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Title image - BAI takes you to: Torres del Paine

Recommended Gear for Southern Patagonia and Torres Del Paine Exploration

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running shoes or lightweight trail shoes: For travel and easy walking. Some days on the mountain you will hike in these shoes. It is important to be able to change footwear to aid in prevention of blisters and other foot discomforts.

Hiking boots: Leather with sturdy mid-sole and a Vibram sole. ½ or ¾ shank. Boots should be warm and fit well over light and heavy sock combination. Combination fabric and leather trail shoes that come over the ankle for support might also be acceptable. Fit is much more important than brand. Take time to select a pair that fits, and break them in well.

Gaiters: For use with light hiking boots. Short and simple gaiters are preferable, such as Outdoor Research's Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters.

Sport sandals: Excellent in camp during evenings, open-toe model that can be worn with socks. (Teva or Crocks)

Lightweight socks: Three pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)

Heavy socks: T pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale)


It is very important that your clothes fit loosely and comfortably so you can layer your clothes appropriately. This is key for maintaining a comfortable body temperature.

Lightweight pants: One pair (any brand Supplex or “stretch woven” pant)

Hiking shorts: One pair (any brand of Supplex short). Will often be worn over lightweight long underwear bottoms.

Lightweight long underwear top: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Midweight long underwear top: Zip-T neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia Capilene, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)

Lightweight long underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable. (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Midweight underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work. (North Face Tek Ware, Patagonia Tech Dyi, or any brand of synthetic athletic wear).

Fleece or synthetic jacket: Polartec 100 or 200 is good. An even better alternative is a synthetic fill jacket made of Primaloft or Polargard. (Wild Things, Patagonia)

Waterproof breathable jacket: Such as Gore-Tex. Jacket must have hood, it is recommended that pants have full-length side zips. These garments should be large to fit over your other layers.

Head & Hand Gear

Lightweight gloves or mitts

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor to keep the sun and rain off of your face and neck.

Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears for cool evenings.


Sunglasses: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR

Headlamp or small flashlight w/ spare bulb: (Petzl or Black Diamond) plus two sets of batteries

Umbrella: For keeping dry while hiking. Large size will cover your pack as well (Crazy Creek or Go Lite)

Pack cover: A coated nylon pack cover fitted to your pack is useful on rainy days as well.

Hiking Gear

Backpack: A daypack just big enough to carry the essentials for day hikes.

Water bottle: A one- liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

Trekking poles: Useful for going up and down steep, muddy trails in the forest, and general trekking in the higher elevations. Adjustable poles are best so that you can strap them on your pack when not in use. Remove the ski baskets; you will use them for walking. (Leki 3-section, Black Diamond)

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry on bags for any international or domestic flight. Scissors are probably the most useful features; you will seldom need the knife blade.

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily. Bring small containers; you should not carry large quantities in your day pack.

Lip screen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, sleep aids).

Zip-loc bags: They can be very useful so bring plenty.

Baby wipes

Ear plugs: Very useful if teammates snore. Available in most drug stores and hardware stores.

Travel Items

Duffel bag: For flying to South America. This bag will contain all of your non-hiking clothes and other belongings and will be stored at your hotels along the way while you are hiking.

Lightweight travel jacket: Simple wind shirt or light fleece.

Casual, nice travel clothing: Two to three changes. For Buenos Aires, Punta Arena and in the hotels along the way.

Work-out clothes and/or bathing suit: Simple and versatile items which are good for hotels.

Passport belt/pouch


Journal: “Rite in the Rain” waterproof.

Binoculars: Optional. High quality, 8X32 or 10X42 is recommended.

Camera, lenses, video camera

Waterproof containers for your photo equipment: 2 gallon zip lock bags, shower caps, or manufactured rain covers.

Film and / or memory cards for digital camera: Bring plenty, as well as plenty of camera batteries. Be sure to keep film in your carry-on luggage, in clear zip lock bags so that it can be inspected.