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Guide to camping in Iceland


Iceland is known for its stunning natural beauty and rugged landscapes, making it a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Camping is one of the best ways to experience the country's stunning wilderness and to fully immerse yourself in Iceland's natural environment.

If you're planning a camping trip in Iceland, here are some tips to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable adventure.




Choose the right time of year


Of course, the “right” time of year is totally objective. But it’s important to keep in mind that Iceland's climate can be unpredictable, so it's essential to choose the right time of year for your camping trip. The summer months, from June to August, are the most popular time for camping in Iceland, as the weather is milder and the days are long. However, if you're looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May or September when the weather is still good but the crowds are smaller.

Get the right gear


To ensure a comfortable camping experience in Iceland, it's important to have the right gear. Make sure you have a good quality tent that can withstand the wind and rain, warm sleeping bags, and waterproof clothing. When you research gear you will find this information located in the description of the product or on the products directly.

SLEEPING BAGS: If you get cold easily make sure to purchase a sleeping bag labeled a tier warmer. On our Iceland trip we purchased sleeping bags that were for the exact temperatures projected for the month, and it wasn’t warm enough for us.

TENT: Bring extra tent pegs because the wind at night gets pretty hectic. As mentioned above, make sure your tent is waterproof! When we were there it didn’t rain for long period of time but it did rain a lot.

CLOTHING: Iceland's weather can change quickly, so it's also a good idea to bring layers and be prepared for all types of weather. In the 7 days we were there we were mostly bundled up in several layers - that being said there were 2 days that we wished we brought shorts and a tank top because we were sweating from the heat. I made a blog post dedicated to what to pack, definitely recommend giving it a quick read.

Campsites


Iceland has a variety of campsites throughout the country, from basic to more luxurious options. We didn’t do any luxurious spots so I can’t vouch for those - but I cannot recommend the basic campsites enough! Most of them offer toilets, showers, communal cooking space with a refrigerator, stove, oven, etc. and they are usually in a prime spot where you feel totally immersed in Iceland beauty!

CAR CAMPING: For most of our trip we ended up camping in our rental car. Although we had every intention to camp in our tent, some nights the wind, rain and low temperatures kept us up. Falling asleep to the sound of rain sounded peaceful in theory but in actuality was VERY noisy. The car muffled the noise a bit and kept our body heat contained which kept us warm. And even though Iceland is super safe, being able to lock ourselves in the car gave me an extra peace of mind, so I didn’t sleep as light. Definitely recommend car camping for those crazy weather nights!



Food


I recommend making a grocery list or ideas of meals you want while camping so your grocery shopping trip is more productive. We made the mistake of not doing this and we found ourselves forgetting a lot of little/random items. Not the end of the world as there are gas stations that you can grab some things, but definitely not ideal. As mentioned above, most campsites really provide the basics needed to make a meal - pots, pans, eating utensils, stove, oven, refrigerator. So you can meal plan with that in mind!

Follow Leave No Trace principles


This should be a given but I wanted to include it because I was really impressed by how clean Iceland was. Whether camping or hiking, it's important to practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all trash, using established fire rings or stoves for cooking, and avoiding disturbing wildlife or fragile ecosystems.

Emergencies


Although super rare for anything to happen, it’s always best to be prepared. Bring a basic first aid kit and know some of the local emergency information. Here are some links and numbers that helped me on my trip:

Daily road + weather conditions → www.safetravel.is
Veður app → weather
+354 773 7070 – Our 24/7 breakdown service number
112 – National Emergency Service in case of accident

Camping in Iceland can be a truly unforgettable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the country's stunning natural environment. By following these tips and being prepared, you can fully focus your attention on having an amazing time in the land of fire and ice!

 

MY ENTIRE TRIP AVAILABLE TO YOU


Everything from the bucket list, to the schedule, direct activity booking links, itinerary organization, apps to download, emergency contact numbers.... just about everything!


 




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ABOUT ME

Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! I hope you find value in it! If you're new to seeing my content, Hi my name is Mariah! I love sharing my take on fashion, travel, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, bridal and more!

I have been writing + creating photo/video content since I was about 12 years old (2007) - never in my wildest dreams thinking I could be doing this as a full time job 10 years down the road.

I moved to South Africa shortly after meeting my husband and we got married 5 years later (2020)! We often travel back and forth between Florida, USA and Cape Town, South Africa - both of them home to us.

I have two puppies, Chai + Bentley. And I hope to be telling you about children some day soon!

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