Travelling around Iceland in the summer was an amazing experience. However, before I visited I had a real stress knowing what on earth to pack. Let me be honest with you, packing for me is always a nightmare. But packing for Iceland seemed extra hard!
So the country name already started to worry me. Iceland, the land of ice. Does that mean it’s going to be freezing cold? But its summer, so shouldn’t that be warm? It’s so confusing!
And I’m assuming that if you’re reading this then you’re in the same situation as me. My Iceland packing list includes everything that I took, plus a few other things that I wish I had taken with me! Hope it helps you 🙂
My trip was in the middle of June. Daytime temperatures were between 8-16C/46-61F and at night it dropped to 5-8C/41-46F I travelled around the Ring Road in a campervan. Which meant cooking outside and of course, sleeping in the van! As for activities, I did a lot of short hikes, nothing too strenuous. Oh, but I did hike on the glacier which was awesome. Check out my post here on Hiking a Glacier in Iceland! So here goes:
Iceland packing list – let’s start with What clothes to pack
Walking boots/shoes (waterproof)
My Teva sandals were perfect for at the campsites
Wind/Waterproof jacket & trousers
You never know when the weather will change. Plus great for walking behind waterfalls in!
Thermo or down jacket is perfect. Also great with a hood.
Perfect with zip offs in case you do have a warm day!
Both top and bottoms. Great for sleeping in too if it gets cold at night.
Leggings or tights
Very versatile, you can wear out hiking or comfortable for driving too.
You might find useful: Tips for driving in Iceland
I wore with leggings and these make a great changing area at hot springs!!
Mixture of long and short sleeves so you have options depending what the weather is doing!
These are great for sleeping in too.
Warm hat and sun hat
One that’s good to sleep in too i.e. without a big bobble on top!
I had a thin and thick pair. Also a fingerless pair are handy for cooking outside.
Bikini or swimming costume
Take a couple if you don’t want to put a wet one on. There are so many hot springs on the way around the Ring Road.
- Lots of thin layers are much better than one or two thick ones. They help trap the heat and keep you warmer.
- Save space and wear the same outfit every day (plus or minus a few layers).
- Do not bring cotton clothes, these aren’t great for dealing with moisture, ie sweating!! And if they get wet then it’s hard to find somewhere to dry them (especially if you are camping)
Iceland packing list – What else do I need to take?
small Day rucksack (20-25 litres)
This depends on how much hiking you’re doing. But something big enough to carry waterproofs, camera, water and snacks.
If you are camping of course (or hire one).
Sleeping bag liner
I have a silk liner, perfect as an extra layer to keep you warm. Or if you are hiring a sleeping bag it’s a bit nicer!
Water bottle and/or flask
The water in Iceland is the cleanest I’ve ever tasted. So to help reduce plastic and take a water bottle to fill up instead of buying one. I also filled my Sigg Hot & Cold flask** with peppermint tea to keep me warm whilst out hiking.
Sun cream and sunglasses
I forgot my sun cream and ended up buying some. Remember you are outside most of the time.
Your daily wash if you are camping! Showers are available at local pools but this was easier.
Toilet paper/kitchen roll
I ended up buying what I thought was toilet paper when I arrived in Iceland. However jet lagged shopping isn’t a good idea. And it turned out to be kitchen roll which had many more uses whilst camping.
Microfibre Quick dry towel
I have a few of these in different sizes. They are perfect because firstly they are small but secondly they really do dry fast. Very handy if you’re in a campervan.
Notebook, pen & Playing cards
I was convinced I’d have a lot more down time but Iceland has so much to offer. I always keep a little diary of my day
Ear plugs & eye mask
I was not prepared for the 24 hours daylight whilst in Iceland. It’s so weird to have daylight all the time. But if you find it hard to sleep then don’t forget your eye mask. I have a boring one but how cool is this one! Ear plugs are handy if you are camping and want a lie in!
Eco Friendly Toiletries
Iceland is on the most environmentally friendly countries I’ve ever been to. Pack eco-friendly toiletries if you can.
I hired a power inverter for the campervan which was the best thing I bought as an extra. No worries about cameras or phones running out of battery.
First aid kit
Remeber you’re on the road and travelling in a lot of remote areas, so always handy to be prepared.
Sun cream (second time I’ve mentioned he he)
Plasters, including blister ones
Lip balm or vaseline
Cold and flu tablets
Travel sickness pills and ginger sweets (just in case)
You might have heard Iceland is expensive so to help with the costs I took some of my own food for camping.
Pasta and cous cous
Tea bags or hot chocolate
Breakfast bars and snacks
Bonus camping tips – I hired a campervan with Go Campers. It was fantastic and everything was included. However, a few extra things I would take next time just to make things easier:
- An extra gas stove fitting (if you have one), means you can cook meals quicker.
- Some plastic containers to put left over or extra food.
- Want to save some money. Bring your own food.
*Book your Iceland flights now: Skyscanner
My camera equipment
Now if you’re spending that money on an amazing trip to Iceland. Maybe’s it’s time to treat yourself to a camera to capture all those beautiful memories.
Nikon D3300 (kit lens 18-50mm)
This is the best gadget/toy I’ve ever treated myself to. It’s lightweight, perfect for travelling and hiking.
Check out some of my photos on Instagram and see for yourself @beckythetraveller
wide angle lens
A more expensive treat but I love my wide angle lens. It’s great for scenic shots but also buildings close up too.
For all you bird lovers out there, you’re in for a treat. Iceland is full of beautiful birds but you’ll need a zoom lens to capture them!
I have two batteries for my camera. It’s perfect because I never need to worry about the battery running out whilest I’m off exploring. I just need to rememeber to carry the spare one with me!
I like to carry a spare just in case my card fills up. If you like videoing too then this is a perfect size card.
If you want to create blur on your waterfall shots then you’ll need one of these. I currently have the Gorilla tripod (second picture) but my travel buddy had the (first picture). This was lightweight so that’s now on my shopping list!
Iceland packing list – and lastly what NOT to take
I’ve shared everything you do need to take. But here are a couple of things I would recommend that you defintely don’t bother taking:
- An umbrella – it’s just too windy. Your umbrella will be turned inside out within minutes!
- Jeans – my only reason I wouldn’t take these is because if you get them wet, they will never dry!
- A hairdrier – if you are camping, the best place to grab a shower is the local swimming pool and most of these have hairdriers.
Are you still struggling with your Iceland packing list! Please ask me any questions in the comments below I’m happy to help:
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**All opinions are my own. Sigg UK sent me this product for review.