The Icelandic Journey Begins: Part II

Landmannlauger Kyle and I decided to experience Iceland in the month of September!  The weather during this fall month is more variable and the temperature hovers in the 50s dropping off to the 40s at night.  However, traveling in Iceland either during May or September will help you avoid “crowds” as well as allow you to save money on certain travel expenses since these months are on the fringe of Iceland’s traveler’s season.  Since Iceland is NOT a cheap destination and we wanted to experience the country without crowds, we decided to go in early September. When you go to Iceland you have to prepare for all types of weather, which makes packing difficult!  A popular quote on shirts in Icelandic tourist shops besides the ‘ég tala ekki íslensku’ (I don’t speak Icelandic) is “If you don’t like the weather right now, just wait 5 minutes.” This quote accurately describes what we experienced while in Iceland, but like my dad says “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”  So we spent months researching what to pack and I must say we are happy with what we took abroad. What to pack for Iceland! We experienced a tropical storm (literally), warm sun, sideways wiping rain, and bitter cold; however, we were prepared and the weather did not stop us from our adventures.  One important fact to know is NOTHING will dry in Iceland, NOTHING!  We had to get rid of a pair of shoes because they got wet at the beginning of the trip and began to stink days later. The items we packed that we would highly recommend for anyone traveling to Iceland during any month are:

  • High Quality Rain Pants and Rain Coat (Ensure these are wind proof too!)
  • Rainboots (This is a MUST! We are so happy we packed these!  We were able to trudge through rivers on hikes, while others would have bounce from rock to rock (if available) with possibly of getting their feet/shoes wet or wade through the icy water.)
  • Durable Soled Hiking Boots (Durable soles are the keywords here!  The terrain in Iceland is harsh!  The lava rock is very sharp and will tear at your soles.  My expensive hiking boots were toast at the end of our trip!)
  • Towels (We packed 4 standard towels and came home with none!  This is because the towels never dried during the two weeks we were there.  I would suggest bringing small fast drying travel towels.)
  • Swimsuit (You do not want to miss out on the amazing hot pots!)
  • Food (Each person is allowed to bring 6.2 pounds of food into Iceland.  Since food is very expensive in Iceland, we brought 12.4 pounds with us.)
  • Credit/Debit Card (You can pay for everything in Iceland with your credit card; however, you need a debit card with a pin to pay for gas at unattended gas stations.  If you do not have a card with a pin, you will not be able to pay for gas at these stations and gas can be hard to come by in Iceland.  So don’t limit your options!)
  • Low-Temp Sleeping Bags (Since we were camping, these were a must!)
  • Cold Medicine (I never get sick! However, it seems like every traveller in Iceland is sick and I ended up catching a nasty cold.  Iceland DOES NOT have OTC cold medicine!!  I ignored advice to bring it — but I wish that I had!)
  • A Great Camera (Iceland is by far the most beautiful place on the Planet!  You must bring a good camera with back up SD cards! It is worth the investment!)
  • Cellphone (In case of an emergency! We bought a cellphone for about $50USD at Vodafone in Selfoss.)
  • Clothes for Layering (You will be hot one minute, and freezing the next!  Layers are key in Iceland!)
  • Hats and Gloves (Atleast 2 of each for longer vacation because if they get wet… you are out of luck!)
  • Rain Panchos (For when the rain is defying gravity and coming at you sideways!)
  • Lots and Lots of Socks (No one wants cold feet!)

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If you haven’t read part I, read it here!!!

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3 thoughts on “The Icelandic Journey Begins: Part II

  1. Thank you for the packing guide! We are leaving for Iceland in May and will definitely be following this! (Didn’t know we could only bring 6.2 pounds of food thanks for the heads up) Did you find you needed a big heavy rain coat/parka for warmth? I’m wavering on buying one but wondering if layering will suffice.
    Cheers!

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