Iceland is a wonderland of areas to hike on but as with any terrain your safety is key, the country is prone to all kinds of weather and as such can provide different hazards that even the most experienced hikers may not be familiar with. Below are a few basic tips to consider when hiking to make sure you are prepared.

Hitchhiker´s guide to hiking safely in iceland

Warm and waterproof clothing is completely essential through most of the year, the weather in Iceland is often cold but also changes very quickly, avoiding hypothermia is key. Checking weather reports before your journey is always a wise move, our terrain is often rocky which is slippery when icy or wet (as well as near our streams and waterfalls). Keeping plenty of water with you to keep the body hydrated and energized, having snacks with you can also keep your energy up.

Young children can be very energetic and require plenty of attention to keep them safe. One idea for hiking in wooded areas is to give them a whistle to wear, then if they drift away from the group they can alert you to where they are. Teenagers are just as likely to have accidents as younger children are, they tend to be less aware of hazards and could climb more potentially dangerous areas.

Hitchhiker’s guide to hiking safely in Iceland

It may be fair to assume that you are hiking in unfamiliar territory, having a map/GPS can help to keep you on the trails you decide to take. Snow can totally change the appearance of a hike that you may have done before, try looking backwards often to familiarise yourself with your returning route as it may look more different than you would imagine later.

There are no particularly dangerous animals in Iceland such as bears, wolves etc but some of the plants can be deadly if eaten, it is just safer to not eat any at all, one to not even touch is the Giant Hogweed which can cause blistering of the skin that is exposed to sunlight after touching.

Make the most out of your journey around Iceland, take all the precautions you can and enjoy the beauty we have to offer.