Posted on 24/05/2017

Hiking & trail running: what do I need to bring?

Inga Fanney, our trail running and hiking expert, is the newest staff member here at Ísafold Travel. She has planned a series of hiking and trail running tours that are scheduled for this summer in Iceland and Greenland. These include scheduled tours on the classic Laugavegur trail (hiking or trail running), discovering the Icelandic Highlands (hiking or trail running) and there’s even a sailboat trail running tour in Greenland. Below Inga shares what you would need to bring on a hiking and/or trail running trip.

Trail running hiking
© Kelvin Trautman
© Kelvin Trautman

If you are planning to go hiking or running in Iceland, there are several important things to consider that will make your trip more enjoyable. As you’ve probably heard, the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, and the locals say: “If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait 5 minutes!” However, what happens if it doesn’t change to sunny and calm after waiting 5 minutes? It is essential to be prepared for any type of conditions the weather gods decide to send us. Here are a few things we think will make your hiking experience in Iceland more enjoyable:

Planning to hike in Iceland? Here’s what you should bring:

First of all, you need good hiking shoes. To be on the safe side, bring leather waterproof ones with good ankle support and medium hard sole to tackle the rocks and uneven slopes.

Good socks are just as important as good shoes. Don’t underestimate the importance of good socks. Cotton is not our friend here. You’ll want woollen or synthetic type of socks, and at least a few pairs.

Shirts – both long sleeve and short sleeve. This is the important thermal underwear you don’t want to leave behind on your Iceland trip. Fabric can be wool or synthetic, and again cotton is not the appropriate fabric.

© Kelvin Trautman
© Kelvin Trautman
© Kelvin Trautman
© Kelvin Trautman

Strong and light trousers that will dry quickly, and a pair of shorts wouldn’t hurt for the warmer days.

And then the important stuff: waterproofs! Leave the poncho and umbrella at home, as those do not serve any purpose in Iceland, except being blown away when the wind seems to come from every direction. You want to bring light, breathable, windproof and waterproof jacket AND trousers. Make sure to bring a waterproof jacket with a hood. Waterproofs are mandatory when hiking in Iceland for several days.

Other equipment we recommend you bring:

  • Light wool or fleece jumper
  • Shoes for when you’re not hiking (or when drying the hiking shoes)
  • Extra set of trousers and shirts
  • Warm socks for when you’re not hiking
  • Warm jacket (down, primaloft, etc. Something that keeps you warm when not hiking)
  • Headwear, Buff, warm cap or multifunctional headwear
  • Gloves
  • A light day backpack
  • Towel and bathing suit
  • Water container
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Headlamp
  • Water container
  • Camera!
  • Earplugs
  • Soft travel bag (not hard suitcases)
  • Sleeping bag, depending on the type of accommodation you have requested
  • River shoes – closed sandals, or similar. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job.
  • Personal first aid kit, including blister care.
  • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Optional: walking poles, gaiters, neoprene socks, etc.

Going on a trail running adventure? Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Trail running shoes (not brand new), either with soft or hard sole. It is very useful to bring an extra pair if you have them (the extra pair does not need to be trail running shoes). On Greenland trips bring hard sole trail running shoes.
  • Other shoes for when not running
  • Running socks (not cotton)
  • Socks for when not running
  • Short-sleeve running shirt
  • Long-sleeve running shirt
  • We recommend woollen short and long sleeve shirts for when not running
  • Short and long running trousers
  • Warm trousers for when not running
  • Waterproof trousers for when not running
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (light and easily packable)
  • A good running jacket
  • Warm jacket for when not running, and in the evenings
  • Warm running cap, Buff, multifunctional headwear
  • Gloves (running gloves AND thicker ones for when not running)
  • A light day backpack
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Water container
  • Camera!
  • Earplugs
  • Soft travel bag (not hard suitcases)
  • Headlamp
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Energy bars and gels you are used to (no experimenting please)
  • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
  • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste etc.

 

If you still have doubts about your equipment, drop us a line at info@isafoldtravel.is, so we can help make sure you bring the appropriate gear to enjoy your visit to Iceland.

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