Iceland – Clothing and Equipment List
Venturing into any potentially hostile environment without the appropriate clothing and equipment will very probably comprise your comfort and/or safety. You will enjoy your experience and be safe if you follow a few simple instructions and wear appropriate clothing.
There is no need to spend a fortune buying the state of the art Alpine/Arctic equipment!
Your daughter will not be asked to endure or undertake any potentially hazardous activities. They could however, if it is not summer, be subjected to sub-zero temperatures, cold winds, rain and snow. They will be expected to walk on rough terrain, snow and ice.
• Layering is the key to retaining body heat because air is trapped between the layers and therefore ‘insulates’ your body from the cold.
• Several thin layers are more effective than any one thick garment.
• Woollen fabrics are better insulators than synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester.
• Some modern fabrics are excellent, allowing water vapour to pass through without losing any heat.
• Don’t forget your legs! Warm trousers (not jeans) are essential, but bring light ones for summer and always bring waterproof trousers whatever the time of year.
• … on your feet! Thick woollen socks are best (not nylon)
• A Hat! Needed all year – more heat is lost through the head than any other part for the body. A warm one for winter that also can cover the ears is good. A scarf is essential October to April to protect the neck.
• Gloves (waterproof): frozen fingers hurt, wet fingers lose heat: uncovered wrists can have significant heat loss.
• Depending on the weather, anything between 1 and 5 layers will be required.
Suggested layers: Base layer of a thermal vest/long johns if cold
Cotton T-shirt if warm
Collared shirt/rugby top or polo sweater (scarf if not polo)
Waterproof outer garments (top and bottom)
If going in summer, then 3 layers would be normal (and include shorts just in case!!). Whatever time of year, be prepared to carry an extra layer in your daysack.
WARNING: Overheating (too many layers) can be as debilitating and dangerous as getting cold, so don’t start your day looking like an arctic explorer/Michelin man or woman by wearing everything!
• Getting wet leads to cold/heat loss which can lead to hypothermia which is very serious
• A fully waterproof out garment is ABSOLUTELY essential. Beware of misleading claims common amongst cheaper brands of nylon-based garments. Gore-Tex, Paramo or similar fabric is advisable.
• Waterproof trousers are a must.
• Boots are essential! Trainers, however expensive, are no substitute as they don’t give you ankle support. Wellington boots are not to be used as although they are waterproof, they’re useless for gripping on wet rocks.
• Please don’t feel obliged to spend a small fortune on 4-season boots which may only be used for a week. Any waterproof with a vibram or similar moulded rubber sole will be adequate. Please wear them in before going to Iceland
The places where we stay are warm and comfortable and so you will need light clothing and footwear (eg trainers) to change into during the evening.
• Sleeping bag and a pillow case. Rooms are heated so a thick one is not necessary.
• Sunglasses – all year round there’s a high albedo (reflection of sunlight) off snow and ice. They also protect you from dust-storms if there are high winds blowing off ash areas. Contact lens users may wish to bring ‘goggles’.
• A small day-sack – big enough to carry spare jumper/waterproofs plus packed lunch, drinks bottle, camera etc
• Sun-block cream in the warmer months
• Towel (suitable for when swimming)
• Personal Toiletries
• Personal medications (staff responsible need to be aware and informed of any prescribed medications)
OTHER USEFUL THINGS TO HAVE
• Thermos flask (or water bottle in summer)
• A seriously LARGE block of chocolate (chocolate is ridiculously expensive to buy in Iceland) or multiple packs
• Camera (don’t forget charging and download cables as well as spare batteries)
• Plasters and paracetamol etc
• Writing paper, pens, pencils
• Plastic bags
PERSONAL STEREOS & OTHER ELECTRICAL ITEMS
For reasons of safety, the use of personal stereos/ipods etc with head-phones/ear pieces is not permitted when out in the field. Batteries will be expensive in Iceland so bring your own spare ones. You must have your own personal insurance for any such items
• Rules and regulations will be kept to a minimum
• When instructions are given, they are given for a reason … YOUR SAFETY!
• Follow all instructions from your staff/party leader
• Disregarding any instructions will be viewed as being a serious breach of discipline
WE, the staff, rely heavily on YOU to make this a successful, enjoyable and memorable experience: we are a team together!