Guest Post by Christian McLeod
This was a trip I had been wanting to take for over 3 years. Iceland sat at the top of my list, but never managed to get ticked off. Once I landed on the volcanic rubble runway and set foot onto green moss and glacier ice, I felt a sense of relief and joy. I was finally able to explore Iceland for myself. A rough plan was made about where to go, and what we wanted to see, but we promised ourselves we wouldn’t stick to it. We moved from western Fjords, to sulphur mud pits and rotten gases drifting around sapphire blue waters.The jagged cliffs and thunderous storms that passed the glaciers changed our plans every day by the hour. This was spontaneous and exactly what I longed for. We began our journey north of Reykjavik near the Western Glacier. After the sun had set the fog rolled in. We stopped, pitched a tent, and made it through the night. It got cold… very cold. Using our old 1997 off road car was a good idea until the fog came through. Our jumpers and jackets were perfect for camping at sea level, then we got stuck 1000m above the ocean, right beside a glacier.Unfortunately my down jacket was lying neatly at home in Ireland. Smart I know. We battled from 11pm until 3.30am, shivering, in and out of sleep, eventually we all got up and had a look outside. We began to drive through dissipating fog, warming up slowly thanks to the broken car heater. This was an adventure even before the trip began. Missing passports, insane luggage charges and spending the night in a London airport filled with loud Mediterranean teenagers added so much to our journey. While in Iceland I made my way up a glacier and found myself shivering like a leaf in a hurricane. It was then I realized there was nowhere else I would rather be. The calm oceans didn’t make me crave surf. The high mountains and tiring hikes didn’t detract from my love for being outdoors. This is what I had dreamed of and what I want to do for as long as I can. I’ve spent my time doing what I thought was responsible and and what I was told needed to be done. But the truth is I left it all to do this.To shiver in a tent and feel like I’m living the way I know I should live, adventurously. Whether I am walking through a park, hiking a trail or surfing some barnacle-covered reef, this is how I want to live. Iceland was by far the most vast and scenic land I have travelled to, but I can’t stop here. The world as a whole is something I feel I need to see and document. I look forward to each day and continuing to travel and explore, even if it’s right outside my front door.
I was amazed how much the Goal Zero equipment helped, not just myself but the two other people with me. We did a three day hike through a remote area of Iceland and had no access to electrical sockets or car batteries. We often found ourselves looking around to see nobody for miles. We relied entirely on the Sherpa 50 Power Pack and the Nomad 13 Solar Panel to keep our gear charged. Things can go wrong quickly and it was great having the backup of a fully-charged phone. As a photographer my camera is an important item I need to take with me everywhere. What use is it if it dies halfway through the journey? Throwing the panel onto my backpack while hiking charged the Sherpa and left us with plenty of energy to charge our gear overnight and kept us safe and shooting during the day. This is definitely a tool I will be bringing on my trips in the future.