Friday, 16 March 2012

Iceland Weather

Dear All

A quick update on the weather in Iceland, and a slight change to the itinerary. At the moment, it is looking lovely in Iceland, but by monday evening when we arrive, it looks very, very wet:

As such, please make sure that you have put your waterproofs in your day sack, or even better,wear them on the plane, as you do not want to start the trip wet and cold. If you are not appropriately dressed each day, you are staying on the bus! I think some waterproof trousers are going to be important this year.

Other things to have in your hand luggage:

English Money for breakfast - we will stop on the way up, and there is some time in the airport

Swimmers - no towel needed in the Blue Lagoon

Icelandic Money - you may wish to buy a snack at the Blue Lagoon

Extra layer for post Blue Lagoon warmth

Hat - essential

Passport - I will be checking these when you arrive in the morning

Departure Time: 0545 (morning time on MONDAY)

The Kit List again:


·         Layering is the key to retaining body heat because air is trapped between the layers and therefore ‘insulates’ your body from the cold.

·         Several thin layers are more effective than any one thick garment.

·         Woollen fabrics are better insulators than synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester.

·         Some modern fabrics are excellent, allowing water vapour to pass through without losing any heat.

·         Don’t forget your legs! Warm trousers (not jeans) are essential, but bring light ones for summer and always bring waterproof trousers whatever the time of year.

·         ... on your feet! Thick woollen socks are best (not nylon)

·         A Hat! Needed all year – more heat is lost through the head than any other part for the body. A warm one for winter that also can cover the ears is good. A scarf is essential October to April to protect the neck.

·         Gloves (waterproof): frozen fingers hurt, wet fingers lose heat: uncovered wrists can have significant heat loss.

·         Depending on the weather, anything between 1 and 5 layers will be required.

Suggested layers:                    Base layer of a thermal vest/long johns if cold

                                                        Cotton T-shirt if warm

                                                        Collared shirt/rugby top or polo sweater (scarf if not polo)

                                                        Woollen/breathable fleece/sweater

                                                        Insulated jacket/fleece

                                                        Waterproof outer garments (top and bottom)

If going in summer, then 3 layers would be normal (and include shorts just in case!!). Whatever time of year, be prepared to carry an extra layer in your daysack.

WARNING: Overheating (too many layers) can be as debilitating and dangerous as getting cold, so don’t start your day looking like an arctic explorer/Michelin man or woman by wearing everything!


·         Getting wet leads to cold/heat loss which can lead to hypothermia which is very serious

·         A fully waterproof out garment is ABSOLUTELY essential. Beware of misleading claims common amongst cheaper brands of nylon-based garments. Gore-Tex, Paramo or similar fabric is advisable.

·         Waterproof trousers are a must.


·         Boots are essential! Trainers, however expensive, are no substitute as they don’t give you ankle support. Wellington boots are not to be used as although they are waterproof, they’re useless for gripping on wet rocks.

·         Please don’t feel obliged to spend a small fortune on 4-season boots which may only be used for a week. Any waterproof with a vibram or similar moulded rubber sole will be adequate. Please wear them in before going to Iceland


The places where we stay are warm and comfortable and so you will need light clothing and footwear (eg trainers) to change into during the evening.


·         Sunglasses – all year round there’s a high albedo (reflection of sunlight) off snow and ice. They also protect you from dust-storms if there are high winds blowing off ash areas. Contact lens users may wish to bring ‘goggles’.

·         A small day-sack – big enough to carry spare jumper/waterproofs plus packed lunch, drinks bottle, camera etc

·         Sun-block cream in the warmer months


·         Towel (suitable for when swimming)

·         Swim-wear

·         Personal Toiletries

·         Personal medications (staff responsible need to be aware and informed of any prescribed medications)


·         Thermos flask (or water bottle in summer)

·         A seriously LARGE block of chocolate (chocolate is ridiculously expensive to buy in Iceland) or multiple packs

·         Camera (don’t forget charging and download cables as well as spare batteries)

·         Plasters and paracetamol etc

·         Writing paper, pens, pencils

·         Plastic bags


For reasons of safety, the use of personal stereos/ipods etc with head-phones/ear pieces is not permitted when out in the field. Batteries will be expensive in Iceland so bring your own spare ones. You must have your own personal insurance for any such items


·         Rules and regulations will be kept to a minimum

·         When instructions are given, they are given for a reason ... YOUR SAFETY!

·         Follow all instructions from your staff/party leader

·         Disregarding any instructions will be viewed as being a serious breach of discipline

WE, the staff, rely heavily on YOU to make this a successful, enjoyable and memorable experience: we are a team together!

You have the emergency contact details, if not:

Most mobiles will work in Iceland, and if you need to get in touch, please call or text one of the trip mobiles. Alternatively, during the day time, use the main college number and they will get a message to us through the duty manager, Martyn Owen. If you have an out of hours emergency, Rob Setchell is our designated emergency contact, and will be able to get in touch with us at any time.

Trip Mobile Numbers: 07583298460/07825630026

College Number: 01823 320800 –Duty Manager Martyn Owen

Emergency Contact:  Rob Setchell - 07712 611653

We plan to arrive back at RHC on Saturday the 24th at around 4:30pm, we will ask students to call you an hour before arriving with an accurate update. There will be limited internet access on the trip, but hopefully, you will be able to follow us through the Geography Blog.

Any questions, get in touch with me quickly!

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