Summer is approaching and many people start planning their vacations in El Chaltén. Some will opt for cabins and day trekking (see: What to take in the trekking backpack?) and the more adventurous will have in mind “at least 1 night I want to camp inside the park“.
And that is where thousands of doubts arise: “What backpack do I need?“, “What do I have to carry in my backpack?“, “What sleeping bag do I have to carry?“, ecc.
Let’s go by parts: The first thing is to choose our itinerary. It is not the same to make a trip like Laguna de los Tres – Laguna Torre (3 days and 2 nights – Los Glaciares NP backbone network) than to make the famous Huemul Circuit Trek (4 days and 3 nights – Remote Area of Los Glaciares NP), where beyond the extra weight of food (see: Food for trekking and crossings) we must consider items such as equipment for crossing the zip lines, VHF radio, GPS or a portable charger for the cell phone, etc.
To simplify things, the following categorization is made:
So as we can see the only thing that varies in terms of the weight of the backpack, are the consumables. If I am going to be 3 days, I will carry X weight of food that will decrease as I eat. And that factor is relative to each person: There are those who prefer to carry extra weight and eat a good gourmet meal accompanied by a good wine and others like me, who live on mate and noodles or rice (and the occasional sachet of freeze-dried food). There is nothing written about tastes, especially taking into account that we go to the mountain to have a good time!
The following checklist contains basic elements designed for trekking outings with overnight stay included during the Patagonian summer, each person should adapt this checklist according to their needs and the number of days they are going to be in the mountains:
As mentioned above, each person should adapt the checklist according to the trip to be made, the climate and also the season of the year. Take these data only as a reference.
In case you are planning single day trips without overnight stay, see: What to carry in the trekking backpack?.