Packing list – Iceland Photography trip

This is the second post about my trip to Iceland, it’s a packing list of the essentials you should make sure to take with you. You can find the first post about what you should know before going here. A third post about what not to miss is still in the works.

Packing list for a photo trip to Iceland

I’m not going to list everything, but just the essentials you might forget or the things that are specific for Iceland makes.

Háifoss
Háifoss

Packing list – Everyday items

    • Rain gear
      The weather can change quite suddenly, and some solid rain gear is a must. It can get quite windy, so umbrellas aren’t the best.
    • Cold weather clothes
      I was in Iceland in August and September, at the end of the high season. The days were warm and sometimes even quite hot but the occasional bad weather and the strong wind will make you grab for your winter hat and gloves.  The evenings can get quite cold and in addition, if you are camping (like I did) the nights can get very chilly in the tent. As usual, layers work quite well.
    • Good trekking shoes
      In my case, my shoes were a bit on the old side and the sole of one of the shoes came apart. I manged to fix it with tape… 

      packing list essentials - good shoes
      packing list essentials – good shoes
    • Swimsuit
      There are a lot of hot springs. Some are obviously advertised but there are also a lot of hidden ones, so having your swimsuit ready to jump into a hot pool is great.
Hot pool at Krossneslaug near Norðurfjörður
Hot pool at Krossneslaug near Norðurfjörður
  • Black clothesToo look somewhat elegant in Reykjavík take some black clothes even if it is black jeans and a black t-shirt. Icelanders wear black a lot, and you will fit right in.

Photo gear

  • ND filters.
    If you plan to shoot some long exposure shots of all the great waterfalls or some time-lapses, don’t forget your various ND filters.
  • Polarizing filter
    To get beautiful shots of the floating ice a polarizer filter will help. 

    Jökulsárlón
    Jökulsárlón
  • Waterproof/resistant backpack
    The weather can change very quickly especially in the Icelandic Highlands, so a good bag or backpack where you can store your gear and know that it isn’t going to get wet is a must.
  • Extra batteries
    Free wifi (see below) is almost easier to get than finding a plug for long enough to charge your camera batteries. Plus the cold/coldish weather trains the batteries quicker.
  • Extra memory cards
    You are going to take a lot of pictures, and the next store might be a couple of hundred kilometres away.
  • Rags/tissues
    To whip the water droplets and the dust from your lenses.

What you can leave at home

Here are the things I took but that I never or almost never used.

  • Big tripod.
    I took a big Manfrotto tripod that is much more stable than the small Gorillapod I also had with me but because of the size and weight of it, I never took it with me and it spent most of the trip in the trunk of the car.
  •  A special sim card.
    You can get a sim card for your phone easily, and it will probably cost you way less. Also, almost all cafés/restaurants/camping grounds/gas station have free wifi.
  • Camping gear
    Unless you have top-notch and very light camping gear, you are better off renting it in Iceland, instead of paying for an extra bag on the plane. Check out Iceland Camping Equipment Rental’s website for rentals in Iceland.

 

You can find some pictures of my trip here and some of my time-lapses here.

 

If you are looking to rent a home while in Iceland you should check out AllTheRooms which has a list of rentals in Reykjavik and in Vik and some nice tips about traveling in Iceland as well.

 

Don’t hesitate to let me know if I forgot something on my list and let me know what you would like to know for your next trip to Iceland.
Don’t hesitate to share this post if you liked it or if you know somebody that is going to Iceland soon.

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