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Checklist for Hikers

Many tourists in Iceland travel on foot. Some shuffle off to the pool, others stroll down the Laugavegur shopping street, while others actually trek the Laugavegur hiking trail. This article has mainly to do with the serious hikers, who come here to enjoy the beauty of nature, which can also be quite treacherous.

The shorter and more local trails are left out for the most part. Tourist information centres all over the country offer brochures covering the local areas in much more detail. Many of the longer trails tempt the hikers to prolong the hike by staying an extra day in one of the many mountain huts just to explore the immediate vicinity.

In each year of the last decade quite a few serious accidents involving hikers have occurred. The unpredictable Icelandic weather often comes as a surprise, but frequently it is the hiker’s overestimation of his or her abilities or, conversely, an underestimation of the conditions, which cause trouble. All kinds of weather conditions can be expected on most highland hiking trails, and sometimes markers are hidden by snow patches.

Those, who enter ice caves always run great risks, because of cave ins.

In 1970 a few hikers died of hypothermia hiking Mt pass Fimmvorduhals. (A very popular hiking trail between Skogar and Thorsmork).

Remember: Hikers only leave their footprints and only take memories back home!

Hikers Must Registrer at Nearest Departures Points Before Highland Hiking!

Useful links: Highland infornation centres

Equipment list – recommendations for a 3-4 day hiking trip in summer

Clothing:

  • Wind and water resistant coat
  • Wind and water resistant pants
  • Hiking pants
  • Fleece sweater
  • Long johns
  • Undershirts
  • Thin fleece sweater or other sweater for layering
  • Socks (2-3 pairs)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Cap
  • Hiking shoes
  • Clothes for changing or to use after hiking
  • Shoes to wear while fording
  • Personal items
  • Mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Water bottle
  • Maps
  • Compass/GPS !!!

Shared items:

  • Tent
  • Camping gas stove (Primus) and pots
  • Fuel for the Primus stove
  • Telecommunications devices (VHF radiotelephones/satellite phones)

Various items:

  • Earplugs
  • Headlamps
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggle for dust, ash, ect.
  • Camera
  • Pocketknife
  • Cutlery
  • Plate (bowl)
  • First aid kit
  • Bandages for the heels
  • Sunblock (also necessary in Iceland)
  • Toothbrush and toiletries
  • WC paper
  • Reading material/iPod or other entertainment
  • Matches

A kilo of food should be planned for each day and expect that dry food will always be for dinner. More!!

The intended weight of the items in the equipment list is in the range of 15-16 kg; note that this is calculated by assuming two individuals split up the shared equipment. A backpack should not be very heavy so that it doesn’t hamper the experience of the trip. Check your backpack well so that it’s not too heavy. Don’t take anything unnecessary, but do remember to bring the important items.

Remember: Hikers only leave their footprints and only take memories back home!