How To Pack Light: Iceland In Winter

My favorite part of travel preparation is packing. There’s nothing better than having everything you need in your backpack. Below I’ll detail how to pack light when winter gear is a necessity. Here’s the list of stuff I’m working with:

iceland packing list
Throughout the last month I’ve used a basket that I had laying around the house to corral all of the random items I didn’t want to forget to bring to Iceland, like the two waterproof cameras I’m looking forward to using in hot springs or the plug converters we ordered to make sure we remain plugged in.

This tactic eliminates the need to remember everything all at once, if you’re someone like me who will remember things at completely irrelevant times.

iceland packing list

For a ten day trip to Iceland in the dead of winter, I decided that my trusty backpack, a large purse, and a cross-body bag were sufficient for carrying all the things. I packed the cross-body bag for later use in and around Reykjavik. For the purposes of travel I decided to stick to just the backpack and large purse.


I like to use the two mesh laundry bags that I wash delicates in as packing cubes for underwear/bras/socks/bathing suits. It keeps all of the small items together in a non-rigid way that makes them easy to pack.

iceland packing list

Now that my packing supplies and unders are accounted for you can take a look at what the bulk of my clothing ended up being below. It doesn’t look like much but it never does until it’s all shoved into a smal space next to all the toiletries and a big pair of boots. 

Everything fit comfortably in my 43-L backpack but I don’t have any space for bulky souvenirs. Luckily my husband planned ahead for souvenir space in his luggage!

iceland packing list     

iceland packing list
 Finally, below is what I chose to wear on the plane. The travel outfit should always be strategic, plan for comfort, but also plan on wearing some of the bulkier items you need to bring to make your life easier when packing.

I chose to wear the brown pair of snow boots pictured above, and my thicker winter coat so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to pack them.

iceland packing list

 One last comment on luggage: If you’re not sure if you’re going to want to check your backpack, make sure you have some way to secure the zippers so nothing comes open should you decide to check it. 

That can be some form of travel lock, maybe a big drawstring bag to go over the whole thing, or even just the rain cover if one came with the backpack.

One last comment on packing: As much as I love putting a ton of thought into what I’m going to bring on a trip, it doesn’t seem to matter that much as long as the basics are present. Forgetting something usually isn’t the end of the world, and a replacement can be found if it’s important. 

This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later,



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