There are hundreds of guides about going to Iceland, but there has never been one made based solely around creators, and if there was one, my camera would have never got damaged and I would have got far much content. And that’s what this rough guide to Iceland is meant to help you with. I want you to be fully prepared so that you get the most out of this amazing country, provided you can still go since one of the main flyers to Iceland, WOW air, has gone bankrupt in the last few days. In fact, it went bankrupt 4 days after some of our team was returning from Iceland. If it happened a week earlier, some of us would have been stranded at one of the most expensive airports on the planet.
In most of our guides, we focus on places worth going to, Iceland is a bit different in that aspect because Iceland is beautiful from every single angle no matter where you are, so while we will focus on places worth visiting, in this rough guide to Iceland we will more so talk about how to prepare for Iceland so that you can get the most out of it as far as content and experience.
It All Starts with Protecting Your Camera
Content creation starts with a camera, and Iceland resulted in two damaged cameras within 2 days.
Yes, we know that you have been in terrible rainy conditions with your cameras before and they have been fine, and so have we, but your camera will not be fine in Iceland. Both our Sony camera and the new DJI Osmo Pocket got damaged by water and we aren’t talking about falling into water nor the waterfalls, it happened merely due to the rain that took place.
Perhaps your camera is ultra sealed, but if you do not have insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry because Mother Nature does not care about the fact that your camera has approval for bad weather conditions. Protective cases do cost around $50/€50 and for sure are the most useless pieces of equipment that you will ever buy, but once your camera that costs several thousand gets damaged by water, most places won’t fix it because there’s a high chance that your equipment will break again.
Here’s the last picture we took before our camera broke:
Luckily, our camera recovered from the damage almost fully. The screen didn’t. R.I.P.
If you can’t buy a case right now, put a plastic bag around the camera. We actually ended up putting plastic bags on for our remaining days.
Rent a Car (And Be Careful)
If you are going to Iceland as a creator, you need a car.
The alternative to a car is you arriving in a destination along with 50 other people at the same time. People getting in your way of videos/pictures is something you for sure don’t want as a creator. The only way to avoid that issue is by renting a car. Not to mention that buses will limit you as far as where you can go which will ultimately limit what you can do.
However, not everyone should rent a car in Iceland. IF YOU GET STRESSED DRIVING IN POOR CONDITIONS, DO NOT GET A CAR IN ICELAND.
Iceland driving conditions are very poor. To put things into perspective, when you are parked and it gets windy in Iceland, your car can move from left to right. Add snow blizzards to that. Icy roads consisting of snow that was not scraped away on most roads? Lack of visibility? Welcome to Iceland.
IT’S VERY EASY TO GET TRICKED WHEN RENTING A CAR THOUGH!!!
I’ll put it this way, if there’s any country on the planet where you want full insurance for your car, it’s Iceland. The weather conditions in Iceland make it incredibly easy to damage a car, even if you are an experienced driver and drive safely. Especially if you don’t rent a jeep. After all, this is a rough guide to Iceland so this should be expected.
You need to look for deductibles set at 0 when renting a car. Even if it costs almost as much as the car itself as if it’s not at zero, prepare to pay for damage caused. Especially during winter and when not on the main roads. That’s why we chose the Blue Car Rental in Iceland. We rented a Kia Rio for 7 days costing us almost €500 which was far pricier than if renting a car in most other countries, but the best deal in Iceland as it came with full insurance allowing us not to worry about any small damage that was caused by the weather rather than us. The only thing that was not included was tire insurance.
We loved the service, we loved the humans working there, however, we do recommend that you go for a jeep in Iceland for sure as while the Kia Rio was in an incredible condition and for sure was relatively new with a touchscreen display, decent speakers, and heated seats, a jeep is an ideal car to use with the Icelandic conditions. Especially considering a lot of roads outside of Reykjavik are not cleared of snow and ice at a consistent enough frequency.
And please, drive responsibly.
See that bus below?
It slid down the road which is on a mountain, it could have been a lot worse. A day earlier that bus was going incredibly fast skipping past us. And that was the case with many cars and buses in Iceland. People vastly underestimate the road conditions in Iceland, and due to that, we have seen several accidents every day. ANOTHER REASON TO GET FULL INSURANCE!
To put things into perspective, the road conditions in Iceland are on the level of roads that would be closed almost everywhere in the US or Europe.
Have the Right Pair of Boots
This is a rough guide to Iceland, and for a simple reason, as Iceland is a rough country as far as adventures.
We expected Iceland to be wet, but we didn’t expect such heavy blizzards and rain at such long frequencies. As a creator, in other countries, you might not go out on a certain day because it’s raining, but you can’t do that in Iceland. It’s going to rain or snow every day, and even if it gets sunny for a moment, it’s going to be wet and slippery, and that’s where the right pair of boots comes in.
The second you get wet, the second you get cold, you will not be as creative and will limit yourself as far as adventure goes. These Thursday Boots Explorer boots in Shadow Grey come with storm welt construction that makes these boots fully proof against water, whether you put them into river or snow, and that’s the kind of boots you need. We mentioned protecting your camera, but you also need to protect your feet, otherwise, you will be miserable, and being miserable kills creativity.
Having great grip is an equally important aspect when it comes to boots, especially considering that to get to a lot of places in Iceland, apart from driving, you also need to walk. These come with Vibram soles which are incredible for walking in snow and even melting ice which I would have had a problem within prior models of Thursday Boots. A full review of these coming soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned for that.
They do also have boots for females, with the most similar to these being called the Major in Shadow Grey, although they don’t have a grip that’s quite as good as these.
Add a Drone to Your Equipment for Iceland
If you already have one, great. If you don’t, get one. It’s an absolute must in Iceland.
Iceland looks amazing from the ground but it looks even better in the air.
If you never had a drone, we strongly recommend the DJI Spark which isn’t relatively the newest nor the best, but it’s the best all-around deal out there.
And sure, it doesn’t have 3-axis gimbal support nor does it have a camera that allows for 4K video nor for raw images, but you can buy the drone with all the accessories you need such as a set of batteries, a battery charger, and a controller for under €500, and that makes it an incredible package as regardless of the drone you buy, you will need accessories. One battery isn’t enough unless you are fine with 13 minutes of flying, and batteries for drones are on sale for pretty hefty sums.
Bring ND Filters If You Are Going to Be Creating Videos
There’s nothing more I regret from this trip as far as content as the lack of ND filters. If you are going to shoot videos in Iceland, going without ND filters is like not bringing a camera at all. It’s ridiculously hard to shoot in Iceland without filters, especially when the sky is white and the ground is white from snow.
Whether you invest in an average pair of filters or something more pricey, get some filters for your lenses.
Have a Power Bank with Socket Support
On a creative day on the go in Iceland, we would use two cameras and a drone for our shots. Sony cameras have pretty poor battery life, but let’s not even talk about cameras. Drones have incredibly weak battery life. If you want to get the most footage possible while in Iceland, you need to be able to charge your drone batteries with a proper charger. The only way to do that is by connecting the battery charger to a proper socket.
And the best solution for that is the TYLT AWALL.
It’s the most solid power bank we have ever tried. We tried more than a bunch of power banks in the past, and the issue with most is that they felt like they would break if they feel. The AWALL feels like it can survive a drop, and while it is on the bigger side, it’s the ultimate power bank for the fact that it has a socket. USB ports are great, but they won’t always be enough.
We’ll actually be making a full review about this guy very soon as it is a power bank that is worth writing about.
And yes, it also comes with 2 USB ports too.
Bring a Travel Adapter for Charging When Not on the Go
If Iceland is your only trip this year, perhaps you can invest in any standard adapter. If you are a creator though, it is our job in this rough guide to Iceland to recommend that you invest in something of higher quality and with support for all other trips in the future.
If you travel a lot, instead of having to constantly invest in different types of adapters, get one that works worldwide. And Skross is a company that does an incredible job at creating such adapters.
As a creator, you are going to need to charge more devices than most people, and that can be a problem if you are limited as far as sockets. Most things can be charged with USB ports and that’s one of the reasons I love the Skross travel adapters. They work with just about all types of sockets and plugs, but most of their adapters also come with 2-USB ports which is a simple thing but allows you to charge 2 things extra overnight, and that makes all the difference.
The reason I recommend that you get an adapter from Skross isn’t just because of these features though. It’s due to trust. Skross has their adapters in shops all over the world, meanwhile most adapters out there are merely dropped-shipped products that don’t offer any features that will make your travel life easier.
Even more important in Iceland is having an adapter that won’t break easily which is my main issue with most adapters. If you are in Iceland, 20 minutes away from the nearest shop with early closing times, what are you going to do if your adapter breaks and you can’t charge anything?
Use HomeExchange to Save Time
Some of the most know locations for imagery in Iceland are a long time away from Reykjavik. The Golden Circle in Iceland is over an hour away from Reykjavik which is not ideal at all, especially if the weather conditions aren’t great for driving.
If you own a home or even just rent one, that’s where HomeExchange comes in.
HomeExchange is a platform we wrote about a lot in the past. People are looking to travel just like you are. They might have a great home but that doesn’t mean that they want to spend hundreds per night to get high standards. If you have a home, you can make an exchange.
The great thing about HomeExchange is that the main form of exchanges is based on points allowing you to make exchanges with people that aren’t going to your home, and that makes exchanges far easier as not everyone wants to go to your home because they might not be interested in your country. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t willing to host you though.
Things to Do in Iceland
In any other guide, we would have made an effort to mention some places worth going, and if this wasn’t a rough guide to Iceland for creators but just a standard rough guide to Iceland, we would have mentioned some great areas, but this is Iceland, and in Iceland, anywhere works for creators.
And we mean that. Iceland works for pictures and videos regardless of where you are.
Iceland is one of the few locations on the planet where you don’t need to search for things to do. All you need to do is to drive.
Would we recommend the Blue Lagoon? If you ever read any of our guides, you will know how honest we are. I once went to a park in South Korea that had amazing reviews and mentioned how not amazing it was due to the 3-hour wait to go on a rollercoaster. If something is not worth it, we are going to say that it’s not.
The Blue Lagoon? It’s heavily advertised by influencers and there’s nothing wrong with that. It means that they know what they are doing and that most don’t. I’ve seen some reviews that the Lagoon had too many people in, and while I can’t speak for every day, while there was a lot of people there, the water area was also enormous and thus it was not an issue at all. Creator or not, I think we all deserve some relaxation, and Blue Lagoon while pricey, does offer a fantastic experience with the premium package consisting of 2 face masks and a drink. You can stay as long as you want, although while the water is great for relaxation, you will end up wanting to leave
I do hate how people steal slippers and bathrobes there though. Very annoying.
As a creator, I would be careful as far as taking images in the area of the lagoon as water with salt is the biggest danger to electronics, but a quick shot or two shouldn’t hurt. They do have a great shooting area at the exit consisting if you take a right.
To Sum up This Rough Guide to Iceland for Creators
Iceland. The best country for images and videos there is. If you are prepared right. This rough guide to Iceland prepares you from every single angle which is why if you know any creators, it’s probably a good idea to share it with them!