The so-called rental economy has become huge in the past few years. If until a decade ago renting was, to most, synonymous to “renting a house”, today the options for rental seem virtually unlimited. From dresses, to textbooks, to garden tools, to films (Netflix anyone?), the rental economy is exploding – and with good reason! Renting is great for your pockets and for the environment, as it means lower costs, less transport and carbon footprint, and less over-accumulation of stuff you may only use once.
When it comes to camping in Iceland, a place that is unlike most others on earth, there are even more good reasons for travelers to rent their equipment once there rather than lugging it along. For example…
Once you have put a tent, a sleeping bag and some cooking equipment in your luggage, chances are you won’t have much space left for anything else. By renting all the necessary in Iceland, you will be able to bring all your clothes without needing to pay for an extra bag – or, if you like to travel light, you might even decide to skip the checked in baggage altogether!
In the past few years, we have seen too many travelers who ended up having to pay extra charges because of equipment – and we have also heard stories of items, from tent pegs to cookers, being confiscated at airport checks. Think ahead and leave behind what you could rent once on the island!
Many of our customers make intermediate stops before or after coming to Iceland. If you are planning to spend a week in France on your way home, it makes no sense to lug a sturdy tent and heavy sleeping bags across half of Europe. Of course, you may want to camp outside of Iceland, too; but this just brings us to the next point…
The camping equipment that will keep you warm and dry in Iceland is not necessarily the same type of equipment you’d use if you were camping in, say, California, Germany or Australia. Iceland is an island in the middle of the Atlantic, and it has a pretty different climate from most other places where people usually holiday. In Iceland there are relatively high chances of rainfall throughout the year, the nights are cool even in the summer, the wind is a pretty constant companion, and in many areas (by the glaciers, but also in the highlands) the temperature is quite low all year round. If you want to have a great camping trip in Iceland, it’s a good idea to have sturdy equipment designed for the Icelandic weather. Rather than taking along your light sleeping bag to then risk feeling cold the whole night through, and rather than spending a lot of money for a sleeping bag you will never use again, it’s a great idea to travel light and rent the stuff you need once in Iceland.
“What is the nicest camping site in the Westfjords?” “Does it make sense to buy a camping card?” “Should I travel the island clockwise or counter-clockwise?” There are so many questions when you are planning a holiday in a country you haven’t visited before! At our rental shop in Reykjavik we do our utmost to answer all of our customers’ doubts, so they can plan an unforgettable trip.
It may surprise some, but several of our customers are first-time campers, who have decided to try out a new type of holiday. Unsurprisingly, novices have a lot of questions and very fair concerns, many of which have to do with what kind of items are needed. As every seasoned camper knows, the answer to “Do I really need [a table/a cooler/a mattress]?” is far from an easy one, as it depends on your camping style, the length of your stay, how old the people in the group are, and so on. Novel campers are especially appreciative of the advice they can get from people who, like us, have camped lots of times in Iceland, and they are often happy to hear they don’t necessarily need all of the equipment they see in-store :)