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Preparing To Cross Iceland Coast To Coast

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Hailey and I grabbed a red eye from Toronto to Keflavik, Iceland overnight. We arrived in Iceland early this morning and immediately began organizing our expedition.

The Adventure Begins.

Our first stop after arriving at the airport was the BSI bus station located just outside of downtown Reykjavik. The BSI bus station is basically basecamp for all highland access. Their fleet of off-road busses can cross raging rivers and tear through quick sand with ease.

The busses drop off hikers to remote mountain huts, they also deliver packages and food to the huts. Packages like the two that we had prepared to be dropped off five days apart at two separate strategic locations to refill our food supply on route across the country.

As we arrived, we learned that the BSI bus station is no longer servicing the huts we had planned to cache our food at ahead of time. We have approximately 30 pounds of food for the duration of 14 days on the trail. With the addition of film equipment and camping gear, there’s no room for the access food in our packs…

The adventure begins!

Our Route Across Iceland.

We were very intentional about our route across Iceland. It’s important we capture as much compelling footage of key areas as possible. These visuals will aid the conservation group with more eyes on some of these rarely seen areas of Iceland.

Other considerations included access to “bug out” points should something go wrong. We are never further than 15 km away from a 4×4 road that would see at least a few vehicles a day. Additionally, if some rivers are impassible, our only option will be to hike to the 4×4 road, wait for a “super jeep” to give us a ride across the river, before returning to our original route.

We chose to go North to South for a few reasons. The first reason, there are much less rivers to ford compared to crossing from east to west or west to east. The location of the glaciers and their run-off makes traveling across the country more dangerous.

The second reason, The first two days of the route have a lot of climbing. They will be tough days. However, after the first two days, there’s a gradual decline for the next five days. Near the end of our route we connect with a trail called the Laugavegur trail. We are familiar with the Laugavegur trail, and at this point we will be pretty worn out. Knowing what to expect will give us a bit of an edge.

What We’re Taking With Us.

We categorized most of our equipment by shelter, kitchen, clothing, and accessories, and finally camera equipment.

We are using the A7RIII and A7III for photography on our trek. We are filming exclusively on Sony RX0 II cameras for our Crossing Iceland film. Sony was generous enough to lend us the equipment to ensure we weren’t limited by not having access to the right tools for the job.

Not listed below is the Sony camera batteries. We will be caring approximately a dozen for the mirrorless systems and another dozen for the RX systems.

As far as food goes, we are bringing the homemade dehydrated meals for dinner each night. Homemade oatmeal for the morning, instant coffee, salt tabs, and an assortment of vegan meal bars such as Bobo bars, Pro bars, and Cliff bars.

We Met With the Halendid (Highlands) Conservation Founder.

We met with project founder, Árni Finnsson about the Highlands National Park project. Politics and policy have been slow at best. However, Árni is optimistic. Árni started working on the protection of the highlands with the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association in 1997.

The idea of protecting the highlands with a national park was very popular in recent years. But with new governments constantly changing over, it has been challenging to get the idea to take off.

The current government has agreed that there should be a national park in the highlands. However, since that statement, there has been no more information on how much of the highlands region the government plans to protect, or when to expect its’ implementation.

This has pretty much put the Highlands project in another holding pattern. Meanwhile hydro interests and local municipalities continue to plan on development in multiple areas around the highlands.

Ready or Not.

We’re in town for one more day before we fly north to Akyurie where we will begin our trek! To see our progress and fore more updates, visit our facebook page and checkout our site regularly!

The Crossing Iceland film will be presented by Pelican.


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