Camping Packing List for Iceland | Things You Need While Camping in Iceland


Iceland is a great country to enjoy the magical landscapes and natural surroundings. The northern country has a glorified Viking history that is beautifully preserved in every town, village, and city of Iceland. The caves, enormous volcanoes, gigantic mountains, lustrous green trails, blossoming flowers, chirping birds, and peeping sun makes this place a heaven for every adventure enthusiast. The European country is home to world-renowned national parks, mountain peaks, museums, and much more. You can have the best time here alone or with your friends and family.

Every traveler visits Iceland to explore one of its sides; people come here to get lost in the massive and stunning hiking trails, while some just feel mesmerized by the beautiful northern lights. There is another group of people who love camping in Iceland as the incredible place boosts great excitement to camp around the rhythmic waterfalls, under a clear blue sky and cool breezes. Camping in Iceland is one of the most breath-taking activities that one can experience. If you’re also planning to camp around the beautiful country of Iceland, then take a look at some tips you would need during your journey, especially about the things you should pack along!

Skaftafell campsite in south Iceland

Camping and Campsites in Iceland

Camping in Iceland is once in a lifetime experience; you cannot just get enough of the magical beauty. It feels incredible to spend some time surrounded by nature all around, listening to the blowing wind, the flow of waterfalls, experiencing morning sun, the midnight sun as well as the adventurous nights. The campsites in Iceland comply with most safety standards to ensure you have a safe abode unless you love to be wild and crazy.  There are various campsites available in different parts of Iceland based on the provided facilities and safety. You can choose the best one that fits your preference and adventure quotient. Most campsites in Iceland offers a complete range of services and amenities, including bathrooms, showers, electricity, comfortable bedding, access to nearby shops and restaurants.

Some camping areas are cordoned off or an extension to a beach or riverside that’s been used as a campsite for people who enjoy more private and deserted places. These isolated areas usually do not have access to facilities like restaurants and shops to keep alive the thrilling and adventurous elements. Summer is the peak and most demanding season for camping in Iceland.  You will see a huge number of solo travelers, campers, and adventure enthusiasts camping around Iceland throughout this time. The months from May to September witness a surge in the number of campers as the valley is at its best with the natural warmth of summer, blossoming flowers, and animals and birds are coming out of the woodwork.  Some campsites even offer free admission, and they have pretty decent facilities and services that can you can access throughout your stay. Most campsites charge a small fee for the night.

camping at Skógafoss waterfall in south Iceland

What to Pack for a Camping Trip to Iceland

There is a list of things that you would require while camping in Iceland despite any season or weather. These are essential items that you should carry along to your campsite to have a great camping experience. These items will help you throughout your stay so that you can enjoy your vacation in the wilderness of Iceland.

  • Windproof and sturdy tent to be prepared for the worst weather.
  • With a tent, do not forget to carry extra nails to hammer your tent to the ground. If you’re traveling to more than one campsite, having additional pins always works!
  • Comfortable sleeping bag to help you have a good night’s sleep after your exhaustive day of exploring mother nature.
  • Adding to that, do not forget to carry along a thick sleeping pad to give you nice and comfortable bedding like experience while sleeping in your tent.
  • A warm fleece blanket can make a lot of difference while sleeping in a tent on cold nights. You can carry the one that can easily be folded inside your backpack or camping kit.
  • Don’t forget your thermos or insulated mugs to have instant access to hot water, coffee or soup while gazing at the starry sky or warming sun.
  • Camping means carrying portable cutlery and being a responsible camper and cutlery that you can easily carry or folded to keep it in the bag; this will eliminate using plastic.
  • Don’t miss to carry your toiletries; this includes your toilet paper, cosmetics, hand sanitizer, moisturizing cream, handkerchief, and towel. You can find restrooms at most toilets with toilet paper, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  • Firestarter or lighter because without these, how will you light a born fire or cook your meat?
  • A medical kit is another essential item that you should have in your camping kit. This could include your daily medicines and other drugs for basic ailments like cough or cold.
  • It would be best if you had something to guide you through your exciting and adventurous stay and what’s better than having a guidebook for that, which has information related to the campsites, the surrounding areas, etc.
  • Many campsites do not have access to electricity, so do take your portable battery charger along to recharge your mobile phones, cameras, and other gadgets.
  • Though clothes and shoes are something that you would miss carrying but make sure you pack them according to the season and weather. Pro tip: always pack for winter while traveling to Iceland, especially when you are camping in the wilderness and under the clear blue sky because nights are anyway colder in winter. Go for thermal clothing as they can keep you warm for a longer time. Similarly, try to carry sturdy boots that meet the standard of Icelandic weather and road conditions.
  • A lot of people recommend carrying a mosquito repellent and sunscreen lotion to Iceland, especially when you’re camping around the woodwork in remote areas. This could help you have a peaceful night and day!
  • Bodywarmers are interestingly very supportive while camping in winter as they keep the body heated and cozy through the long nights of Iceland. You can have the ones around your legs, which helps to keep the whole body at peace.
  • Flashlights and head torches are something that you would require the most when traveling in winter and autumn. The nights are longer in this time, which means you need instant access to light during nights or under the darker sky. Carry along with the ones that run on batteries to eliminate the use of electricity.
  • GPS is not something you would require inside your tent, but it can help you guide directions while you head to explore the stunning Icelandic beauty.
  • With GPS comes the traditional way of knowing the road, which is a map. Do carry one that is more personalized based on the place you are camping.
  • Camera and other equipment because you would not want to miss any opportunity to capture the gorgeous and breath-taking beauty of Iceland. Ensure the accessory is portable so that it fits your camping tent and can be easily carried to different locations.

Other than the required things, do not forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast before hitting your campsite. The weather of Iceland is extreme and unpredictable so stay safe by checking the road conditions and weather beforehand. Always carry some amount of food and water with you. Try to bring instant or frozen food that you can heat and eat throughout the day. Take some soup, pre-cooked meat, chocolates, and instant noodles to keep your tummy full and satisfied. Camping is a fun activity and a silent sport that keeps you close to nature and its wilderness. You may experience some risky situations, so come prepared for that as well. Stay calm and consume everything peacefully.

camping in Iceland

Know What You Should Pack Based on The Season You’re Travelling In

Iceland is a place that looks ravishing and inspiring throughout the year. Most people only recommend camping in Iceland in the summer, but some find it adventurous to head out camping in the other seasons. Besides carrying the essential items like sturdy boots, layers of clothes, food, etc., you would require certain things based on the season you’re traveling in. So, here is a list of things that you should pack along in different seasons to your most memorable trip!

In Summer

During this time, the weather is warm and welcoming, which is why people love traveling to Iceland in summer. One of the most significant natural attractions of summer is the midnight sun that most campers die to experience. There is a possibility that you would experience the sun for 22 to 24 hours, which means you get a whole day to consume the best this nature has to offer. The summertime usually starts from June and stays till mid-August or so.  Also, do remember that no matter if you’re traveling in summer, you would still require the same clothing layer because “you cannot predict the weather of Iceland.” Other than the obvious things like boots, jumpers, trousers, sweatpants, there are many things that you would need while camping in summer; like:

  • Waterproof gears, this includes your tent, clothes, backpack, and shoes. Despite any season or weather, always ensure your camping gears to be water, wind, and moisture-resistant to keep you and your stuff dry.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen/lotion that protects you from scorching sunlight. Remember, the ultraviolet rays in Iceland are as concerning as any part of the world, and you wouldn’t want it to harm you.
  • Hats or Caps can give you a nice shade from the sun’s gaze.
  • Waterproof clothes and shoes because camping is also about exploring the nearby attractions, including waterfall and river shores.
  • Mosquito Repellents/Flies protectants because they will buzz around you throughout the bright day.

In Winter


Very few people go camping during the winter as most of the campsites are closed and it can be way too cold for a camping trip. However, some people like to travel in a camper van during the winter time. The camper vans that are used during the winter usually have installed heating systems. If you are interested in a camper van packing list you can check it out here. While camping in winters, you need extra layers of everything, from clothing to sleeping bag to socks to beanies, literally everything. Though this season provides a huge amount of excitement and adventure, you wouldn’t want to get sick due to the cold weather. Winter in Iceland is a great deal; the temperature drops to below-freezing degrees, which means you need to prepare for the worst. The things you would need other than basic ones are:

  • Heating pad, preferably the one that works on batteries because you wouldn’t have access to electricity all the time.
  • A kettle that will help you have easy access to hot water, soup, and instant food that will help you keep warm and cozy.
  • Flashlights because you will not see a lot of natural light during this time of the year. The day ends super soon during peak wintertime, so come prepared with an artificial source of lights.
  • Chocolates or Energy Bars because in winter, you tend to lose more energy, and while camping, you would not have access to a proper meal, so in this case, energy bars or chocolate will provide you with a great amount of energy by keeping your tummy satisfied.

In Autumn

Icelandic Autumn stays for a short but sweet time from August-end till September. You will experience a mix of both suns and cool winter breezes. This is one season that put travelers in a dilemma while packing their stuff. You cannot predict what you will get once you reach your campsite or the remote location you chose for camping. Some of the things you can consider and should carry are:

  • Waterproof gears, this includes your tent, clothes, backpack, and shoes. Despite any season or weather, always ensure your camping gears to be water, wind, and moisture-resistant to keep you and your stuff dry.
  • Sweaters or warmers because autumn means the beginning of winter, which is dreadful in Iceland.
Camping in Iceland

In Spring

This is the season where the nature starts to come to life after the long winter in Iceland. Spring is as short as fall; it lasts for two months, April and May. It is the best season to see some beautiful flowers blossoming around the valleys. You will experience a mix of snow, rain, and sun during this time. Camping in spring is a delightful and pleasant experience while surrounded by unique flowers and eye-captivating birds. Remember that even though it is called spring, the temperature is not high, and sometimes even below frost mark. The things you need to carry to your little expedition includes:

  • Hiking boots because you would want to climb up the mountain to choose a campsite surrounded by visually pleasing flowers, magically flowing waterfalls, and shiny mountain peaks.
  • Waterproof gear as you can experience some showers any time of the day, you need to have easy access to water-resistant gears to remain dry in your tent.
  • Anti-allergens, if you’re allergic to some type of flower or fragrance, don’t forget to carry along some antihistamines.
  • Warm jackets as the temperature show a balance between high and low during this time, carry a warm coat in case of an extremely low to be prepared.

Iceland is a fun place to explore some of the most unique and eye-captivating things around nature. You can experience some unexpected moments that can only happen in Iceland. Camping in Iceland is a lifetime experience and a silent sport that keeps you within nature. Enjoy and make the most out of it while in Iceland. Everything Iceland is visually and aesthetically captivating, from icy cold nights to warm sunny days to shiny pearl-like raindrops. Come prepared to the northern beauty to enjoy its wilderness!

Camping in the highlands of Iceland
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