Winter Camping Tour
at Vatnajökull Glacier in Iceland
Adventure for people that want to experience sleeping in sub zero conditions at a glacier or in an ice cave overnight.
We provide glacier gear as needed, as well as the camping gear and food. In some cases we would use snow shoes and sledges if needed, otherwise we will hike with big backpacks on our back.
You have to carry (or pull) your gear, and sleeping bag and some of the food and be physically and mentally strong enough to take part in this endeavor.
The final destination depends on time of winter, weather and ice cave situation, so we do not know for sure now how far we will need to walk. But normally it has been at least 3-4 km each way.
Café Vatnajökull at Fagurhólsmýri in southeast Iceland.
Normally around 16:00 the next day, but that depends a little bit on conditions so we recommend some flexibility.
In this Glacier Sleep Over Expedition we will hike over to a beautiful glacier location at Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. On this trip we will explore, and if conditions are right, stay overnight at an ice cave. But if the conditions are not great sleeping inside an ice cave we will make a winter camp at or on the glacier using glacier graded tents to stay in.
FromCoastToMountains provides glacier graded sleeping bags, with inner thermal liner (that is washed after each expedition). We provide the cooking gear and food and plenty of hot drinks. You better bring big backpack since you will be carrying sleeping bag, mattress, and part of your food, as well as your personal gear. Please bring down jacket or similar to put on once we are stopped for camping.
We started to do this trip in winter 2017-18 and for couple of years we could stay in the amazing ice caves at Treasure Island behind the famous Jökulsárlón ice lagoon. We called the trip Ice Cave Sleep Over. But in winter 2019-20 the ice caves in the area were not suitable to stay overnight, the far away ice caves in Treasure Island did not form, and the ice caves that were possible were really crowded. So we cancelled the trip this winter. But we realized we could have gone on with the trip if we had offered it as winter camping trip rather than only as Ice Cave Sleep Over, so for winter 2020-21 we will offer the trip under this new name. The goal is still to sleep inside an ice cave, but we plan to go on with the trip even if for example we only visit an ice cave on the way to where we spend the night in a beautiful glacier landscape.
We don't want to fool you. This is going to be challenging night for most people except those that have been camping in snow and mountains a lot. Maybe even one of the most uncomfortable night of your life. Please don't expect conditions like in an ice hotel in Finland or Sweden even though the prices might be similar :-)
For sleeping bags to work in minus °C temperatures one has to close the sleeping bag completely so only the nose sticks out. To get out of sleeping bag in the dark winter morning can also be a challenge, and although we use quite thick mattresses the body is stiff after the night especially for people over 50 year old.
But it is quite sure that if you enjoy outdoor adventure type of activities this is definitely going to be one of the highlights of your life.