With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime


What to Pack

Posted by Heliocentrism on February 5, 2018

Monday, September 4th -17th, 2017

The biggest question I had before going to Iceland was, “What should I pack?” Mark and I travel very light so we didn’t want to bring things we didn’t absolutely need. After the trip I have a better understanding of what to bring and I’ll tell you about it. We traveled in September and the weather we experience was all over the place. Sometimes it was so warm during the day we could walk around in t-shirts, but by evening we needed jackets. Other times it was cold and rainy.


  • T-Shirts (4)
    • These were the same quick-dry summer t-shirts I’ve been wearing on the trip so far.
    • Mark bought 2 thermal shirts, but I decided not to.
  • Running Tights (2 pairs)
    • These were simple running tights from Uniqlo
    • I prefer running to regular tights because they are thicker and less see-through when you bend over.
    • I would wear these under my jeans during the day and sleep in them as pj’s at night.
    • I wore one while I washed and dried the other.
  • Jeans (1 pair)
    • These hardly ever got washed.
  • Rain pants (1 pair)
    • These could easily be put on over my jeans.
  • Merino Wool Socks (2 Pairs)
    • I wore one while I washed and dried the other.
  • Underwear
    • I have a little less than a week’s worth.
    • I will happily wear an unwashed shirt or socks as long as they don’t smell, but I refuse to wear the same underwear two days in a row.
  • 1 Merino wool cardigan
  • 1 Fleece jacket
  • 1 Down Jacket
  • 1 Gore-tex Jacket
    • Depending on how cold it got I would wear one, two, or three of the above.
  • 1 Wool Hat
  • 1 Pair of waterproof wool gloves
  • 1 Buff (It’s smaller than a scarf and does a scarf’s job.)
  • 1 Swim Suit
  • 1 Pair of flip-flops (which I hardly used)
  • 1 Pair of water-proof hiking boots

Most nights I hand-washed a few clothes and hung them near the van’s heater to dry over night. Some campsites had coin operated laundry machines. On those nights, all four of us would put our washing together and do a load for about 400ISK. We never paid to have someone else do our laundry in Iceland. That would run us up to 1,600 ISK per 3 kg of dirty clothes.

Only one campsite had a machine dryer. Mostly, they had drying rooms instead, if they had anything at all. We would place our wet clothes in a closet that was kept warm either by a heater or by running the hot water pipes through it. When we hung our clothes in a drying closet, it would always be dry by morning. Shoes can also be place in a drying closet to be dried by morning.


  • Smartphone
    • You can get a SIM card as any convenience store in Reykjavik.
    • Download google maps (The van came with a Garmin, I just liked google maps better.)
    • Download some podcasts and books
  • All the Smartphone accouterments
    • Car charger
    • Regular charger
    • Audio Auxiliary cord
    • Selfie stick (If you’re into that sort of thing)
  • Camera (If you need more than your smartphone)
  • Make sure you have a big enough memory card
    • You can, of course, buy a new one in Iceland, but it will cost you.

Other things to bring

  • A travel clothes line
  • A good dry bag (I mean the really thick ones, not the light weight things.)
    • Put wet clothes in it
    • Keep electronics dry when it rains
    • Wash laundry in it
  • Lotion
    • Your skin will be dry after soaking in the spa

One more thing

  • Rain boots

We were lucky in that it didn’t really rain that much until the last full day we were in Iceland. For most of the trip, it would rain for only a few hours during a hike and then it would just be cloudy for the rest of the day. Many days, we had nothing but sunshine.

On the last full day however, it rained ALL DAY. My water-proof hiking shoes were soaked. The problem was that my hiking boots are water-proof with one serious vulnerability; the part where my feet go. My rain jacket and pants kept a steady stream of water pouring from my back, down my leg, and into my shoes. When I put on the rain pants, I made sure the pant legs hang lower the top of my shoes. But with movement and time, the cuffs would tuck themselves into the shoes and let water flow right in.

It would be too difficult to bring rain boots with me. I would have to buy a pair there and then leave them behind after the trip.


How to get there:

You have to fly or get a boat from Scotland or Denmark.


  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
  • 1777 for weather information




  • Siminn
  • You can easily get one at most convenience stores in Reykjavik.



  • The weather can change quickly. Make sure to dress in layers.
  • Assume that it will rain.
  • It will also be very, very windy.
  • Everything is very expensive in Iceland.

Sundlaugin á Hofsósi

Basic Information



  • 700ISK


  • M – F ~ 7:00 – 13:00 & 17:00 – 20:00
  • Sa – Su ~ 11:00 – 15:00


  • Many tourists come by and take photos, from the outside, of the spa.
  • There are complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby.

Mývatn Nature Baths

Basic Information



  • 3800 ISK (01/01 – 14/05 ’17)
  • 4300 ISK (15/05 – 30/09 ’17)
  • 3800 ISK (01/10 – 31/12 ’17)


  • 12:00 – 22:00


  • This spa has a restaurant.
  • You can order drinks to be brought to you in the pool.

Don’t Miss:



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