What You'll Need for a 6-Day Road Trip on Iceland's Ring Road

Driving around Iceland's Ring Road is an incredible adventure that you should experience at least once in your life. However, you'll want to make sure you have the right gear and essentials to properly enjoy your trip!

Driving the entire Ring Road over a six-day period requires a lot of planning. From the must-see waterfalls and attractions to the just-of-the-road sites, you'll want to make sure you have everything sorted out ahead of time so that you can make the most of your trip.

Just some of the essentials I took for Iceland

Additionally, everything you bring with you should be thoroughly thought out as you won't want to waste space or bring unnecessary items. Obviously, warm clothing is a must, but it goes beyond that. You'll be driving anywhere from 900-1,200 miles, so you'll want to be comfortable in your clothes. You'll experience very strong winds and on-and-off rain, so protection from these elements is of utmost importance, too.

For a total of six days and five nights, you won't want to use anything larger than a carry-on for all your clothes. Remember, you want to be as comfortable as possible in your vehicle so keeping your clothing and gear to only the essentials is key.

Here's what you'll want to make sure and bring:

Clothing

  • Waterproof jacket - with a hood!
  • Waterproof hiking boots
    • Forsake Range Low
      • Waterproof shoes allow you to take on any puddle/stream/rain you come across without a care in the world.
      My fiance with the Forsake Range Lows at Skogafoss
  • Flexible hiking pants
    • Prana Furrow Pants
      • Remember, comfort is ideal when driving hundreds of miles and hiking over a variety of unique terrain.
  • Face protection - for sun, wind, rain and cold weather
    • Buff Multifunctional Headwear
      • Think of this as a much more feasible scarf for hiking. The ability to cover your whole neck from the wind and quickly cover your mouth and nose is ideal, to say the least.
  • Warm upper body
    • 3/4 zip pullovers
    • Hoodies
    • Sweatshirts
    • Long sleeve shirts
      • I used a combination of all of these (with my rain jacket over the top) and felt perfectly warm each day (we went in May).

Gear

  • Camera backpack
    • Peak Design Everyday Backpack (20 or 30L)
      • If you've got a lot of camera gear you're planning to bring, like myself, I definitely recommend the 30L. It's perfect for carrying all your lenses, batteries, cords, drone, etc.
  • Small tent for two
    • Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2
      • Even if you have a campervan that allows you to sleep inside, I suggest sleeping in a tent for a few nights to get the full Iceland experience! A tent for two is the perfect size to bring along.
      Our set-up the first night of camping, with my parents in the campervan and my fiance and I in the tent.
  • Ultra-light sleeping bags - 30-40°
    • Kelty Tuck Sleeping Bag
      • You'll want a sleeping bag that will keep you warm (in addition to the sweaters and long-sleeves you'll be sleeping in), but one that also packs tight and saves you space.
  • Charges and outlet adapters
    • Type C adapter
    • Power inverter
    • 20-24W car adapter
      • We used a combination of all of these adapters and inverters. Mobile devices will only really need a USB car adapter, but if you bring your laptop, you'll definitely want to bring a power inverter. And of course, whenever you're somewhere with an outlet, you'll want the type C adapter for any charging/power cords you have.

Transport and Food

  • Campervan
    • We went with the VW Caddy Camper Automatic for our trip. Seats 4, sleeps 2. My fiance and I slept in the tent for two nights while my parents slept in the van and loved it. It comes with tons of sidewall storage as well as a cooler for food and drink, a table, chairs, gas stove, cooking utensils and more.
  • Mountain House freeze-dried meals
    • Let me be the first to tell you, these meals are DAMN GOOD. Especially the beef stroganoff and breakfast hash. Freeze-dried meals are perfect for on-the-road eating and will help save you a ton of money since eating out in Iceland can get very expensive. All you need is to boil water, with the help of the included stove in your campervan, and you will have your meal ready in no time!
  • Nature's Coffee Kettle
    • FYI, coffee in Iceland isn't like it is in America. You get an 8oz cup at the largest and it's not even filled all the way. So, your best bet is to bring brew-in-bag coffee. These pack up very small and provide you with 4 cups of coffee each. They taste DELICIOUS and are super easy to use.
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Crackers & cheese
  • Chips

So that's basically it for all the major necessities! I'm a Milwaukee photographer and this was my first opportunity to go to Iceland to photograph it with my fiance and my parents. I planned a ton for it and it worked out great. Hopefully I'll be able to make it back in the future, but for now, enjoy your upcoming trip to Iceland and let me know how it goes!

Published: June 13, 2018

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Jon MattrischExplorer

Milwaukee

Outdoor enthusiast and photographer from Milwaukee, WI. Camping, hiking, exploring, biking and more. I love it all and I try to capture as much of it as possible. Exploring my home state and exhausting all there is to...