Iceland is beautiful in many extraordinary ways, but where it really stands apart from other tourist destinations is how easy it is to enjoy the great outdoors. Hopping in a car and exploring a national park or a glacier is beyond simple. So if you have already read my packing list guide for Reykjavik, you are well on your way there. If you plan on hiking, there are a few vital extras you should think about purchasing before your trip. Here are a few of the items that I personally bring along with me when I am hiking in Iceland.
Paracord Nylon Bracelet
If you go camping or hiking enough, then you know there is always something you can improve on in the wilderness with a paracord. They are essential to camping, and they can also save your life. The one that I recommend on Amazon is the Gecko Equipment brand. Not only do they look stylish, but they are also highly functional. The nylon cord is held together with a sturdy stainless steel adjustable shackle. You simply screw the thread into the shackle. You won’t have to worry about a broken clasp or bent piece of plastic. Gecko made this bracelet to brave the elements.
Paracord bracelets can be used in a wide variety of different situations. They can be used for things as simple and mundane as a clothesline for wet clothes when you are camping, or they can be used to craft an effective, potentially life-saving, splint for broken bones. It can be confusing if you have never actually used one. However, I have found useful information here, so you can finally know how to use one and keep it in your trail kit. Let’s all embrace our inner MacGyver.
Headlamp or Flashlight with Extra Batteries
No basic trail kit would be without a headlamp. Headlamps free up both your hands to set up a camp, rummage through your bag when it’s dark, or to discreetly through snowballs at your friends. The last reason is reason enough alone to buy one now. The space they take up in your kit is negligible, and they can last longer than flashlights. It is easy to lose track of time when you are out exploring. Taking a brief break from social media and nagging notifications works miracles on the human brain. It isn’t uncommon for Iceland’s natural beauty to keep hikers out much later than they had originally expected. Buy a headlamp and save yourself the headache of using your iPhone’s flashlight feature in the dark.
Everyone knows that our small island has unpredictable weather. It is no secret that you should always expect a bit of rain. I always recommend first-time hikers in Iceland pick up a study rain cover for their backpacks. One of the main differences between a proper hiking backpack and a day pack is how well they hold up in elements. Rain covers are a thrifty way to reverse engineer your current bag to a proper outdoors trail bag.
Weather-Proof Hiking Pants
Yes, hiking pants do make a difference. I just read your mind. You wouldn’t wear pajamas to a business meeting, would you? Of course not, unless you work as a mattress tester. And if that’s the case, how do I get that job? Hiking pants are constructed with durability and functionality in mind. If you want to change the way you hike or travel outdoors for that matter, then you must invest in picking up a pair. Don’t worry about finding a need for them. Hiking pants are my go-to option for yard work and car repair. I have found Singbring makes an inexpensive and sturdy pair of hiking pants for women and men. They aren’t the most well-known company, but I searched around Amazon and customers were raving about them. I have found them to be highly water resistant, comfortable to wear for long walks, and built from quality materials. Pick a pair to complement your rain jacket (which, is compulsory for traveling to Iceland).
A Bandanna or A Headband
To be honest, when I was younger I thought bandanas looked slightly ridiculous. Now, my bandana never leaves my back when I am exploring Iceland. The paisley bandanas of yesteryear are gone and now we have highly functional, multi-purpose bandanas made from futuristic stretchy and moisture-wicking fabrics. What I think is most crucial about them is they are incredibly convenient. If you’re cold you can wear it as a scarf. Wind blowing debris in your eyes? Turn it into a balaclava. Head feeling a little extra cold? Turn it into a beanie. There are endless options possible for an incredibly simple and versatile piece of essential camping gear.
What to Pack for Hiking in Iceland During the Fall
As always, I recommend downloading Google Maps offline on your phone to keep yourself oriented. Also, you are going to need that camera ready to take tons of photos. Make sure to bring an extra external battery in your trail bag. Usually, I would recommend more gear, but autumn in Iceland is still relatively warm compared to the rest of the year (for Icelanders at least). It sometimes rains cats and dogs here, but you shouldn’t need any heavy duty gear. Just make sure you have plenty of water and layers on for your hike. Happy hiking.
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