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Post-Trip Report: Iceland

The Path Less Travelled

My first overseas tour was a great success. I managed to wild camp across the island and not die which is a huge plus. If I could give one piece of advice it would be to push yourself a little farther than you are comfortable with. You'll often find that you surprise yourself.

The weather in July was fantastic. Windy but usually above 5C. I was always quite comfortable with my layers and didn't have to deal with snowfall.

The people are friendly, the food is expensive and the landscapes are haunting. There are so many untouched hills, rivers, valleys and peaks that are waiting for you to explore and it's a shame I think that most people stick to the paved highways.

Lighter tent: My Eureka Solitaire is fantastic, don't get me wrong. Super affordable, easy to setup, low profile for wild camping but the interior space is lacking. I can't sit up in it and it feels like a coffin in terms of space. It didn't really affect me too much since I usually camped at the end of a long day of riding so I would just pass out. In the future it would be nicer to have more room and shave a pound or two of weight.

Westfjords: I have to come back to explore this section of Iceland. I ran into many locals and tourists alike that said this place was a sight to see. It was a shame that I completely neglected that part of the country.

Landmannalaugar: This one of the original places I wanted to traverse. Rugged hiking and mountain biking in a sea of valleys. Unfortunately I didn't make enough distance and I chickened out on doing this section. Again on my list to do when I go back to visit.

Food Provisioning: I have this bad habit with food of not packing enough. This nearly bit me when I rode into the centre of the island and there was no food resupply available. I need to get better at packing at least two days of caloric content.

Keep 3:
  • 6L water bladder: This was tossed around without a care and held up. The large capacity meant I could forgo some stops into civilization and keep on cycling for extended periods of time. Link
  • 4000 mAh Phone: Powerhouse of a battery and working GPS without cell service. Anything that lets me stay out on the trail without having to restock/recharge is a godsend. Link
  • Padded Cycle Shorts: I got some gnarly blisters and sores on my ass from the harsh terrain and some mismanagement on the first day. Despite the booty damage, having padding definitely allowed me to push through and cycle for two weeks without having to give up.
Lose 3:
  • Cooking gear: Never used it. Food was always available to buy and the minimum you would need to carry is maybe 3 days of calories at most. The only kitchen gear I used was my titanium spork and I love that thing to bits.
  • Water Filter: Same as above, potable water was everywhere when I needed it. Never had to consider resorting to filtering from a natural source.
  • Sunglasses: Never used. I'm a big boy and I can cover my eyes when the dust blows (which it did). I think they make me look stupid so that's a good enough reason to toss them aside. Just a liability and one more thing I have too worry about smashing.

The day biking to and then climbing the Askja caldera was transcendent. No one was around and realizing how much I love the kind of opportunities that travel and touring bring me was unforgettable.

Do you want to read a day by day journal of the journey? click here
Want to see some tips for planning a trip like this? click here

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