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Patagonia packing list 2023 – 15 essential items

When planning an adventure trip through a remote region such as Patagonia, it’s essential to pack the right gear. In this post, you’ll find a detailed Patagonia packing list that contains the 15 basic hiking items and must-have camping gear.

Patagonia is a waste region in the extreme south of South America. We spent two months hiking and camping in Patagonia mostly in Chilean Patagonia. During that time we had all kinds of weather; from hot sunny days to hail and stormwind – our gear never failed. We’ve done many day hikes in Patagonia and several long-distance treks and spent quite a lot of time traveling the Carretera Austral. In this post, you’ll find our best tips and gear recommendations for your Patagonia adventure based on our experience.

Download our PDF file with the complete Patagonia packing list

Campbell on a hiking trail in Patagonia carrying all his camping gear
Campbell on one of the hiking trails in Patagonia

You can find all our posts dedicated to the region on our Patagonia planning resources page.

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If you’re planning a trip to Patagonia and need some ideas check out our Patagonia itinerary post where you can find suggestions for 7, 10, and 14-day trips.

The most important items to pack for Patagonia


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For day hikes, you’ll need a small and comfortable day pack to carry only essentials, snacks, and water. We’ve become big fans of Osprey packs. We both have Osprey Daylite Plus day packs. We use them for day hikes and often as hand luggage for flying.

For long hikes having a good backpack is very important. It should be a good fit, adjustable, with padded shoulder straps and several pockets. As for the size, I’d suggest 50-60L for men and 40-50L for ladies. Don’t take a huge backpack it’s very likely you’ll pack unnecessary stuff. A backpack rain cover is a must-have for Patagonia. 

Recently we’ve bought a new hiking backpack for Campbell Osprey Kestrel 48. It’s a good combination of good quality and affordable price. The size is just perfect, you can fit all the necessary gear and food for a multi-day trek. The backpack is adjustable and lightweight. It has many pockets and straps and has a long zip which makes packing and unpacking easier.

For a bigger backpack, I can suggest Osprey Atmos AG 65. If you’re looking for a cheaper option check NEVO RHINO backpacks. We have never had a backpack of this brand but it has good reviews on Amazon.

I used to hike with Quechua backpacks from the Decathlon store. My old backpack needs an upgrade and I’m thinking of buying Osprey Kyte 46. It’s important to have a water-resistant cover for your backpack.

Osprey hiking backpack to pack for Patagonia
Campbell’s new Osprey backpack is perfect for Patagonia

Hiking shoes

Having the right footwear is the most important thing on your Patagonia packing list. You’ll spend most of the time wearing your shoes. Make sure your hiking shoes are;

  • waterproof
  • breathing
  • have a good grip ( sometimes you walk on muddy slippery terrain)
  • fit good which means you have some space to wiggle your toes
  • are good quality and won’t fall apart after one hike.

Temperature is not a big problem in Patagonia. In summer it’s comfortable, not hot and not cold, and nice for hiking. You don’t need to pack heavy winter hiking boots. rain is the main problem here I’d strongly recommend having waterproof shoes. It’s good if your shoes have good ankle support.

After having many pairs of hiking shoes Campbell and I finally decided to try Gortex. Campbell has Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX and I have Salomon Ultra 3 Mid GTX shoes. They are really waterproof. We walked in them for hours in snow and pouring rain and our feet stayed dry. They’re great shoes to pack for Patagonia considering its unpredictable weather. 

Our video on Salomon Ultra 3 GTX shoes

Wool socks

I recommend packing Merino wool socks for Patagonia. We always use them when going hiking. They don’t absorb odors, dry quickly, are very durable, and help to prevent blisters. Darn Tough hiking socks they’re famous for great foot support and blister protection. In the last 2 years, we’ve been wearing Danish Endurance socks for hiking and long-distance walking. I can highly recommend them.

To prevent blisters

  • Wear Merino wool socks (they are amazing for hiking it’s tested and proven).
  • Put plasters or tape on the areas where you usually get blisters before hiking.
  • When your feet get wet, change your socks walking in wet socks is a sure way of getting blisters.
Cerro Castillo National Park in Patagonia offers breathtaking scenery
Spectacular scenery in Chilean Patagonia is totally worth the effort

Clothes for the Patagonia packing list

For hiking you usually use different layers of clothing. Each layer plays an important role in keeping you warm and dry.

Rain jacket

As I already mentioned the weather in Patagonia is very unpredictable. The day might start with sunshine and end with heil or even snow. For the main top layer, I would suggest a rain and windproof jacket. We used ours a lot to stay warm and dry on rainy days. It’s an item that I would recommend packing for Patagonia. I prefer a waterproof jacket with a hood and zip pockets.

Hiking top

I prefer hiking in long-sleeve running tops. They fit well, are light, and dry quickly. Long sleeves are good for sun protection. I don’t like using sunscreen when hiking. Campbell usually has a couple of short-sleeved running tops and one or two long-sleeved shirts. Don’t pack cotton shirts for hiking they are heavy and take longer to get dry. Don’t forget to pack sports bras they’re more comfortable for outdoor activities than normal bras.

Hiking pants

Long yoga pants are my favorite hiking outfit. They’re stretchy, very light, pack small, and dry very quickly. I tried normal hiking pants but for me, they’re not as comfortable and stretchy as yoga pants. Shorts are not the best for hiking in Patagonia sometimes you walk through high grass or bush and might get scratches on your legs. I recommend packing two pairs of pants for Patagonia. Campbell always hikes in quick dry hiking pants. I don’t recommend hiking in jeans or cotton pants if they get wet it’ll take you ages to dry them. For hiking in the fall/winter season, having rain pants might be a good idea.

One of the beautiful lake in Chilean Patagonia
One of the lakes in Southern Patagonia

Fleece top

A fleece layer is something we wore a lot in Patagonia. In combination with a rain jacket, it works great for windy and chilly days as an alternative to a down jacket. Maybe for colder months packing a warm jacket for Patagonia is a good idea but in summer you won’t need it if you have a rain jacket and a fleece jacket.


For an extra layer, a thermal top and bottom are a useful addition to the Patagonia packing list. You can wear it as a base layer for hiking on a cold day. I often use my thermals for sleeping when we camp. It’s warm, comfortable, packs small, and dries quickly.  

Flip flops

I would definitely recommend packing flip-flops for Patagonia, especially for the summer season. You can wear them outside and inside. It’s so nice after a long day of hiking to take off your shoes and put on flip-flops. change after a long day of hiking. Havaianas are the ultimate favorites we’ve been wearing them for years.


A cap or a hat is a must-pack item for traveling Patagonia in summer especially if you’re planning to do multi-day hikes. I personally prefer wearing a cap it’s easier to put away but a sun hat gives better protection for your neck.

In case of cold weather and strong wind, I’d recommend packing a warm hat


Sunglasses are a must-have item for Patagonia.  For hiking, it’s better to buy sunglasses with high UV protection and polarized lenses. If you tend to lose or drop your sunglasses having a sunglasses strap will help you to protect them.

Campbell with a big backpack in Cerro Castillo National park
Campbell walking over the pass on the Cerro Castillo circuit in Patagonia

Patagonia is located in close proximity to the Antarctic ozone hole and receives enhanced ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation in addition to the normal levels of ultraviolet A (UV-A) and photosynthetically available radiation (PAR). Good sun protection is a must for this area.

Miscellaneous items to pack for Patagonia

Hiking poles

Hiking poles are great to have in Patagonia. Sometimes the terrain is rocky, slippery, or muddy especially if it rains a lot so it’s great to have extra support on steep descents like John Garner Pass on the O Circuit in Torres del Paine. If you have knee or shin split issues we’d definitely recommend packing hiking poles. When choosing your poles ensure that they have an anti-shock mechanism, rubber tip, and comfortable anti-slip handles.

Water bottle

Getting water is not a problem in Patagonia, normally it’s potable but just in case I recommend using a water filter. From our experience, a LifeStraw bottle is the best and the easiest way to purify water. We use it a lot when going hiking. Unlike with some other filter systems with LifeStraw you don’t have to wait you can basically put a straw directly into a water source and drink safely. 

Quick dry towel

quick-dry travel towel is something I’d definitely recommend packing for Patagonia. We use them a lot when traveling, going to the beach, to the pool, etc. They are very light, pack small, and dry quickly. In Patagonia even if you stay in hotels sometimes you have to pay extra for towels. 

Neck bag

I’d highly recommend packing a neck wallet or a small waterproof bag for Patagonia to carry your documents, money, and phone. We always keep our documents and credit cards in our neck bags not only hiking but on long bus/train journeys or when flying. 

Essential camping gear for Patagonia packing list

The following gear you’ll need only if you’re planning to do multi-day treks in Patagonia. Some long-distance treks e.g. the W trek in Torres del Paine can be done without camping gear. On the other hand, if you’re planning to visit more off-the-beaten-path treks such as Cerro Castillo Circuit having your own camping gear is a great option. It’s possible to buy camping gear in bigger towns in Patagonia but your options will be more limited and prices might be higher than buying online. It’s not worth bringing the camping gear for one hike but it’s definitely worth it if you’re planning to spend some time camping and hiking in the region.


The tent must be waterproof, wind-resistant, light, and easy to pitch. If you’re an active hiker and camper we’d recommend investing more and buying a good quality tent that you’ll be using for years. We have an MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent and love it. It’s very light (1,3kg), waterproof, easy to pitch, and packs very small. We used a Hubba Hubba on several multi-day treks including the West Coast Trail in Canada and it worked great. 

MSR Hubba Hubba tent pitched at the campsite in the forest
Our favorite MSR Hubba Hubba tent pitched in the forest

Sleeping pad

A sleeping pad is definitely a must-have item to pack for Patagonia if you’re going to camp. I recommend bringing an inflatable sleeping pad. It’s more comfortable than a foam pad, packs small, and can fit inside a backpack. When buying an inflatable mat make sure it has a good valve that seals properly. 

Sleeping bag

After years of sleeping in sleeping bags, we’ve decided that we prefer down ones over synthetic ones. Down sleeping bags are very cozy and soft. The only problem with a down sleeping bag is if it gets wet. I’d suggest carrying it inside your backpack and not attaching it from the outside. For camping, in summer a sleeping bag with a comfort minimum of 0°C/32°F will be enough. 

Cooking gear

You’ll need a camping stove for multi-day treks in Patagonia. It’s possible to get a ready meal only on some routes in Torres del Paine. We’ve been using our stove for 3 years, camping and hiking a lot and it’s still alive and works great. I’d recommend buying a stove with Piezo Ignition to be able to light it without matches or lighter. 

Modern stoves weigh nothing and fold very small, you can basically put them in your pocket. When buying a stove make sure it screws onto canisters (most modern stoves do), so you can unscrew it and pack it away. You can buy screw-in gas canisters in any town in Patagonia. 

You can get away with only one camping pot and use it for cooking and boiling water but you’ll have to wash it every time. We’re big coffee junkies and drink coffee every time we have a chance we boil water a lot for this reason we usually pack 2 cooking pots. One bigger pot for cooking and a smaller one for boiling water. As an option, you can buy a cooking set with pots, a stove, plates, forks, cups, etc.

To save gas when cooking pasta put it in the pot with cold water and wait till it starts boiling stirring it from time to time. Once boiling switch it off and leave it under the lid for 5 minutes, it will get cooked in hot water without using any gas.

Alya using a camping stove in Patagonia
Alya boiling water for coffee at the Laguna de Los Tres in El Chalten

Other useful items to pack for Patagonia

A portable charger is an important item to pack if you’re planning to spend a lot of time exploring Patagonia hiking trails. 

A first aid kit is another important thing to add to your Patagonia packing list. 

A headlamp is very useful for camping in the wilderness.

Weather in Patagonia

Windy is probably the main characteristic of Patagonian weather with strong winds blowing all year round and getting especially furious in the summer months of December and January spoiling nice summer days. There are four seasons in Patagonia; summer – December – February; fall – March – May; winter – June – August and spring – September – November. The best time for hiking in the area is between November and March, the warmest period though it has its disadvantages like strong wind and frequent rainfalls.  

NovemberDecemberJanuary, and March are the windiest months in Southern Patagonia* when your chances of having a windy day are between 80% and 90%. Out of the summer months, February is the least windy

*Weather data for Torres del Paine National Park.

Find out when is the best time to visit Torres del Paine.

From October to April day temperature varies between 12°C-15°C/54°F-59°F, and the warmest nights are between December and March, around 10°C. May to September are the coldest months in some areas temperatures go down below 0°C/32°F. Some trails are closed for the off-season, not the best time for exploring Patagonia.

Summer and fall months get the most rain though the chances of rain are less than 40%. February is the most favorable month for hiking with the least rain. To resume all the above February, in general, is the best month for hiking in Patagonia; not much wind, warm and little rain the only disadvantage of hiking in Southern Patagonia in February is the number of tourists, it’s the high season there if you’re planning to trek in El Chaltenvisit Perito Moreno Glacier or do hikes in Torres del Paine you’ll have to plan and book your trip in advance.

Recommended books and guidebooks


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Saturday 14th of October 2023

This is incredibly helpful information—thank you! We will be doing day hikes in the Argentina and Southern Chile in December and your list of suggestions regarding gear, weather, and trails has me looking forward to what is likely a once in a lifetime trip.

Stingy Nomads

Thursday 19th of October 2023

Hello Phil. Thank you for the comment. I'm sure you'll have a great time in Patagonia. Cheers


Saturday 7th of January 2023

Hi, relying on your intel again, as you were so helpful on my Camino [norte]. Do you know if the santiago airport has lost/found/confiscated items where we could get free poles like at TSA in USA?

Stingy Nomads

Saturday 7th of January 2023

Hello Lisa. I haven't heard of anything like that at the airport in Santiago and don't find any information regarding it. There is a lost and found department but I'm not sure if they'll hand lost items to anybody or only to the owner. I don't know what they do with the items that nobody came back for. I don't know where in Patagonia you're heading but in El Chalten, El Calafate, and Puerto Natales you can buy walking poles for 10-15USD. Cheers


Monday 12th of September 2022

Hi, Hiking the Torres del Paine W circuit in November. Are rain pants necessary or will my yoga pants dry quickly enough. I'll have a spare pair of yoga pants.

Stingy Nomads

Monday 12th of September 2022

Hi Karen. We didn't have rain pants in Patagonia. I had 2 pairs of yoga pants for the W trek and was okay we did get wet quite a few times but yoga pants dry very quickly. Cheers

Pavankumar Pakala

Monday 29th of November 2021

Hello, May be a dumb question. I am seeing that we can't take gas canisters on a flight. I am guessing that is something we buy at a store before starting the hike. Is my statement right? Thanks!

Stingy Nomads

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Hello, Pavankumar. Yes, you're right you buy a gas canister before going on a hike. Most towns in Patagonia have a store or a petrol station where you can buy camping gas canisters. Cheers


Tuesday 5th of November 2019

would you recommend bringing hiking poles with you or renting from puerto natales? thanks!!!

Stingy Nomads

Tuesday 5th of November 2019

To rent small things like poles, a stove, pots, etc. in Puerto Natales for the period of the circuit will cost as much as buying them. You can buy them in Puerto Natales as well but it might be a bit more expensive than buying them at home.

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