Yessss!!! I’m going back to Iceland 😀 I cannot wait. I now have the task of imparting my wisdom onto my fellow traveller. Yup, this time I won’t be flying solo. I will be going with my very own Viking 🙂 So I figured, in the spirit of sharing, I could write a post on clothing. I did read up on clothing before I left the last time. I made some choices and then experience helped me refine those decisions. I will tell you this. Going to Iceland and buying different clothes really made me see clothing in a much different light in the UK. As a country, we dress stupid. I see countless people here underdressing, or making poor choices, and then complaining that they are cold. I don’t think we’ve been educated to look at clothing wisely due to the fact we have constantly questionable seasons. The amount of people I know who have cold-related illnesses, then go out in a thin coat when it is 5c outside… it flummoxes me. Anyhoo, onto my wisdom imparting…
I took two types of boot to Iceland and these were all I needed for everything. One was a pair of lightweight, waterproof, warm boots from Trespass. These I wore during the day when walking or on a tour. They were absolutely perfect for wandering through the shallow waters of a waterfall. They didn’t weigh me down and I stayed super cosy when worn with some thick merino socks. My other boots were thick, fluffy walking boots. I wore these at night with 2 pairs of thick/thin socks while waiting for the Northern Lights.
I took two main pairs of base layer leggings. One pair is merino & stretchy. Great for the days out. The other is thick fleece lined leggings from somewhere like New Look. I wore a normal pair of jeans over the top of these and again, this was perfect. On one day that it was relentlessly raining, I tried wearing waterproof trousers. This was not a good idea. I lasted ten minutes in them. Once they get wet and you sit in them, the water transfers to everything, you get cold, they pull on you when you are walking, and all round it just winds up ruining everything. If it rains, use the car heater to dry you in between stops. On tours I just sat near the front and my jeans dried out pretty quick in between. It kept me mobile enough to walk across rocks etc and continued to keep me much warmer than the rubber trousers.
Like the legs, I kept to merino base layers for the day and a thicker bottom layer for the evening. Merino is amazing for keeping you warm and dry. Check the fabric composition of everything you buy. I aimed for merino where possible although did have to shop around. My day base layer was just a normal long sleeved top. My evening was high neck and longer arms. Don’t go for a thick jumper on top. You still have to move around without looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Aim for thin layers with a good wool or cotton fabric.
I took two coats. One was a highly waterproof lined and slightly longer coat from Trespass. I say at this point, I don’t work for Trespass, nor am I on commission. They do a lot of suitable clothing at reasonable prices, so I did most of my shopping there. This coat however was absolutely perfect for all day wear. It is warm when worn with layers. Extremely waterproof, and I was pelted in high winds while wearing this. Great protection against winds and sooo many pockets. The hood is also fully adjustable so it doesn’t blow away or fall over your face, blinding you.
My second coat was a very long puffa type coat. Extremely thick and cosy. I wore this hunting for Northern Lights. The above coat would not have been warm enough at all. Brr.
I didn’t bother with a scarf in the day. Impending possible rain made scarf wearing unwise. I took a really thick, long one out at night however. Gloves, I took some really thick gloves and didn’t end up using them. Taking photographs all day meant I needed my fingers to be free. So I wore tops with longer sleeves, some with thumb holes. And I put fingerless gloves on first. My hands were toasty and I was still free to snap away. Sunglasses are a must. I wore mine all day the first day. One wooly hat is enough for day/night. Again try for something fleece lined like this one.
Bag-wise. I searched everywhere for a waterproof backpack and really struggled. I did not want to pay over £100 for a bag, which seemed to be all I could find. I ended up getting a regular backpack (from Trespass strangely enough) and then bought a waterproof shell for it. This I could just whip out and cover my backpack when rain came. Then I could hang it up to dry in the van in between trips.
As of this moment, this post is unfinished. I will add more as I think on. If you have any questions, please ask 🙂