Packing for Iceland in Winter with just One Carry On Bag

Packing for a destination, with only a carry on bag, in the dead of winter may seem a bit overwhelming to some.

But I’m here to tell you it’s an easy feat.

You see, I headed to Iceland at the beginning of February for a six day adventure, and only took one small bag with me.

So how did I do it?

Let me show you what I packed:

Now I generally only pack in a carry on bag for travel, as I don’t like checking luggage.

However, I hadn’t been to somewhere as cold as Iceland with only a carry-on bag before, but it all worked out fine!

This time around, I took a backpack, which I figured would be easier to take rather than my favourite little carry on rolling suitcase because we knew we were going to have to walk a little way once we got into Reykjavik to get to our accommodation.

I packed everything, including my handbag, inside this one bag.

So in terms of what I took with me, this was it:

  • Six shirts
  • Two pairs of jeans
  • One layering singlet and a thermal base layer
  • Two knitted jumpers
  • Pyjamas
  • One pair of boots
  • One coat
  • Two scarves
  • Two beanies
  • A pair of knitted gloves and a pair of waterproof gloves
  • One swimsuit
  • Underwear for six days only
  • Solid soap bar, shampoo bar, and face cleansing bar
  • Homemade facial toner, deodorant and toothpaste
  • Bamboo toothbrush
  • Face moisturizer
  • Reusable cotton rounds for my toner
  • Little bottle of perfume that I’ve had for years and am trying to use up
Make up
  • Bamboo hairbrush
  • Ecotools make up brushes
  • BB cream and powder
  • Pacifica palette which holds the bronzer and blush I use daily as well as highlighters and eyeshadows which I really only use on special occasions
  • Concealer
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Mascara
  • Lip Balm
  • DSLR camera
  • GoPro
  • GoPro selfie stick
  • Gorilla pod tripod
  • iPhone
  • Chargers for each of these devices
  • Travel adapter
  • Portable charger
  • SD cards
  • Spare batteries for my DSLR camera
  • Laundry bag
  • Travel towel
  • Passport holder
  • Zero waste period kit
  • Travel mug
  • Water bottle
  • Spork
  • Book (Who Owns the World by Noam Chomsky)

If you’ve watched my vlogs from Iceland (which if you haven’t, you totally should) you’ll know that I did pick up a secondhand waterproof jacket at a charity shop in Reykjavik when it became apparent that the coat I’d taken with me wasn’t quite enough to protect me from the Icelandic elements. So there was that item too.

Now all this was just for a six day trip, but I generally wouldn’t travel with much more than that anyway, no matter the length of the trip because I always go by the packing rule of “pack what you’d need for one week, and then just do laundry”, because I prefer to not check a bag and travel light.

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