Friday, January 6, 2017

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing – A winter trip to Iceland

December 2016, we visited Iceland. Prior to the trip, the biggest consideration was, what will the weather be like in Winter in Iceland? Considering we were flying WOW airlines (a discounted airline) that charges for each carryon bag and each checked bag, the question was What clothing should we take? While all the web sites say the weather in Iceland is relatively mild but unpredictable, the issue was what the right set of clothing to pack for the winter so we can be outdoors and warm and comfortable. If you’re too cold all the time, you won’t enjoy anything- and you most definitely won’t want to hike on a glacier, go into a lava tube or walk up to a slippery ledge behind a waterfall, and these are the things you kind of need to do to fully appreciate being in Iceland.

A common misconception is that Iceland is unbearably cold in winter. Due to the North Atlantic Drift of the Gulf Stream, winter in Iceland is relatively mild, compared to the extreme temperatures in parts of Finland and Sweden. As luck would have it, the temperatures during our trip were around or below freezing, there was little snowfall but a lot of blowing snow and rain, and we encountered gale strength winds. The combination of blowing snow, rain & hail, and very strong winds often made for near zero visibility, and freezing temperatures.

The good news was that even though we felt bullied around by the winds, we never felt cold given that we were dressed in multiple layers and good winter clothing.

 Suggestions to Pack for Winter (5 day trip)
  • 1 waterproof winter jacket or parka (for other seasons waterproof coat/jacket will be required)
  • 2 fleece
  • 1 dressy sweater
  • 1 waterproof pants /ski pants – I carried my insulated ski pants and wore them over thermal bottoms and was very comfortable. Others in our group carried waterproof rain pants and layered them over thermal bottoms and jeans. They seemed to have been equally comfortable.
  • 1-2 pair pants/jeans (city wear)
  • 3 baselayer thermal bottoms
  • 3 baselayer tops
  • 3 long sleeve tops
  • 3 nice tops
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Underwear
  • 1 swimwear
  • 1 PJ
  • 2 knit caps/fleece caps
  • 1 scarf
  • 2 pairs gloves (waterproof and thick woolen)
  • Makeup, sunscreen, lip balm, other toiletries
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 winter hiking boots
  • Tripod for northern lights and waterfalls
  • Spikes to attach to winter boots (None in our group carried these, but they would have been helpful in the winter)


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kksharma said...

Iceland is an amazing place to visit and it is full with natural things which is one of the best attraction. Stunning photos you shared of that beautiful place.
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