What to Pack for Vanlife in Iceland

First time as a vanlifer? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you pack what you need!

Ása Steinars


Given the size of a van you really need to plan what to bring and how to pack it.

First and foremost, the most important part is to pack in a soft bag! This enables you to store it away during the trip so you don't need to keep it in your bed. Second step is to decide what’s inside the bag. Vanlifing around Iceland means you will be almost only outdoors, so focus on what clothes to wear. Weather can also be unpredictable so make sure to pack for all possible occasions. If you’re prepared for sun, rain and wind you’ll do great. Below is a list of what we think is important not to forget:


  • Warm winter jacket  – it’s important to stay warm and dry, so bring a good jacket. Day time it’s usually warm but we will be outside all evenings and that’s when it can get cold. A warm winter jacket is a good idea to pack.
  • Warm mid-layer or dress like the locals in an Icelandic wool sweater,  you can buy them in many shops along the way.
  • Thermals – hopefully you wont need them but they take little space in your bag and if there’s a cold evening you will be very happy to have them.
  • Beanie
  • Hiking shoes – if you plan to explore waterfalls and canyons make sure you’re equipped to get there
  • Swim wear – important for the hot springs and you don’t want to miss those!
  • Towel
  • Regular clothes –  We wont list them all but bring what you need both for sunny days in shorts, a few meals at restaurants at night and something warm in case of a rainy day.
  • Thin gloves –  If you’re going on a glacier hike, a pair of thin gloves are great to not cut your fingers on the ice.
  • Cash –  You can pay with card in 99% of all shops in Iceland so in general you don’t need any cash at all. However some hot-springs has an honesty box where they ask you to drop €10/$10 for access. So it’s a good idea to bring a few notes of € or $.
  • Driving license – At least oner person per van need a license in order to pick up the van.

For the van

  • A blanket  – to lay on the grass for breakfast picnic or when having BBQs outside of the van.
  • Personal water bottle  – Always stay hydrated and avoid single use plastic. You can fill up in all taps and most rivers in Iceland.
  • Usb chargers – Your van has 12V USB outlets to charge but no regular power sockets.

So there you have it, a short and simple packing list which will serve you well in the van. If you need help with planning your trip, then check out my itineraries and adventure map . Don't see what you need? Submit for a personalised itinerary , and I will tailor it to fit all your needs!