Trekking the Laugavegur Trail seems pretty straightforward – just follow the path, right? It’s actually not that simple, especially if the weather obscures landmarks or signposts.
So Missouri Howell and I have gotten ready with a mix of old and new technology to make sure we are safe.
We both purchased the Trail guidebook, The Laugavegur Trail: A Hiking Companion to Iceland’s Famous Trek (self-published, available on Amazon), by Brian W. Zimmer. While not a navigation help per se, it will give us an idea of what we should be seeing and when. The guidebook also suggests side hikes that add to the experience, so that’s useful as well.
Pretty sure we both purchased the Sérkort 4 map that covers Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, along with an expanded view that just happens to show the Trail to Skógar, our final destination. It also has short descriptions of each area we’ll hike through and also a display of birds we might encounter on the trail.
GPS is readily available along the trail, though we’ll resort to that only if absolutely needed, in order to conserve batteries and data.
A downloadable map in 4 sections is available via the Wapp app. Wapp is a free app that also provides information on nature, history, folk tales and the environment in general. The maps are downloaded beforehand and used offline, some free and others for a nominal fee.
For safety, both of us downloaded the 112 Iceland App from Safetravel. The app works in 2 ways: as a check-in as you travel so your last known position is available and also to call for help. Safetravel is also a great site to check for alerts in the area you are traveling. We had serious concerns recently when the winds were gusting and it was snowing on the Laugavegur Trail, at the end of July!
Hopefully we’ll have no issues and the trail will unspool itself beautifully as we trek. For side treks and for general navigation, we are covered by paper map and GPS, as needed. It’s also nice to know that someone is watching out for us in case of emergency.
To hike the Laugavegur Trail, it’s important to have navigation backup in case of poor visibility or other issues. Being covered in case of emergency is a must as well.