Donal Boyd, the Wandering artist in Þórsmörk, continues his assignment for the Volcano Huts, capturing the spirit of the land, its wildlife and the travellers that venture through. Here is his photo essay of what travellers consider essential items to bring along for the trek across the Laugavegur trail. If you like salami, you don't want to miss this advice!
Two of the most spectacular treks in Iceland begin and end in Þórsmörk - the Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls. Hikers utilize the Volcano Huts as a hub for information on weather, trail conditions, and general advice on planning hikes within the greater region. The Huts serves as an invaluable stop on the route between Landmannalaugar and Skógar and for many travelers the warmth and social atmosphere of the Huts is a saving grace when they’re finishing a trek or just starting out.
Recently I sat down with a few groups of hikers that completed either one of the two hikes to gain a bit of insight on what they thought were the most invaluable items for their trek. The resulting conversations are outlined via a photo-essay.
Profile: Two groups met at the campsite at Volcano Huts just finished hiking hiking the Laugavegur.
Essential Item(s): Hiking poles really help with balance and stability on the downhill sections. More chocolate would have been good, but a scarf is what Johannes missed the most because of the cold winds. Uwe and Eva mentioned having a water tight tent helps a lot with the strong gusts and potential storms at night.
Profile: Three physicians and one philosopher from Italy read about the Laugavegur trek in Lonely Planet and travelled to Iceland to do the hike and explore the rest of the country for two weeks.
Essential Item: More salami. As true Italians, they ate through their rations (6 salami) sooner than expected and wish they had brought more. They recommend people bring more salami than usual.
Profile: Avid hiker from the USA visiting Iceland for the first time completed both treks.
Essential Items: Crocs are crucial for river crossings because no one likes soggy wet shoes or boots. Also she recommends… “Don’t forget to bring a towel.”
Profile: Group of friends completed the Laugavegur and were stopping over at Volcano Huts on their trek from Landmannalaugar to Skógar.
Essential Item(s): Quick dry everything. Having good rain gear is 100% necessary because the weather can change without warning.
Profile: Group of friends from college heard about the Laugavegur trek from a friend who did the trails last summer.
Essential item: Outer shell is a must and a good sleeping bag goes without saying later in the season since the nights get much colder in late August/early September.
Profile: Emmanuel loved the trails in the region so much that this was his third time hiking the Laugavegur. Damien finished his first and really enjoyed it!
Essential item(s): For the rain and mist a poncho & Goretex helps a bit, but they recommend having ample “apéro”, which in French is something you have just before dinner… mainly Whisky and Anise. Warms you up just before sleeping.