Iceland Winter Packing List

This lockdown I have been working and reminiscing of my previous travels, thinking of where I will go when it is safe.

At the start of 2020, I stood staring up at Hallgrimskirkja as the church bells and fireworks rang through the sky. 

That trip was my first deep winter adventure trip through Iceland (you can read more on Reykjavik on a Budget). We spent two weeks driving the southern coast of Iceland, snorkeling, taking pictures of waterfalls, and exploring ice caves. I will write more about those adventures later. Living in the Pacific Northwest I had to do a lot of research on what to pack to keep warm. I try to only travel with a large carry-on backpack and convertible purse. This list is what I decided to pack:

  • 1 outer sweater
  • 3 undershirts/tank tops
  • Winter hat
  • Scarf and/or buff
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Fleece jacket
  • Winter snow coat
  • 1 pair fleece-lined pants
  • 1 set of sleepwear
  • 2 pairs of fleece socks
  • Fleece-lined leggings
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Thermal undershirt
  • Toiletries
  • Tide Pods
  • Ice cleats (Important!)
  • Waterproof case for phone
  • Thermos
  • Refillable water bottle
  • 2 pairs of good boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand warmers

While in Iceland, I found it difficult to find laundry services. There were times when we had to either hand wash, hoping it would dry in time, or rely on someone bending the rules. With that in mind, if I were to travel to Iceland again I would do more research on laundry and plan to handwash more. The Tide Pods were great for hand washing clothes and did not take up space in my quart-size liquid bag.

Sitting in a Viking restaurant

I ended up buying an amazingly warm Icelandic sweater and puffin headband that I wore for most of the trip! I hope to return to Iceland and rent a campervan to see more of this beautiful country

I wish it was cold enough at home to wear my puffins more often!

I found these ice cleats very useful on our hike to a more secluded waterfall! The only time I fell on this trip was when I forgot them in our hotel…

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