Lonely Planet Writer

Watch the Northern Lights from inside these cool Icelandic campers

Custom-built, yellow teardrop trailers came into being with a somewhat provoking question: does camping have to be uncomfortable?

The campers have a window on top so you can admire the sky. Image by Mink Campers

The Reykjavík-based Mink Campers have overcome the unpredictable elements of camping below the Arctic circle with a mini-trailer equipped with central heating. Co-founder Kolbeinn Bjornsson told Lonely Planet they had set out to design a mobile home perfectly suited for Iceland: sturdy structure and thick tyres for the gravel highlands, and a glass roof for when the Northern Lights show up. The trailers also have Wi-Fi, a sound system and an open-air kitchen; the inside is really an overbuilt queen-size bed with room for two adults and an optional smart bunk-bed for a child.

See the sky through the light. Image by Mink Campers

“The intimacy of camping should come with comfort,” Bjornsson said. “When people sleep in a tent, so much of the energy goes into just surviving the night. It takes away from the experience of being close to nature.” Small-sized, Iceland is a popular road trip destination, where driving only occupies a reasonable part of the journey. The island’s loop route, called the Ring Road, is just about 1350 km (830 miles). While it could technically be made in less than 24 hours, many travellers spend roughly one week, with room for some interesting detours.

The campers can go off road. Image by Mink Campers

The Mink Campers are rented out with a car, and to explore the interior highlands, a jeep is required. The hardy trailers a solid niche in the barren interior where independent accommodation can often be the only option.

The campers have storage in the back and a kitchen area. Image by Mink Campers

Trips take various forms, as evident on the Mink Instagram account. “What every tour has in common,” Bjornsson said, “is that people return with a story of a favourite overnight spot.” For more about Mink Campers visit their website.

By Egill Bjarnason