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Patagonia. It’s the proverbial mother ship. The ultimate goal. The dream. Fantasy. On the hiker’s scale of 1-hell yeah! It’s above the hell yeah level. But it isn’t for the faint-hearted or the unprepared. Even though we are over five months away from our Patagonia pleasure trip we’re in full preppers mode.

No not the end of the world, bunkering down in the wilderness preppers but responsible traveller preparations. As we start on this magical journey we’ll be documenting our successes and the likely failures that we’ll come across.

Pata-who?

Patagonia. It’s that amazing naturally beautiful mountainous area at the very bottom of South America. It crosses both Argentina and Chile. Famous for adventure and thrill seekers. Also famous for not being a particularly budget friendly area. Which is understandable when you realise that really it is at the end of the world. This isn’t the only area we’re going to visit in South America.

Preparing for Pataognia - The First Steps
Image Credit: Flickr by Melanama

Get The Gear

Pretty much step one has been ensuring that we have the correct gear for the situation. We do already have quite a lot of gear from our usual adventures but it wasn’t quite right or enough. Trying to find warm pants to fit me has been a first world problem nightmare. Despite the belief that Sth America is a tropical fiesta waiting to happen our time in Patagonia will be chilly.

Purchased to date

Ahnu hiking boots $199
Berghaus backpack $249
Boody – merino underwear and leggings $40
MacPac soft shell pants $119
Gaiters $49

Total price – $656*
*note outdoor gear is ridiculously expensive in Australia. The above prices were all items on sale over the past two to three months. 

We are still in need of some items for this adventure. The usual body wipes, dehydrated food, water bottles.

Booty time

Use The Gear

Before you go.

Prior preparation prevents a piss poor travel experiences. It’s so important to test out your gear in as many different situations as possible. Our time in Patagonia will see us hiking, hitch hiking and camping for weeks on end potentially. Comfort is my priority. I don’t want to find out in the middle of a 5 day hike that my shoes don’t fit or my pack is terrible when loaded.

Every night we’re out walking, even in the winter chill, making sure that the gear we have bought works well together. For now it’s small walks averaging 4km a night, as this fits in around our full time work schedule. Shortly we’ll up this once I’m confident that all the new things are playing nicely together. Fingers crossed that the next steps will see us walking with loaded packs.

Preparing for Pataognia - The First Steps
Image credit: Flickr by Solarfer

Fighting Fit

Fitness is going to form a huge part of our travel experience. Not only are we prepping for Patagonia but we’re also hiking the Lares Track and something in between. Which has yet to be decided and planned. Right now we are at the awkward stage of needing to building up our fitness but also understanding that we will naturally build up fitness when we are hiking. There’s also very little way for us to get used to altitude.

Travel Insurance

I know I know I keep on harping on about how important this is. Being a responsible traveller is more than just picking up your rubbish and playing nice with the locals. Don’t be a financial burden on the communities that you travel within or your families. Get covered now.

These Are Just The First Steps

These are just the first steps in our preparation. We still need to book bus tickets to get us to Patagonia as well as find our way through the minefield of booking camp sites along the W trek.

Have you been before? Have any great tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below.

Jeanette

Jeanette

Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.
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Preparing for Patagonia – The First Steps

32 Comments

  1. Enjoy the adventure and honestly, wishing you lots of luck on your endeavor. Can’t wait to get to South America.

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  2. I only heard about Patagonia for the first time a few years ago. It looks so amazing and I would absolutely love to visit! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your Patagonia adventure 🙂

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  3. I read about about Patagonia and it’s natural beauty. You have described your preparation process very nicely, it reminded me of my trek preparation. I use to go for walk in my newly bought shoes to test how well they fit me for long walks.

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  4. What an exciting time! So I’ve never been to Patagonia before, but I did hike the Appalachian Trail for a few weeks and had to take a lot of similar steps to make sure I was prepared before stepping off. And gosh darnit why is gear so expensive?! Best of luck as you continue preparing for your journey!
    -Kristin

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  5. There must be so much to do to plan a backpacking adventure of this degree. But your photos are beautiful and I can see why you are drawn to hike in Patagonia. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing about your adventure and seeing your photos!

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  6. This a nice guide for all those preparing for Patagonia or any other high altitude mountain trekking. I never had Patagonia on my list. Now , after reading your post, I am rethinking. Good luck and enjoy! I will be following your adventure.

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  7. Oh my! Patagonia looks gorgeous. We were actually trying to go to Chile last year but visa issues came in the way. It is definitely on my bucket list!

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  8. Great preparation tips for such a great hike! I’ve always find using the gear beforehand very helpful for a little ‘breakthrough’. Uncomfortable items are such a pain when you’re using them 🙁

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  9. What an amazing adventure, no wonder you need to do so much preparation. We failed to trek in Peru but we did stay in a thing called Skylodge which was very cool and worth a peek.
    Have ana amazing time!!!

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  10. I was in Patagonia earlier this year and absolutely loved it – the scenery was stunning and I could have easily stayed for longer than the two weeks I had! I like your tips on gear to take, I had most things I needed but shouldn’t have brought brand new hiking shoes that I hadn’t worn before!

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    • Oh ouch! Did you feet feel the pain of new shoes

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  11. Wow you are a brave hiker and so glad you were sensible enough to use the gear first. I have way too many friends who didn’t heed this sage piece of advice. Looking forward to hearing more about the hike.

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  12. Wow! Such beautiful mountains! I have yet to visit South America. It’s definitely on my bucket list. Patagonia looks well worth a visit!

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    • Which is why we are going. So much natural beauty

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  13. The first time I read about Patagonia was in a book by the noted travel writer Paul Theroux. Since then I have wanted to be here. Your pictures do justice to your words. I am most interested in the wildlife of the region.

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  14. Patagonia is definitely a beast of a destination, but all of your prep will be so worth it!! It’s definitely a place I hope to get to one day. Looking forward to following along as you get ready for this epic adventure!

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    • Thanks Jen! I can’t wait

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  15. Sounds like you’re all prepared for your trip! I didn’t know that there will be so much hiking involved that you need to be physically fit to visit Patagonia. Glad to know and can’t wait to see your adventure!

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    • It’s only the hiking highlight of the world!! 😉

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  16. It sounds like your prepping is going great guns. And urg for living in Australia where equipment is so expensive! But good job getting it early to test it all out. There’s nothing worse than arriving in a less than accessible destination and finding out those shoes you bought create blisters for fun and you only have the band aid supply that came with the first aid kit!

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  17. You guys will have such a wonderful time in Patagonia – it truly is one of the most beautiful parts of the world! Sounds like your preparations are well under way – thanks for sharing your insights so far. Massive YES to testing and trialling your gear before heading out – especially boots – prevents a lot of pain on the trip if you’ve broken in your hiking shoes before hand! And just to make sure all your technical equipment works the way it should. My dad raised us on the 6 P’s (prior planning prevents piss poor performance), so was great to see them pop up in your post!

    Happy travels!

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  18. Patagonia has been on my list for a long. This is one place I really wanna go so bad. Your preparatory list is good one and I am definitely going to refer it back once I am all set to go.

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  19. Patagonia sounds like a daunting destination. However, it has a lot of amazing landscapes. This is going to be an exciting adventure for you and will probably test your hiking skills.
    It’s good that you have been using your travel gears before you go to Patagonia. Can you return the merchandise if you do not like it? I like that you are preparing physically too. You body will be able to adjust quite well but the weather in Patagonia is different. You should also buy hiking sticks and a headlamp.

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  20. Patagonia is one of those places that have been on my bucketlist forever. I am super envious of your trip and you are correct, you need to prepare and exercise to get fit.

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  21. Use the gear is probably the most important piece of advice. I would trust somebody with old crusty gear that they have used 10/10 times over somebody who is still peeling price tags off their gear at the trail head. You also get to answer the all important question about the gear/weight ratio. Do you need every gadget you could pack or are there things that are dead weight? A few test runs will help you determine this.

    Make sure your shoes fit is key too. Blisters suck and blisters on trail really suck. Moleskin helps but it all starts with your shoes. And socks. Get a couple of good pairs of socks. I would actually change socks on every rest stop. This keeps grit out of your gears and allows the socks to dry. You can put on the old pair after an hour if you leave it to dry on your waist or something.

    Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. Camps, altitude sickness, heat stroke, decompression sickness (wrong sport but still) all are related to your hydration.

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  22. I love the build up. And did I tell you I love the way you write. It’s the perfect mix of real time personal updates, travel inspiration served with a dash of humour 🙂 All the best with the hiking gear 😀

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  23. I visited Patagonia a few years ago and still to this day it’s the most beautiful place I’ve visited. It’s a photographers dream, everywhere offers wonderful views. Your list of things to prepare are very good, I went on the Fitz Roy hike and although the views were incredible it was tough conditions. Travel Insurance is a must!

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  24. Wow, I’m so excited for your trip! Patagonia sounds amazing, but this is a great resource to prepare for a variety of hiking trips! Can’t wait to read more!

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  25. Holy moly we want to go to Patagonia so bad! You suggested some good gear! We have a lot of that stuff but you suggested others we should check out!

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  26. Patagonia definitely needs lots of gear! I just came from Nepal and was lucky enough to be able to buy my gear there for a fraction of the cost elsewhere!

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  27. Preparation is such and important part of trip to get as much out of it as possible. In your case, getting fit seems to be very important with such and active itinerary and that is not something you can cram for at the last minute. Patagonia is on my list of the great places in the world to see since I love the outdoors and hiking.

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  28. The closest I’ve been to Patagonia is Santiago and the Andes Mountains close to there where my partner and I holidayed there in January/February this year. We do have plans to return and hopefully also get to see Antarctica but that certainly won’t be this year. Your trip sounds exciting and I think you are very wise to try as much out as you can before you go. I really look forward to hearing how your trip goes to learn what to do/not do in order to have a successful trip. Take heaps of photos!

    Reply

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