Glacier Guides will provide all necessary glacier gear for the tour. Generally, this includes crampons for walking on the ice, helmets and ice axes although not all of this equipment is needed for every tour. Participants will need to bring the following equipment and clothing. Please also see specific equipment for each tour on the tour website since they can differ depending on which tour you are participating in.
Waterproof clothing and hiking boots are available for rent online. For specific tours we also offer rental equipment on-site, both at our booking center in Skaftafell and Solheimajokull. In Skaftafell we also have some of the items below for sale in our booking center (mittens, hats, woolen socks and more).
Read our Blog "How to Dress for a Glacier Hike in Iceland and Some Mistakes to Avoid" for more information and our guide to the "three-layer" system.
Equipment List for Glacier Day Tours
Please note that the glacier hikes range from 2.5 hours to 7 hours so depending on the length of your tour you may be able to get away without some of the things on this list. For our Mountain Hikes please see the list below.
- Waterproof jacket and pants (We do have rental clothing available)
- Hiking boots (Available for rent, we advise against runners or any type of shoes that only comes up below the ankle bone as the straps on the crampons can get a bit painful during the walk)
- Light sweater, wool or fleece
- Light synthetic or quick dry pants (Try and stay clear of jeans on the longer trips as they get wet & cold quick and dry slow)
- Thin gloves
- Small backpack (Can be handy to carry a camera, rain gear, and all extras)
- Sunglasses and sun protection (It can get quite bright on the ice with the reflection)
- Food and drinks (Lunch is not provided on any of our trips. June - September there is plenty of fresh water on the glacier so bring a bottle)
- Camera (If you forget everything else don't forget that)
Equipment List for Alpine Mountaineering Day Tours
(Use this list if you are participating in one of our Mountain Hikes). Guests will be provided with crampons, harness, and ice axe.
If you do not have some of the "Essentials" listed below, please let us know so that we can work something out.
- Thermal underwear (shirt and long johns) synthetic or wool
- Light sweater, wool or fleece
- Light and thin quick drying pants. Wind resistant
- Waterproof breathable jacket
- Waterproof breathable pants
- Thin gloves, synthetic or wool
- Mittens, thick ones, synthetic or wool
- Hat or balaclava
- Socks, synthetic or wool
- Hiking boots. The boots should be high enough to provide good ankle support (no sneakers please!)
- Backpack 30-50 liters
- Sun protection
- Sunglasses with sufficient UV-protection. The glasses have to cover the eyes. (on our high alpine trips it is possible to get "snow-blindness" from not wearing sunglasses)
Food and drink
*You must bring enough food to keep you going for a long a day. We recommend sandwiches, energy bars, dry fruits, and chocolate bars, although this is up to your personal taste, just remember you need lots of energy! We do not recommend bringing fuel bottles and camp stoves as we normally take many short breaks to eat a sandwich or some chocolate instead of a long break.
- Water or drinks: 3 liters total
- Food: sandwiches, energy bars and some sweets
- Hot drinks: It is good idea to bring hot chocolate or tea in a thermos to give you some extra energy
- Walking poles
- Thermal pad to sit on
Why Cotton Kills?
When cotton gets wet, it stops insulating because all of the air pockets in the fabric fill up with water. When you hike, you perspire, and any cotton clothing touching your skin will absorb your sweat like a sponge. If the air is colder than your body temperature, you’ll feel cold because your cotton clothing is saturated and no longer providing any insulation.
Layering with "wicking" fabrics such as wool, fleece or polyester is an effective clothing strategy for hiking because wicking fabrics move water away from your skin and up through your layers one after another, enabling the fabric near your skin to trap insulating air and retain your body’s warmth. This is essential for Icelandic conditions.