WHOAX: ICELAND GEAR GUIDE
YOUR PACKING LIST FOR OUR ADVENTURE THROUGH THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE
Use this WHOAx: Iceland gear checklist as a guide for what to pack, and also use your own best judgement and discretion when choosing exactly what you'll need (no one knows you better than you)! Our biggest piece of advice is to pack as light and smart as possible and bring durable, multi use items.
Keep in mind that Iceland temperatures can vary significantly in September. On any given day, the temperature range can be large, so be prepared for everything from rain to unseasonably cold temperatures. We also recommend that you protect all your gear by packing it in plastic bags - dry clothes make for a much more comfortable hike!
During our hike on days 2-4, our sleeping bags, food, and your additional hiking clothes/gear will be transported by Jeep to the sleeping huts. You will be responsible for carrying your water, snacks, lunch, rain gear, and extra layers in your daypack. On day 4, you'll be responsible for carrying all your additional hiking clothes/gear (barring your sleeping bag), so it's extremely important that for the hiking portions you only pack items that you feel comfortable carrying on your own in your 30-45 L daypack. During the hike, you’ll be able to store additional luggage safely at the beautiful Midgard Base Camp!
FOR HIKING and ICE CLIMBING
Bring something light with a brim for sunny days, and a warm beanie that will cover your ears for colder days.
2 PAIRS OF GLOVES
Bring one liner pair with grips for ice climbing (these can can be worn on the hikes too) and bring one insulated pair, think ski gloves!
2-3 MOISTURE WICKING TOPS
Bring a few lightweight tops, so you can layer and re-wear them.
1 Light wool sweater or fleece
Something you can easily layer on and off as your temperature and the conditions around you change.
1 DOWN OR PRIMALOFT JACKET
1 OUTER LAYER JACKET
A breathable, waterproof and windproof jacket with a hood that you can wear comfortably over all your layers.
1 PAIR HIKING BOOTS
The most important thing you’ll bring! Make sure they are Gore-Tex, have ankle support, and that you’ve broken them in nice and good.
1-2 PAIRS HIKING PANTS
Made from strong and light materials that dry quickly - preferably wind and water resistant.
1 WIND & WATERPROOF PANT
A non-insulated, outer layer pant is a must-have to layer on over your base layers in the case of rain or wind.
ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
1 THERMAL BASE LAYER
A thin, snug fitting, moisture wicking top and bottom set that you can wear underneath everything to regulate your body temperature by keeping sweat away from your skin. We recommend a sport synthetic fabric like polyester or merino wool.
3 PAIRS HIKING SOCKS
Bring durable wool socks in a few different weights - lighter for warmer days, and heavier ones for the nights and if there are colder days. A couple pairs of liner socks are great to help prevent blisters too!
Bring bras that provide support, feel comfortable against your skin, dry quickly and don't bind, smoosh or chafe.
Even better if they’re the quick dry wicking kind! Another stay fresh tip we love is to use ultra thin panty liners that you can easily dispose of and change everyday instead of changing into a new pair of underwear.
GET YOUR ARSE IN GEAR
1 30-45 L DAY PACK
You’ll need a lightweight hiking backpack to wear on the hikes and to carry your water, extra layers, snacks, etc… Something around 30 - 45 L is perfect. We recommend getting one that is compatible with a water bladder and hose, and has a built-in rain cover.
1 WATER BLADDER
Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance! We highly recommend getting a 3 L water bladder with an insulated tube and cap. It’s the easiest way to carry and drink your water, while trekking.
1 WATER BOTTLE
Bring a 1L wide mouth, BPA free plastic water bottle or Nalgene to fill with fresh Icelandic glacial natural spring water.
1 PAIR TREKKING POLES
These are OPTIONAL, but if you like to trek with trekking poles, definitely bring them! We recommend the collapsible kind. Three-section, adjustable-height models are best.
1 RAIN PONCHO
Sometimes it’s too hot and uncomfortable to wear a waterproof jacket, so a poncho is perfect to throw on to protect you and your day pack from water. If you don’t bring a poncho, bring a light weight waterproof jacket.
1 FOUR SEASON SLEEPING BAG
AVAILABLE TO RENT from our partners on the ground for 2000 ISK (~20 USD) per sleeping bag.
1 SLEEPING BAG LINER
This will add an extra layer of warmth at night, and is a must have if you’re using a rented sleeping bag.
1 BUFF OR BANDANA
An all around great item to always have with you, and comes in handy in a lot of ways, e.g. a neck gaiter, headband, sweat rag, etc... If you get cold easily, bring a balaclava too!
1 HEAD LAMP
Important for when the sun sets at camp. Start the trek with fresh batteries, and bring a spare set just in case.
You have to protect your eyes from the sun! Make sure they fit well and are UV-blocking.
You always have to be ready for a spontaneous hot spring!
CAMERA + EXTRA BATTERIES
There are so many amazing photo ops! DSLRs can be cumbersome to have with you while trekking, but nowadays, most smartphones have great cameras and are compact and durable enough to work well in a variety of outdoor conditions. Compact point-and-shoots work well too, just make sure no matter what you choose to bring, that you have spare batteries and/or portable battery chargers. Always pack your electronics in waterproof bags/cases.
ALL THE SMALL THINGS
Common medications you might want to bring along include, pain relievers, anti-histamines, antidiarrheals, etc…
It’s good to have some on hand, but almost everywhere in Iceland takes credit card too.
Bring a Ziploc/waterproof bag to keep it safe and dry. Also, it’s always a good idea to travel with an extra photocopy of it.
We’ll have all this stuff on hand, but make sure you have Neosporin, Vaseline, bug spray, band-aids, moleskin, duct tape, hand sanitizer, etc...
SUNSCREEN + LIPSCREEN
This is a must have for being in the sun all day, even on overcast days!
Don’t forget the essentials like deodorant, sun screen, lotion, lip balm, hair ties, hair brush, face wipes, tampons, contact solution, toothbrush, toothpaste etc…
QUICK DRY TOWEL & WET WIPES
Don't forget about the environment and make sure your wet wipes are biodegradable.
1 LUGGAGE LOCK
Always lock your things! Have one to lock your suitcase that will stay at Base Camp while you’re trekking.
BAGS, BAGS, BAGS
You’ll want to bring along several bags in all shapes and sizes to help organize, pack dirty clothing and gear, and carry trash. Everything from Ziplocks to grocery to garbage bags to stuff sacks.
There’s plenty of hearty food provided at meals, but bring lots of extra snacks. The days can be long and you need to keep your energy up! Bring nutrient rich things like protein bars, trail mix, and bring some of your comfort foods like crackers and candy too! We’ll make snack stops in Iceland as well.
FOR OUR NON-ACTIVE EXPLORING
For the days where we aren’t hiking or ice climbing, you’ll want to pack comfortable leggings, jeans, sweaters, flannels, boots and/or sneakers to hang out in. Also, definitely pack some cozy clothes to slip into for when we return to Base Camp after our adventures. Bring a pair of easy to slip-on shoes to wear around Base Camp as it is not permitted to wear your outdoor shoes inside. There are private shower rooms that will be shared by everyone on each floor, so you might want to bring some flip flops too. You'll be able to all store these items in your suitcase at Base Camp while we're on our hike and out on day adventures. Last, but certainly not least, make sure to pack a swimsuit so you can enjoy the Blue Lagoon, Base Camp's rooftop hot tub and sauna, and other hot springs along the way!