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5 Tips to Make Your Iceland Trip Awesome

Exploring in the Arctic can seem like a daunting adventure. Here are a few things I have learned that can make it more enjoyable and comfortable.

By: Eric Bennett + Save to a List

1. Waterproof Everything

What is even more important than warm clothes when going to Iceland, is staying dry. Layer up underneath a very waterproof jacket as well as waterproof pants. While temperatures in Iceland never drop too low compared to other places in the arctic or even in the US, the weather tends to rain 80% of the time with some insane wind. You will also want some waterproof boots since there are lots of puddles and moisture in most areas. Going to sleep with wet socks sucks, trust me.

Jokulsarlon, Iceland

2. Pack Extra SD Cards

If you plan on shooting a lot of Aurora, you will be creating bigger files. The longer your exposure is for, the bigger the file size on your memory card. Besides, Iceland is filled with endless photo opportunities apart from just the Northern Lights. To give you an idea, for a month of shooting, I would take at least 10 32GB SD cards, especially if traveling with a high megapixel camera (36mp+).

Stokksness, Iceland

3. Get a Good Tripod

I know it seems like something you’d rather not spend a lot of money on. All it does is hold your camera. Again, Iceland has some insane wind, especially at night while you may be shooting the Northern Lights. Spending a little extra $$ on a good, sturdy tripod may save your camera from falling down a waterfall, into a puddle, or onto some hard ice. But most importantly, it will save your photos from coming out blurry. 

Jokulsarlon, Iceland

4. Rent a Car

Something both good and bad about Iceland is that typically all the main attractions and places are accessible by car with little or no hiking required. Car rentals in Iceland can be very reasonable, especially if you book more than 2-3 months ahead of your trip. There is very minimal public transportation and you won’t want to be working around their bus schedules. The tours offered in Iceland can also be very expensive. Renting a car is nice to be able to throw wet gear inside instead of a backpack, you can use the heater to warm up, you won’t have to hike around with everything, you can see places on your own schedule to catch sunrises/sunsets and Aurora, and you can also sleep inside it instead of having to set up/pack up a tent every day, which will keep you warmer and save you time on the early mornings. Just make sure you mind any “No Car Camping” signs that you may see placed in certain parking lots, typically in the more popular places.

Unknown, Iceland

5. Get out and Explore 

Iceland has some really iconic places, that we see every day on Instagram and Facebook, which are definitely worth seeing. But I have to say my favorite photos and memories I have from the times I have been to Iceland, have been of places I found by just taking random trails or pulling over on the side of the road and hiking out to something that looked cool. Iceland really has such unique and beautiful landscape, you can’t go wrong, there will always be something cool to find. Just be mindful of the weather and where you are going so you can find your way back if the trail is unmarked, also mind the moss and other flora to not damage it or leave any trace. 

Unknown, Iceland

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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