Iceland Daypack Packing Guide

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Are you a traveler by heart? Do you love mountains and long tours? We hope you are because this blog is about everything that you need to know when traveling to the beautiful country of glaciers and mountains that we called Iceland. Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries when it comes to the natural scenic beauty. Everything that wanderer desires can be found in the hills and rivers of Iceland. From exotic animals to majestic glaciers, from snow-clad mountains to tasty food, Iceland offers everything.

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, there are some things that you need to keep in mind to ensure a happy and joyful trip. Since Iceland is a country with harsh climatic conditions, it becomes very important to focus on what you are packing when traveling as well as what you are wearing and taking in your day pack while going on an outing. Apart from clothing choices, there are some other things that you may need on your outing or adventure traveling. Clothing is indeed one of the most important factors but Iceland is a land of adventure and exploration, will surely invite you for more and you won’t be able to resist.

In this blog, we are going to discuss the things that you should have in your day pack while stepping out of your hotel room in this beautiful country we call Iceland. We have divided these essentials according to seasons to make it easier for you. So, let’s dive in and put items in your day pack.

How to Decide? Seasons and Activities

The day pack that you bring to Iceland depends entirely on the time of the year you are planning to travel and the activities you are planning to take part in. Your daypack contents won’t be the same for a whale watching trip and a hiking trip, right?

If you are planning to visit Iceland during winters, then the pack would be entirely different from the things you pack in summers. Apart from this, some other factors decide the things you have to pack. For example, what you are going to do during the day? How long are you planning to stay out? etc. These factors decide what you need to carry in your day pack as different types of activities and seasons require a different set of items in Iceland. For example, if you are going on a normal trek, you will need some basic items along with a map or a compass if you are going your own way, different from already popular trails.

So, make sure that before packing, you have these questions answered in your head. This will help you decide what you need to pack.

A Season-Wise List

What to Pack for Iceland in Summer?

The Icelandic summer provides a major relief to the place after long and dark winters. One of the most beautiful attractions to witness during this time of the year is the midnight sun. This can be observed after the summer solstice that marks around the 21st of June. This makes the months of June and July extremely popular among travelers. During this time of the year, chances are that you will witness 24 hours of sunlight. The months of June, July, and August are considered as the months of Summer in Iceland. Summer is the only season in Iceland that offers you a chance to wear casual clothing.

There are some items that everyone must carry, as we have already mentioned, but below is a list of items that fall in the category of summertime items.

  • Hats/Caps – Summers doesn’t mean that the climate is going to be warm. So you need to have a woolen cap to keep your head warm. Apart from this, a hat or a cap will also give you shade from the sun’s gaze.
  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses not only make your outing more comfortable but also give you a chance to throw the sense of style out there. So, take a pair shine on the streets of Iceland.
  • Suntan Lotion – It may seem a little off because of the climatic conditions of the country, but we need to keep in mind that the ultraviolet rays of the sun are equally harmful in this region. So make sure that you have a good bottle of Suntan lotion in your day pack before stepping out of your hotel.
  • Raingear – It is advised to carry some kind of raingear along with you when going out on a trek to this surprising country. Especially if you are planning to visit mighty waterfalls such as Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, or Dettifoss, it is important to carry some kind of raincoat in your day pack because the mist that comes from the waterfall can soak you in seconds.

What to Pack for Iceland in Autumn?

In comparison to other seasons, fall or autumn in Iceland is shorter but sweet. By the dusk of August, the trees begin to show brown and orange colors and by the end of September, the country prepares itself for a long winter. During Autumn, unlike most other places in the world, the temperature drops to 9°C, and winds pick up their speed. This makes it hard to decide the actual climatic conditions of the country and at the same time makes it tricky to decide what do you need in your day pack. But below are some things you may need on your outing.

  • Waterproof Jacket– Autumn is the time when rains start coming back and the temperature drops. This demands the need to stay dry when you are outside at all costs. So make sure that you have a waterproof jacket of good quality with you if you are going for an outing during Autumn. You don’t need to keep it on, just keep it in your day pack to ensure your safety.
  • Moisturizer – It is always good to carry a bottle of moisturizer when going on a outing in Iceland. The autumn wind makes your skin dry very easily, so make sure that you have a bottle of moisturizer ready, especially if your skin is sensitive.

What to Pack for Iceland during Winter?

It is time to address the elephant in the room, and that would be the winter day pack list of Iceland. The winters in Iceland are long, dark, and harsh. So, such climatic conditions require some special kind of measures that you have to take. The temperature during winters usually stays below zero. The winds are cruel and sharp, so from a gentle breeze to a loud storm, every little brush of wind will send chills down your body if you haven’t taken proper precautions while going out. The Icelandic winter lasts from October to March, and it is during this time that the northern lights are most visible and prove to be a major attraction for tourists coming from different parts of the world.

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that layers are more important than a heavy jacket. So make sure that you are wearing layers that are made with good wool to stay insulated and safe. Below is a wintertime day pack list of Iceland.

  • Windproof/Rainproof Coat– A windproof and rainproof coat is very important when going for an outing in Iceland. This is something that you must have if you want to stay safe because the weather conditions will demand this. Many outlets sell these coats in Iceland itself, and the best thing about buying from these outlets is that their products are specially made for the weather conditions of Iceland.
  • Woolen Socks – Let’s face it. There are only a few things in the world that are worse than getting a cold foot. Wool proves to be the best material when it comes to providing insulation and warmth during the times of winter, and that is why you are going to need woolen socks. Woolen socks prove to be of advantage in all kinds of trips ranging from hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling, to boating. An extra pair of woolen socks in your day pack will ensure that you have a dry pair in case the one you’re wearing gets wet.
  • Winter Hats, Gloves, Scarf – In other parts of the world, these may look like fashionable accessories, but in Iceland, these are essential items that you must have if you want to survive the weather and have fun. Make sure that every item that you take is designed for practical use and is warm enough to keep you safe.
  • Lip Balm – It may sound like something of less importance, but trust us, it is not. Due to harsh winter, your lips will dry out quickly and will begin to hurt you in no time. But with a handy lip balm, this problem can be solved in seconds. If you have dry skin, then it is advised to pack a bottle of moisturizer along with the lip balm as well to make sure that you remain fresh and your skin remains healthy even in harsh weather conditions.
  • Bathing Suit – Iceland is a country that may surprise you in a way you can’t imagine. There are numerous hot springs, swimming pools, and spas that offer a serene comfort. So make sure that you’ve packed a good quality bathing suit along with other stuff. If you have researched, you may have heard about the Blue Lagoon or Secret Lagoon, but there are also numerous of other hot springs that may be a little bit more hidden.

These were some of the important things that you need to have in your day pack and wear during a wintertime outing in Iceland. There are many other things that you can take, but those depend on your choice of activity. Make sure that you have a bottle of water as well.

What to Pack for Iceland in Spring?

Just like fall, Iceland witnesses a very short season of spring that lasts for not more than two months. The spring season starts from the initial days of April and continues through May to June. During this time of the year, birds like North Atlantic puffins start migrating to this beautiful country to make their nests in the cliffs by the shore. The temperature during spring of the year ranges from 0-10°C and rain, winds, and occasional snow showers can be expected during this time of the year. Spring is the perfect time to go for a self-drive tour in Iceland.

Below is the list of things you will need on an outing in Iceland during the spring season.

  • Antihistamines – Even though Iceland does not have much forestry, there is still plenty of pollen in the air. So if you are someone who is allergic to pollen, make sure that you are carrying your anti-allergic medication to get the best out of your outing and make it more comfortable for yourself.
  • Reusable Water Bottle – A good quality reusable water bottle is very important to have in your day pack if you are planning a trek during spring. If it gets empty, you can always refill from a nearby stream as most of the streams and rivers in Iceland have pure and fresh flowing water.
Hiking with a backpack next to Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland

Packing for Hiking and Camping in Iceland

Hiking and camping are two of the most popular activities in Iceland during the summers. Summer brings clearer and safer pathways to the mountain and hiking gives a chance to experience the beauty of mother nature up close. This also marks the time of the year when the central highlands are accessible to the visitors and locals. There are numerous places when it comes to hiking in Iceland, thanks to the diverse terrain of the country. There are so many places that it is impossible to name all of them, but some of those are very popular. The colorful landscape of Landmannalaugar attracts tourists from all over the world, the same as Thorsmork and East Iceland.

Below is the list of the things you need in your day pack if you are going on a hike or an overnight camping trip in Iceland.

  • Maps – It may sound stupid, but a hard copy map is something that can prove to be a think of great importance when going on a hiking tour in Iceland. The reason behind this is that you may not get access to the internet in remote areas and or in case the battery drains out and you have lost your way. A map can prove to be very important and life-saving in such circumstances.
  • Compass – Just like a map, a good quality compass can also come handy if you are someone who believes in true adventure and finding their own path. Most of the hiking trails have signboards, but compass can prove to be very useful for seekers.
  • Reusable Water Bottle – Hydration is very important, especially if you are hiking and losing water with sweat. Make sure that you are carrying a water bottle that can be reused. Iceland’s rivers and streams are so clean that you can directly fill your water from them without an iota of doubt in your mind.
  • Energy Snacks – Having something to push some energy in you is never a bad idea. Make sure that you have packed enough energy bars and chocolates while going on a hike to avoid any emergency. There is a very small chance that you will find a shop or eatery during the hike, so it is advised to keep yourself ready for any circumstance.
  • Sturdy Hiking Boots – This is one of the most important and crucial things that you need to have while going hiking. Never attempt to hike in flip-flops or any other footwear like that because it ends in disaster almost every time. You can purchase a pair of good quality sturdy hiking boots from local shops. These shoes are specially designed for the terrains of Iceland and are perfect to be worn on a hiking tour.
  • Mobile Phone – A mobile phone is a very important thing not just on hiking tours, but on any tour. Make sure that your phone is properly charged before you start your hiking tour, and just to be extra ready, keep a power bank ready and charged.
  • Toilet Rolls/Plastic Bags – There is no chance that you are going to get a public toilet on your hiking trail. There are some toilets on the trails that are very popular, but none on remote ones. So to avoid any sort of inconvenience, it is advised to carry enough toilet rolls and plastic bags while going on a hike. Icelanders are very proud of their country and its environment, so as a tourist it becomes important to take care of that; make use of rolls and bags.

Being a country with diverse terrains and rich flora and fauna, Iceland welcomes thousands of tourists, researchers, filmmakers, and other such enthusiastic people. The serene beauty of this country and the friendly culture makes every tourist fall in love with its beauty. Iceland gives you a chance to witness everything that you have ever dreamt of, it gives you a chance to feel yourself crawling in the lap of mother nature, it gives you a chance to experience what it is like to be fresh and new every morning. Everything from its long winter to its shortfall and spring, is special about this country.

Hiking with a backpack in Iceland
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