America and Iceland define “intermediate” in decidedly different ways. Here, when applied to a physical activity, “intermediate” suggests you may need to stand up. There, it means “in all likelihood, you’ll die.” So should you visit Iceland and go on an “intermediate hike,” as Maggie and I so unsuspectingly did, I offer you this guide that you might learn from our mistakes and perhaps live to tell the tale.
Pro Tip 1: Pick an honest guide. To determine if a guide is honest, refer to their suggested packing list, and identify how many times the word “waterproof” appears. For Iceland Mountain Guides, it was five, which put them just on the verge of veracity. (Sun protection, on the other hand, was “optional.” And highly optimistic.) Once you have obtained your hiking attire, test it out by putting it on and throwing yourself into a swimming pool. This simulates the experience that Icelanders call “going outside.”