How To Pack Small For A Week In Iceland (in the middle of winter!)

I like to see how light I can pack for any adventure.  But, packing for Theo has changed the game, at least in the OVERALL stuff we have to take anyways.  This post is just for ONE person though.  We highlighted what I packed, and how I packed it.  And now that I am back from Iceland writing this post, I can attest as to if it was necessary or not!

The way to think of how to pack is in LAYERS.  When I planned what to take, my “coldest scenario” required Underwear/Base-layer/T-shirt/Pants/Long-sleeve/Insulating/Shell/Gloves/Hat/Boots.  And then I figured based on what I was feeling, I could delete a layer here or there.

We were there for 8 days.  So the idea was, try to wear everything for 2 days – that way I cut my outfits in half.  In hindsight, it was a good rule. The only thing I wish I would have brought more of here – socks.  Not that I was cold, but I was hoping for new pair every day.


Out of all of that, the only thing that was really “unused” was the long-john suit.  AND, I knew this would be the case, I just kind of wanted to bring this for fun, and to wear around inside the van.  But really, it was unnecessary and I would leave it at home next time.

Packing down into a carryon is near to impossible without packing cubes.  We have a few of the Deuter Zip Pack 4 and use them to compress and organize everything.  They’re the best things ever when looking to pack small and light.

Outer layer stuff is the most important.  And often times it is hard to get gear that keeps you warm, but packs small.

I used everything here every day.  Well, I guess Madison used my beanie more often than I did (not sure why).  I literally didn’t take my buff off for the entire trip.  And I actually discovered that I love buff because they are the winter equivalent of a visor!  Brilliant.

The Zippo hand warmers were something that I was actually a little skeptical about as I packed.  I thought I wouldn’t need them, and that I would just be lugging these little things around for no reason. I was totally wrong. These were some of the best things we brought on the trip! The reason is, working a camera with bulky gloves on, is actually pretty difficult. So, we often left the gloves, and took just the hand warmers.  BEST THINGS EVER. When Madison’s hands are cold, there is no convincing her to stay out or do anything really.  So these were an absolute total game changer.

Other Iceland Travel Essentials (and some random stuff I packed):

Everything in the above two photos fit in my Deuter ACT 24.  Not bad, right?

Good luck with your own packing – and feel free to comment down below if there are some things that I forgot, or that should be added!

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