I have one more day left to recap for Patagonia but I’m procrastinating. It’s a silly little way to convince myself that if I don’t finish writing it, the trip is somehow not yet over. I loved Patagonia so much that I really don’t want to think that my trip has ended. So instead of recapping my last day in Patagonia I’m posting my packing list, as I have done so for some of my other trips (packing for India, packing for the Galapagos Islands).
Packing for Patagonia seemed daunting to me so I put it off for a while. All the research I did boiled down to this- prepare for unpredictable weather. I heard that it could be sunny and hot one moment, a few minutes later it could pour, turn icy over night, snow the next day, and the get really hot again. I generally don’t enjoy being wet or cold, and just reading about the fickle Patagonian weather put the fear of God in me. Before I started traveling full time, I got rid of most of my clothes and shoes, and the fact that I’ve never gone camping or even gone on an overnight hiking trip meant I had to BUY everything. And if you’ve noticed, I also tend to leave for my next destination before the weather turns too cold in the current one- i.e. I don’t have a lot of winter clothing.
My other problem is that I don’t like buying new things since I don’t have a home or a storage unit. But there was no denying that I needed some new gear, so I made a list. A short list of items I really, truly needed for this trip. It had to be simple and everything on the list had to be absolutely necessary because after the Patagonia trip I was going to live in Buenos Aires where the dress code is more like New York than a camp site in the wilderness. And because I’m a nut, I stubbornly refused to take a large luggage with me. I still remember the incredulous look on my Mom’s face when she saw what I’d packed. She said, “is that all you’re taking?” So if you see me in Buenos Aires more than three times, expect me to be wearing the same outfit you’ve seen me in before.
Below is what I packed for Patagonia, which included thermal layers as well as wool socks and body warmers, etc. I also had waterproof/windproof outer layers, thick gloves, and hats. In the end, the weather was so ridiculously nice that I didn’t wear half the things I purchased for this trip. I am now looking to book a tour down to Antarctica- I have to use this stuff for something!
* Wool hat, water proof gloves, two bandanas (came in handy as I covered my nose and mouth to block out sand and dust, wore it around my neck for extra sun protection, etc)
* Strong plastic bags and drysac/compression sac to keep things dry
* Thermal underwear: Icebreaker top and bottom
* Fleece top
* Windproof/waterproof jacket, heavier jacket that zips inside the waterproof layer
* Small towel
* 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 t-shirts
* 1 pair of shorts (did not wear them)
* 2 pairs of hiking pants (convertible quick-dry pants that zip into shorts/capris)
* 1 pair of windproof/water proof pants (water-proof pants could be hired in Puerto Natales)
* Hiking boots and 3 pairs of socks
* Keens (should have packed a pair of sneakers instead)
* Flip-flops (I don’t like to go barefoot in hotel rooms or in shared showers)
* Sun hat X 2
* Sun block (this is a must!) & Chapstick
* Toiletries (biodegradable)
* Alarm clock (used my i-touch)
* Refillable water bottle (took my 1L Platypus, didn’t need water purification tablets as glacier water was delicious and potable)
* Swiss Army knife
* First-aid kit (Aspirin, regular Band Aids, Band Aids for blisters, anti-histamine, Imodium, etc), insect repellent, and hand sanitizer
* I didn’t buy a sleeping bag (rented one for $7/day in Puerto Natales)
* Sleeping bag liner (I use a silk liner from Cocoon)
* I don’t have walking/hiking polls but they could be rented in Puerto Natales
* Passport (with photocopies, extra passport size photos)
* Travel insurance info
* USD cash, ATM card, credit card
* Camera and flash drive for backup
* I-touch for music
* Kindle and writing material
* Adapters: Argentine plugs have two angled slits and are 220v (older Argentine buildings use plugs with two rounded prongs). Chilean plugs have two rounded prongs like the ones used in Europe, also 220v.