ll want to. That’s not as simple in Iceland. Except you’re in Reykjavík or Akureyri, you received’t be capable of simply discover first rate purchasing.

I do know this sounds powerful — however please, don’t fear! I’m right here to make your journey to Iceland simpler. I’ve been to Iceland a number of instances, together with a two-week street journey across the Ring Street, and I’ve discovered what to pack for Iceland, what to put on in Iceland, the objects that you really want, and the objects you may go away at dwelling.

This information has 4 sections: Climate in Iceland, The Most Essential Gadgets to PackWhat to Put on in Iceland, Winter in Iceland, the Iceland Packing Listing, and What To not Deliver to Iceland.

And as you propose your journey, don’t overlook to take a look at my different Iceland posts: the most effective issues to do in Reykjavík, issues to know earlier than you go to the Blue Lagoon, and the main points on how a lot my Iceland street journey price.

A girl in a turquoise coat walking on a rocky path in a foggy, rainy landscape.
Amanda walks to Dettifoss waterfall on a wet, foggy day in Iceland.

Climate in Iceland: What to Count on

Iceland has chilly climate year-round and is steadily wet. The forecast adjustments typically and climate situations can flip harmful once you don’t count on it. In brief, you’ll want to be prepared for something — however particularly precipitation!

You would possibly luck out and get a string of sunny days (I actually have on all 4 of my journeys). You might be right here two weeks and never see the solar as soon as. You may need dreadfully foggy or wet days once you least need them. In brief, be prepared for something.

In case you’re visiting throughout the summer season (Might-September), the most effective time to go to for good climate, you need to be prepared for common temperatures round 40-60 F (7-15 C).

In case you’re visiting throughout the colder months, you need to be ready for common temperatures to fall under freezing (typically 15-32 F, or -9-0 C). The wind chill can deliver that a lot decrease.

This Iceland packing record is primarily focused towards summer season vacationers, who comprise the overwhelming majority of Iceland guests, however I’ve added a supplemental part for winter Iceland vacationers as nicely.

Kate in a bright yellow raincoat over a bright pink coat, standing in front of a canyon of tall thin rock columns.
Soaked by at Studlagil Canyon, East Iceland!

Most Essential Gadgets on Your Iceland Packing Listing

Some objects in your Iceland packing record are crucial. Right here is the record of things that I believe must be on each Iceland traveler’s record, it doesn’t matter what the time of yr is.

Don’t skip any of those — besides probably the tripod and light-weight make-up.

Kate standing in a cave with a waterfall falling through it, wearing a yellow raincoat and holding her arms up in joy.
Having fun with getting soaked at Gljúfrabúi waterfall!

Head-to-Toe Waterproof Gear

Waterproof gear is the only most necessary factor you’ll want to deliver to Iceland. And never only a waterproof jacket — you want rain pants, waterproof hiking boots, and a waterproof backpack cover.

It WILL rain in some unspecified time in the future in your journey to Iceland. It would rain each day, and closely. I do know individuals who have been rained out each day of their Iceland journey.

There are additionally some waterfalls which you can stroll behind or get near, like Gljúfrabúi and Seljalandsfoss, and also you’ll be drenched afterward. Going behind them is tremendous cool — so that you want outer layers that can hold you dry.

However the quickest solution to being depressing in Iceland is being soaked to the bone in a sweatshirt, like that one household I noticed at Kvernufoss waterfall.

An in-car selfie of Kate and Amanda in the front seats, and a girl in the backseat. All three are wearing brightly colored raincoats and grinning.
Three women, three colourful raincoats!

Waterproof Jacket

You may have two choices for a water-resistant jacket to put on in Iceland: an all-in-one insulated raincoat, or a rain jacket shell worn over an insulated jacket.

There are arguments for each. I wore a fundamental raincoat shell (I wore an area Czech model however this Columbia one is excellent) and a Uniqlo extremely mild down jacket. We had plenty of sunny days and it was good to solely put on my pink Uniqlo jacket.

Nevertheless it’s undoubtedly extra handy to have one jacket which you can put on in all climate, like this one.

High Tip: Get a brightly coloured coat; it appears superb in photographs in opposition to the gray-green Icelandic panorama. Reds, oranges, yellows, and sizzling pinks particularly stand out.

Kate standing facing a waterfall in a yellow rain jacket, holding her hand up in a peace sign.
Try my rain pants, child!

Rain Pants

I by no means wore rain pants in my LIFE till my most up-to-date Iceland journey — and so they ended up being lifesavers. What are rain pants? They’re waterproof pants you put on on prime of your common pants. Such a good suggestion!

You don’t need to put on your rain pants all day. Simply throw them in your backpack, and if it begins to rain, throw them on prime. You don’t even need to take off your boots!

Since that journey, I’ve been extolling the advantages of rain pants to anybody who will pay attention, and considered one of my readers instructed me she purchased them for her Iceland journey with skepticism however couldn’t imagine how a lot she beloved them!

A person's feet in hiking boots walking through a wet path.
Put together to rock out in waterproof footwear. Through Shutterstock.

Waterproof Climbing Boots

You’re seemingly going to be mountaineering by mud or rain in some unspecified time in the future. That’s simply an inevitability in Iceland. Common mountaineering boots or path runners aren’t sufficient: you want good high quality waterproof hiking boots.

Moreover, there are some locations the place you is likely to be strolling by ankle-deep water, like Gljúfrabúi waterfall or Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Some folks deliver one pair of waterproof mountaineering boots to Iceland, and a few deliver one pair of standard boots and one pair of waterproof boots. Take my recommendation: deliver one pair of waterproof boots (ideally made from Gore-Tex).

You by no means know when a sunny Icelandic sky will abruptly cloud over and start raining.

A hiker looking over a canyon, wearing a big backpack with a bright yellow waterproof cover over it.
A rain cowl on your backpack makes life a lot simpler. Through Shutterstock.

Waterproof Backpack Cowl

Think about being half-hour right into a two-hour hike and it begins to rain. And also you’ve obtained an costly digital camera simply sitting in your cloth backpack.

That was me at Studlagil Canyon this previous August. Whoops.

You completely want a waterproof backpack cover. It prices lower than $10 and retains all of your digital camera gear dry, even for those who’re mountaineering for hours!

I often advocate a dry bag for vacationers, particularly for those who’re taking rides on small boats, however most individuals don’t take small boats in Iceland, so I believe a water-resistant backpack cowl will cowl you.

A woman sleeping with a face mask on.
Go to sleep simply with a sleep masks! Through Shutterstock.

Sleep Masks

Most individuals who journey to Iceland go throughout the summer season months, when you may have just a little little bit of daylight as late as 2:00 AM. Ever slept by that? It’s not simple!

Certainly, each Iceland guesthouse will need to have high-quality blackout curtains, you’d suppose. You’d be unsuitable. (And don’t name me Shirley.) I used to be stunned how typically the midnight solar peeked in from Icelandic curtains.

You’ll wish to deliver a sleep mask if you wish to sleep peacefully. Ear plugs are additionally useful, particularly for those who’re staying in dorms or different shared room lodging.

I really like my Trina Turk swimsuits!

A number of Swimsuits

One of the vital enjoyable issues about visiting Iceland is visiting all of the totally different sizzling springs! From the traditional Blue Lagoon to the horny Sky Lagoon in Reykjavík and my private favourite, the Vök Baths in Egilsstaðir, East Iceland, they’re in all places!

Even for those who skip the dear thermal resorts, there are many sizzling tubs and pure sizzling springs all through Iceland. And almost each city in Iceland has its personal heated out of doors swimming pool. These swimming pools are an affordable, enjoyable, and really native exercise.

Translation? You’ll be in your bathing go well with a LOT.

One mistake I see folks making steadily is just bringing one swimsuit to Iceland. The explanation? A showering go well with takes a very long time to dry and also you is likely to be always placing on one which’s chilly and damp.

For that motive, it’s a good suggestion to deliver a minimal of two bathing fits to put on in Iceland. I introduced three. We’d grasp our bathing fits within the automotive, on the again of the entrance seats, however typically 24 hours wasn’t sufficient to dry them.

All of my bathing fits are by Trina Turk — she’s all I purchase. They’re attractive, colourful, and final for years. Some are available in plus sizes.

Fast-Drying Journey Towel

Nearly each sizzling spring or swimming pool in Iceland costs you for a towel for those who don’t have already got one. And charges are sometimes round 900 ISK ($6 USD). These actually add up!

So what do you want? A travel towel! A fast-drying microfiber journey towel will prevent a lot of cash.

High Tip: Bathe at evening in Iceland. Your towel will dry in a single day, you’ll be capable of get a quick begin the following morning, and for those who’re staying in a spot with shared bogs, you received’t have to attend for everybody else to complete.

A bright pink plastic water bottle

Reusable Water Bottle

The faucet water in Iceland is secure to drink. Don’t add to the plastic downside by shopping for bottled water in Iceland. Simply deliver your reusable water bottle and fill it up each time you have got a faucet.

I exploit a BPA-free Blender Bottle. It’s huge, it’s sturdy, and it is available in a lot of colours (I’ve it in sizzling pink). Mine is sitting subsequent to me as I write this.

Eye drops, lip balm, and hand cream

Iceland can dry you out — particularly for those who’re visiting a number of sizzling springs throughout your go to. I ended up with vibrant crimson eyes midway by my most up-to-date journey and wanted drops badly. It wasn’t enjoyable attempting to trace down an open pharmacy in the course of nowhere!

You would possibly wish to deliver eye drops, lip balm, and hand cream.


Nevertheless it isn’t that sunny in Iceland, you say. Hey — for those who’re spending a lot of time exterior, even when it’s a cloudy day, even for those who’re not fair-skinned, you want sunscreen. You possibly can simply burn once you’re not anticipating it.

I all the time put on moisturizer or BB cream that comprises sunscreen. If not, deliver sunscreen with an SPF of not less than 45. I like Neutrogena SPF 55 sunscreen.

Additional SD Playing cards, Digital camera Battery, and Exterior Exhausting Drive

You’ll take far extra photographs than you often tackle journeys. Iceland is among the most visually spectacular locations I’ve ever visited.

It’s all the time smarter to have a number of SD playing cards slightly than one huge card, simply in case it fails. A few SanDisk 64 GB cards ought to maintain you over.

It’s good to have some backup batteries, and for those who’re packing for Iceland within the winter, know that batteries drain faster when it’s under freezing.

Again up your photographs in a number of locations for those who can. A tiny thumb drive in all probability received’t be sufficient — as an alternative, deliver an external hard drive.

A camera on a tripod in front of an Iceland waterfall with a rainbow.
Generally it looks as if everybody in Iceland has a tripod! Through Shutterstock.


A tripod is an non-obligatory merchandise, however one which extra severe photographers ought to pack. In case you’re seeking to do long-exposure images on Iceland waterfalls, or benefit from low-light conditions, you’ll want to have a tripod.

Nonetheless — for those who’re not a photographer, you don’t essentially want this. (Plus, lugging your tripod and setting it up in all places generally is a big ache for those who’re not obsessed with images.)

High Tip: In case you have an iPhone, set your digital camera as much as take Dwell Pictures. Maintain your digital camera as nonetheless as you may when photographing a waterfall. In your picture, contact the “LIVE” placing within the prime left nook and alter it to “Lengthy Publicity.” Hiya, easy waterfall!

It takes a little bit of follow, and I like to recommend taking pictures on a wide-angle as a result of this could chop off plenty of the sides.

Kate in a pink jacket taking a selfie in front of a black beach studded with grass and jagged black mountains of Stokksnes.
Taking a selfie at Stokksnes in mild make-up — and feeling good!

Sufficient Make-up to Look Additional Good in Pictures

Clearly that is non-obligatory as nicely, however for those who put on make-up in your day-to-day life, you’ll in all probability recognize carrying a bit in Iceland. Not a full face — simply sufficient to look just a little bit nicer than you’ll be bare-faced.

Every day in Iceland, I wore BB cream, mascara, forehead shadow, and lip balm. Not a lot, however sufficient to make a distinction.

For a similar motive, I wore earrings — little stud earrings that I saved in the entire journey. I like having a little bit of shimmer in my photographs.

Kate standing in front of a craggy green mountain in Iceland. She wears a pink jacket and has her hands in her pockets, grinning.

What to Put on in Iceland

My outfits in Iceland have been just about the identical factor, time and again. Decide a components and keep it up!

Within the picture above, taken at Hvalnes Lighthouse in southeast Iceland, I wore a medium-weight sweater, Uniqlo Extremely Mild Down Jacket, leggings, merino wool socks, boots (these ones are a discontinued model of Hunter boots however I’d get waterproof hiking boots subsequent time), and sun shades.

That’s a really perfect outfit for a sunny day in Iceland in the summertime.

For the day I hiked into Múlagljúfur Canyon, considered one of my absolute favourite locations in Iceland, I wore my typical mountaineering outfit: an Icebreaker merino wool pullover, hiking pants, rain pants on prime simply in case, merino wool socks, and path runners (once more, ought to have worn waterproof hiking boots).

For the hike I wore my two jackets — the Uniqlo Extremely Mild Down jacket and my rain jacket shell — and tied them each round my waist after I obtained sizzling.

They’re out of the body on this picture, together with my backpack.

A woman in a winter coat and hat stands on a snowy Icelandic road.
Bundle up for winter in Iceland! Through Shutterstock.

Packing Listing for Iceland in Winter

Touring to Iceland in winter requires extra objects. It’s all about staying heat and dry in a chilly, moist atmosphere! Let’s check out a very powerful objects on your winter Iceland packing record:

Base layers (thermal underwear). Base layers are important — these are what hold you truly feeling heat when it’s chilly out! I’m an enormous fan of Uniqlo HeatTech Base Layers (prime and backside). They’re so comfy, so heat, and surprisingly inexpensive!

I like to recommend two pairs of every on your journey to Iceland. Good base layers will be worn a number of days in a row.

Mid-weight layers. This further layer is what you put on between your base layers and outerwear. I want a heat sweater on prime and heat leggings on the underside.

Heat parka. You’ll need a heavyweight winter coat with a hood. I like to recommend one which goes to mid-thigh or decrease; coats that cease at your waist let in plenty of chilly air. (Individuals from Texas and Florida: discuss to your cold-weather-living pals. They know higher.)

Waterproof, windproof snow pants. Like rain pants, besides constructed for low temperatures.

Heat hat. I’m a fan of North Face beanies, however something cozy and wooly will do nicely.

Waterproof, windproof gloves or mittens. I truly want mittens, like these ones from Outdoor Research. You might wish to put on glove liners or running gloves as nicely.

Heat scarf. I’m an enormous fan of Speakeasy Journey Provide scarves that include a hidden pocket — and so they have a set of warm heavy weight scarves which are excellent for Iceland within the winter!

Base layer socks and heat socks (I like to recommend merino wool socks if potential). Base layer socks, once more, hold you hotter than simply common socks.

Hot Hands hand warmers. Crack these and so they’ll hold you heat for hours. These saved my life in Antarctica! They promote particular toe heaters as nicely, however I don’t suppose you want them — hand heaters work for each.

I like to recommend carrying the Sizzling Fingers between your base layer socks and heavier socks, or between your glove liners and mittens. You too can hold them in your pockets.

Northern lights images gear. The Northern Lights are considered one of Iceland’s greatest attracts throughout the winter months. In case you’re hoping to see them, you’ll want a tripod, as you’ll want to take lengthy publicity photographs to make the colours actually pop.

(You would possibly wish to see my Antarctica packing record for examples of my winter outfits for being energetic in a chilly atmosphere.)

Kate making a goofy jump in the air on a rainbow striped street leading to a church.
Make sure you pack your adventurous spirit!

Iceland Packing Listing

Right here it’s: the complete packing record for Iceland.



Winter Vacationers



Gadgets to Pack

Digital camera Gear and Tech Gear

Optionally available

Must you do laundry in Iceland?

In case you’re staying in Iceland for lower than per week, you in all probability don’t have to do laundry. However for those who’re staying for longer than per week, you’ll in all probability have to.

High Tip: Guide lodging with laundry included midway by your journey. Amanda and I booked an condo in Akureyri that had a washer and drying rack. This was excellent timing and we didn’t need to go discover a laundromat!

You too can do laundry within the sink for those who’d like. Deliver travel laundry detergent if that’s the case.

Kate in a leather jacket standing in front of Gulfoss waterfall in Iceland.
Expensive 2015 Kate: WHY did you put on a leather-based jacket to the Golden Circle?!

What NOT to Deliver to Iceland

Listed here are some issues that you simply completely don’t have to deliver to Iceland:

Umbrella. In case you packed correct rain gear — hooded raincoat, rain pants, waterproof boots, and backpack cowl — it utterly negates the necessity for an umbrella. You received’t use it!

Money. Iceland accepts bank cards for nearly every little thing (there are a number of exceptions, like metropolis buses in Reykjavík). On my most up-to-date two-week journey, neither Amanda nor I used money as soon as.

Dressy garments. You do not want dressy garments — not even for that nice-looking restaurant in Reykjavík. Put on your nicest sweater and your black mountaineering pants and also you’ll slot in simply effective.

Horseback using gear. Icelanders don’t permit any using gear from international nations to be worn in Iceland. That is to guard the horses from exterior pathogens. Please don’t suppose they’ll make an exception for you. They received’t.

A digital camera you don’t know tips on how to use. Lots of people get fancy new cameras for his or her Iceland journey — however they don’t know tips on how to use them. Ensure you spend a very good period of time attending to know your digital camera’s settings and practising earlier than you go to Iceland.

Extra on Iceland:

My Favourite Locations in Iceland:

Have you ever been to Iceland? What did you recognize bringing?

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