Essential Equipment for the W Trek or O Trek in Patagonia
Patagonia is an adventure traveler’s paradise, and every adventure traveler knows that the thing you rely most on is your equipment. Your equipment is there to enable you to accomplish your adventure goals, to promote safety and best practices in the rugged outdoors, and to keep you happy and healthy along the way. That is why today, we are going to cover the Essential Equipment for the W Trek or O Trek in Patagonia!
But first, some quick background.
The W Trek:
The W Trek specifically is a 4-day hiking and camping adventure through Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Highlights along the W Trek include the Grey Glacier, the base of the Towers, and the French Valley. This trek is a must-do in Patagonia and you will quickly realize why.
The O Trek:
Also known as The Circuit, the O Trek is an 8-day / 7-night trek through Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Highlights along the O Trek include breathtaking glaciers, dreamy meadows, and, John Garner Pass. This pass is the highlight of this long, rugged trek and if you are a wild adventurer, this trek MUST be on your bucket list.
Now that we have some background, it is time for our list of the Essential Equipment for the W Trek or O Trek in Patagonia!
1. Sturdy Hiking Boots
This one goes without saying. If you are on a trek or hike in Patagonia (or anywhere for that matter), you know that being comfortable and dry in a pair of sturdy hiking boots is the foundation to having a successful and happy time in the great outdoors. Do not overlook this. When planning a trip to Patagonia, the first thing to do is to check your hiking boots and make sure they are still waterproof and in good shape.
These boots have demonstrated time and time again to us that they hold up under the stresses of hiking through Patagonia and beyond. With a Vibram sole for great grip on slippery or steep surfaces, as well as full-grain waterproof leather, these are the ideal choice for anyone planning to hike the W trek or O trek in Patagonia.
2. A Comfortable Framed Backpack
A comfortable framed backpack is essential for a multi-day hike through the mountains. It is vital that you are as comfortable as possible along the way. We recommend going to get fit for a sturdy framed backpack between 40-70 liters from your local outdoor store.
Osprey backpacks have revolutionary suspension systems, come in every color under the sun, and come with a lifetime warranty! What more needs to be said! Go try one on and see for yourself.
3. Offline Maps App or Guide Book
Next up, MAPS! It seems so obvious to say, but often so overlooked when travelers make the journey to Patagonia. Having maps either on your phone or in a Guide Book is an essential piece of equipment to have when hiking the W trek or O trek in Patagonia.
Yes, the path through the mountains along both these treks is very straightforward, but that does not mean people do not get lost. We ALWAYS recommend to our travelers to travel with an English-Speaking Expert Local Guide for the duration of your trek for that very reason. If going solo is your style or a must, DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS. These days, it is easier than ever to carry maps with you everywhere you go. Your smartphone can download an offline maps application very easily and you can carry it around with you and pinpoint your location no matter where you are in the world. How cool is that!?!
This app is available for both the Android and iPhone and has been a lifesaver for many people over the years. I have traveled all across South America and I have run into many people who rely heavily on this application.
After you download the app, open it and search for Puerto Natales, Chile. It will scan the world and zoom into the location for you, alerting you to download that map section for offline use. You can even drop points along the way to remember beautiful locations, as well as track your speed and elevation, even without cell phone service. We love this application and we know you will too!
4. A Warm Down-Jacket
A warm down-jacket is an essential piece of equipment on a trek along the W Trek or O Trek in Patagonia. While trekking, you will be up and moving around, burning calories, and generating a lot of heat. A down-jacket ensures that you stay safe and warm at all points throughout your journey along the W Trek or O Trek through Patagonia. A good quality down-jacket is lightweight, water-resistant, and amazingly warm.
We recommend Seattle brand Outdoor Research for a down-jacket for your trip to Patagonia.
The Transcendent Down Hoody is a great choice available to both Men and Women. It comes in a number of colors and is sure to keep you warm no matter what situation you find yourself in along your trek.
5. A Portable and Amazing Digital Camera
How are you going to show off all the amazing places you saw and all the hard work you put in trekking the O trek or W trek if you don’t bring a proper camera along?! A digital camera is an essential piece of equipment for any trip to Patagonia. Our only requirements for a digital camera for a trek to Patagonia are that it is small, lightweight, and shoots amazing photos.
It is for that reason, we recommend the Sony RX100 V. It is small, lightweight, and can put up with nearly anything Patagonia can throw at it. The camera may be small, but it will capture loads of memories.
6. A Charging Pack for Your Cellphone or Camera
Everyone dislikes when their phone dies. However, you would especially hate it if your phone contained your CAMERA, your MAPS, your EMERGENCY CONTACTS, and more. Stop this problem right in its tracks by getting a charging pack for your electronic devices. They are cheap and can provide hours of more usage. Some can even charge with solar power!
For the W Trek or O Trek, we recommend the GoalZero Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit for this reason. All you have to do is hang the solar charger from your backpack, plug in your device, and you’re set! Endless charging, courtesy of the sun. What’s better than that?!
7. Polarized Sunglasses
When you are out in the mountains or in high-elevations, polarized sunglasses are ideal to keep your eyes safe. They shield your eyes from harmful UV light, as well as protect against snow blindness. You may already have a pair of Polarized Sunglasses. If you do, that is great! If you do not, consider picking up a pair to add to your equipment collection before you make the journey to trek the W trek or O trek.
They are classic mountaineering sunglasses and they are perfect for catching spectacular views of the high peaks of the Andes. Views that only Patagonia can offer!
8. A Bright Headlamp
Last, but certainly not least….a bright headlamp! This was an easy choice for us. If you are an adventure traveler, you know that a headlamp is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your pack. When we travel, we love the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp.
It is powerful enough to get the job done whether you are starting your day of trekking off before the sun rises, or whether you are sitting around your lodge or camp reading your book. This headlamp is perfect for the W trek or O trek in Patagonia, and the only question you will have left is why it took you so long to buy one.
Well, there you have it! All the Essential Equipment for the W Trek or O Trek in Patagonia!
Patagonia truly offers the chance for hikers or trekkers to surround themselves with absolutely breathtaking natural beauty, towering peaks, and interact and engage with amazingly diverse local cultures, all in one stunning place! Patagonia is also a spectacular destination because it offers a huge range of options in terms of accommodations, landscape, and fitness level, and we love sending guests of all abilities and travel styles to Patagonia for this reason.
Whether you enjoy roughing it in a tent way up in the mountains or if you prefer to sleep in style in one of Patagonia’s beautiful eco-camps or luxury mountain lodges, there is something for everyone in Patagonia.
Loved learning all about the equipment you will need to trek through Patagonia? Stay up to date with all the latest South American News by visiting our blog!
Planning your own journey to Patagonia?