Packing for a trip can be an overwhelming task, especially when you’re headed out of the country – on a Patagonia vacation perhaps. Most people advocate for packing light but if you’re anything like me, this concept is merely inconceivable. Instead, I like to focus on packing appropriately. This means including all the necessary items on my packing list, and throwing in a few extras, just incase.
There are a few essentials to consider when you are putting together a Patagonia vacation. Finding out the weather is the first, and one of the most important parts of getting prepared (see when to go to Chile or Argentina). Secondly, pinpointing the activities you will be doing, and third, determining the length of each activity.
When looking at the weather in Patagonia it is important to understand that this area consists of two different regions. These regions are known as Northern Patagonia and Southern Patagonia. The dry summer season in Patagonia is November through March, but it can rain anytime of the year and can also get windy. The daytime temperatures range between 50 and 60 degrees °F (10-16 °C). Northern and Southern Patagonia are similar, but the Northern region is a bit warmer and experiences more precipitation. The weather charts below lay out the annual average temperatures and precipitation experienced in Northern and Southern Patagonia.
A Patagonia vacation usually includes light to moderate activity like; walking or hiking tours, kayaking, rafting, biking, horseback riding etc. When traveling with Knowmad, sport specific gear is provided for you at each activity (ie. wetsuits and a dry bag for kayaking, helmet and gloves for biking, and a helmet, poncho, and rubber boots for horseback riding) and this is detailed in the trip information packet you’ll receive prior to your trip.
With all that being said, layering is essential. From my experience, it is better to have the option to add or remove layers, than be too cold. I like to start my day in a non-cotton, work-out type top like this one from Lulu Lemon, a mid-weight fleece, and a light, water-resistant shell on top – my favorite is this waterproof jacket by RAB Mountaineering. As for pants, it is a good idea to wear a pair of light, water resistant hiking pants with basic long underwear underneath. On some sunny warm days the zip-off hiking pants that convert into shorts are just the ticket. However, always be prepared with your rain pants in your day pack.
The right footwear is critical. For most activities in Patagonia comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support are sufficient, however more intensive hiking boots are okay too. Just make sure you have broken them in! I also recommend bringing a change of shoes for leisure activities in the evening.
The diagram below is a helpful visual to ensure you’re packing the necessities:
OTHER Patagonia Vacation Packing List Items:
- Passport and photocopies of passport
- Vaccination certificate
- Health insurance card
- International airline tickets (regional flights purchased by Knowmad are e-tickets which you will not receive physical tickets for)
- Credit cards
- Cash (at least $100 in varying bills)
- Book, journal, and pen
- Hat for sun
- Hat for warmth
- Hiking/tennis shoes
- Large plastic bag (for dirty shoes)
- Day pack
- Headlamp (useful for some trips)
- Basic first aid kit (Neosporin, band-aids, Imodium, aspirin, etc.)
- Toiletries in small bottles
- Necessary medications
- Watch/battery operated alarm
- Camera; extra batteries and memory cards
- Guidebook such as Frommer’s, Fodor’s or Lonely Planet
Getting ready for a big vacation can consume your thoughts for weeks, so following a simple packing list, including the essentials, and throwing in that extra pair of shoes is all you need to put your mind at ease. You can find more answers to your questions about preparing for your trip to Patagonia in the FAQs section of our site.
Nos Vemos, Lisa
Lisa is the Media Manager at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012 and is continually planning her next adventure. Read Lisa’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.