Iceland, you are beyond breathtaking. You are also the QUEEN of moody weather. For this very reason, packing for Iceland almost becomes a bit of a daunting challenge. I had so many “ifs” and “buts” while packing and trying to fit everything into the stipulated weight limit offered by WOW Air, that we ended up buying additional luggage the night before our departure. We couldn’t assess the weather because, to us, it looked like the weather changed her mind on an hourly basis.
I would pick warm and comfortable over wet, cold and grumpy any day. Haha! September experiences some transitional weather and it’s best to be prepared for the rains and wind chill, especially if you’re camping out in the night. Layering will save you a whole lot of discomfort. From our experience, this is what we recommend:
- A fleece lined woolen beanie to keep your ears from freezing. I got mine from the little stores set up during the Prague Christmas Market and they sufficed.
- A warm scarf/blanket for when the weather turns. I got mine from H&M two years ago. If it got very cold in the night, I used it to drape myself as well but it rarely got that cold in our Kuku Camper Van before we turned on the heater.
- I cannot emphasize enough about how important it is to have thermal inner wear. Mine were worn ALL the time. It never got warm enough for me to regret having that layer on. Also, because the weather was never a constant, if it got mildly warm – that feeling lasted no longer than 2 minutes after stepping out of our camper. We got mine here and they sufficed.
- Over my thermals, I had a breathable full sleeved shirt on. This helps when you’re driving long distances and are mostly going to be sitting inside your vehicle. It can get a wee bit toasty and it feels good to have the other layers on without being in just your thermals.
- Over this (yes, over this! Haha!), depending on the weather, I either had a sweatshirt/sweater/fleece jacket. I wouldn’t forget this layer at home especially if you have some activities planned like hiking a glacier or volcano. It was windy and cold when we started these activities but it got quite hot only because there were so many layers. Feeling hot and cold was short lived in Iceland whilst we were there but it’s good to have the option of layers as and when needed.
- We always had our wind AND water proof jackets with us at all times. There were huge gusts of winds that also brought about some rain and we were glad to have our jackets with us. Remember, that gusts of strong winds and rains can be predicted in advance but they also come announced. Don’t only bank on the weather reports when you’re in Iceland. Preparation for the worst possible weather is ideal. Also, when I say water proof – I MEAN WATERPROOF. No, not water resistant, it must be water proof.
- Now, because we need wind and water proof jackets, we must not forget our wind and water proof pants also. They’re a huge life saver especially if you want to go exploring behind water falls and the likes. I hope that’s enough reason to carry water proof pants with you. 😉
- Waterproof shoes that provide enough warmth goes without saying. It’s nice to have warm shoes that protect you from the cold and water.
- Don’t you hate it when you have cold feet? I sure do! I carried multiple pairs of thermal socks. There were times where I doubled up on them as well. Yes, I hate cold feet. 😉 They were especially helpful when we went snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.
- Talking about cold feet, my fingers get cold soooo easily. Brrrr! Carry super warm mittens with you and your fingers will thank you. I got mine here. Although they didn’t keep me super warm all the time, I was pretty happy with them.
- Going to the little but super important things to take with you – sunscreen (it’s easy to get sun burnt on a glacier!), sunglasses, sleeping bags, multiple hair ties 😉 , wet wipes, micellar water, chapstick, moisturizer and fast drying towels.
I think I’ve covered everything important I can remember that we took to our trip to Iceland. Oh wait, I forgot the most important bit – do not forget to take your “I’m going to have a blast” attitude with you. Iceland will leave you flabbergasted. I haven’t seen much of the world but for now, I know nothing compares. Everything in Iceland feels distinctly awe inspiring. But also remember, there’s no telling what the weather will be like. More is less when you’re packing for Iceland. I’m generally a heavy packer and always pack more than I use but that wasn’t the case this time. Always be prepared and be safe. Hope this helps with your Iceland packing woes. Have the best time and safe travels.
Lots of Love,