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Patagonia packing list – best hiking and camping gear

We spent two months hiking and camping in Patagonia mostly on the Chilean side. During that time we had all kinds of weather; from hot sunny days to hail and stormwind – our gear never failed. We’ve done several hikes in Patagonia and spent quite a lot of time traveling along the Carretera Austral. In this post, you’ll find our best tips and gear recommendations based on our experience in Patagonia.

Where is Patagonia?

Patagonia is a region at the southern end of the South American continent shared between Chile and Argentina. It’s famous for its breathtaking scenery, diverse landscape, and unpredictable weather. It’s a great place for adventure junkies and outdoor lovers, especially those who enjoy hiking. There are several National Parks in Patagonia with many trails of different lengths and difficulties from popular day hikes in Torres del Paine to off the beaten track O’Higgins glacier trail.

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

Patagonia overview

  • Total area – 1 million km.
  • Population – 2 million people.
  • Density – 2 persons per 1km.
  • Two coasts – Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • Patagonian desert is the largest desert in the Americas.
  • According to archaeological findings, the region was inhabited in 13th century BC.
  • Tourism is one of the most important industries in the economy of Patagonia.

Suggested tours and activities in Patagonia

The detailed Patagonia packing list for hiking and camping

Best backpacks and shoes to pack for Patagonia

First things first – a backpack; good fit, adjustable, light with several pockets and sections that you can easily get what you want without unpacking everything. As for the size, we’d suggest 60-70L for guys and 50-60L for girls, don’t take a huge backpack you’ll likely overload it and pack unnecessary stuff. A backpack rain cover is a must-have for Patagonia.

If you are planning to do many multi-day hikes it makes sense to invest in it and buy a light and good quality ones like Deuter Aircontact Light or Osprey Atmos AG65. If you go on a hike every once in a while and don’t want to spend too much on gear – buy cheaper models like Teton Escape or High Sierra Sentinel.

We usually trek independent, when trekking to Uhuru peak, the highest point on the African continent, we trekked with a company. See our Kilimanjaro Packing List for this amazing guided adventure.

Backpack model, menCapacity, litersWeightPrice
Deuter Aircontact Lite65+101.7kg/4lbsfrom US$200
Osprey Atmos AG65651.7kg/4lbsfrom US$240
Teton Escape 4300702.1kg/4.7lbsfrom US$87
High Sierra Sentinel652.1kg/4.7lbsfrom US$90
Backpacks for hiking in Patagonia
Suggested backpacks for hiking in Patagonia

For ladies, if you want to invest in a prime quality backpack look at Deuter Aircontac Lite or Osprey Packs Renn for a budget option check High Sierra Explorer or Teton Sports Scout models.

Backpacks, womenCapacity, litersWeightPrice
Deuter Aircontac Lite45+101.6kg/3.5lbsfrom US$150
Osprey Packs Renn501.5kg/3.3lbsfrom US$150
High Sierra Explorer552kg/4.5lbsfrom US$100
Teton Sports Scout552kg/4.5lbsfrom US$80
Women backpacks for hiking in Patagonia
Four suggested backpacks for women for Patagonia

Hiking shoes – make sure your shoes are;

  • waterproof
  • breathing
  • have good grip – sometimes you walk on muddy or rocky terrain
  • fit good – you have some space to wiggle your toes
  • good quality – won’t fall apart after one hike.

Temperature is not a big problem here in summer it’s quite comfortable, not hot and not cold, nice for hiking, no need to bring heavy winter hiking boots. The only problem it might rain that’s why it’s better to have waterproof shoes.

If you like low shoes – Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof or Salomon X Ultra Prime is a good option for you; durable, waterproof, comfortable, have a good grip. For those who prefer high-cut models – KEEN Targhee II Waterproof or more budget option – Columbia Granite Ridge.

Shoes, menWaterproofWeightPrice
Salomon X Ultra Prime yes453g/16ozfrom US$120
KEEN Targhee II Waterproofyes566g/20ozfrom US$85
Merrell Moab 2 Waterproofyes453g/16ozfrom US$85
Columbia Granite Ridgeyes340g/12ozfrom US$70
Four pairs of men hiking shoes, Patagonia packing
Suggested shoes for men to pack for hiking in Patagonia

Hiking shoes for ladies. If you (like me) prefer to full-leather boots light and more ‘girly’ options – look at KEEN Targhee II,  Salomon Ellipse 2, or Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof. If you’re looking for something cheaper Columbia Dakota Drifter is a good option. I bought a new pair of Salomon Ellipse last year and since then I’ve walked in them for about 3500 km mainly trekking in Nepal and on the Camino de Santiago. They’re still fine, look a little bit dilapidated but other than that are 100% good for hiking.

Shoes, womenWaterfroopWeightPrice
Salomon Ellipse 2yes370g/13ozfrom US$178
KEEN Targhee IIyes390g/14ozfrom US$72
Merrell Moab 2 Waterproofyes370g/13ozfrom US$120
Columbia Dakota Drifteryes370g/13ozfrom US$70
Women hiking shoes, Patagonia packing list
Suggested women shoes to pack for hiking in Patagonia

Camping and cooking gear to pack for Patagonia

Tent – it must be waterproof, wind-resistant, light, and easy to pitch especially if you’re planning to do one of the long-distance treks in Patagonia. If you’re an active hiker and camper we’d recommend investing more and buying an awesome tent that you’ll be using for years like MSR Hubba Hubba NX – it’s very light (1,3kg), packs small, easy to pitch, waterproof, it’s shape is great for strong wind and it’s durable. We bought a Hubba Hubba a couple of months ago and it worked amazing on the West Coast Trail in Canada.

If you go hiking every once in a while buy one of the middle price range tents like MSR Elixir, Marmot Crane Creek or Hyke and Byke Zion. These tents are waterproof, relatively light, easy to pitch and spacious enough.

Backpacking tents for hiking in Patagonia
Suggested hiking tents to pack for Patagonia adventure
Tent model (2 people)WeightSize (packed)Price
MSR Hubba Hubba NX1.3kg/3lbs15*45cm/6*18”from US$300
MSR Elixir2.7kg/6lbs17*50cm/7*20”from US$190
Marmot Crane Creek2.2kg/5lbs16*40cm/6*16”from US$180
Hyke and Byke Zion2.2kg/5lbs15*43cm/6*17”from US$120
MSR Hubba Hubba tent pitched at the campsite in the forest
Out favorite MSR Hubba Hubba tent pitched in the forest

Sleeping pad/mattress is definitely a must-have item – isolation and comfort for sleeping in a tent. We recommend inflatable camping pad – they’re more comfortable than foam pads; they pack small and can fit inside a backpack. I know you can attach a foam mat outside your backpack but if it rains it can get wet, plus after traveling with it for a month or two it gets dirty and dilapidated. When buying an inflatable mat make sure it has a good valve that seals properly.  

Sleeping bag – to buy a down or a synthetic bag is a difficult decision. I like down sleeping bags because they’re light and pack small, plus they are very cozy and soft. Modern synthetic bags are good; easy to wash and dry quickly if you buy a more expensive model they pack quite small and are light.

It can rain quite a bit in Patagonia make sure your bag doesn’t get wet especially if it’s a down one, for extra protection put it in a plastic bag inside your backpack.  For camping, in summer a sleeping bag with a comfort minimum of 0°C/32°F will be more than enough.

For synthetic sleeping bags, Kelty Tuck or Teton Sports TrailHead is a good and budget option. Down bags are usually more expensive but they are lighter, warmer, and compress quite a lot, check these models;  Vitals Summit 20 and EOLUS 800. Our down sleeping bags worked great for hiking and camping in Peru as well.

Sleeping bagMin.comfortWeightSize (packed)
Kelty Tuck-5°C/22°F1.3kg/3lbs20*33cm/8*13”
Teton Sports-5°C/22°F1kg/2.4lbs37*17cm/14*6”
EOLUS 800-6°C/20°F1kg/2.4lbs16*24cm/6.5*9”
Vitals Summit 20-6°C/20°F900g/2lbs25*20cm/8*10”

Towel – microfiber camping towels are the best for hiking and camping; dry quick, pack small, very light and my favorite – come in different sizes and colors.

Camping stove – for hiking in Patagonia you need one, it’s possible to get a cooked meal only on some routes in Torres del Paine. A portable camping stove is awesome, we’ve been using ours for 3 years, camping and hiking a lot and it’s still alive and works great. Buy a stove with Piezo Ignition to be able to light it without matches or lighter (in case you lose or forget them).

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

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.

Stove screen – Southern Patagonia famous for winds to have a  makes cooking in strong wind easier and saves gas. Ohuhu camp stove windshield is a great option for hiking – it weighs nothing (274 g/0,6 lbs), folds small, adjustable size and has pegs to secure it into the ground.

Camping pots – you can easily get away with only one pot and use it for both cooking and boiling water, we’re both big coffee junkies and drink coffee every time we have a chance so boiling water happens quite often for this reason we usually take 2 pots; one bigger for cooking and one smaller for boiling water.

Take pots with lids you can use them as plates, plus using them when cooking saves save gas. Don’t forget to pack a cup/mug, spork/fork, and spoon, plates (optional). As an option you can buy a cooking set with pots, a stove, bowls, spork, etc. there are many variations.

Alya boiling water at the Laguna de los Tres, El Chalten, Argentina
Alya boiling water for coffee at the Laguna de los Tres in El Chalten

Pocket knife – super handy item can be used as a knife, can and bottle opener, scissors etc. We’ve been using the same Swiss knife for years and it still works perfectly.  

Headlamp – will be handy, it’s always nice to have one though in Patagonia in summer you have long daylight hours, up to 18 hours; basically, it’s still light when you go to bed and already light when you wake up but for reading a headlamp is quite useful unless you have a Paperwhite Kindle of course. 

Padlock – very handy to have one for hostels, camping, luggage storage, etc. We usually use a padlock to lock our tent when we go away for a walk or shopping. It was very useful to have it when we were camping in Pumalin Park, we could lock our tent every time we went for a short hike in the park.

Hiking poles – if you are used to walking with them or maybe have some knee issues we’d definitely recommend taking them with you. There are steep rocky descends on some hikes where poles will be quite helpful. Choosing poles make sure they have an anti-shock mechanism, rubber tip, and comfortable grips.

Water bottle – to get water is not a problem in Patagonia, its quality is good we didn’t use any filters but if your stomach is very sensitive better bring a LifeStraw. Some people like hiking with a hydration bladder but for Patagonia where you can get water everywhere, it’s too much of a mission to unpack a camel pack every time you want to fill it. Bottles with a wide mouth are easier to fill in rivers and streams.  Backpacking in Torres del Paine we had camping mugs attached with carabiners to our backpacks, every time we hit a water source we just drank out of the mugs.

Ziploc bags or waterproof pouch to keep valuables e.g. money, documents, maps, tickets clean and dry.

When you go hiking don’t forget to pack plastic bags for rubbish don’t leave any garbage behind.

Suggested camping and cooking gear for Patagonia

Camping gear from Patagonia packing list
Suggested camping gear to take for hiking in Patagonia
MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent1.3kg/3lbsUS$300
Outdoor Vitals Summit down seeping bag900g/2lbsUS$200
Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight sleeping pad450g/1lbsUS$42
BAFX anti shock hiking poles680g/1.5lbsUS$22
Wise Owl camping towel192g/6.8ozUS$14
AOTU camping stove140g/4.8ozUS$9
Ohuhu camp stove windshield274g/9.6ozUS$10
Lightweight cooking pots540g/1.2lbsUS$20
Nalgene water bottle178g/6.2ozUS$11
Life gear stainless mug283g/10ozUS$8
Victorinox Swiss army knife100g/3.4ozUS$35
Light my fire Tritan spork9g/0.3ozUS$2
VITCHELO headlamp120g/4.2ozUS$15
Padlock 4-digit combination140g/5ozUS$13

Clothes for hiking in Patagonia

Jacket – must be water and windproof with a hood, make sure zips on your jacket are good quality it’s annoying when you struggle zipping it up. 

Rain poncho – the easiest and the most budget option to stay dry in the pouring rain, buy a poncho that can fit over your backpack then you can be sure you and your stuff will stay dry on a hike.

Hiking shirt – long sleeve shirts are the best; protect from the sun (no need to put on tons of sunscreen), protect from mosquitoes and other insects, it’s quite a problem in Patagonia in summer. For men – Campbell has been hiking in Columbia shirts for years – good quality, breathable fabric, UPF40+, dry quick, easy to wash, and long-lasting.

For women – I always take one long sleeve hiking shirt and one long/short sleeve running shirt. Don’t forget to pack sports bras – they’re more comfortable for outdoor activities than normal bras, plus don’t take any space and are easy to wash and dry.

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.

Hiking pants – take long pants in case you walk through long grass, plus insect and sun protection. For women – a good combination is to take one pair of normal hiking pants and a pair of yoga pants. For men – light fast dry hiking pants that convert to shorts for summer months or warmer waterproof pants for the offseason. 

Fleece – always have a fleece with when hiking in Patagonia even if it’s quite warm during the day it’ll get colder in the evening, it’s nice to put on a warm soft fleece when cooking or just sitting outside in a campsite. There are so many color options for ladies – for me, it’s the most difficult part to choose one. 

Socks – for hiking we recommend wearing merino wool socks, they are really great; don’t absorb odors, are very durable, dry quickly and are good protection from blisters. For a more comfortable walk buy Darn Tough hiking socks they’re famous for great foot support and blister protection and they actually look quite funky (ladies models).  

To prevent blisters; 1. Wear merino wool socks (they are amazing for hiking it’s tested and proved). 2. Put plasters or tape on the areas where you usually get blisters before you start hiking. 3. When your feet get wet, change your socks, walking in wet socks is a certain way of getting blisters.

Beanie – take a small and light beanie in case of strong wind – it takes no space and might be handy. 

Gloves – same, take a pair of light thin gloves just to give some extra warmth to your hands if it gets really chilly early morning or at night.

Cap or hat – a must-have item in summer in Patagonia especially if you’re planning to do multi-day hikes. For me, a cap is more comfortable for hiking but a hat definitely protects better as it covers a larger area. 

Buff/headwear – it’s multi-functioning, a buff can be used like a bandanna, balaclava, face mask, neck gaiter, headband, hair rubber, etc. 

Sunglasses – another must-have sun protection item, for hiking it’s better to buy sunglasses with high UV protection and polarized lenses. 

Suggested hiking clothes for women 

Clothes for women for hiking in Patagonia
Patagonia packing list, hiking clothes for women
Backpack Hiking shoes Rain poncho
Rain jacket Fleece Hiking shirt
Running shirt Hiking pants Yoga pants
Sports bra Socks Beanie
Gloves Cap Sunglasses

Suggested hiking clothes for men

Men's hiking clothes for Patagonia
Patagonia packing list, hiking clothes for men
Backpack Hiking shoes Rain poncho
Rain jacket Fleece Hiking shirt
Hiking pants SocksBeanie
Sunglasses Hat

After hiking clothes to pack for Patagonia

Comfortable pants for sleeping I’d suggest long pants (men’s option) if you’re going to camp; first for keeping you warm and second for protection from insects.

Shirt for sleeping – a cotton shirt (men’s option) will be enough. If you get cold easily or your sleeping bag is not a very warm pack thermal set for sleeping and changing into after walking. 

Underwear – 3-4 pairs.

Cotton socks for sleeping in case it gets cold.

Swimming costume – on some hikes where there is no shower facilities it’s nice to refresh in a river or lake.

Flip-flops – you know how nice it is after a long walking day to take off your hiking shoes and put on comfortable flip-flops (women’s option).

Tips for camping in Patagonia; 1. Always camp near a water source e.g. river, creek, lake, etc. 2. Pitch a tent in a place protected from wind e.g. behind a rock, between trees. 3. Try to find a camping spot with soft ground that you can easily put tent pegs it helps a lot for stability in strong wind.

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

Gadgets and devices to bring with to Patagonia

Camera – for us it’s always a difficult decision to a mirror camera on a hike or a small mirrorless one, every extra kilogram is counted when you walk for a week with your backpack full of stuff but at the same time you see some amazing places and want to get best photos of them. We always travel with our Canon EOS 80D but when we go on a multi-day hike we take a small alternative mirrorless Olympus OM-D, it’s very light and quite small. 

Drone –  the main problem with drones in Patagonia will be strong wind especially for small drones. The scenery in Patagonia is breathtaking and I can imagine what awesome footage you can get with a drone. To be honest, to take a drone plus batteries on a multi-day hike where you have to carry camping gear and food is a bit too much. Keep in mind drones are not allowed in some National parks e.g. Torres del Paine. DJI Spark is probably the best option for traveling; a small, light, takes good footage.

GoPro – easy to use, waterproof, light and takes good enough footage – a good alternative to big cameras. GoPro HERO8 Black is an excellent little camera. If you want a budget alternative check AKASO EK7000 it might be not as great as GoPro but costs less than half. 

Power bank – will be very handy for multi-day hikes except for Torres del Paine most of the other hiking trail, don’t offer many facilities like power outlets and electricity. If you can charge your phone, Kindle or GoPro during a hike a power bank is a must-have.

GPS watch – always nice to have one to check exact distances you walk and elevation profile, plus having navigation can be handy for some remote hikes. We bought Garmin Fenix 5 about a year ago and are very happy that we finally did. It gives a lot of details like distance, elevation, heart rate, maps, calories, etc. It’s a great item to have if you’re a hiking and outdoor lover.

Smartphone – we use our phones a lot for navigating, finding accommodation and trails, taking photos and videos for Instagram stories, listening to music, setting alarm and connecting with the world when traveling. Buy a local SIM card and keep in touch with your friends and family. 

Earphones – sometimes it’s nice to listen to music or audio-book when hiking or chilling in a tent. For hiking and outdoor I’d really recommend using wireless earbuds.

Kindle – Campbell’s best friend on any hike. Kindle Paperwhite is great; it gives you a great range of books to read, you can download several books and choose what you want to read later, you don’t need to use a headlamp and its battery lasts for quite a while.

If you like reading, join Amazon Kindle Unlimited to get access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks. You can use it on any device (phone or tablet) not only a Kindle all you have to do is just to install a free app. You can try it right now, the first 30 days of using Kindle Unlimited are free.

Electronic devices to pack for hiking in Patagonia
Devices and gadgets that are great to have in Patagonia


  • First Aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Lip balm with UV protection
  • Soap/shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Cream/body lotion
  • Humid tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper

Download the complete Patagonia packing list.

Travel insurance for Patagonia

Regardless of how you’re going to travel the region and what you’re planning to do there, it’s important to remember that Patagonia is a remote area it’s recommended to have travel insurance that can cover you in case something unexpected happens.

Traveling through Patagonia like any other adventure involves risks of getting an injury or losing some of the gear due to unpredictable weather conditions or just unfortunate circumstances.

It’s always better to choose an insurance company that has a lot of experience in covering outdoor activities all over the world like World Nomads. Their insurance policy is very flexible you can buy it for the whole period of a trip of just to cover a specific activity. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from or where you’re currently you can buy it online, it takes only a couple of minutes to fill the form and get your insurance. Get a quote right now!

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.  

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

*Weather data for Torres del Paine National park.

From October to April day temperature varies between 12°C-15°C/54°F-59°F, 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 e.g. the O-circuit in Torres del Paine, 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 busiest month here if you’re planning to hike in El Chalten, visit Perito Moreno Glacier or do the W-trek in Torres del Paine you’ll have to plan and book your trip in advance.

Recommended books and guidebooks


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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.


Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Just curious, would you recommend fleece-lined hiking pants? Or two separate layers (warm layer, waterproof layer)? Thanks!

Stingy Nomads

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

Hello, Alyssa! We usually take thermal pants and normal hiking pants if it's cold we put on both. Cheers!

Elnore Macey

Friday 7th of September 2018

This is by far the most comprehensive article I have read with regards to hiking and camping in Paragonia. You are AMAZING!

Our previous planned trip didn't go so well as we were there in February. Believe it or not but we were actually completely rained out. We were fortunate enough to have stayed in an ecocamp that made the stay dry and comfortable.

We would like to go again - When exactly did you go and what was your weather like? I do not want to brave this trip again and risk the rain. It's either rain or wind. Such a hard choice!


Stingy Nomads

Friday 7th of September 2018

Dear, Elnore! Thank you very much for your comment! As we know February is the least rainy and windy month in Patagonia you must have been very unlucky. We were there in February and March rain wasn't a problem, we had very few rainy days. PS. We have some great gear recommendations for rainy weather in this post - feel free to purchase anything though OUR links. We hope next time you will be more lucky with the weather in Patagonia. Cheers!


Sunday 11th of March 2018


Great tips! Wondering if you brought ALL the things you were traveling with while camping in Patagonia, or if there are places to leave a bag and only bring the hiking/camping stuff? We will be traveling for a bit and doing more than camping and definitely could not lug it on a multi day hike. Thoughts?

Stingy Nomads

Sunday 11th of March 2018

Hi, Nicoletta! When we went hiking we took only gear and food that we needed for a hike, not all our stuff. We usually left it in hostels/campsites in towns, e.g. Cerro Castillo Village, Puerto Natales, El Chalten. If you stay or camp in a place before a hike they will usually let you leave your extra stuff there for free. The only time we had all our things with, plus food for a couple of days is when we walked from O'Higgins, Chile to El Chalten, Argentina and it was quite tough walk with two backpacks each. Goodluck!

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