Travel Light Typically the advice for adventure travelers is to travel light. Packing as little as possible makes you more flexible and allows you to go further, on the other hand pack too heavy and you will soon be weighed down. Iceland, however, is definitely not a destination you want to forget something crucial. The weather can be brutal + Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, so forgetting something important could cost you a lot, even your life.
What clothes you bring will greatly depend on what you are expecting to do in Iceland. Seeing as this post is aimed at more adventurous travelers out there, here is our list of essential cloths to have when traveling in Iceland during the winter months.
1. Jacket A good waterproof and windproof is a must when visiting Iceland. The south of Iceland can receive up to 7 Meters or 22 feet of precipitation a year, this means lots and lots of rain or snow. Now add 150km/h + winds and you have a great place to test of your clothing. Make sure the jacket you get won't let you down.
Things to look at when buying a jacket. You don't need the absolute best or most expensive jacket out there. Most high brand and quality jackets perform just as good as not so expensive jackets, the difference will be in durability and weight. If you are not looking at doing expedition style traveling, avoid big brands and you will be able to afford a great jacket. Check that the jacket has a waterproof rating of at least 20,000mm. Gore-tex typically has a rating of 28,000mm. A jacket with underarm zippers works great. Typically when hiking in Iceland the temperature can fluctuate greatly and having the option to air out and get fresh air in without having to expose your self to the elements too much is a great feature.
2. Shoes / Boots As mentioned above, Iceland can be a very windy, icy and muddy place. You spend most of your time outdoors and your feet are always in contact with the elements, therefore a good pair of outdoor shoes are a must. When looking at buying shoes make sure that they are waterproof and have good ankle support. If you are looking at doing any glacier activities it's highly recommended that you buy or rent stiff sole shoes. This is the one piece of item you don't want to go cheap on, plus a good pair of boots can last you many years.
3. Layers, Layers, Layers
It is said that in Iceland if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes. This is actually quiet true, and you will definitely experience this at least once or twice during your trip. So rather than having one super thick jacket or sweater, it is much better to bring a few layers, that way you can adjust to the environment. If you have a good Windproof jacket as mentioned above, bringing a set of thermals and mid layers will make sure you stay comfortable. There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
4. Hats, Gloves, and Socks
This one speaks for it's self. Bring a good hat, good gloves, and good woolen socks. In fact bring lots of socks. Having wet feet in Iceland is not a enjoyably experience.
5. Keep it Simple
You don't need a lot of fancy clothes, most days you will be dressed exactly the same. The same waterproof jacket and pants. Pack less fancy shirts and more socks and memory cards for your camera, unless you are getting married. Then please go crazy.
That is all you really need. Bring a good attitude, check the weather before driving or hiking and respect Iceland's nature. Useful website when traveling in Iceland: www.road.is www.vedur.is
www.safetravel.is Emergency Number 112 Fun fact: In Iceland alcohol is only sold in Government owned shops called Vinbudin and it's super expensive. If you wish to drink in Iceland make good use of the duty free at the airport.