Gear Kits

Essential Gear for Backpacking Torres del Paine

Everything you need to tackle Patagonia’s most famous park

Curated by Will Cebron

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to spend a month traveling through both Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia. The highlight was backpacking through Torres del Paine with its glacial lakes, unique wildlife and towering mountains. While down there, I learned an important lesson – be prepared for all weather conditions. The weather in Patagonia is constantly changing and in a single day, you could experience snow, sun and even encounter 100km winds. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together the gear that helped me navigate the shifting elements in one of the more remote regions on the planet.

On long hikes, I’m looking for a snack that keeps my energy levels up and isn’t loaded down with artificial ingredients. That’s why I always pack a few of the Kit Organic bars in my bag. Whatever your favorite snack, definitely stock up before you get into Torres del Paine. There is crazy price inflation if you try to buy anything in the park.

While a little noisy, this pad makes up for it with its comfort, warmth and weight. Just bring an extra pair of earplugs for your tent mate.

Choosing a backpack is a personal choice based on fit, comfort and features. For me, the ACT Lite was perfect - it’s affordable and comfortable (even on those 15-mile days). I packed only essentials and layers so the expanded 60L turned out to be perfect for the trip.

Have you ever gone backpacking without a headlamp? I always throw this guy into my bag and love that it offers several modes including red night-vision. It’s also crucial when you need to use the bathroom late at night but want to check if any pumas are lurking outside your tent.

When it’s raining, I tend to prefer shorts to avoid being weighed down by wet fabric. These quick dry shorts are great with rain or sun and have quickly become a staple in my bag.

I use a MeFoto tripod whenever I’m trying to shoot in low light, at night or want a longer exposure. Honestly, I love them so much that I own three different models. For this trip, I grabbed the Backpacker Air since it only weighs 2lbs but can still handle my DSLR with a 24-70mm lens.

My old trusty sidekick, the Mark III. This camera is tough as nails, works at high ISO and is equally great shooting action, landscapes and stars. The only downside is that it weighs about as much as a brick but I never leave it behind.

I brought a few lenses to Patagonia but the 24-70mm was on my camera 75% of the time. I loved its versatility, especially since changing lenses in gale force winds wasn’t high on my list.

When you’re hiking in Patagonia, there’s stunning scenery around every corner. Thankfully, this clip allows you to keep your camera accessible instead of buried inside your bag.

As I mentioned, the weather changes rapidly in Patagonia. It could be warm and sunny one minute and pouring rain the next. Peak Design’s Shell enabled me to keep my camera out in all conditions without worrying about damaging it.

This tent is lightweight, stands up to the wind and has enough space for you and your hiking buddy. It’s my go-to tent for backpacking.

A solar powered watch from a company that loves the outdoors – that’s a win win. This good looking watch never leaves my wrist whether I’m home in Venice Beach or hiking in the mountains.

I absolutely love these hiking boots. I’ve worn them across six continents and they’re still holding up. They’re comfortable, easy on the eye and offer great support.

Because I packed light, I wanted t-shirts that were moisture wicking and wouldn’t smell after days on the trail. I found this start-up brand, Bumi, which makes exactly that shirt for an affordable price (and as a bonus, the shirt packs into its own pocket).

A lightweight waterproof shell that kept me dry through rain and snow in Patagonia. It packs down to almost nothing and dries super quick.

In Patagonia, the temperature drops significantly when the sun goes down. I’d wear this beanie while sleeping and for all those hikes that started pre-dawn. It kept me warm and comfortable when the crazy winds kicked up.

The REI Magma is comfy, warm and didn’t weigh down my bag. Not sure what else you want from a sleeping bag but those are the big three for me.