Dressing for the great outdoors in Iceland

Icelandic explorer Vilborg Anna Gissurardóttir counts crossing the South Pole …

Icelandic explorer Vilborg Anna Gissurardóttir counts crossing the South Pole as one of her many accomplishments. Photo/ Mbl,is

Icelandic mountaineer and explorer Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir says the constant changes in weather in Iceland should not be an obstacle to dressing in the right manner.

Gissurardóttir crossed the South Pole on cross country skis and she has been on many expeditions both in Iceland and abroad including Mount Everest. 

"Frost, wind, rain or sun? It's important to be able to respond to the everchanging weather in Iceland, to feel comfortable, not too warm, and not too cold. Most people choose layers for temperature control which is much more effective than dressing in one thin layer and one very thick one."

Gissurardóttir wrote an article on Mbl.is outlining the importance of wearing layers when facing the great outdoors in Iceland.  "Clothes are divided up into three layers, combined together depending on weather."

The base layer: Is what lies closest to the skin and keeps moisture away from it. When you sweat a lot you get cold when you stop your activity.  It's reall important that the base layer is from a breathable fabric. No cotton is allowed, but wool and artificial fabrics are recommended. Wool is of course great for colder temperatures and the synthetic fabrics are great when its warm. 

The mid layer traps the warmth that your body generates.  In the past few years there have been great developments in the middle layer with not only fleece materials but softshell or down primaloft pieces. Wearing wool here is not particularly recommended.  Softshell trousers are also very popular as you can wear them most of the time, being both windproof and relatively waterproof. 

The outer layer is the layer that protects us from rain, wind anad snow.  Such as  a waterproof jacket in the rain or a windproof or down jacket when its cold.  Make sure that the sleeves are of a good length, and that the jacket is not too short. Picking items in bright colours is always a good idea because you are more visible, and they also make for livelier photographs!

Footwear  - For those hiking in Iceland this summer I recommend good shoes.  You don't need a huge investment but  a good sole is important with a good grip.  Try to get boots or shoes that keep your ankle firmly supported. For lighter hikes where you don't have to transport a lot of equipment, lightweight shoes are definitely what you should go for.  

And finally - always have a bottle of water with you! 


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