Don’t freeze in Iceland. The locals are not kidding when they say the weather’s unpredictable. You get the idea 😀
This packing list is valid for Feb / March, basically when Iceland is still in winter and the temperatures hover around 0 degrees celsius.
It is cold & windy, snow-packed, wet and slippery.
Windproof, waterproof and lightweight are 3 factors that you would want to take note of when you pack for the trip.
1. A set of windproof waterproof outerwear (Jacket and pants)
This set of items is essential, and I was so glad to have a pair of outer pants which I wore over my usual jeans / pants / leggings.
A windproof jacket or windbreaker (to wear over your thick jacket) will be helpful.
We got most of our gear from Northface, and they were pretty awesome, though pricey.
2. Waterproof gloves
These gloves were a life saver for me. And pretty much kept me warm through the week.
3. Hiking boots with metal crampons
Good hiking boots are highly recommended because if you are going to walk / hike for most of the trip, you will want to take each step with minimal fear.
Those ankle boots kept me safe, while walking on icy paths and through snow. Pair them with wool socks.
We got crampons in Reykjavik before we started our road trip, and that was the best decision ever. It was 50sgd for a pair, but I felt really safe with those.
4. A haversack or cabin bag
I had both.
A haversack for daily walkabouts. A cabin bag to contain my daily change of clothes & some necessities.
The cabin bag was good two reasons:
a) To contain an extra heat tech long sleeve top and my main thick jacket while we were flying into Iceland from sunny Singapore.
b) We were on the road, and living in a different place every night except for Seydisfjordur. Packed my clothes in separate packs & dumped two sets into the cabin bag so that I only needed my suitcase every 2 or 3 days.
5. Thick scarf & beanie
Keep your neck and head warm. Enough said.
6. Lightweight heat tech long sleeve tops
They are thin, and warm. I got mine from Uniqlo, usually size S for adults, or get the girl’s size 140 or 150 if available.
Wear one under your sweater if you do not fear the cold.
I wore two under my sweater, throw on a thick scarf and a jacket.
7. Portable power bank
If you are driving, charging your phone on the car can work. However, the phone battery life is shortened in cold weather, so a power bank is a life saver if you depend on it for directions and updated traffic conditions.
(Additional info: I got my 5GB vodafone sim for about 25sgd and this was great for Iceland as we navigated a lot. Made local calls to the different airbnb & hotel owners too as our plans changed throughout the trip).
8. Stainless steel food jar
The idea of being on the road for 4 – 8 hours each day during days of short day light meant that you may not have time to sit down for lunch.
I brought a Zojirushi 0.5L stainless steel food jar and that was good for storing hot soup for the road / or just hot water if you would like.
The soup was still hot after 4 hours. It was warm at 6 hours. Loved it!
9. Snacks (chocolates, chips)
I love Jagabee (Seaweed or original).
He’s more of a chocolate dude.
Sometimes we have fruits (grapes, apples etc).
10. Hand warmers
Last but not least, mini hand warmers (Daiso carries them) to keep my cold cold fingers warm. You can slot them into your boots too if you like.
To be honest, I was vain.
So I had my other pair of boots for the normal shopping / city sight-seeing days in Amsterdam in the 2nd part of the trip.
And it was a good call as the Icelandic folks are a well-dressed bunch, so it wasn’t so that apt to wear your hiking boots into restaurants etc, even though guys may not care as much.
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