The Nordic Explorer

The Nordic Explorer

Autumn packing list for Iceland

The autumn packing list for Iceland is quite similar to the summer edition. The biggest difference is that you will want to add more layers when exploring Iceland during autumn.

Which months is the autumn packing list for Iceland good for?

Autumn in Iceland starts in late august and lasts until late October. However, sometimes the first snow falls already in October! Consider this packing list good for:

  • Late august
  • September
  • Early and mid October

Visiting Iceland earlier? Then you should check out the Summer packing list for Iceland instead.


Let’s start with he most important thing: Your outerwear. The autumn packing lists includes a waterproof shell jacket that will endure heavy rain and wind. Yep, autumn in Iceland equals more wind compared to summer. If you don’t have a shell jacket consider using a ski/snowboarding jacket. As long as it is waterproof and you are able to add a lot of layers underneath it.

A part from a waterproof jacket it is highly recommended to bring a packable thermo or down feather vest. It is without doubt the best thing to keep warm underneath your shell jacket.

The autumn packing list for Iceland of course also includes warm accessories. Make sure you pack a headband/beanie and scarf or even better: Invest in a light weight merino wool Buff or two to use as headband/scarf/beanie. Bring light gloves as well. If you are going whale watching make sure to bring light weight/inner gloves and a pair of mittens as well. Your fingers get really cold when your are out sailing.


Temperatures start to drop quickly in Iceland once it is late august or start september. Therefore, you should bring not only thermo layers for your upper body, but also thermo pants. These will keep you nice and warm throughout a day of exploring on colder days. Combine your thermo pants with a pair of waterproof rain pants that you can easily slip over your pants if the rains starts to get heavy.

Apart from this the autumn packing list for Iceland includes hiking pants – waterproof ones are always recommended – and base layers meaning merino wool shirts and leggings. Make sure to bring woolen socks as well to keep your feet warm and dry.

Make sure you bring enough layers! Merino wool is great for base layer, but on top of that you will want fleece and thermo layers.

For hanging out in Reykjavík bring a pair of jeans, T-shirts and maybe a cosy hoody or another big, cosy sweater of your choice.


In summer you might be able to get through your Iceland adventure with a pair of Dr. Marten boots (unless you are going on some of the more adventurous trips). However, for autumn you should definitely bring waterproof hiking boots. Rainfall gets heavier in autumn, which results in muddy tracks and just in general water puddles too large for you to just step elegantly over. Therefore: Bring waterproof hiking boots.

Bring a pair of sneakers or other comfortable walking shoes for hanging out in the city. If you wish you can bring a “nicer” pair of shoes or boots for going out in the evening. However, Reykjavík is quite casual, so you don’t necessarily need to bring stilettos or an entire “going-out” outfit just to go for a drink or a beer.

If you wish you can bring a pair of slippers for the geothermal dips. However, it is not necessary – just convenient not to get cold feet on your way to the hot spring.

What more?

Iceland equals geothermal waters so of course you need to bring a swimsuit! Also, invest in a light weight, fast drying hiking towel. This is convenient and super packable for you to bring with you, should you bump into a great place for a geothermal dip while you are on the road.

Another great tip is to bring a re-useable zip-bag for you wet swimsuit so it doesn’t get the rest of your stuff in your backpack wet. Make sure to bring a waterproof backpack and a re-usable water bottle so you don’t miss out on the best drinking water in the world.

In case you didn’t notice, Iceland is absolutely beautiful so make sure to bring your preferred gear for photos, videos etc. GoPro, camera, smartphone – it is up to you, but remember to make your gear waterproof. Invest in a waterproof phone cover for your smartphone. It will get wet.

Also, you might be lucky to see Northern lights on your autumn trip to Iceland, but be aware that a smartphone is far fromt the best tool to get good pictures of this magical phenomenon. A GoPro is capable of capturing the magic, but to get those amazing photos that you see online you need the proper gear (and probably several courses in professional photography).

Make sure to have enough battery for your devices and invest in a powerbank so you don’t run out of power in the middle of a beautiful day of sightseeing. Also, make sure that your devices are compatible with North European power outlets or bring an adaptor.

Bring your sunglasses and keep your fingers crossed for some sunlight in between the rain clouds.

Follow this autumn packing list for Iceland and you should be good to go! Ps. don’t forget to pack your underwear, toothbrush, toiletries etc.

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