Alpine Hammock Camping In Iceland

by Ian Maclellan

My friends over at Alpine Hammock sent me off to Iceland with one of their hammock/bivy tents. I was so happy to have a new toy to play with that I forgot that Iceland only really has trees in Reykjavik.

Alpine Hammock Camping in Iceland

I started this trip off with a dip in the Seljavallalaug swimming pool, which is geothermally heated and the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. It’s tucked away in the mountains, hidden from the road. Most people stop their journey there, but I decided that I wanted to camp on top of the ridge above and get as close as possible to the famous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and glacier (the volcano that disrupted trans-Atlantic plane travel with it’s ash).

There were no trails leading from the pool so after hitting a few dead ends at cliff faces I decided to strip down and cross the freezing river and try a new path up the mountain. The sun was already starting to set so I didn’t have much time to pick out my tent spot and didn’t have very any flat options on this ridge. The best spot was at the edge of a sharp cliff so I decided to trust my friends’ engineering and tied the Alpine Hammock to some rocks so that I wouldn’t roll off the cliff in the middle of the night. I’m not sure I would have trusted my normal tent to stay put all night because I move so much in my sleep. As I set up camp, I drop my down jacket down into a gully off the cliff and it slips and rolls away… The sun is starting to disappear and I know it’s going to be a cold night so I head down the mountain in search of my jacket. I go past it on my way down and right as I’m about to give up hope spy it partially hidden under a rock. Crisis averted and time for bed… at 5pm.

Alpine Hammock Camping in Iceland

This was definitely one of the most unique places I’ve ever had the opportunity to camp.

Alpine Hammock Camping in Iceland

The Northern Lights cast an eerie green glow over the night sky in this long exposure from my bivy: