What to bring?

The difference in hiking and trekking in Iceland as compared to other parts of the world, boils down to the weather and the wind. The Icelandic weather is utterly unpredictable and changes all the time. The only predictable thing about the Icelandic weather is the wind, as it is almost always windy. Thus it is not uncommon to experience snow storm in July or thick fog when the weather forecast predicted sun!

Because of this, hikers should always bring the same basic items along in their backpack, no matter the season, the weather, or the length of the hike. These basic items include some kind of navigation equipment (GPS, map and compass) and wind- and waterproof clothing. Other equipment depend on your personal needs, length of the trip, weather forecast and the time of year.

Please note that when staying in huts in Iceland, you will need to bring with you both a sleeping bag and your own food as you can not buy hot ready-made meal at the huts. Read all about Icelandic huts.

In the equipment lists below you will find information about the equipment we recommend you bring with you for different types of hiking tours in Iceland.

Hiking in Iceland

Hiking for a Day

A day hike can vary from a two hour stroll up a nearby hill to a strenuous eight hour hike. Regardless of the length, in many respects, the equipment in the day pack stays the same.

Equipment list for Day Hikes.

Serviced Hiking and Base Camp Hiking

In serviced tours, the luggage (sleeping bag and food) is transferred by car between accommodations. This means that the hiker only has to carry a light day pack. Base Camp hiking refers to tours where the hiker stays at the same place but hikes in various directions from the base camp carrying a light day pack.

The accommodation can either be in huts or in tents.

Equipment list for Serviced and Base Camp Hiking.

Backpacking and Trekking

Backpacking and trekking means that the traveler is carrying all the equipment on his back, such as sleeping bag, food, cooking equipment and the like.

The accommodation can either be in huts or in tents. Please note, that when staying in huts in Iceland, you will need to bring with you both a sleeping bag and your own food.

Equipment list for Backpack Hiking.

Glacier Hiking or Skiing

When hiking on a glacier, one needs to pack somewhat differently as no one should set foot on a glacier without proper safety equipment. The necessary glacier equipment makes the backpack a bit heavier.

Equipment list for Glacier Hiking or Skiing.