12 Oct Packing for Patagonia
Later this week, I head to Patagonia in South America for 10 days of hiking, filming and adventure! I’ll start in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park for 6 days, then spend an additional 4 days in Ushuaia, Argentina exploring Tierra del Fuego and the Beagle Channel.
All the necessary arrangements are complete– airfare, transportation, hotels, day trips… the hardest part should have been navigating the language barrier to get a permit for filming in the national park. But little did I know that the most complicated part about preparing for this journey would be… PACKING!
Packing for a trip to the End of the World is difficult…really difficult. The seasons in Patagonia are actually opposite of ours; right now it’s late spring and the average high temperature is around 45 degrees. The weather there is famously temperamental, and changes frequently due in part to the proximity to Antarctica coupled with the area’s vast and varied landscape. Sun, rain, snow, tree-bending wind (sometimes 80 mph gusts!), the sun again… all this in an afternoon, they say! How on earth am I supposed to prepare for that?
Since I’m not what you could call a “hiking aficionado,” I’ve had to start getting the right equipment and clothing for this trip pretty much from scratch. I’ve become a bit of a permanent fixture at the local REI and Hudson Trail Outfitter’s stores, picking things up as I thought of them so I can be equipped for any possible condition. I’ve also been trying to balance having every clothing layer I could possibly need and all of the technical equipment I have to bring (like a video camera, digital camera and laptop, battery chargers…) with packing efficiently, because, above all things, I like to pack lightly.
Here are some of the essentials that I’ll be squeezing into my suitcase, just in case:
• 2 Hats (one stylish, one functional)
• Top Layer 1 = tank top
• Top Layer 2 = Patagonia Capilene Level 3 zip-neck
• Top Layer 3 = Arc’Teryx Atom LT Jacket or, if it’s not too cold or windy, a more simple jacket shell
• Top Layer 4 = Marmot Precip Rain Jacket/ Windbreaker
• Bottom Layer 1 = Capilene long underwear
• Bottom Layer 2 = North Face convertible pants
• Heavy duty socks
• Oboz Sawtooth hiking boots – which I think I’ve FINALLY broken in!
MY OTHER MUST-HAVES
• HD Camera
• Digital Camera
• Flip Camera
• iPod Touch – fully loaded with Mad Men season 3, The Office, and the Battlestar Galactica finale
• SPF 45 sunscreen, to help me combat the ever-prevalent Ozone hole!
• Books (Best American Travel Writing 2008 with a forward by Anthony Bourdain, Solo: On Her Own Adventure by Susan Fox Rogers, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin and Sookie Stackhouse Book #4 by Charlaine Harris)
• Dry Bag to protect my camera while I’m hiking
• Advil… and lots of it
Fingers crossed that I haven’t forgotten anything!