Preparing for the "Big Circuit" in Patagonia

Do you plan to hike the O Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park? We know that it can be difficult to decide what to pack when preparing  for this big adventure and to support you with the preparations of your trip we have compiled a Packing List of recommendable gear to pack for the “Big Circuit” or “O Trek”.

As a start it is important to know that Patagonian weather is unpredictable and when packing for a trip to Patagonia you should prepare to experience all 4 seasons in one day. Expect rain, sun, wind, snow, heat and cold. We recommend to dress in layers to be able to adapt easily for changing climate conditions during the day.  It is highly recommended to use wind resistant clothing made from quick-dry materials instead of using cotton. To avoid blisters and walk comfortably recently bought hiking boots should be broken-in beforehand.

The below list is for hikers participating in an organized trekking tour and does not consider general camping equipment such as a tent, nor food. Once signed up for one of our hiking adventures in Patagonia, you will received a personalized packing list, adapted to the tour you booked.

If you are on a longer trip, and have extra luggage you won’t be able to take to Torres del Paine, you can leave it at our local partner’s office in Puerto Natales.

1. Clothes

  • Hiking boots (waterproof and broken-in)
  • Water and windproof jacket
  • Waterproof hiking pants (zip-off convertible style pants)
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Breathable, quickdry hiking shirt (Long-sleeved & Short-sleeved)
  • Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
  • Regular synthetic underwear
  • Wool blend hiking socks
  • Fleece or wool hat with ear-cover
  • Waterproof/fleece/woolen gloves & gaitors
  • Sun hat with brim (and ties to stop it blowing off )
  • Buff
  • Fleece or wool scarf
  • Sleep Wear
  • Change of comfortable cloths for evenings in the mountain huts (refugios)
  • Sandals or similar footwear to wear inside the mountain huts (refugios)

2. Trekking Equipment

  • Backpack with raincover: 40-60 liters (depends on how much you plan to pack and if you hire porters)
  • 3-4 season sleeping bag (-5/-10°C with compression stuff sack)
  • Therm-a-rest or similar camping mattress (light weight and compact recommended)
  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Refillable water bottle or hydration system

3. Other Essentials

  • Toiletries and personal Medical kit
  • UV sun protection (minimum 30 SPF) including face and lips
  • Microfiber travel towel (quick drying)
  • Small flashlight or headlamp with batteries
  • Mosquito repellent

4. Optionals

  • Binoculars
  • Camera, chargers, spare batteries & spare memory
  • Phone, charger & powerbank
  • Adapter
  • Reading materials
  • Duct tape
  • Ear Plugs
  • Small selection of your favorite hiking snacks

5. Money & Documentation

  • Passport with Chilean entry forms (immigration card)
  • Copy of health and travel insurance and air tickets
  • US Dollars or Chilean Pesos

Did you not yet book your Torres del Paine Trekking tour?
Take a look at our tour selection in Patagonia and find the best option for you.

Do you have questions related to Trekking in Patagonia or struggle finding space for your trip?
Our Travel Specialists will be happy to help you!

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