A year ago, I was busy planning my family’s trip to Iceland. We decided we were going to drive around the Ring Road. As we were a family of five, we were on a tight budget. We decided to camp for most of the nights on the road and stayed in a couple of hostels. We distributed our camping gear as we were allowed to check in one bag for free.
We brought our own utensils, plastic dishes, knife, spatula and ladle. My mother also packed a big box of spicy noodles, and tuna packets. We were at first annoyed since it just made our bags heavier, but mother knows best. That’s what we basically ate for breakfast. She also packed a good first aid kit complete with icepacks and ace bandages which we used when Mark’s sister sprained her ankle.
You won’t see a stove on the list below. It was recommended to use a Coleman stove since it was widely used in Iceland. Instead, we brought a Greatland single burner propane stove, which didn’t fit the gas canisters they had in Iceland.
A month before we left, I was on a buying frenzy to get all our camping gear for Iceland. As I was busy working and didn’t have time to go out shopping, I bought everything online. Most of the things we brought to Iceland were bought from Amazon. Below are the items we bought from Amazon for Iceland with a mini review. The first number indicates how many we brought with us. We brought so much stuff we had to upgrade from this car to this one to fit comfortably.
2 – Eureka! Apex 3XT Tents
I wanted something cheap, lightweight and easily assembled. The tent also needed to be able to handle the changing weather in Iceland. The tent fit three people snugly, and comfortably for two. Iceland was cold even during the summer months. Our brother and sisters were in one tent, which they found to be warm. As for Mark and I, our tent was a little cold because there were only two of us. The tent was easy to set up and pack. Our first night in Iceland, we arrived at 1am. We were able to pitch our tent for the first time with little noise in less than 5 minutes.
I had mixed feelings about the tent. There were times when it rained in Iceland, and moisture droplets seeped in. I’m still trying to figure out why it happened, because I sprayed the tent with 2 coats of water repellant and used a tent floor sealant before we left NY.
5 – Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Mattress
The lightweight mattress resembled the egg crate pads I used when I went to college. It was a bit bulky, but surprisingly we were able to fit all 5 mattresses in our bags. It wasn’t comfortable and it took several days to get used to. This primarily functioned as insulation against the cold ground.
5 – Suisse Sport Adult Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable Sleeping Bag Blue
Overall, we liked this sleeping bag. It was lightweight and compact. It was amazing how this adult size sleeping bag was easily able to compress down to a tiny roll. It took up very little space which was very important to us. As for its warmth, everyone else stayed warm and cozy, and often found themselves sweating. On the otherhand, I couldn’t tolerate a little cold temperature. I had to put on so many layers just to stay warm while sleeping at night.
1 – Texsport Black Ice The Scouter Hard Anodized Cook Set
This was a good cooking set. It was the perfect size for our family of five. It was lightweight, and stackable it took very little space. We were able to cook many meals with just this set.
5 – XL MICRONET Microfiber Towel
I’m a big fan of these towels. I usually take microfiber towels when we travel. It absorbs water very well, dries easily and takes very little space. It isn’t soft and fluffy like your normal towel and takes time to get used to. I like the XL size since it covers more. Usually Mark and I have our own towels, but there are times when we’re down to one and it surprisingly able to absorb all water.
4 – Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask
Velvety soft, this mask was useful in getting a good nights sleep in Iceland. We went during the summer, which basically means the sun never sets. For those who need complete darkness inorder to sleep, this is a must when traveling to Iceland during the summer.
1 – XS Sierra Designs Women’s Hurricane Pant
There’s an Icelandic saying, “if you’re not happy with the weather, just wait five minutes and it’ll change.” Knowing that, I tried to prepare for the possibility of rain by getting myself some rain pants. It came with its own pouch, and once again took very little space. I wore this several times in Iceland, and not only did it work to keep me dry, but it also acted as my windbreakers and kept me warm. Size wise I bought the XS. I’m 4’11″ and about 105 lbs, the pants fit perfectly.
4 - Wigwam Unisex Merino Comfort Hiker 2-Pack Sock
Yes, I bought 4 pairs of these socks. I easily get cold, and keeping my feet warm and comfortable is a must. I’m all about foot comfort and care when traveling. These sock did not disappoint, and I love using them during the NY winter.
1 – Revolutionary, Patented SLEEP MASTER Sleep Mask
I have difficulty falling and staying asleep. I need complete darkness inorder to fall asleep. It’s a shame that I only discovered sleeping mask a year ago. I’ve tried several since then, but this is my favorite sleeping mask. The satin fabric feels soft and blocks out light completely. It also doesn’t apply pressure on my eyes, which was a problem with other eye mask.
1 – pack of Hearos Xtreme Protection, 14-Pair Foam (Pack of 3)
I call this product, “the marriage saver.” This is another product I can’t believe I’ve only recently discovered. Yes, thanks to Iceland I’ve discovered some new products I can’t believe I’ve never used before. I’m a light sleeper and a slight noise can prevent me from falling asleep. I’ve spent so many nights tossing and turning because I couldn’t tune out outside noise. I brought this with me to Iceland, because EVERYONE in my family EXCEPT me snores. I find this ear plugs soft, easily fits in my ear and greatly reduces the noise. So snore away Mark, I can sleep undisturbed.
1 – Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude IV Hiking Boot
My brother loved this boots. It was comfortable for him, and good support for hiking. His feet remained dry as he walked through small streams and icy cold water of Jokulsarlon.
1 – Hi-Tec Women’s Montclair Mid Hiking Boot
I bought this boots for my sister, and I wished I got this boots too. My sister wore this boots everyday in Iceland. It was a bit tight at first, but easily broken in. We went hiking to the hot springs the first day, and by the end of the hike it was broken in. Overall it gave her proper support and comfort, especially during our glacier hike. She just wished it was waterproof.