It’s always difficult to find that perfect balance of which gear you need to take on an adventure. Too much and you are lugging around useless stuff. Too little and you can find yourself in a difficult and potentially life dangering situation.

Before we can delve into exactly what should be taken and what should be left at home we need to consider the way in which you are planning on exploring Patagonia and in this instance Torres Del Paine. For example, there are 2 ways to hike the W trek these days – self-sufficient camper life or Refugio relaxation.

What’s the difference? Well mainly money. It costs a hell of a lot more to stay in a bed then a campsite.

You can work your butt off carrying everything that you need to enjoy the Torres. Or you can work your butt off to earn the money to stay in a refugio and enjoy someone else’s cooking while just carrying the basic clothing and snacks between refigios.  This is an incredibly personal choice and there’s no judgemnt here if you decide to do one over the other. As we will be camping and exploring for nearly two months before we reach this part of the world we are going 100% self sufficient.

In the words of James – “You can work your butt off carrying everything that you need to enjoy the Torres. Or you can work your butt off to earn the money to stay in a refugio. Either way, your butt is going to get a good work out along the way”

How will this impact what I need to take?

Are you going to be carrying your own gear, including camping equipment? I’m calling this the Epic Adventurer package.

OR

Splashing the cash and hire gear/bed along the way.

If you’re going to splash the cash you can at some expense hire gear at some of the campsites.  If you are wanting to hire gear at the campsites and not carry it along the way you can pre-book this service with either Vertice or Fantasticosur. Prices really do vary from businesses and in between the campsites. Again this is one of those annoying things that you will need to pre-book and pay for in advance.

In all honesty, I’d suggest that if you are going to hire gear to do this before entering the national park. There are several places in Puerto Natales.

Where to hire gear from-
Erratic Rock

Just a note – gear hire is priced per day. So the initial prices may look appealing but it really will depend on how long you are planning on heading out for.

Hiking in Patagonia Traveling Honeybird

The Bare Basics

So this isn’t another the ultimate, take 20kgs worth of cool camping gear kind of list. No, this is a list which guides you on the absolute bare basics that you should take with you. A few of you had asked us what was the most important things we are taking and it was hard to say. Mainly because we have some super cool camping gear that we take along with us.

Summer? Winter? Patagonia weather doesn’t care. You’ll need to prepare for all four seasons. Dressing in layers that can be easily removed or added is the key. Choosing items that dry quick (for easy laundering or if you fall in a puddle – it happens to the best of us) and pack down small will make travel life oh so much easier.

Clothing

 

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants (over pants)
  • Thermal pants
  • Thermal top
  • Tee shirt
  • Jumper
  • Insulated Jacket (a down or synthetic puffer is ideal)
  • Clean underwear
  • Socks (beware of seams that could rub)
  • Well worn hiking boots
  • Pants
  • Beanie and warm gloves
Hiking Gear List Traveling Honeybird

Gear

  • Water bottle
  • Tent
  • Sleeping matt
  • Sleeping bag
  • Head torch
  • Toilet paper
  • Cooking equipment – stove, pot, plates, cutlery
  • First aid kit
  • Bag to carry it all!
    Seriously though you’ll need a good backpack that suits your body. And there’s a lot to choice from!
Refugio Patagiona Traveling Honeybird

Don’t forget these documents.

Passport. Campsite booking documents. Chile tourist card.

Booking documents? What? Yes that’s right. As we previously mentioned in stage one – Preparing for Patagonia – and numerous times above, you need to prebook ALL your campsites. It’s painful. I’m not going to lie. You’ll need to grab a bottle of wine and pencil out your desired campsites. Start off booking with the free campsites at Conaf. As you can change these dates for free. Then send off an email request to Vertice and or Fantastictosur. And then you wait. And wait until the booking requests come through, you pay and receive a booking confirmation.

Yes, the following booking sites supposedly have online booking platforms. We found that these open at very odd times of the year. So taking the advice from the team at Erratic Rock it’s best to email in your request.

Conaf – free government officiated campsites
Vertice – Left hand side of the W trek campsites
Fantasticosur – Right hand side of the W trek campsites

W trek map

Other things to consider

Snacks. Ain’t nobody got time to be hangry whilst out on the trail. Your budget and arrival city (ie where you’ve been before Puerto Natales) may dictate how much of your budget goes towards snacks. There are very limited chances to purchase food once you have entered the national park. Remember that someone has to physically get these delicious treats into the national park for you to buy. So you will be paying an extreme premium for this pleasure.

Personal needs – toiletries. Some people who have long blonde hair may require a few certain luxuries and be willing to sacrifice space and weight. Not that I’m pointing fingers at anyone but we all have different personal hygiene needs. Sunscreen, tooth brush & paste and maybe deoderant should be packed and taken with you.

Entry fee – At time of writing the entry fee to the national park is;
Foreign Adult: CLP $ 21,000 – please note that Chilean residents pay a lesser fee as their taxes go towards maintaining the park.

Have you been to Torres Del Paine?

Let us know in the comments below. Have any questions? Ask away and we’ll do our best to answer based on our current planning and research.

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.

Travel Insurance Traveling Honeybird
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Preparing for Patagonia The Packing List

29 Comments

  1. A really useful list! Really could have done with this before I went to Patagonia last time. Managed to just about muddle through but well done, very thorough.

    Reply
  2. Lists are helpful. I definitely need to get serious about making a packing list because I often forget at least one important item. Patagonia is beautiful and I am sure you had a thrilling trip.

    Reply
    • We haven’t gone as yet

      Reply
  3. I’ve been dying to go to Patagonia!! What an amazing trip that will be. Great items to remember to pack! I’ll definitely have to refer back to this when I end up going!

    Reply
  4. This sounds like a great list! I need to dust of my non-existent hiking boots and adventure up and through Patagonia hahaa 🙂

    Reply
    • You should!!

      Reply
  5. Good tips about pre-planning for camping gear rentals and bringing snacks/personal items. This is a useful list for anyone going to Patagonia.

    Reply
  6. Great list! I had some friends camp and hike around Patagonia and they loved it. Have you heard of toilet paper tablets? They’re little tablets that, when wet, turn into toilet paper (perfect for camping and doesn’t take much space) – thought it might be a good tip for the packing list 🙂

    Reply
    • Oh never heard of them!!

      Reply
  7. I have never considered hiking in this part of the world. Thank you for your detailed list!

    Reply
    • It’s the only way to see it

      Reply
  8. Loved your detailed write up! This definitely has it all 👍🏻

    Reply
    • Has all of what exactly?

      Reply
      • All that one needs to know about camping in Patagonia!

        Reply
  9. This is a great and really detailed list! Shame I probably wont be heading to Patagonia for some time yet! 🙁 But I have pinned for future reference

    Reply
    • Oh you never know where the world takes you!

      Reply
  10. great packing list. i am not one to rent camping gear,; however, it’s a nice option to have. Patagonia has been on my list for awhile now- i will definitely use this blog as a resource.

    Reply
  11. Great packing list! I usually use the same packing list for every trip and then add or delete some small things based on the location. But then usually I don’t go camping, so in case there is a trip coming up where I will be camping than I’m going to come back to this packing list, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
  12. I recently heard about Patagonia for the first time while reading a travel book by noted travel writer Paul Theroux. I would settle for a campsite anyday. Not only does it save money but is also more adventurous!

    Reply
  13. Some really great packing tips in here. I did not know you could hire some of the gear you need so that is good to know too. Great idea to remind us about the important documents! We do not want to be forgetting any of those

    Reply
  14. From my experience of Hiking the W I would say that the most important things to take are warm clothes, spare socks and yes, snacks. We hiked in summer and got caught in a blizzard! I’d say Erratic Rock is the best place to rent your gear and their free talk each day at Basecamp is incredibly useful. It’s worth nothing that most campsites and Refugios have gear to rent if there’s anything you have forgotten and the prices aren’t as high as you may expect. The snacks are a little overpriced but won’t break the bank!

    Reply
    • Oh great to hear! When we looked at gear hire all the websites now want you to prebook and prepay for gear hire.

      Reply
  15. This is a nice and simple list of items for camping. Have heard a lot about this beautiful place and would love to visit and camp there. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Thank you for the wonderful list and all the detailed info on how to visit Patagonia! Would definitely use it to prepare myself!

    Reply
  17. I never have a ready packing list ready, and almost always refer to blogs like yours for ideas. For some reason I found it funny that toilet paper went in the gear list, instead of in the other things list. Your packing list is a good help for trips to other places as well, not just Chile.

    Reply
  18. I love that you don’t judge those who pay for a different experience. Not everyone is cut out for a hard-core hiking/camping trek. And yes, I believe deodorant is a necessity for anyone attempting this trip! We bring our little kids when we travel and I think Patagonia sounds like an awesome place to add to our future travel list!

    Reply
  19. There is some very useful information here on visiting Torres Del Paine National Park. I had no idea there was an entrance fee, I don’t like 2 tier pricing but it’s useful they have a reason for it. I would be sure to stock up on snacks in Puerto Natales before visiting. Patagonia is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Reply
  20. I have a list with check boxes beside and I took several copies of it and made it into a notebook. Works best for me.
    I have a few blank spaces at the end for trip specific items!
    Thanks for the mention of the places where we could hire camp gears.

    Reply
  21. I have a similar packing list ready for travels. But yes the destination matters and the items packed will definitely vary. I find yours is a helpful list for Patagonia.

    Reply

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