We liked this campsite a lot, and it came to feel very like a home from home. The camping area is huge, and was pretty full each time we visited, as you’d expect in July! The kitchen is a generous size too, and there are several washrooms (with free showers), a number of outside tables, places to watch TV with other visitors, charge electronic devices, do laundry and so on. As we didn’t have a car or any other place to lock valuables away, we knew it was risky to just zip up the tent and walk away for the day, leaving items inside that we wouldn’t want to find missing on our return. However, that’s a risk that we (and hundreds of other fellow campers) took time and time again, and fortunately not one we regretted.
Another reason we really liked this place is that the staff make concerted efforts to help the environment: they’re keen to reduce waste, recycle as much as possible and help their guests to help one another. Every year from 2011 to 2015 the campsite has received “Earth Check Assessed” recognition for its actions to operate sustainably and participate in eco-friendly business practices.
Further eco-friendly nudges include signs in the washrooms, reminding guests how precious water is and asking them not to leave taps running unnecessarily. And most nights there are talks, debates and/or film screenings on green and eco-friendly themes.
Photo credit, right: www.alamy.com
Kitchen waste is kept to a minimum as well. Many guests buy ingredients to cook specific meals on, say, one or two nights at the campsite, but then they leave, and might not want to take everything with them!
So, every day the staff sort usable left-behind food into designated areas where other guests can dig in and use whatever they need. We could have got away without buying food, really... there would always have been bread, jam, muesli, oats, coffee and sugar, etc. for breakfast, plus rice, pasta and all sorts of sauces, spices and cooking oils. So if anyone reading this ever ends up camping in Reykjavik, just buy yourself some milk, fresh fruit and veg and you’ll probably find enough staples and flavourings to pull together quite a few good meals!
Photo credit: Getty Images
As well as things left behind in the kitchen, there's a wealth of fantastic stuff literally up for grabs in another area, much of it left by people who clearly came over with a trek in mind but no equipment. I’m guessing that once in Iceland, they bought lots of gear, did the trek (at least, you’d hope so – there's some mighty CLEAN stuff in here!) and then couldn't take it back on the plane with them. So you find walking boots in really good nick. Camping gas canisters of varying levels of fullness... these pressurized, flammable containers are prohibited on flights, of course! Plus there are sleeping bags, camping mats, the odd tent, guide books, groundsheets, toiletries... all absolutely free and just there waiting to be claimed, whether for a week's stay in Iceland or for years to come! I remember being really disappointed that a particularly good pair of trainers didn't fit me, but never mind... they will have been perfect for someone sooner or later.
The Reykjavik campsite website has a fantastic photo gallery (with much better pics than mine!) here: http://www.reykjavikcampsite.is/photos/
Don’t miss the final few pics of my super-duper E-coffee cup’s journey across northern Europe! Coming soon :)