What To Pack For A Week In Iceland | Duesouth Giveaway

I’ve just returned from a 9-day road-trip across Iceland with two of my besties (Natalie of Tails of a Mermaid and Camilla from All Dolled Up) and I can’t quite shake that magical feeling I had on our adventure. Isn’t travel wonderful in that way? It somehow reawakens a sense of wonder that we lose as we get older and it’s why I think travel is essential for everyone.

I’m busy working on a mammoth blog post that’ll hopefully inspire you to visit Iceland and help you plan every detail of your trip. I thought I’d kick-start the series with a guide on how to pack for a wintery week in Iceland, a critical part of the adventure!

Because soggy socks and broken ankles are not a vibe.

Travel Details

Dates: March 14-24

Season: Spring

Temperature – Reykjavik: 4° average, high of 6°, low of 1° (note, the highs in summer in Iceland are only around 14°). We did experience negative temperatures in the north and along the East Fjords.

Why visit in March: While it’s a little breezier than the summer months, you’ll experience snow-fall, the mind-blowing Northern Lights and enjoy fewer crowds and lower prices

Luggage

If you’re flying economy class, your international baggage allowance is 23kgs; be aware of domestic flight allowances as some flights only allow 20kgs and no one wants to start their journey overweight. Save that for the carbs you’ll be eating on the other end. Read: geothermally baked bread. OMG.

I bought a North Face duffel on wheels from Duesouth for the journey and it served me perfectly. This bag is the ideal size and weight at 155 litres, it’s also water-proof, hardy and has loads of nifty compartments for things like wet swimming costumes. Believe me, you’ll be spending a lot of time in piping hot geothermal pools. This duffel also has side-straps that allowed me to attach my tripod to it; hands-free is key! If you’re road-tripping Iceland you’re not spending more than one night per location so make sure your luggage is light, small and nimble. Aim for a packed weight of about 18kgs for a trip of similar length; if your bag is weighing more than that you’ve over-packed.

I also bought the North Face Borealis back-pack to use as a day-pack to house my essentials: laptop, camera, water canister, jacket, hat and gloves. Because I’m a nerd and also super sentimental, I got the limited edition green version inspired by the Northern Lights to always remind me of this special adventure.

If you’re unaware, Duesouth has an online luggage store called Duesouth Escapes which is where I bought my luggage for the trip. There are also some major end of season sales happening on the site right now (33% off the North Face duffel I bought, for example, and 50% off your second piece of luggage when buying two), so go take a look.

If you’ve travelled to a cold climate before you’ll know layering is key. Tights or Long Johns and vests are essential and you can add and remove layers to insure you’re warm and snug enough. The unexpected benefit of visiting Iceland in winter/spring is it’s so cold that you don’t sweat (well, we didn’t anyways) which means being able to re-wear a lot of your layers without smelling like the fermented shark we tasted in Reykjavik. I’ve linked to my favourite items I bought at Duesouth below.

Clothing

  • Take enough pairs of thick, warm hiking socks. These, coupled with your hiking boots, will be your wardrobe staple and savior
  • Invest in some good, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots. These were a bit of a splurge but were worth every Rand I spent on them. Most of Iceland in the winter is snowy, icy or wet so get over the idea of looking Sandton fabulous and embrace your hiking boots; think of it as work on the bottom and party on top.
  • If you’re not hiking through deep snow you don’t need waterproof pants. I wore jeans throughout the trip and they were both warm and comfortable for long journeys in the car. We wore jeans on our ice-cave adventure into the Jokulsarlon glacier and jeans were fine for this.
  • A down puffer is a great piece of clothing to take along as they’re super warm, light-weight and take up very little room
  • A water-proof jacket is critical as you can experience every weather condition imaginable in a day and being caught in the rain is no fun
  • Don’t bother with pretty or fancy things for all those fireside dinners you’re imagining. I packed a few fancy jerseys for the odd meal out and they stayed at the bottom of my bag.
  • Vests, long sleeve tees, flannel shirts and sweaters are perfect for layering whilst still looking relatively stylish in your snow-garb. Invest in one good gilet to add a bit of warmth and style; these are great because they don’t restrict your arm movement and you can easily hop in and out of the car without having to jacket-up each time.
  • Don’t pack your favourite swimming costume; the sulphur and minerals in the geothermal pools can leave a permanent stinky little reminder of your magical time in Iceland. No one wants to throw away a gorgeous new Seafolly swimmer.
  • You’ll only need 3 pairs of shoes: hiking boots, sneakers and flip-flops. Leave everything else at home.

Accessories & Other Bits

  • Pack sunglasses, the snowy glare can be pretty strong, especially if you’re in the driver’s seat
  • A few hats, buffs and scarves are a must! The wind-chill factor can make it really nippy outside and no one wants an ear infection in the middle of nowhere. Another great way to keep warm and add a bit of style to your getup.
  • Gloves that allow you to operate a mobile-phone touch-screen are another nifty thing to have, especially if you’re taking snaps on your phone
  • Don’t bother with jewellery, you won’t really have an occasion to wear it unless you’re going out for a nice dinner in Reykjavik
  • If you’re planning on photographing the Northern Lights you’ll need a camera and a tripod; smartphones without star-tail capturing technology like the Huawei P9 won’t capture them and you don’t see the magical green colours with the naked eye. A tripod and a camera remote are a great way to capture your adventure and ensure you’re all in the photograph. My new Fuji X-T10 was the perfect camera for this trip and the free Fuji smartphone app allows you to sync your phone and camera, using your smartphone as a remote and also to share photographs via creating a WiFi network between your phone and camera.
  • A spare camera battery, memory card and a power bank; you may be on the road for ages before you’re able to charge-up again
  • A medical-aid kit with a course of antibiotics. The constant transition from the icy outdoors to the warmth of the car or hotel is a recipe for a cold, sore throat or an ear infection. Getting ill overseas is the pits, so pack a little emergency medical-aid kit and hopefully you won’t need to use it.

I must end by saying that I think we packed really well for this trip. I never felt ill prepared, wet nor cold, and because you’re geared for the weather it’s completely manageable, fun even. Snow is novel to those at the tip of Africa and I absolutely loved it, even the part where we had to run through a snow storm in bikinis and negative temperatures from the changing rooms at the Myvatn Nature Baths to the geothermal pools.

It’s all straight out of a fairy-tale, especially in the spring and wintertime.

Giveaway

I’m giving away 5 x R1000 vouchers to spend at Duesouth and Duesouth Escapes. Entering is easy and just three quick steps:

    1. Hop onto the Duesouth or Duesouth Escapes website and pick an item you’d love to add to your wardrobe or travel repertoire (this can be clothing, footwear, luggage, gadgetry, anything!)
    2. While you’re there, subscribe to the Duesouth newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the website and enter your e-mail address, you can unsubscribe at any time)
    3. Comment on this blog post and let me know which item you’re lusting after, confirming that you’ve also subscribed to the Duesouth newsletter. Don’t worry, your e-mail address will not be published. 

Competition closes 30 April 2017 and winners will be announced Monday 1st May 2017. Winners will be selected at random and prize fulfillment will be managed by TFG. Fingers crossed! Be sure to check out Natalie’s post and giveaway at Tails of a Mermaid to double your chances of winning.

Brandslut xoxo

109 Comments


      1. I would love the North Face Men’s Millerton Jacket and yes, I’ve subscribed to the Duesouth newsletter


    1. Wow, your trip looks amazing, can’t wait for the full blog post.
      Winter is coming, I have subscribed to the Duesouth newsletter and I love the Columbia Women’s Pardon my Trench Jacket – Natural


    1. I’m so lusting over the HI-TEC WOMEN’S LADY LEERO 3IN1 JACKET-GREY

      Also I’ve subscribe to the duo south newsletter 😁😁


    1. I’m one of four chaperones accompanying over 40 girls on a tour to France in August. I would so love the AMERICAN TOURISTER BON AIR TSA 75, to pack everything I need and bring home lots of pressies, and THE NORTH FACE BOREALIS GREEN day pack for all essentials (tissues, wipes, camera!) to have close at hand (I’m sure I will need it!)
      Subscribed:)
      http://www.duesouthescapes.co.za/pdp/american-tourister-bon-air-tsa-75/_/A-194218AAAA4
      http://www.duesouth.co.za/pdp/the-north-face-borealis-green/_/A-194211AAAE9


    1. First off, I miss your Icelandic instastories! My favourite bits were Camilla’s rapping. I’m so bummed your trip is over – it looked absolutely incredible. These are great tips (especially not to ruin your favourite cossie in the thermal pools!)

      I’ve been lusting after that Twill Gillet ever since you posted it! (http://www.duesouth.co.za/pdp/duesouth-women-s-washed-twill-gilet-with-fur-trim-dark-rouge/_/A-192718AAAP7)

      Also, Jekyll And Hide Montana Sml Backpack: http://www.duesouthescapes.co.za/pdp/jekyll-and-hide-montana-sml-backpack/_/A-192818AABU7

      Signed up, and ready for your next adventure :)


    1. Hi There,
      I love travelling! I totally agree with what you said “It somehow reawakens a sense of wonder that we lose as we get older”.
      I followed your trip on Instagram and was amazed by what you experienced. Iceland was never on my to see list but thanks for changing that:)
      So when we travel we generally turn into explorers (hahaha so I think). I have a hiking bag that’s not as good as it should be and generally hurts my back after a while. I really need to upgrade my travel bag before my next adventure…
      I’d buy the DUESOUTH BLYDE 65L HIKING PACK, looks comfy and functional.


    1. Subscribed and am lusting after A LOT OF THINGS…namely: Thule OR North Face rolling duffel bags (desperate need for work and play), Northface Gym trench rain coat OR Due South Parka , Northface tri climate evolve jacket and and and…..


    1. Signed up. I’d love the FUJI FILM INSTAX MINI 8. Photos are very important to me. They keep memories alive forever!


    1. I’d LOVE to add the SAMSONITE OCTOLITE 68 (suitcase) to my ‘travel repertoire’! I’ve had such problems with wheels on suitcases (always getting stuck/stiff and breaking) but these looks really durable and easy (and lightweight) to pull it in any direction. I’m also loving the colour white (which is quite hard to find in a suitcase), it’s also easier to see on that black conveyor belt in airports!!
      http://www.duesouthescapes.co.za/pdp/samsonite-octolite-68/_/A-194218AAAH4


    1. Wow wow wow Brandslut you totally rocking the snow princess look! Gorgeous! Loved this post -Found it so helpful! Planning my solo trip soon! Really eyeing new solomons: http://www.duesouth.co.za/blp/salomon/_/N-1z140k8#p=1&e=1z140k8Z28bl&f=sku.activePrice%7CBTWN+89+3999 :) I heard in Iceland instead of saying that you are going to flirt with somebody in Iceland, you tell people that you are going to give someone under the foot. This is a nicer phrase for flirting: Carla was totally giving you under the foot! Guess she will do anything to get her own feet covered with the help of a little voucher! Hehehe – subcribed! Xxxxx


    1. THE NORTH FACE WOMEN’S EVOLVE TRICLIMATE JACKET

      North Face is a must have brand

      Subscribed!


    1. Subscribed to newsletter :) I’m lusting after this beautiful gilet. It would be perfect to make me feel like red riding hood in the snow when we visit Canada. http://www.duesouth.co.za/pdp/duesouth-women-s-washed-twill-gilet-with-fur-trim-dark-rouge/_/A-192718AAAP7

      I loved your posts of your Iceland trip and it is definitely on my bucket list. Experiencing -49°C with wind chill in Canada a few years ago, my memories of the snow are still vivid and I can’t wait to experience its magic again.


    1. Subscribed!
      Omg LOVE the….
      THE NORTH FACE WOMEN’S THERMOBALL PUFFER JACKET-BLACK/WHITE
      Deevine 😍😍


    1. I lived in Finland for three years and your trip made me feel super nostalgic for the nordics. Sooooo beautiful. Subscribed to newsletter. I would love the The North Face Women’s Thermoball Puffer Jacket. Too pricey for me to afford. But divineeeeee.


    1. I Abso-bloody-lutely adore the DUESOUTH WOMEN’S WASHED TWILL GILET WITH FUR TRIM-DARK ROUGE 😍😍
      I have subscribed to the newsletter.


    1. The JEKYLL AND HIDE MONTANA TRAVEL BAG is my ultimate! Beautiful and practical.

      Subscribed to the newsletter.


    1. Loved following the trip! Love this –> Duesouth Women’s Parka Rain Coat-tan.
      Subscribed to the newsletter too.


    1. Wowee it looks cold brrrrrrrrrr!!! One thing I can’t stand is a sore neck, it puts me in an instant back mood when I’m travelling, so I’d love love love this DESIGN GO MEMORY PILLOW from Duesouth Escapes. Subscribed to their newsletter!!!


    1. I would use/need/love the Duesouth lifestyle core backpack, love the purple colour.
      Useful and stylish!
      Subscribed too :-)


    1. Great blog, if I get the voucher, I will use it to buy the ADIDAS MEN’S SUPER LIGHT DOWN JACKET-BL


    1. I’m a Capetonian girl, living in Stockholm for 3 months on a work exchange – and my NEXT TRIP IS TO ICELAND!! (Thank you for your response on Instagram re the ring road, BTW) I loved following your Iceland antics on your/Due South’s Instagram.
      My visit is in Spring, when then snow will be a little slushy (and I’ve learned the hard way that soggy, slippery shoes can really impact your experience/damage your ego) so top of my covet list are the:
      http://www.duesouth.co.za/pdp/hi-tec-women-s-kono-espresso-1-waterproof-suede-sherpa-hiking-boot-tan/_/A-192927AAAS0
      …. and maybe also the Women’s Parka Coat in tan.

      PS. I’ve subscribed to the newsletter!


    1. What a great read- absolutely loved your most recent post about your trip too. Never thought of visiting Iceland but it’s definitely on my list now!
      I love traveling and have been in serious need of a new backpack after my last trip- the Due South lifestyle backpack and Adidas classic backpack are both great!
      Looking forward to your next post :)
      Lauren


    1. I have subscribed and would love the O’Neil boyriend jacket 😄


    1. O’NEILL WOMEN’S BOYFRIEND PUFFER JACKET would definitely be on my wishlist and I have subscribed.


    1. Subscribed!
      Also – who wouldn’t want the “COLUMBIA WOMEN’S NEWTON RIDGE PLUS LEATHER HIKING BOOT CHOCOLATE” 👌🏻


    1. Love the Levi men’s 541 athletic straighten-car club dark wash. Very trendy. Subscribed.

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