If you visit Patagonia, there is a good chance that you will experience all 4 seasons within a few minutes. The weather is wild and unpredictable in Patagonia. It can go from sunshine to rain in a matter of seconds and snow is not uncommon in the mountains even in the summer. However, the worst element to contend with is the wind, especially in the summer. This post covers what to pack for Patagonia for those who are not doing multi-day hikes and camping or staying in refugios with very basic amenities.
If you are doing multi-day hikes like the O or W in Torres del Paine, then your packing list will also need to include your sleeping arrangements and food. However, this will depend on what kind of accommodation you book. See below for more on accommodation options in Torres del Paine.
What to Pack for Patagonia
You may not need to wear all the layers I am suggesting below, especially on a warm summer day, however, as I mentioned before, the weather can be unpredictable and packing all layers will come in handy.
- Base layer – A breathable base layer or thermal layer may come in handy for those cold days
- Mid layer – A good fleece jacket will come useful on warmer days where you can remove the outer layer and wear only your fleece or on cold days where you can layer on
- Outer layer – A wind proof and waterproof jacket with a head covering is a must in Patagonia
- Tops – breathable long sleeve tops and a couple of short sleeve tops for hot days
- Pants – I always prefer to wear leggings but most people prefer waterproof hiking pants
- Sturdy hiking shoes – This is also a must! It needs to be waterproof as well. I love my Columbia hiking shoes
- Merino wool socks – Merino wool makes sure your feet stay dry and blister free
I never had to wear a base layer as the temperature was not that cold when I visited. What I wore instead were long sleeve workout tops and my Columbia omni-tech, omni-heat jackets. This jacket is water resistant (the outer layer does get wet but it does not seep through) and the omni-heat feature regulates the temperature. I also carried my fleece with me. There is a good chance, you will have to either strip layers or bundle up at various points in the day.
Note I specifically callout a jacket with a head covering and not a standalone head covering. This is because the wind can easily sweep a cap or hat from your head, unless you can secure it in some way.
- Day pack – A lightweight day pack will come in handy to carry extra layers of clothing or food when you are hiking
- Day pack cover – A waterproof cover for your day bag to protect it in case it rains
- Trekking poles – Not only are these helpful for trekking, they are also helpful to ground yourself when the crazy Patagonian winds hit
- Water bottle
- Water purification tables -Water is generally safe to drink but in case you don’t want to take a chance
- Fanny pack – This one is totally optional but my favorite tip. I found carrying my personal belongings in a fanny pack tied to my waist saved me some weight off my back.
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Lip balm
- Camera (GoPro, DSLR etc)
- SD cards
Check out my travel equipment HERE! Leave the tripod out though. The wind is way too strong for a tripod.
- Snacks – Food can be expensive. Bringing snacks from home will be a lot cheaper