Essential Items To Pack For A May Trip To Iceland

what to pack to iceland in may

Planning a trip to Iceland in May? As the land of fire and ice starts to thaw from its long winter, May is a fantastic time to explore this breathtaking destination. However, with unpredictable weather and varying landscapes, it's important to pack the right essentials to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. From warm layers to waterproof gear and everything in between, this guide will help you pack like a pro for your May adventure in Iceland.

Characteristics Values
Weather Cool
Temperature 5-10°C
Rainfall Moderate
Daylight hours 19
Clothing Layers
Footwear Waterproof shoes/boots
Outerwear Waterproof jacket
Accessories Hat, gloves, scarf
Electronics Adapter for Icelandic outlets
Medications Prescription medicines
Toiletries Travel-sized toiletries
Documents Passport, travel insurance, itinerary
Currency Icelandic Krona
Outdoor gear Hiking boots, backpack
Others Snacks, reusable water bottle


What are the essential clothing items to pack for a trip to Iceland in May?

Source: Where in the World is Nina?

When planning a trip to Iceland in May, it is important to pack clothing items that will keep you warm and comfortable in the unpredictable weather conditions that can be experienced in this northern country. Here are some essential clothing items to consider when packing for your trip:

  • Waterproof Hiking Boots: Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes and beautiful hiking trails. May is a great time to explore the country's natural wonders, but it is important to have a sturdy pair of waterproof hiking boots. These will not only provide support and traction on uneven terrain but also keep your feet dry in case of rain or wet snow.
  • Layered Clothing: The weather in Iceland during May can be quite unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from 0 to 10 degrees Celsius (32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). It is recommended to pack layered clothing options, such as thermal base layers, fleeces, and a waterproof outer shell. Layering allows you to easily adjust your body temperature based on the weather conditions and your activity level.
  • Insulated Jacket: An insulated jacket is a must-have item for your trip to Iceland in May. Look for a jacket that provides warmth without being too bulky. Down jackets or synthetic insulated jackets are both good options. Make sure the jacket is windproof and water-resistant to protect you from the elements.
  • Waterproof and Windproof Pants: When exploring Iceland's rugged landscapes, it is important to have a pair of waterproof and windproof pants to keep you dry and protected. Look for pants made from durable materials like Gore-Tex or similar fabrics, which will provide both water-resistance and breathability.
  • Warm Accessories: Don't forget to pack warm accessories such as hats, gloves, and scarves. These will help keep your extremities warm and protected from the cold winds. Consider packing thermal socks to keep your feet cozy during outdoor activities.
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen: Even though May is not the peak summer season in Iceland, the sun can still be quite strong, especially when reflecting off snow or glaciers. Protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that have UV protection. Additionally, don't forget to apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn, especially on sunny days when you may spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Swimsuit: Iceland is famous for its hot springs and geothermal pools. Packing a swimsuit will allow you to fully enjoy these unique experiences. Remember to pack a towel as well, as most of these attractions do not provide them.

By packing these essential clothing items for your trip to Iceland in May, you will be prepared for various weather conditions and be able to fully enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer. Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and adjust your packing accordingly. Stay warm and have a great adventure!


Are there any specific items or gear that are necessary for outdoor activities in Iceland in May?

Source: WHOA travel

May is a great time to visit Iceland and make the most of its stunning outdoor activities. However, since Iceland's weather can be unpredictable even in summer, it is important to come prepared with the right gear and equipment. Here are some specific items that are necessary for outdoor activities in Iceland in May:

  • Clothing: Layering is the key to staying comfortable in Iceland's ever-changing weather. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by an insulating mid-layer such as a fleece or down jacket. For the outer layer, a waterproof and windproof jacket is essential. Don't forget to pack thermal socks, waterproof pants, and a warm hat and gloves.
  • Hiking Boots: Since most outdoor activities in Iceland involve a fair amount of walking or hiking, a sturdy pair of hiking boots is a must. Make sure they are waterproof and offer good ankle support for added stability on uneven terrains.
  • Backpack: A reliable backpack is essential to carry all your gear and essentials. Look for one with a capacity of around 20-30 liters, which should be enough to accommodate your extra layers, snacks, water, and camera.
  • Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial when engaging in outdoor activities. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever you come across freshwater sources, as Iceland is known for its clean and drinkable tap water.
  • Navigation Tools: While exploring Iceland's vast wilderness, it is wise to have a map, compass, or a handheld GPS device to navigate your way. Familiarize yourself with the area you plan to visit and ensure you have the necessary tools to stay on track.
  • Headlamp: A headlamp is essential for those planning to adventure outdoors until late in the day, as daylight hours are long during May. It can also come in handy if you plan on exploring caves or hiking at night to catch the Northern Lights.
  • Insect Repellent: Although Iceland is known for having a relatively low population of insects, there can still be mosquitoes and midges in certain areas. It is always wise to carry insect repellent to avoid any unpleasant encounters.
  • First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen, even in the most remote areas. Be prepared with a basic first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, and any necessary personal medications.
  • Camping Gear (if applicable): If you plan on camping during your outdoor adventures, make sure to bring a suitable tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and cooking equipment. Iceland offers many picturesque campsites, and camping can be a great way to immerse yourself in the country's natural beauty.

Remember, it is always better to be over-prepared than underprepared when it comes to outdoor activities in Iceland. Plan your adventures in advance, check the weather forecast regularly, and pack accordingly. By doing so, you can make the most of your May visit to Iceland and enjoy all the breathtaking experiences it has to offer.


What are the must-have accessories or equipment for exploring Iceland's natural attractions in May?

Source: The Traveling Spud

Iceland is known for its stunning natural attractions, and May is a great time to visit as the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer. If you're planning a trip to explore Iceland's natural beauty in May, there are a few must-have accessories and equipment that will enhance your experience and ensure you're prepared for any adventure.

  • Waterproof Clothing: May in Iceland can be quite rainy, so it's important to have waterproof clothing such as a rain jacket and pants. This will keep you dry in case of unexpected showers, especially when exploring waterfalls or hiking near rivers.
  • Hiking Boots: Iceland is known for its rugged terrain, so a sturdy pair of hiking boots is a must. Look for waterproof boots with good ankle support to keep your feet dry and comfortable when exploring the country's breathtaking landscapes.
  • Insulated Jacket: Although May is a warmer month in Iceland, temperatures can still be chilly, especially in the evenings. An insulated jacket will keep you warm and protect you from the wind during hikes or while admiring the Northern Lights.
  • Daypack: A small daypack is essential for carrying your essentials during day trips. Make sure it's waterproof or has a rain cover to protect your belongings from any unexpected showers. It should also be comfortable to carry for extended periods.
  • Binoculars: Iceland is home to diverse wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and whales. Having a pair of binoculars will allow you to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures and enhance your wildlife spotting experience.
  • Camera and Tripod: Whether you're a professional photographer or just want to capture some stunning shots, a good camera and tripod are essential. Iceland offers countless opportunities for breathtaking landscapes and unique lighting conditions, so make sure you have the right gear to capture these moments.
  • GPS or Map: Iceland's natural attractions are spread throughout the country, and having a GPS or map will help you navigate to your desired destinations. It's essential to be prepared, especially if you plan on exploring remote areas or going off the beaten path.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially when spending long days exploring Iceland's natural attractions. Bring a reusable water bottle to fill up at various freshwater sources found throughout the country. This will not only save you money but also help reduce plastic waste.
  • Snacks and Food: While there are restaurants and cafes in Iceland, having some snacks and food on hand is always a good idea, especially if you plan on spending long hours exploring. Packing lightweight, non-perishable snacks will keep you energized and ready for adventure.
  • First Aid Kit: It's always important to have a basic first aid kit with you when exploring outdoor areas. It should include essentials such as bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, and any necessary medication you may need.

In conclusion, exploring Iceland's natural attractions in May can be an unforgettable experience. By being prepared and having the right accessories and equipment, you'll be able to fully enjoy the country's stunning landscapes while staying comfortable and safe. Remember to pack waterproof clothing, sturdy hiking boots, and an insulated jacket to combat the unpredictable weather. Don't forget your camera, binoculars, and map, and always stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle. With these must-have accessories and equipment, you'll be ready for any adventure that awaits you in the beautiful country of Iceland.


Is it necessary to pack any specific skincare or toiletry products due to Iceland's weather in May?

Source: Adventurous Kate

When planning a trip to Iceland in May, it is essential to consider the country's unique weather conditions. Iceland's weather in May can be quite unpredictable, with changes occurring rapidly. It is important to pack specific skincare and toiletry products to ensure your skin and overall well-being remain protected.

One of the primary factors to consider when packing skincare products for Iceland in May is the country's cold and windy climate. May temperatures in Iceland average around 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit), but strong wind gusts can significantly lower the temperature sensation. The cold and windy weather can lead to dry and dehydrated skin, making it crucial to pack moisturizing products.

First and foremost, it is essential to bring a good quality facial moisturizer. Look for moisturizers that provide deep hydration, as well as protection from harsh weather conditions. Opt for products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which helps to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, consider packing a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from both the cold wind and the potential sun exposure in May.

Another crucial skincare product to pack for Iceland in May is sunscreen. Even though May is not the peak of summer, the sun's UV rays can still be damaging to the skin, especially at higher latitudes. Iceland's proximity to the Arctic Circle makes it prone to more intense UV radiation, making sunscreen a must-have item. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF level and apply it generously to all exposed skin. Make sure to reapply regularly, especially if you are spending an extended amount of time outdoors.

In addition to skincare products, it is also important to consider toiletries suitable for the weather conditions in Iceland. With the cold and windy climate, it is common for the scalp and hair to become dry and brittle. To combat this, include a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in your packing list. Look for hair products that provide hydration and nourishment to prevent dryness and frizz.

Furthermore, consider packing a gentle and hydrating body wash or shower gel. The harsh weather conditions can strip the skin of its natural moisture, so using a hydrating body wash will help to replenish and nourish the skin. Avoid using products containing harsh chemicals or fragrances, as these can further dry out the skin.

Lastly, do not forget to pack a rich and nourishing body lotion. The cold and windy weather can cause the skin to become dry and rough, so using a good quality body lotion will help to keep the skin hydrated and supple. Look for lotions that contain moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter or ceramides.

In conclusion, it is necessary to pack specific skincare and toiletry products when visiting Iceland in May due to the country's cold and windy weather conditions. Key items to consider include a moisturizer for the face, lip balm with SPF, sunscreen, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, hydrating body wash, and a rich body lotion. By packing these products, you can ensure your skin remains protected and hydrated throughout your trip to Iceland.


Are there any specific items that should be packed for photography enthusiasts visiting Iceland in May?

Source: Iceland Photo Tours

Photography enthusiasts know the importance of packing the right gear when embarking on a trip to capture stunning images. When visiting Iceland in May, there are a few specific items that should be on every photographer's packing list to ensure they can make the most of the picturesque landscapes and unique lighting conditions.

  • Camera and lenses: The most essential item for any photography enthusiast is, of course, the camera. When visiting Iceland in May, it is recommended to bring a DSLR or mirrorless camera that offers manual control and interchangeable lenses. The ever-changing weather conditions and mesmerizing landscapes in Iceland provide ample opportunities for capturing various scenes, from cascading waterfalls to dramatic seascapes. It is also advisable to pack an assortment of lenses, including a wide-angle lens for sweeping landscape shots, a telephoto lens for capturing wildlife or distant subjects, and a macro lens for close-up details.
  • Tripod: As lighting conditions can vary throughout the day, a sturdy tripod is a must-have accessory for photographers visiting Iceland in May. A tripod allows for long exposures, especially during low-light situations such as sunrise or sunset. It also provides stability when shooting in windy conditions or capturing waterfalls with smooth, silky water flow. Look for a lightweight tripod with adjustable legs and a quick-release plate for convenience.
  • Filters: Iceland's magnificent landscapes are known for their vibrant colors, and using filters can enhance the visual impact of your photographs. A polarizing filter should be at the top of your filter list, as it helps reduce glare and increase color saturation, especially when photographing glaciers or bodies of water. Neutral density (ND) filters are also handy for controlling the amount of light entering the camera, allowing for longer exposures to capture motion blur or to smooth out water surfaces.
  • Extra memory cards and batteries: Photographic opportunities in Iceland's stunning natural surroundings are seemingly endless. To avoid running out of storage space, it is essential to pack plenty of spare memory cards. Considering the long daylight hours in May, it is also recommended to bring additional camera batteries or a reliable portable power bank, as capturing the breathtaking landscapes can consume significant battery power.
  • Protective gear: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, and the elements may challenge even the most seasoned photographers. Therefore, it is essential to have the right protective gear for yourself and your equipment. A waterproof camera bag that can withstand rain and moisture is highly recommended. Additionally, packing rain covers or plastic bags to protect your camera and lenses during sudden showers or water-based activities such as boat tours is advisable. Carrying a lens cleaning kit, microfiber cloths, and lens hoods will help maintain the quality of your shots in inclement weather conditions.
  • Warm clothing and footwear: May in Iceland can be chilly, so layering up with warm clothing is essential for comfort during photography expeditions. Packing thermal base layers, insulated jackets, waterproof outer shells, and warm gloves will ensure that you can withstand the cold temperatures while focusing on capturing the perfect shot. Don't forget to bring suitable footwear, such as sturdy hiking boots, to navigate the uneven terrains and protect your feet from the elements.
  • Travel adapter: Iceland uses type C and type F electrical outlets, so be sure to pack a travel adapter suitable for your camera charger or any other electronic devices you may carry.

In conclusion, photography enthusiasts visiting Iceland in May should pack essential items such as a camera with interchangeable lenses, a tripod, filters, spare memory cards, extra batteries, protective gear, warm clothing, and a travel adapter. By being properly equipped, photographers can make the most of Iceland's breathtaking landscapes and create stunning images that capture the beauty of this remarkable destination.

Frequently asked questions

In May, the weather in Iceland can vary, so it's important to pack for both cold and mild temperatures. Layering is key, so bring a combination of long-sleeve shirts, sweaters or fleece jackets, and a waterproof outer layer. Don't forget to pack warm socks, a hat, and gloves for colder days. It's also a good idea to pack a swimsuit as some hot springs and swimming pools are open year-round.

Yes, it's crucial to have sturdy waterproof shoes for exploring Iceland in May. The terrain can be wet and muddy, and having proper footwear will keep your feet dry and comfortable. Hiking boots or sneakers with good traction are recommended. It's also a good idea to bring an extra pair of waterproof shoes in case your primary pair gets wet.

Along with your regular accessories, there are a few additional items you should consider packing for Iceland in May. A waterproof or windproof hat will help protect your head from the elements, while sunglasses and sunscreen will guard against the strong UV rays, even on cloudy days. Additionally, a good quality camera and binoculars are a must for capturing the stunning landscapes and wildlife.

If you plan on participating in outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, there are a few specific items you should pack. A backpack is essential for carrying your gear, along with a sturdy water bottle and a portable water filter for hydration. A good quality tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove are also necessary if you plan on camping during your trip.

In addition to your passport and travel insurance, it's advisable to pack a copy of your itinerary and important contact information. It's also a good idea to have a portable charger and adapter for your electronics, as well as any necessary medications or personal hygiene products. Lastly, don't forget a good travel guidebook or map to help you navigate the country's unique road system and attractions.

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