Patagonia Packing Essentials

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knb705
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Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by knb705 »

Leaving in two weeks: what are some packing essentials for El Chalten? Microspikes in November? Will I be miserable without rain mitts? Thanks for your help!
onebyone
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by onebyone »

knb705 wrote: Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:44 am Leaving in two weeks: what are some packing essentials for El Chalten? Microspikes in November? Will I be miserable without rain mitts? Thanks for your help!
I've been there in November. Not sure from your post what you plan on doing there so hard to advise. Obviously rain gear. I found no reason to go overboard with rain mittens. But de rain paints. Wind can be an issue, so if you have a tent, be ready to secure your tent. It did actually snow on me, but melted very quickly. I don't remember snowpack below the glaciers. I'm not a trekking pole guy, but those could be beneficial because of the terrain and stream crossings and if you got on some snow.

November is spring, so I think the biggest issue is that streams and rivers run high. There was one place where I had to cross a river on this wooden bench attached to a cable. I brought webbing and a couple carabiners, where a made a harness and attached to cable as a safety.

Also was in Torres del Paine around the same time and stream crossings were much more an issue that time of year.

Enjoy. November is kinda perfect because it is still low season. Not a lot of people. You will prob see some climbers as they gear up around this time for big climbs.
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nyker
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by nyker »

As onebyone commented, would be helpful to know your goals...are you planning on climbing Fitz Roy or just trekking around, maybe the TDP circuit in Chile after?

I can't help much with Fitz as I haven't done that but for anything else plan on wind, rain and blowing sand and dust which will get into everything. Bring plenty of backup clothes so you have something change into that's dry. Also secure your transportation options before you go. Depending on what your plans are driving distance are quite long between popular areas. Brushing up on your Spanish won't hurt either.
knb705
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by knb705 »

Thanks for the feedback! Just trekking on the Argentine side - no time for TdP unfortunately this trip.
RUN_IT
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by RUN_IT »

My memories in Patagonia...wet and wind! On several days we had all of sun, rain, sleet, and snow. My timing was similar to yours, mid-late November. If I could go back, I would have packed full-on waterproof gloves. Cold hands during our whole trek (TdP W trek) was the most miserable part for me. Also for most longer treks I would normally wear trail runners, but I found having waterproof trekking boots pretty essential for my experience.

Definitely echo the advice for securing your tent well, the wind there was unlike any I have experienced. I can't speak for the Argentine side, but on the Chilean side it was important to know some Spanish for transportation and logistics. That was back in 2015 so maybe it has changed since then. Have a great trip!
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thebeave7
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by thebeave7 »

Def good rain gear and be ready for wind as others have said. Non zero chance for days of rain at a time, or some good sun as well, just depends. Same goes for keeping your gear dry, if you're backpacking I'd recommend ziplocking everything you want to stay dry.
Thankfully it sounds like the grocery and ATM situation in Chalten has gotten better in recent years, but it's still a small town with more limited amenities, so if you have some special needs get those in Calafate or another bigger city you're coming through. Think most CC stuff is Visa only, so have that and some cash on hand (ATMs are pretty expensive to use and can run out during busy seasons). Otherwise if you're not too good picky you should be fine with basics. Chileans and Argentinian aren't known for their dietary diversity and availability of special requests, so if you have special needs I'd prepare to do most of your own cooking.

Eric
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Klad24
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Re: Patagonia Packing Essentials

Post by Klad24 »

Consider the Showa 281 gloves as a waterproof outer liner. I have had these for a year now. They haven't exactly been put to the test yet, but after a scare in Scotland I wasn't taking chances on cold wet hands again:

https://andrewskurka.com/review-showa-2 ... es-temres/

To make your US dollars go further, look into the "blue market" - due to the demand for US dollars in Argentina, you can get exchange rates that are twice as good. I haven't tried this yet personally; just found it about it the other day as I am planning a trip to Patagonia for later this month.

https://www.georges-backpackingguides.c ... argentina/
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