You’ve purchased your camping card and have set up your campervan or RV rental in Iceland. The camping season is quickly coming to a close, but it’s not over yet. September resides in the sweet spot for camping in Iceland; most of the tourists have stopped coming (at least with the hopes of camping), the prices for renting gear are dropping daily, and the campsites are less crowded. If you’ve decided to go camping in Iceland in September, you’ll want some tips and advice to make things more enjoyable. The weather is a big factor as are the equipment you bring and the clothes you pack. Let’s do a quick rundown of all of the things to keep in mind as well as some tips and advice for your Icelandic camping trip.
September Weather – Change Is Coming
Icelanders keep up to date with the weather religiously. It is the only sensible thing to do. Since the climate can vary wildly and unpredictably, it can affect how we drive, where we go, and what we wear. It is no different for visitors who have rented a car or RV and are camping in Iceland. Make sure you are always up to date with the latest warnings and advisories through the Icelandic Meteorology Office website. If the region you are planning on setting up camp in is expecting heavy rainfall or strong winds, it’s probably best to get there early to set up, or look for another camping site. No one wants to set up a tent while getting blown over by gale force winds or soaked to the bone in a chilly, torrential downpour. Speaking of tents, it’s important to have a sturdy one built to withstand the Icelandic elements. This brings me to our next point.
Camping Equipment – Rent, Don’t Buy
There is truly no sense in packing your own camping equipment if you can rent it when you get here. Because camping is such a popular activity in Iceland, there are plenty of camping equipment stores in Reykjavik. Save yourself the time and hassle of schlepping all of your gear and rent instead. Additionally, the wind and rain are no joke here, and the tent that you purchased back home may not be up to snuff. I always direct friends and families to pre-book all the gear that they will need from Iceland Camping Equipment or Gangleri Outfitters. They will both tell you exactly what they have in stock. That way you can save some space in your luggage and avoid overage fees on your flight. Iceland Camping Equipment and Gangleri Outfitters have been among the go-to for camping equipment stores in Reykjavik for years now. Their staffs are helpful, knowledgeable, and will answer any questions or concerns that you may have. They know the exact specs of the tents you need to rent and the equipment you’ll need.
Camping Tip – Find Cover
Most of us are so excited to get our tent set up, that little thought is taken into considering the best location is to pitch the tent. Iceland at night, especially during the autumn nights, is incredibly windy. If you can try to set up your tent near an object that will block as much wind as possible. Trees, walls, hills, large bushes and other natural wind blockers are the most common places you’ll see campers setting up for the night. Depending on the campsite, you can utilize the broad side of your car to block out the wind substantially. Check the regulations of where you plan on staying. Iceland Camping Equipment has a fantastic free pdf that has a ton of information. Not only does it cover just about everything in Iceland, but they lay out all of the camping sites of the entire country (pages 72 – 87 ) Check it out here.
September Clothing – What To Pack and Wear When Camping In Iceland
Iceland’s unpredictable weather directly affects our clothing choices. Here in Iceland, we love to layer. Layering provides a quick, easy way for your clothing to adapt to your surroundings. If it gets too hot you can always take a layer off. If you become cold you can always add another layer of clothing. Since Iceland is particularly blustery during September and October, I would recommend you purchase a solid wind and waterproof rain jacket. This outer shell will keep the wind from cutting you to the bone. If your outerwear is waterproof enough, it can keep you dry in the wettest of environments.
Apart from a hefty rain jacket and multiple layers, I would recommend some decent hiking boots. Like your rain jacket, they should be both comfortable and waterproof. A great pair of hiking boots, paired with a set of killer wool socks that wick moisture, will ensure that your feet can keep you moving quickly and comfortably on your Icelandic camping trip. Also, a great headlight will serve you well throughout your journey. Trying to interlock tentpoles by moonlight with a storm rolling in from a distance is a nerve-wracking and stressful experience. Buy a headlamp instead.
Tips and Advice to Enjoy Camping In Iceland in September
Camping is indeed one of the greatest joys about coming to Iceland. However, the camping season is rapidly coming to an end (at least, camping outside). Take advantage of the beginning of Iceland’s offseason, the price reductions, and fewer tourists, and book a September trip to Iceland if you can. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecasts daily leading up to your trip, so that you have everything that you need. Rent your gear from one of the camping equipment stores in Reykjavik like Iceland Camping Equipment or Gangleri Outfitters, pack clothing for wet and cold weather, get your camping card, rent a great vehicle, but most importantly have fun. The camping season will not pick back up until the spring. Take advantage of it while you can, and come to Iceland.