It’s official! We’re heading back to Iceland! We definitely couldn’t stay away for too long and we’re looking forward to getting around and doing some of the stuff we did before and a lot more stuff we didn’t get to do the first time around (which doesn’t seem like much as we spent every waking moment going from sight to sight in Iceland). In any case, I’m not one for packing my bags too early however seeing as I have a reasonable idea what to expect I figured I might as well put together a list of the essential stuff that I need to pack for a trip to Iceland in Winter!
Needless to say, you need to pack obvious things like clothes, underwear, toothbrushes…etc regardless of wherever you’re travelling to so I won’t cover those again here. 🙂 Let’s jump right in shall we?
1.) Cameras: I plan on taking my DSLR camera (as per usual) and my Go Pro Hero 4. The GoPro is a must on such an active holiday and I’m really looking forward to using this! I even have a chest harness, GoPro stick and a head strap-on thing so I’m all set on that front for cameras. The one thing I’m realising as we speak that I still need is a spare battery for the Go Pro. I seem to forget to switch the camera off all the time and find that the battery is all drained later in the day. Must get that before we head out. I wonder if I could use those mobile phone battery pack chargers to charge it (you know, like these ones?)
Update: I ended up getting this one and it’s amazing – it lasts ages, charges super-fast and is the most affordable for its capacity.
2.) Coats: In the past, I’ve tended to travel with somewhat ridiculously inappropriate jackets and instead depended on layering to keep me warm (which has often led to me feeling like the Michelin man underneath all those layers so I figured it was high time to get something winter travel/adventure appropriate. Cue the Columbia Turbodown jackets, I got this one, Lloyd got this one. Can’t wait to try them out.
If you look at the older Iceland photos on here like in the glacier post here, you’ll see what I mean about the ridiculous layering. I mean, come on – I actually packed a leather jacket to go to Iceland (and that was the only coat I took as well) I wanna say it was for fashion or some other justifiable reason but the reason I packed it was because I was thinking practically. At the time I had no idea how cold Iceland would have been (the clue was really in the name but I figured I’d be okay). It was warm in the end but not without effort. Can’t wait to try out the new coats. Took it for a test run when it got cold in London recently so really looking forward to it.
(*Update: They were absolutely perfect! They’re soooo warm and toasty, even in the blistering cold.)
3.) Sensible shoes: Again, scroll down on that glacier post and you’ll see the shoes I packed. Definitely not exploring shoes though I did my best with them. This time, I plan on packing sensible walking shoes (like these).
4.) Tripod: An absolute must if you wanna catch the Northern lights (and so much else of course). Fingers crossed they make an appearance but if they do, we all plan on being ready with our tripods! Hopefully it won’t be quite as cloudy as the first time we saw them. (That being said, it was still amazing as it wasn’t cloudy everywhere – just in bits).
5.) Swimwear/Bathing Suits/Bikinis/Speedos: Sounds counter intuitive but one of the best parts of visiting a country with a lot of active volcanos is the presence of hot springs (heated geothermally). Case in point – The Blue Lagoon. I actually plan on packing a pair of speedos (which I bought in Singapore as soon as I realised I would be heading over to The Marina Bay Sands for a mini staycation, and of course, to check out their infinity pool!). Alas, they’re not speedos briefs ( 😉 hehehe!) but they’ll do!
6.) Sunglasses: You wouldn’t think you’d need that in winter but the sun still shines loads in Winter and sunshine on ice can be pretty bright! Another seemingly counter intuitive item but you’ll be grateful for them on bright days, walking on what seems like endless miles of snow (or ice). It doesn’t hurt to stay trendy while you’re at it so pick up a pair of Ray Bans or whatever else takes you fancy. Personally, I like the aviators and the clubmasters (especially the clubmasters – I wanna get my actually reading glasses replaced and I think I’m definitely going for clubmaster frames).
7.) Travel adaptors: Legit travel must-have! Unless of course if you use exactly the EU 2-pin plugs at home in which case you can just skip this one on your list.
8.) Torchlight: This isn’t something I’d usually pack but when you’re out at night in the middle of nowhere with no lights in sight (which you have to be when you need to see the Northern Lights), it does help to have your own source of light. Thankfully, most smart phones have torchlights (or at least torchlight apps) but just in case, you should definitely look to pack a torch. And it doesn’t have to be a big one either – these mini maglite are amazing (and surprisingly affordable)! Got one a few years back and it still works perfectly now! They’re definitely durable traveller’s lights.