Patagonia in January; weather and clothing questions
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Dec 19, 2012 2:01 PM Last Post By: BostonSails
Dec 10, 2012 5:14 AM
Patagonia in January; weather and clothing questionsIn January we will be travelling to Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Torres del Paine and Atacama. (sooo excited!!)
I live in Holland, which means I am used to cold weather and rain in some extend, but I really don't know what to expect
in Patagonia. How to dress? Do I have to think about thermal underwear or is that not necessary?
The wind will be strong, but how strong? Is a windstopper a must? Or a wintercoat?
And what about the shoes? Do I wear hikingboots?
I intend to travel with a backpack, and as its a small size backpack, I cant bring too many clothes.
Dec 10, 2012 6:52 AM
1Vertice has a good basic list for Torres del Paine on its website.
There are plenty of online tips on what to wear:
You will see varying reports of what people used and didn't use. That is because people have experienced different weather patterns on their visits. Those who had some very sunny weather were able to wear shorts at some point but those who got virtually no sun would think them a waste of space. The definite is wind, sometimes extremely strong. So something windproof is absolutely essential. Also something for your head. A Buff is very useful, it stays on and weighs practically nothing, though you might want something with a brim for the sun. The shoes are important as there are often muddy places or streams to cross. You need something sturdy and waterproof (or gaiters),and something lighter to put on in camp.
Dec 10, 2012 6:26 PM
2January is mid-summer but Patagonia does have wind. In February/March I wore a fleecy-lined nylon exterior weather-proof jacket which came off when the sun came out (just a t-shirt underneath). I wore jeans all the time. Although I took some with me, I can't remember wearing the thermal underwear much at all but it was light so not a problem.
Walking the track up to the 3 towers from the TDP accommodation I wore North Face shoes (not boots) which were fine although the loose sand on the boulders and on the tracks is slippery so take care.
Both TDP & Atacama do get cold at night so take some layers with you.
Dec 11, 2012 7:15 AM
3We'll travel South to North (Punta Arenas to Coihaique) in the next weeks.
We are bringing the following items for every member of our group:
-Wool hat and Cap
-Hiking boots and sandals
-2x pairs of thin socks, 2x paires of heavy socks
-1x Thin LongJohn underwear and 1x heavy fleece pants
-1x short + 1x pants
-1x thin armlong underwear + 1x armlong mid fleece
-1x fleece jacket
- 1 rain/wind jacket
- 1x down jacket
As it is already winter here in Quebec,Canada, we are wearing these heavy gears for a few weeks...
Maybe a few thing wont be necessary??? Will be able to say which on our return...
But we are prepared for the worst (100 km/hr wind, horizontal rain, snow showers)...
wheather can have here in Quebec during months of september or april...
Dec 11, 2012 9:21 AM
Dec 11, 2012 9:51 AM
5I wear thermal underwear (LongJohn) all season long, often with a pair of short over .
It serve as a pyjama too!
A thin one is a must... I guess
our heavy one will be for late night caht around a fire...
I think we need to be prepared (both mentally and gear''ly'') for +5oC with rain and strong winds...
Kind of a normal weather that south...
Dec 11, 2012 1:08 PM
6from my experience of doing W two weeks ago, i never used thermal pants even though i had one packed. We went through severe snow storm and even then we didn't feel that to be necessary since you are walking continuously and body warms up nicely. i had a smartwool base layer, insulation layer and windproof jacket - all of them are needed to stay warm. at times a few layers could be too warm, but then you can strip them off but taking off clothes and stuff when you are walking with a backpack is painful so at times i would just stay wiht a bit of discomfort since the weather changes rapidly anyways.
but if you are camping in tents, thermal pants is good idea since nights can be really cold.
Dec 11, 2012 1:09 PM
Dec 11, 2012 3:38 PM
8This what the wind can do in Patagonia, two buses literally blown over by 100 kph gusts:
Dec 12, 2012 4:48 AM
9I should have mentionned that we will be camping most of the nights. And we will have a couple of boat ferry... That is why we bring so many warm clothes.
These 100kph wind remember me of Mount Washington(NH, USA) world record. for wind speed...372kph...
Edited by: indianmilot
Dec 13, 2012 7:21 PM
10Hi David (Indianmilot)
I noticed in an earlier post that you said you will be traveling from Punta Arenas to Coyhaique... I would like to make this same trip in mid February. I was wondering if you could pass along any details about how you are making the trip, eg: the route, days allotted, bus/ferry portions?
Thanks so much for the help and have a great trip!!!
Dec 19, 2012 2:01 PM
11Layers, layers, layers. One of the best pieces of clothing that I took with me to Patagonia was a North Face Windwall jacket--it added just enough warmth and blocked most of that incredible wind, without adding much bulk. Also I highly recommend a Gor-Tex jacket and waterproof pants (just in case--not everyone is big on waterproof pants but I HATE HATE HATE hiking with wet hiking pants), Gor-Tex shoes, a hat, and light gloves to block the wind if you are using hiking poles. I also had quick-drying base layers from Icebreaker and Patagonia that worked great as I would add or remove layers based on the altitude. I lucked out and had 4 days of beautiful sunny weather, so I definitely overpacked for Patagonia and didn't even need to use my waterproof gear, but you need to be prepared.
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