One Week Iceland Packing List: Spring

When I started planning my trip to Iceland, I turned to the internet for help on creating a Iceland packing list. A couple items always showed up (heavy jacket, good boots, and wool socks), but since I was traveling in March with unpredictable weather, it was hard to get a good grasp on what I actually needed and didn’t need. Do I need short sleeve shirts? They take up less room, and I’ll probably be warm enough if it is 40F and I’m wearing a heavy jacket. Should I take an extra pair of shoes to walk around the city in the evenings? Should I pack my zoom camera lens? If you have looked at some of my other packing lists, you know that I like to pack light. In fact, I typically only pack in a standard backpack (that doubles as a day pack) and my camera bag. As my Iceland packing list kept growing and growing, I had to switch out my camera bag for a larger bag. But, after spending a week in Iceland, I found I had several items that I just didn’t use, so I’m creating a new Iceland packing list just for you, so you can pack light and still be confident you are taking all the necessary items. At the bottom I’ve included the items I packed but didn’t use for reference.

Don’t forget to read the Iceland blogs! Golden Circle, Reykjanes Peninsula, A Day in Reykjavik, South Coast

Iceland Packing List

Clothing:

  • 4 Long shirts – More if you don’t like wearing the same shirt twice or you don’t want to wash them out.
  • Sweater
  • 3 Leggings – or long underwear – The weather might be in the 30s or 40s, but the wind was brutal.
  • 2 Jeans
  • 7 Thin liner socks
  • 4 Wool socks – I like Smartwool socks because they are soft and not itchy at all.
  • 8 Undies
  • 2 Bras / 1 Sports bra
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit – No cover up is needed, and no one uses them.

Outerwear/shoes:

  • 3-in-1 jacket  Water and wind proof. My Columbia jacket worked out great.
  • Hat that covers ears – Especially important if your jacket doesn’t have a good, warm hood
  • Scarf 
  • Liner gloves – Preferable a glove you can use with your phone or camera
  • Thick gloves
  • Flip flops – For the lagoons and hostel
  • Boots – Over ankle, waterproof, and good traction. I highly recommend the KEEN boots I wore.

Miscellaneous:

  • Passport/wallet/money – A money belt isn’t necessary.
  • Phone/charger/adapter – A converter probably isn’t necessary but read up on your electronics first.
  • Toiletries
  • Hand/foot warmers – This is especially important if you plan to spend hours outside looking for the northern lights.
  • Kleenex – You will go through more kleenex than you think. Bring 2 packs.
  • Dramamine/excedrine/tums/bandaids/elastic bandage wrap – Funny story about always bringing a  wrap… don’t ask… just do it.
  • Chapstick – Wind burn!
  • Water bottle – The tap water is pure, delicious, refreshing, and free.
  • Camera/cleaning cloth/spare battery/charger/spare card – Because of all the mist from the waterfalls and strong wind across the glaciers and ocean, you will absolutely need a cleaning cloth on you at all times.
  • Tripod – You NEED this if you plan on taking pictures of the nothern lights. Otherwise, you can probably leave this off your list unless you are an avid photographer. Also, I brought along a Gorilla Tripod instead of having to lug around a larger one and it worked out great.
  • Day pack – I used my backpack.
  • Sunglasses
  • Granola bars/gum/snacks/microwave popcorn!
  • Small flashlight – This comes in handy during a northern lights tour when you are walking in the dark and if you are staying ina hotel dorm so you don’t have to wake others up by turning on the room lights.
  • Plastic bag for wet swimsuit

Bonus items if you have room:

  • Towel – I brought a cheap towel for the lagoons only because I had room. The lagoons do rent towels if you don’t want to pack one. Also, I ended up leaving my towel in Iceland for extra room for souvenirs.
  • Underwater camera
  • Thermos for hot beverage
  • Blanket for watching northern lights
  • Rain pants

Item I didn’t use:

  • Hat / Scarf – I still included these on the packing list because I think most people would use them. However, my jacket neck comes up to my chin, and the hood is extremely warm, so I didn’t need the extra hat and scarf.
  • Antibacterial hand wipes  Every place had hand soap which is better than the hand wipes.
  • Portable charger  The hostel, airports, and planes had ample charging outlets.
  • T-shirts – What was I thinking? The brutally cold wind was bone chilling. I wanted long sleeves Every. Single. Day.
  • Extra pair of shoes  My boots were super comfy and warm, so I never changed out of them except to use flip flops at the lagoons and hostel.
  • Rain pants – I also put this one on the “bonus list” because they would have been useful if it had actually rained.
  • Zoom camera lens – I did not pack my zoom camera lens, but I’m listing it here anyways, because I’m happy I ultimately left it off my list. Sure, photographers would have wanted it, but for those of us who aren’t pros, you probably don’t need it. I found myself wishing I had it for a picture here and there, but honestly I wouldn’t have wanted to change lenses in the blowing mist and freezing cold.

 

What’s on your Iceland packing List?

 

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