What to pack for Iceland

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    Laugavegur 4
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    Iceland - Free maps and guidebooks
    by jojes

Most Viewed What to Pack in Iceland

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Renting camping equipment in Iceland

    by Regina1965 Written Feb 21, 2015

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    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I have often been asked where guests can rent camping equipment and such in Iceland. There is such a store in Reykjavík, where one can rent all kinds of camping equipment. It is called Iceland Camping Equipment,

    This store is run by a French couple, who moved to Iceland. I think this is a great idea as I have often been tempted to lend foreign guests my camping equipment, so I know the need for it.

    Address: Klapparstígur 16, 101 Reykjavík

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  • starship's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by starship Updated Aug 18, 2014

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    Luggage and bags: Although warmer clothes are a definite must, don't hesitate to bring a bathing suit no mater what time of year you visit Iceland! The many natural hot springs feed public outdoor pools where the water temperature makes it possible to swim even in the cooler weather!

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  • milliturtle's Profile Photo

    Waterproof, Windproof, Layers

    by milliturtle Written Feb 1, 2014

    Luggage and bags: If you are doing a road trip and there are 3 or more people in the car, make sure you can fit everything inside a carry on case and a smaller bag. We probably could get by without the duffel had we not bring a sleeping bag. Our 4WD can fit 3 carry on case and 3 duffels plus our groceries and water.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather in Iceland is at best, unpredictable. With the wind and the rain, a seemingly decent temperature could feel like it's ten degrees colder. I suggest you bring a couple of base layers and t-shirts, a light jacket, a fleece or packable down jacket, and a waterproof and windproof shell. You can mix and match as needed, and in extreme cases, wear everthing. Ideally, you have a car or everything is packable into a day pack.

    Also, a hat (toque or beanie, depending on which country you're from), gloves (preferably windproof) and scarves. For footwear, try to get weatherproof hiking boots for exploring.

    Photo Equipment: Camera, lots of batteries, memory cards. If you want to take pictures of the sky or northern lights, tripod and remote release.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • jojes's Profile Photo

    Kortabók road atlas - great map

    by jojes Updated May 6, 2013

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    Miscellaneous: After driving for a day or 2, the roadmap we brought from home appeared not to be as useful as we hoped: there were too much icons/signs (waterfalls, campsites, ...) blocking the roads on our map. Since we are the kind of people that love to go on smaller, less traveled roads, this wasn't very handy of course.

    So we went out hunting for a new, decent and detailed map. Most gasstations offer a range of maps, going from Iceland-entirely-on-one-map to detailed maps of the different regions. But these maps didn't offer much more than the one we had.

    But then we found the "Kortabók road atlas", which was exactly what we were looking for ... Iceland devided on 60 pages/maps with a large overlap between pages, with townplans, even with maps where to find gasstations, campsites, golfsites or swimming pools ... Very handy and extensive index of placenames and citystreets in the back.

    Perfect !

    I have to mention that I have seen this map in only 1 gasstation ... we bought ours in the souvenir shop at Geisir, they also sold it at the viewpoint Hakið (the point overlooking Þingvellir).

    Kortab��k - great Iceland road atlas
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • jojes's Profile Photo

    Free books that come in handy

    by jojes Updated May 6, 2013

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    Miscellaneous: These small guidebooks come in very handy when travelling in Iceland.
    There are several editions on different parts of the country.
    The guidebooks give general information about the area as well as tips on accomodation, activities, nature, tours, towns, transportation, ...
    We found them to be very handy and full of useful information.
    You can find them in tourist offices (of course) as well as in hotels and other places that offer a range of free brochures.

    Iceland - Free guidebooks
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • jojes's Profile Photo

    Iceland Road Guide

    by jojes Updated Nov 30, 2012

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    Miscellaneous: This is a very detailed road guide with over 3.000 interesting places mentioned.
    We bought this book at home, but I've seen it widely sold in Iceland.

    The book is arranged according to the numbering system used by the Public Roads Administration, dividing Iceland in 8 regions (nr. 2 - 9), with the Ringroad being nr. 1.

    One part of the book "follows" the ringroad, travelling from Reykjavik to the west and north, all the way round back to Reykjavik. The sights along that itinerary are explained, sometimes with detailed road-maps.

    Another section covers the roads in regions 2 to 9.
    The third part covers the mountain roads (F-roads).

    There are so many places mentioned that you won't find anywhere else. Sometimes even old and abandoned farms are indicated.

    It also contains seperate sections consisting of general information on specific topics: Icelandic food, geothermal springs, lava caves, the 'hidden worlds', ...

    This guidebook proved to come in very handy because of the added mentioning of lots and lots of stuff you don't find anywhere else.
    But I have to mention that the info isn't nearly as detailed as in other books. So if you want detailed information about Iceland's top-sights, you need to do extra research elsewhere.
    But still ... won't be going back to Iceland without this guidebook.

    There is a lot of advertising in the book. This may seem strange at first, but we've come across some very handy addresses this way, so it turns out to be quite handy.

    To be completely honest ... there is one thing I found really annoying!
    The detailed road-maps in the book aren't always in the "correct geographical direction" ... meaning that the north isn't always pointing to the top of the page. Consequence is that if you're looking for something, you have to "re-orientate" and turn the book in order to get this north aligned with the north in your road atlas. But after a few days you get used to it.
    But this is only a minor downside to this book.

    Iceland Road Guide
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • jojes's Profile Photo

    More free stuff

    by jojes Written Nov 30, 2012

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    Miscellaneous: If you don't want to invest money in buying roadmaps or guidebook, you can easliy get around with the free maps and brochures you can find almost everywhere.
    Some of this stuff cmes in quite handy, f.i. these small guidebooks.
    Of course the information isn't as detailed as in other guidebooks, but often the information is useful though limited.

    Iceland - Free maps and guidebooks
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    • Road Trip

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    For winter

    by smirnofforiginal Updated Apr 27, 2011

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In April it was cold! Thermals were a definite as were waterproof outer clothing. Makes absolutely no mistake - the weather is unbelievably changeable and layers are the way forward. My children had balaclavas and needed them. There were days and blizzards when I wrapped a scarf around my face to protect it from blizzard and stinging hail whipped by strong winds.

    It is really worth investing in good quality walking socks. There would be nothing more miserable than having cold feet. They were invaluable!

    for gloves and hats, especially with children, they take up so little room, it is definitely a good idea to have several pairs.

    Photo Equipment: My camera (Canon) stopped working. I tried SO hard to look after it but I think there was one occasion when the extreme cold to indoor warmth was too much for it to bear. I think the internal electronics got condensation on them. Perhaps have a plastic bag that you can place your camera in before going from one temperature extreme to the other... a plastic bag will certainly be cheaper than the bill I will get for camera repairs!

    NB There are only camera repairs in Reykjavik and Akuyeri.

    Make sure you have a huge memory stick and a back up battery. They are not going to be easy to come across. I found one shop that sold cameras, in Hofn, but the pries were, as are most things in Iceland, HIGH!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sleeping bags - some accommodation has no bed linen or much cheaper prices for taking it on a sleeping bag basis. Sleeping bags are also a VERY good thing to have in the car in case of break down, getting stuck in the snow, accident, coming off the road,,, also for sitting out at night to wait for the northern lights.
    Also, as a family there was definitely one accommodation where we had booked a family room anad on arrival were given a room with one bed - that night the kids slept in their sleeping bags!!!

    Miscellaneous: Thermus flask and all in one coffee satchets. Was invaluable to get back to the car, frozen and sometimes drenched and have a hot drink waitiing. If I did this trip again I would also take a mini kettle because only 50% of the accommodations we stayed in had the facilities to boil water!
    Oh on that note I should add that the "all in one" coffee sachets were, whilst not the best cups of coffee I have ever drunk, absolutely invaluable!

    Towels in a bag. Sounds mad, I know but they roll up to nothing in their little bags and are great for taking into the swimming pools etc... or if the accommodation is short on towels!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    before you fly to Iceland... at duty free

    by smirnofforiginal Updated Apr 27, 2011

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    Miscellaneous: Iceland is exceptionally expensive when it comes to food and drink. I purchased a nice bottle of rum in duty free as I left the UK and then in Iceland I only had to purchase some coke. I was then set up for a couple of enjoyable drinks in my hotel room when it was the end of a long (and cold!) day!

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Gas-containers we use for camping gas-cookers.

    by Regina1965 Written Jul 31, 2010

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    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I add here a link to gas-containers we use in Iceland for camping gas-cookers/primus. You can buy these containers at the gas-stations all around the country. I add the link to our biggest camping-gear store www.ellingsen.is where I buy my gas-containers.

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  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    Weather in summer..

    by Durfun Updated Feb 28, 2010

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Jumpers are recommended as a precaution.

    Also, a lightweight waterproof can come in handy, as the weather is so changeable.

    Miscellaneous: August is the summer, but weather there can change suddenly.

    Definitely need to have pullovers/sweaters/jumpers as a precaution. Light waterproofs would also be worthwhile.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    You will most likely need some of these items

    by marielexoteria Updated May 19, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: - Sleeping bag: it might save you money if you bring your own bag, so that you won't have to pay for bed linen and/or eventually a cheaper room/bed rate.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - Rain jacket
    - Warm, breathable clothes that you can layer on: if you feel too warm you take off one layer, if you feel too cold you put on one layer
    - Sturdy shoes: if you're doing some hiking or tours like the Golden Circle
    - Comfortable shoes: for city walking.

    Photo Equipment: - Big memory card or extra film
    - Charger or extra batteries
    Both are expensive there.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - Swimsuit: for bathing if you visit the Blue Lagoon (it will save you some money if you don't need to rent one of theirs) or any of the many pools.

    Miscellaneous: - A good guide: I found Lonely Planet's to be the best travel guide, and you don't have to buy it if you can borrow it from your local library (like I did). Otherwise save the VT tips that can help you out and print them :)
    - A road map: if you're planning on driving on roads around Road 1.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Budget Travel

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  • Winter Items

    by to-the-moon Written Feb 27, 2008

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If going to Iceland in the winter like we did you will definatley need lots of layers and a warm preferably waterproof coat.
    A wooly hat & scarf - they have lots of really warm ones at the airport shop as you arrive in Iceland if you forget yours like I did!
    Waterproof hiking shoes with good grip - if its snowing and icey these will become invaluable, it gets very slippery.
    Thermals - they kept me so much warmer in the minus 12 centigrade temperatures then I would have been
    Personally I wouldn't bother with an umbrella - although Iceland seems to get quite a bit of rain its also very windy and it'll only end up inside out anyway.

    Photo Equipment: Batteries for your camera! - they are very expensive in Iceland, (as is film)

    Miscellaneous: We also took lots of fruity nutty bars or ceral bars with us for during the day so we were only paying for an evening meal, (breakfast included) to keep expenses down and it worked really well.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • DeltaShot's Profile Photo

    Hand-luggage Essentials

    by DeltaShot Written Feb 24, 2008

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    Luggage and bags: We spent 66 hours in Iceland with only our hand-luggage full of booze because of a baggage handlers strike in Copenhagen. We had heard that alcohol is expensive in Iceland and while that is true, it's also true that clothes are expensive. The temperature ranged between 8-15 degrees celcius and a warm, wind-proof jacket would have been nice. My tip - put a change of clothes in with the booze!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Goggles for snow sports/activities. (see my entry on Snæfellsjökul Snowmobile Ride for more info)
    A swimsuit for the Blue Lagoon. You can hire a towel and a small set of shampoo etc. is provided with the cost of entry. (see my entry on the Blue Lagoon for more info)

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen - We got sunburned in Iceland!

    Photo Equipment: Spare memory cards - there's so much to photograph.

    Is it our luggage?
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Adventure Travel

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  • olsson's Profile Photo

    Expect the Unexpected

    by olsson Written Nov 22, 2007

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Variety is the key to a nice trip to Iceland. My advice is to pack for all weather and you won't be caught off guard. Make sure to pack rain gear and a swim suit. A jacket is also advisable due to often cold nights.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Pack your own over the counter medicines and items, they are not easy to find in Iceland and if you are lucky enough to find them they are VERY expensive.

    Photo Equipment: Cameras and batteries ! This place is a photographers dream !!!!!

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