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

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Placing collectively the best Iceland packing listing is without doubt one of the most essential issues you are able to do earlier than your journey! Iceland is a vacation spot recognized 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 must. That’s not as straightforward in Iceland. Until you’re in Reykjavík or Akureyri, you received’t have the ability to simply discover respectable purchasing.

I do know this sounds robust — 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 Highway, 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’ll be able to go away at house.

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

And as you intend your journey, don’t neglect 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 value.

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 incessantly wet. The forecast modifications typically and climate situations can flip harmful if you don’t anticipate it. In brief, you must be prepared for something — however particularly precipitation!

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

When you’re visiting throughout the summer time (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).

When 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 convey that a lot decrease.

This Iceland packing listing is primarily focused towards summer time 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 via at Studlagil Canyon, East Iceland!

Most Vital Objects on Your Iceland Packing Listing

Some objects in your Iceland packing listing are essential. Right here is the listing of things that I believe needs to be on each Iceland traveler’s listing, it doesn’t matter what the time of 12 months is.

Don’t skip any of those — besides presumably 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 one most essential factor you must convey 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’d rain every single day, and closely. I do know individuals who had been rained out every single 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 may 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’ve 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 a variety of sunny days and it was good to solely put on my pink Uniqlo jacket.

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

Prime Tip: Get a brightly coloured coat; it seems wonderful in pictures 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 — they usually 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 should 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 should take off your boots!

Since that journey, I’ve been extolling the advantages of rain pants to anybody who will hear, and one in all 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 Mountain climbing Boots

You might be possible going to be mountain climbing via mud or rain in some unspecified time in the future. That’s simply an inevitability in Iceland. Common mountain climbing boots or path runners usually are not sufficient: you want good high quality waterproof hiking boots.

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

Some individuals convey one pair of waterproof mountain climbing boots to Iceland, and a few convey one pair of normal boots and one pair of waterproof boots. Take my recommendation: convey one pair of waterproof boots (ideally manufactured from Gore-Tex).

You by no means know when a sunny Icelandic sky will immediately 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 to 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 bought 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 mountain climbing for hours!

I normally suggest 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 time months, when you’ll be able to have just a little little bit of daylight as late as 2:00 AM. Ever slept via that? It’s not straightforward!

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

You’ll need to convey 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 like my Trina Turk swimsuits!

A number of Swimsuits

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

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

Translation? You’ll be in your bathing swimsuit a LOT.

One mistake I see individuals making incessantly is just bringing one swimsuit to Iceland. The explanation? A washing swimsuit takes a very long time to dry and also you could be continuously placing on one which’s chilly and damp.

For that motive, it’s a good suggestion to convey a minimal of two bathing fits to put on in Iceland. I introduced three. We might cling 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 beautiful, colourful, and final for years. Some are available in plus sizes.

Fast-Drying Journey Towel

Virtually each sizzling spring or swimming pool in Iceland expenses you for a towel for those who don’t have already got one. And costs 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 plenty of cash.

Prime Tip: Bathe at night time in Iceland. Your towel will dry in a single day, you’ll have the ability to 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 convey your reusable water bottle and fill it up each time you’ve a faucet.

I take advantage of a BPA-free Blender Bottle. It’s large, it’s sturdy, and it is available in plenty 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 vivid pink eyes midway via my most up-to-date journey and wanted drops badly. It wasn’t enjoyable attempting to trace down an open pharmacy in the midst of nowhere!

You may need to convey eye drops, lip balm, and hand cream.


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

I all the time put on moisturizer or BB cream that incorporates sunscreen. If not, convey sunscreen with an SPF of at the very least 45. I like Neutrogena SPF 55 sunscreen.

Additional SD Playing cards, Digicam Battery, and Exterior Onerous Drive

You’ll take far extra pictures than you normally tackle journeys. Iceland is without doubt one of the most visually spectacular locations I’ve ever visited.

It’s all the time smarter to have a number of SD playing cards quite than one large 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 pictures in a number of locations for those who can. A tiny thumb drive in all probability received’t be sufficient — as a substitute, convey an external hard drive.

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


A tripod is an non-compulsory merchandise, however one which extra critical photographers ought to pack. When you’re seeking to do long-exposure pictures on Iceland waterfalls, or make the most of low-light conditions, it would be best to have a tripod.

Nevertheless — for those who’re not a photographer, you don’t essentially want this. (Plus, lugging your tripod and setting it up all over the place could be a enormous ache for those who’re not captivated with pictures.)

Prime Tip: You probably have an iPhone, set your digital camera as much as take Reside Pictures. Maintain your digital camera as nonetheless as you’ll be able to when photographing a waterfall. In your photograph, contact the “LIVE” placing within the prime left nook and alter it to “Lengthy Publicity.” Hi there, clean waterfall!

It takes a little bit of follow, and I like to recommend capturing on a wide-angle as a result of this may chop off a variety 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-compulsory as nicely, however for those who put on make-up in your day-to-day life, you’ll in all probability respect 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 stored in the entire journey. I like having a little bit of shimmer in my pictures.

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 had been just about the identical factor, again and again. Choose a components and keep it up!

Within the photograph above, taken at Hvalnes Lighthouse in southeast Iceland, I wore a medium-weight sweater, Uniqlo Extremely Gentle Down Jacket, leggings, merino wool socks, boots (these ones are a discontinued type 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, one in all my absolute favourite locations in Iceland, I wore my typical mountain climbing 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 Gentle Down jacket and my rain jacket shell — and tied them each round my waist after I bought sizzling.

They’re out of the body on this photograph, 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 further objects. It’s all about staying heat and dry in a chilly, moist atmosphere! Let’s check out an important objects to your winter Iceland packing listing:

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

I like to recommend two pairs of every to your journey to Iceland. Good base layers may 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 desire 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 a variety of chilly air. (Individuals from Texas and Florida: discuss to your cold-weather-living mates. 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 really want mittens, like these ones from Outdoor Research. It’s possible you’ll need 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 — they usually have a set of warm heavy weight scarves which can be good for Iceland within the winter!

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

Hot Hands hand warmers. Crack these they usually’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 Palms between your base layer socks and heavier socks, or between your glove liners and mittens. You can even hold them in your pockets.

Northern lights pictures gear. The Northern Lights are one in all Iceland’s largest attracts throughout the winter months. When you’re hoping to see them, you’ll want a tripod, as you must take lengthy publicity pictures to make the colours actually pop.

(You may need to see my Antarctica packing listing 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 listing for Iceland.



Winter Vacationers



Objects to Pack

Digicam Gear and Tech Gear


Do you have to do laundry in Iceland?

When 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.

Prime Tip: Ebook lodging with laundry included midway via your journey. Amanda and I booked an residence in Akureyri that had a washer and drying rack. This was good timing and we didn’t should go discover a laundromat!

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

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

What NOT to Convey to Iceland

Listed below are some issues that you just completely don’t have to convey to Iceland:

Umbrella. When 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 part (there are a couple 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 mountain climbing pants and also you’ll slot in simply advantageous.

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

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

Extra on Iceland:

My Favourite Locations in Iceland:

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