Patagonia – weather and clothing

We visited Patagonia in mid-late November which is the equivalent of mid-late May in the Northern Hemisphere.  We were told repeatedly that summer is the windiest season and we experienced that fact on many days!

In a nutshell, be prepared for wind and rain and bring clothing that can stand up to these elements!!!   The temperatures were not that cold (in the 40′s) but the wind and rain can make you feel much colder if you don’t have the right clothing!

I was very happy with what I brought and my usual attire was as follows (with a backpack to carry some glove and hat options or to stow my fleece and rain gear, etc.):

  • Sunblock!!  And bring moisturizer as your skin will dry out!
  • Sunglasses for the glacier walks, etc.  It can be quite bright.
  • Northface® summit series jacket (Hyvent Alpha) that is wind and rain resistant.  This jacket served me very well, I was very happy
  • Double-layer of wool Ts (a micro and mid-weight or two micros, sometimes I just wore a short sleeve micro and a mid-wight long-sleeve).  I love Smartwool® and Ibex®, personally!  This double layer and the above Northface® is what I wore most of the time, once or twice (i.e. at the glaciers, Cape Horn) I also wore my fleece jacket (not wind proof, just a regular fleece).  I had about 6 various Ts with me and that was plenty.
  • Fleece zip up jacket (mine is Patagonia®, it is not wind proof, just a regular fleece)
  • Synthetic headband like you would wear on a bike or skiing, to protect your ears.  I wore this all the time.
  • Wool skull cap, I wore this about half the time, over the above headband
  • Fleece balaclava type hood/hat.  I LOVED this thing and used it almost every day.  The hood can be dropped back off your head and then the whole thing acts like a cowl neck/gaiter and the bit that goes over your mouth/nose can also be tucked down into the neck.  The one I have is by a company called Seirus® and the label states ‘performance fleece, climate control fabric’.  I have a Large / XL although I have a regular size woman’s head (no comments necessary!!).  I wore it over the headband and/or wool cap, or just on its own, depending.  It was also great against lighter rain when I didn’t want to wear my jacket’s hood.
  • A regular old wooly scarf, I wrapped this around the neck of my balaclava most days for an extra cozy layer
  • Ex-Officio® soft-shell weather resistant pants with brushed lining (one pair)
  • Smartwool® micro weight wool tights.  I only used these in the worst, coldest weather days like visiting the glacier and Cape Horn, and wore them under my Ex-Officio® pants.  I brought one pair and washed them a few times, they always dry overnight.
  • Weather resistant hiking pants (not thermal or fleece lined).  I had two pair with me.
  • Roeckl® gloves with WindStopper®.  The have some sort of barrier lining that did get quite heavy (wet) during the our walk in the torrential rain and wind.  My hands stayed dry but the gloves had to go on the radiator over night.
  • Waterproof hooded shell and pants (mine are Marmot®).  I never wore the jacket as my Northface® was perfect.  I did wear the pants twice.
  • Fingerless wool gloves for days that were just a small bit nippy or windy (instead of wearing the heavy gloves)
  • Hiking boots with Gortex®
  • Good socks!  I use Smartwool®.

Aprés-hike or for light hikes, etc:

  • I brought two pair of weather resistance fleece pants with me.  One pair was a slim fit like runners would use, the other more of a straight/snowboard cut.  I wore them when walking around town or after we came back from hiking.
  • I also brought two pair or Ibex® wool pants for hanging around the hotel, to wear on transfers, etc.  I like the “Izzi” style best.
  • Some zip-lock bags for your camera or something you don’t want to get wet.

My backpack was not waterproof and I didn’t bring a cover or wet bag to use inside.  It did get wet (as did stuff inside) on the day of our walk in the torrential wind and rain but it all dried out on the radiator.  It is something to consider, though!

Laundry – on average, the cost of hotel laundry services was about $1 for a pair of socks or underwear and a pair of pants or pajamas/nightgown was about $7.  I always hand washed my T-shirts, but assume they fell in the middle of the above prices.

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One Response to Patagonia – weather and clothing

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