At times it is hard to know what to put in your backpack. It can´t be too heavy and you should bring everything with you that you will possibly need in the middle of nowhere. So, here are a few ideas that might help you out:

  • First of all, for day trips: just about a 30 L backpack should be enough. For longer trips: At least 60 L. “60 L sounds so heavy, as heavy as I am!” Yes but the trick is to wear the backpack right.

  • Extra socks and gloves/mitts in case your main pair gets wet

  • An extra insulation layer to not cool down when you take a break or when it is very cold outside

  • Food, snacks and energy bars when hiking –especially in cold conditions- your energy needs double (men 5000 kcal, women 4000 kcal). Eat at every break! For energy bars, snickers are the best: they are cheaper and taste better than specific energy bars. The caramel and chocolate give immediate energy while nuts provide long-term energy. Dark chocolate is also quite good for immediate energy. Plus chocolate releases endorphins in your body which makes you feel happy. Minimum 1l (but better 2 or 3 l) or drinks when it freezes, drinks are better warm. Take care your drink doesn’t contain dehydrating ingredients such as caffeine! To make sure your drinks don’t freeze, wrap them in an insulation sleeve (you can use your extra insulation layer for that).

  • In non-freezing conditions, drinking bags with a tube (such as camelbag) are very comfortable, since you don’t always have to unpack your bottle.

  • Pocket knife, for example a Swiss army knife. They are good for anything from preparing your sandwiches to building a shelter when needed.

  • First-aid kit + personal medication. An accident happens very easily. Be prepared.

  • Spikes

  • In Iceland, it happens quite often that you have to cross ice fields or slippery parts. Spikes are a very light version of mountaineering crampons that fit over every shoe. They provide a lot of extra grip on slippery parts.

  • ID, phone and essentials. Aren’t you always obliged to have them with you? Bring a phone so in case something happens you can contact 112 for help.

  • A lamp in winter time, there is not much of light time. A lamp will help you find your way. Headlamps are very easy to wear when you are hiking: they always beam in the same direction as your head.

  • Sunglasses and sun cream to protect your eyes and skin from sun. Especially important when you walk on ice!! Ski goggles are also good, especially in stormy conditions.