What to Pack: Iceland in the Winter


“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” -John Muir

How many times can you hear the phrase, “Are you crazy?” before you actually start to believe that you are? When you hear the word “Iceland,” your mind automatically bolds and underlines “ICE.” No, Iceland is not some inhabited, winter tundra. The weather is about the same as the North-East Coast, with just a bit more snow. I went to Reykjavik in late-December, and I’m going to try to persuade everyone else to do the same because it was beautiful and amazing in every way. I’ll soon be posting my to-do’s for the capital, but until then… Here is my guide for packing in case you decide to take the snowy plunge.

  1. Warm Hat: And make sure it covers your ears! I saw a lot of people wearing ear muffs or ear warmers, but heat leaves your body when the top of your head is exposed. Plus, it’ll cover up a bad snow-filled hair day.
  2. Insulated Socks: No, I do not mean fuzzy socks because trust me… after about 30-minutes outside you won’t be able to feel your toes anymore. I learned that the hard way.
  3. Blanket Scarf: I may be a bit biased because I’m obsessed with these, but they are SO useful. They’re big enough to protect your neck and face from the wind, and can literally be used as a blanket. How perfect for a 6 hour plane ride? Wrap up and be comfy.
  4. Winter Gloves: Do NOT buy those thick ski-gloves if you plan on using your fingers at any point in your trip. Get some nice, warm, but thin winter gloves. I found a great pair at Under Armour.
  5. Waterproof Down Jacket: Trust me, there will be rain or snow so get a warm, waterproof coat. Also, make sure it has a hood! I bought a Columbia, heat-insulated coat.
  6. Duck Boots and Snow Boots: Duck boots are perfect for those “not-outside-too-long” moments. I love the Sperry version. I’d also bring a good pair of snow boots for those longer snow-filled treks. Mine were ordered from The North Face.
  7. Bathing Suit: I almost forgot this one when I was packing. You will likely be going to one of the natural hot springs in the area, or Blue Lagoon.
  8. Thermal or Fleece Leggings: This should be a no brainer but I wore them under my jeans every day.

Some other items that should go in your suitcase:

  • Just a few sweaters: you’ll be wearing a jacket over them 24/7, so don’t worry about repeat outfits.
  • A backpack: whenever I went out for the day, I liked to carry an extra sweatshirt, or socks just incase.
  • An outlet converter: we had an EXTREMELY hard time finding one to fit US plugs. Bring one from home, or buy one in the airport when you land.
  • Decent camera or GoPro: Iceland is gorgeous and your iPhone may not cut it.


Hope this helps!

Always, K.

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