Packing List for a Trip to Patagonia

MacAir and Mate in Buenos Aires
My MacAir and a mate in Buenos Aires

G Adventures provides detailed packing lists for all of their tours, which makes that part of the trip preparation super easy.

Aside from hiking clothes, there’s little reason the typical traveler would need to go shopping in advance of the End of the Earth tour to Patagonia.

For about $8/day, you’ll be able to rent a sleeping bag for the 2 nights of camping in Torres del Paine National Park, and any specialized gear required for (optional) activities is provided at that time.

Below is a breakdown of my preferred packing list for the trip, similar to the list provided by G Adventures, but based on my own belongings as if I were only doing this trip as a stand-alone vacation.


  • Large Gregory Chaos backpack
  • Regular size daypack


  • GoLite rain jacket
  • GoLite hoody
  • North Face fleece
  • Mountain Hardwear short sleeve base layer
  • ExOfficio short sleeve t-shirt
  • 3 cotton t-shirts
  • REI long sleeve base layer
  • 1 pair of REI convertible pants/shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans (for nights out in cities)
  • Volcom board shorts
  • 3 pairs of ExOfficio boxers
  • 2 pairs of SmartWool socks, 2 pairs of cotton socks, 2 pairs of dress socks
  • Merrell hiking sneakers
  • Beanie hat
  • Baseball cap (sun protection)
  • Bandanna


  • iPhone 4S
  • Canon S100 camera w/soft case and battery charger
  • MacBook Air w/AC cord (at just 3 pounds, even if I weren’t working, I’d probably still travel with it)
  • 500 GB external hard drive (photo storage)
  • 16 GB SanDisk SD card
  • 2 GB SD card (back up)
  • Creative Style 8 GB mp3 player w/earphones
  • Casio Pathfinder watch
  • Petzl Zipka LED headlamp w/2 AAA batteries
  • USB cords
  • AC wall converter (Argentina has a 3-slit wall unit, and requires a unique converter)


  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Sea to Summit dry sacks
  • MSR Packtowl
  • Trial size toiletries in 1-liter ziploc bag
  • Sun block
  • Binoculars

Documents & Money

Note: American citizens must pay $140 to enter Argentina, and $140 to enter Chile, or $280 total. It’s easier to pay this by debit or credit, given concerns over damaged and counterfeit bills.

  • Money Belt
  • Passport and any required entry visas for Argentina and Chile
  • Immunization yellow book
  • G Adventures voucher (to be provided to tour leader)
  • Proof of travel/health insurance (to be provided to tour leader)
  • Airline tickets
  • Cash – several hundred US Dollars, and several hundred Argentine Pesos
  • Debit card
  • Credit card (back-up)

The key thing to remember when packing for most trips is that you can almost always buy necessary clothing or other stuff along the way.

This Patagonia trip, for example, starts in Buenos Aires, where you can pick up just about anything at the last minute, minus an iPhone (as they’re no longer sold here).

After writing this, in fact, I’m about to go find myself a 3-pronged AC adapter for the funky wall outlets they have in this country.


Disclosure: This Patagonia tour is in partnership with G Adventures. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.


  1. says

    I can never go back to cotton socks. The day I tried smartwool and darn tough merino wool socks I was hooked for life and it’s now the only type of sock I wear. I am also a huge fan of Icebreaker base layers for many reasons, I highly recommend you check out their website for more information.

  2. T says

    Dave, your a wealth of info, good blog. Any recs on a one month vacation? I’m stuck between Cusco and Nepal, but open to anything. Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Depends on your interests (sounds like mountains), timing, and where you’re flying from. I had a great time in both places. I loved my trek in Nepal (April is 2nd best time after October). I loved Nepal period.

      I would recommend it over Cusco and Machu Picchu any day. But you have to get the timing right. Pokhara starts getting cloudy by late April, early May, and then the monsoon season starts, so it’s mostly pointless to go trekking until September rolls around. There’s other stuff to do, but the Himalaya are worth seeing if you’re going all that way.

      Trekking to Machu Picchu was cool, but shorter (4-5 days vs the 10 day trek I did in Nepal). Cusco is nice, but I enjoyed the Tibetan/Nepali culture more. Sounds bad to say it, and I loved Peru, but I’d pick Nepal over Peru. The plus side for Machu Picchu is you can really go any time except February.

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