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Iceland Trip List
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Russell Lloyd
(snufeldin) - F
Iceland Trip List on 11/22/2011 06:22:00 MST Print View


I'm going to be loosely following Jonathan Ley's Iceland route this Summer and need help getting my pack together.

Trip info
19 - 20 days of hiking with a 9 day period without resupply
Elevation: sea level to about 4000ft
40 - 70 Fahrenheit, but possible to get to 30 at night
380 estimated miles

Google Docs List

The only items that I already own are highlighted in blue. Please note that a lot of these items' weights have been estimated based on the planned product or an item I've found laying around. I have indicated where this is the case.

My initial goal was to get under 35 lbs with the 9 days of food and 3Ls of water, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Any input is appreciated especially as I own very little.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
RE:Iceland Trip on 11/22/2011 10:19:09 MST Print View

That looks like an amazing trip.
From my extensive two day experience in Iceland:
I wonder if you will have enough insulation for windy 30F conditions. Won't wind off the glaciers be pretty cold?

If heavy rain with wind is possible you'll want to be sure your rain gear is both waterproof and windproof. Also, shell mitts of goretex or MLD's event mitts might be needed.

If you need to camp on ice or snow your neoair might be marginal. More important, a neoair might not do well on sharp volcanic rock; I'd guess that at least a thin foam pad would be good to have.

Russell Lloyd
(snufeldin) - F
Wind and Neoair on 11/22/2011 13:33:15 MST Print View

Walter, I'm really looking forward to it. It will definitely be putting me out of my comfort zone.

According to Ley, wind chill was a huge factor and he said that he wore what he'd wear in 20 degree weather elsewhere. For these colder conditions my top layers would be: (1) hooded medium weight wool base layer; (2) synthetic insulating layer [not sure if this should go over wind shirt]; (3) wind shirt; (4) rain jacket. My bottom layers would be: (1) exofficio underwear; (2) polyester shorts; (3) rain pants. Does that seem like not enough?

I still am trying to figure out what I'm going to use for rain gear.

Regarding the neoair, I am concerned that I'm not going to be warm enough. I have considered replacing it with the neoair all season (only 5 more ounces) as I can still return my neoair. I was initially hoping that the neoair + 20 degree bag would be enough. I will consider a foam pad.

What time of the year were you there?

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: Iceland on 11/22/2011 13:49:11 MST Print View

I have been there at all times of the year. It has even been colder, at times, durring the summer with rain/sleet and wind. Very beautiful!


Yair Mazor
(HarmonicWave) - F
More Info on 11/22/2011 13:52:01 MST Print View

Hi Russell,

A friend of mine completed a similar trip last August.

This is his blog:

You can contact him and he would be happy to help with more info...

It looks like an amazing ride - enjoy!

Edited by HarmonicWave on 11/22/2011 14:09:19 MST.

Russell Lloyd
(snufeldin) - F
RE: Iceland Trip List on 11/22/2011 14:04:56 MST Print View

Jason, from your experience, what do you think an appropriate layering system and sleeping system would be? Am I correct to assume that it does not get below 30F?

Yair, I will definitely contact him. Thanks, I've been trying to get in touch with people who have done it. I really appreciate it.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
My 5 cents on 11/23/2011 19:45:53 MST Print View

Random thoughts from someone who visited Iceland without hiking (to my forever regret) but grew up in Scandinavia which has a similar climate.

- Probably never going to need to carry 3 liters of water. There will be plenty of water, just refill as needed.
- Your leg wear list has shorts for sleep wear and shorts for hiking wear, personal choice but I'd opt for long pants.
- Bring a warm woolie hat for evening.
- Sunhat for daytime.
- Rain gear is crucial as you will be using it.
- Layering suggestion: long underwear top, fleece, raingear, down jacket. Long underwear bottoms, nylon pants, rain pants. Layer, mix and match as needed.
- Bug headnet, if the bugs are not of epic proportions you totally lucked out.
- Bring the 20 degree sleeping bag.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Iceland Trip List on 11/23/2011 23:51:46 MST Print View

You may want to look at this blog (in German) but a couple of videos will give a background to summer conditions.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
cold brrr wind on 11/29/2011 16:48:18 MST Print View

Don't underestimate wind chill, I did, and had to bail on my bike trip there, was going to bike around it. Froze my a$$ off after only 5km max out of Reykjavik had all my normal 3 season gear on at that point and hadn't even hit real cold yet, and that was the south. That was July if I remember right. Was a long time ago, but I do remember blue skies around me as I turned sadly back and gave up.

I agree, bring 20 degree bag, bring real wind/rain gear, it's going to be windy and it's going to rain, that's almost 100% certain.

One thing the temps don't tell you is how bone chilling cold it gets that far north when the sun goes behind a cloud, the air holds no warmth at all.

I also remember reading that a lot of the streams have a very fine volcanic/glacier melt dust in them that will totally clog filters, so I'd check that with someone who has been there and used filters, can't say that from first hand experience though, but don't overlook that part.

Edited by hhope on 11/29/2011 17:03:07 MST.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: cold brrr wind on 11/30/2011 13:55:23 MST Print View

Was hiking there last June. The sun never sets. It gets low but it's still bright, so bring something to cover your eyes. Good rain gear a must. Stay away from nesting turns, as they will attack. Water is full of glacial silt. Lots of wind. Compass may not work due to the metal in the rocks.
Have a blast! I wanna go back!

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Get some Paramo! Neo air should be ok for insulation but scary for reliability on 03/09/2012 09:01:20 MST Print View

Cool, windy and wet. That sounds like a straight forward case for Paramo. One Paramo jacket can replace both the rainshell and light insulating layer. It is much more breathable than anything else out there and so supple and comfortable to wear that you can keep it on at night. It also dries quickly.
Cioch Direct makes custom sized and stock items in Paramo.

You might still want to bring a light hoodless pullover windshirt for bug protection on warm days.

I agree that 200 weight merino is a bit slow to dry, try some of the 150 or maybe the RAB Meco 165.

Skurka mentions that he came to prefer fleece insulation even over synthetic for long term wet conditions, which from all accounts is what you'll get.

I would perhaps think of replacing the sleep shirt with a Paramo parameta S top. More insulation and dries so quick that you can likely wear it during the day and at night.

I have used my Neo air in temps down to just below freezing with no problems, but I would worry about durability on such a remote area with sharp lava rock.

Use sil-nylon drybags for stuffsacks for anything you want to keep dry, this adds only a minimal weight penalty and a lot of security. Then use a pack liner rather than a pack cover, my experience with covers in windy conditions is bad and eventually water seeps in through the backpanel anyway. Also a pack cover doesn't work when you put the pack down on wet ground or when crossing rivers, both of wich are likely to occur.

Edited by Tjaard on 03/09/2012 09:07:21 MST.