The big Iceland packing list: everything you will need for your trip

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Iceland is on top of many people’s travel wish list – no wonder, with such breathtaking scenery the nordic country has to offer. However, as the island is located in the North Atlantic, the weather conditions are a little different to what you might be used to.

Even though the Gulf Stream provides for a somewhat milder climate than you would expect from an island just south of the Arctic Circle, you should still be prepared for moody weather.

Wouldn’t it be really annoying to stand on a beautiful deserted beach and freeze? Whether it’s a camping trip, a bus trip or a week in Reykjavík, here’s what you should definitely pack.

Which bag for your holiday in Iceland?

Iceland packing list rucksack
A rucksack is the better choice for Iceland in most cases.

Which bag you choose for your trip to Iceland depends not least on the nature of your holiday. For a city trip to Reykjavík, a wheeled suitcase might be sufficient. However, you should bear in mind that this is only really practical in urbanised areas.

However, if you are planning a round trip by car or even a camping trip, then you should rather use a rucksack, which is generally recommended for Iceland, especially as most travellers are planning a holiday close to nature.

In terms of size, you should reckon with around 50 to 60 litres. This is partly due to the changeable weather conditions, which require suitable clothing. Even in summer, it is rarely warm and you should be prepared for the weather to change within a few minutes.

Especially if you want to go hiking, you should think about rain protection or a waterproof rucksack. Weatherproof duffle bags, which can be worn as both a rucksack and a bag, are also an option.

Day rucksack for hiking tours or days in the city

Additionally, you should think about a smaller bag that you can take with you on day trips, for example. A small rucksack with 20-30 litres is usually sufficient. You can simply take it with you as hand luggage on a flight, for example, or fold it up and stow it in your main luggage.

Packing list – what you need for your holiday in Iceland

If you’re planning a camping holiday and want to pack for it, you should take a look at our guide to wild camping in Sweden. You’ll find everything you need in the great outdoors or at the campsite. Everything else you will find in the following packing list so that you are ideally prepared.

All year round


  • Functional underwear
  • Swimwear (also in winter because of the hot springs)
  • Hiking socks
  • Long trousers/hiking trousers
  • Comfortable trousers for the flight (for example leggings, which you can wear under hiking trousers if necessary)
  • Sturdy shoes (be sure to run in beforehand)
  • Rubber boots
  • T-shirts/functional shirts
  • Fleece jacket
  • Jumper
  • Scarf
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain trousers (especially helpful if you are looking at waterfalls)
  • Laundry bag
  • Sunglasses (or, depending on what you plan to do, glacier goggles may also be useful)


  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • Shampoo/shower gel
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Cream
  • Towel
  • Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clippers
  • First-aid kit/any necessary medication
  • Contraceptives and pads/tampons/menstrual cup, if necessary
  • Razor, if required
  • Glasses, contact lenses and care accessories, if necessary

Travel basics

  • Waterproof document cover
  • ID card or passport
  • Driving licence (if you drive)
  • Cash in Icelandic kroner
  • Credit card
  • Insurance documents
  • Tickets and bookings (e.g. for flights and accommodation)
  • Maps (for road trips, it’s better to pack offline maps )


  • Drinking bottle for refilling
  • Packing cubes or similar
  • Travel pillow
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Multifunctional scarf/buff
  • Mobile phone, power bank and charging cable
  • Headphones, camera, e-reader, if necessary
  • If you are travelling with a child or dog, think about the appropriate accessories
  • Light books/games for quiet camping evenings

Summer – with minor adjustments from May to September

  • T-shirts
  • Sandals/flip-flops/Crocs
  • Sun cream and hat
  • Mosquito spray
  • Sleeping mask (remember the midnight sun)
  • Thin gloves

Winter – with minor adjustments from October to April

  • Functional underwear/tights
  • Additional jumpers
  • Shoe spikes
  • Gloves, scarf, hat
  • Thick woollen socks
  • Thick winter jacket (waterproof and windproof)
  • Thermos flask if required

Before your trip to Iceland: test your equipment!

Before you start packing, we want to give you a few final tips. The most important one is quite clear: test your equipment before travelling. This is especially true for things like hiking boots or your travel rucksack. No matter how good the quality, if you haven’t used your shoes before your holiday, you’ll have to deal with blisters.

Iceland packing list
Equipment should always be tested before travelling.

You should also test the comfort of your rucksack and filling beforehand. Professional advice is essential here. After all, an ill-fitting rucksack causes pressure points and back pain.

You should only choose outdoor clothing that really meets your requirements. Iceland is a demanding holiday destination, especially when it comes to camping. Rain and windproof clothing is a must. High-quality equipment is more expensive to buy, but will last for many years. If you want to save on your budget, you should therefore plan for the long term and regularly check for offers.

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