Tag Archives: packing list

Preparing for Chile

So, how much time does it take to drive from Punta Arenas to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, while still having an awesome, memorable vacation? (I’ll let you know the answer in about 7 weeks time!)

in the mean time, there is the matter of The Packing List. There’s hardly any shortage of hits on “packing for Chile”, so I’ll just go ahead and add my own to the noise.

Hailing from the Norwegian West Coast, I’m pretty accustomed to pretty much all the kinds of weather there is, well, except for sunny and +25 degrees C. We do try live by the motto of “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. (By the way, this quote scores highly on the annoyment scale while you are huddling behind a rock trying to make the most out of your backpack’s rain cover, since you forgot to bring rain pants). So as far as I can tell, the southern part of Chile, escpecially in Patagonia, should make me feel right at home: Wet, windy, and predictably unpredictable (sorry about that one…).

Rain? Bring it on! Layers? Got ’em! Wooly inner? Only nekkid sheep in my ‘hood!

… Moving right along: The challenge is to keep the number of clothing articles down. Back in 2010, when I backpacked in South East Asia, I actually had to carry the pack around, on my back, but I only had round about 10 kg, filling roughly half of my 60 L pack. (I recall being anxious about the return flight since the remaining space had been vanquished by Stuff & Souvenirs, but was very surprised when the scale just barely tipped 15 kg). But, according to the Pack List Archive, for that trip I only needed clothes that would either cover against mosquitos, or that would barely cover skin (oh, the heat; the humidity! I never knew my earlobes could perspire).

For the road trip in the US I used a smallish suitcase, around 40 L, with 4-wheel drive (which is awesome), but again; for summer and warm, dry weather. I only brought a wind-breaker, not even waterproof.

This time in Chile I am not even going to carry around my pack, except to and from the airport, and the rest of the time we will be rough camping out of a camper van. So the temptation to bring “just one more item, because what if” is very, very powerful… We’ll see how this goes, still have a few more days to decide!


The rules are light weigth, quick drying, small volume. Bonus for multiuse.

  • Bottoms: Quick dry capri, blue casual trousers, hiking pants (not shabby looking, can double as regularish pants). Waterproof shell pants.
  • 1 skirt, 1 dress, plus a 3/4 length tights for not so warm weather (is actually a running tights; multipurpose!)
  • Button up shirt, light long sleeved shirt for dressing up
  • Wool inner layer, not eye sores, so can be used “in public”
  • Underwear: mix of boxers and bikinis, synthetic mostly, <= 7 items. One regular bra, wool bra and sportsbra.
  • Socks; Wool hiking socks, ankle socks
  • Water proff shell jacket, Primaloft middle layer, nice looking fleece jacket (which i’ll use for city strolling as well)
  • Hiking boots, my Speedcross’s for running, cute sneakers for the everyday use, and flip flops


  • Down sleeping bag (9C comfort temp, but I’m a warm sleeper, but i’ll bring a liner just in case). Pillow!
  • Solar cell panel (quite experimental, 50USD from aliexpress)
  • My NEX-6 camera, gorillapod, wideangle lens, and yes, my selfie-stick!
  • Tiny laptop, for those things you still can’t do with an Android web browser
  • Detergent, only got a week’s worth of undies, so…
  • clothes line, universal sink plug
  • knife/multitool, roll of ducttape, tiny sowing kit
  • Sawyer mini water filter (probably not necessary), plus a foldable water bucket/bag, for fetching water
  • Sunglasses, my pink hiking hat, beanie and buff
  • Hydration bladder and 11L daypack
  • Pocket shower! Used once, with some success… It’ll be easier this time, with my hubbie to lift it up for me
  • Head torch
  • Dry bags

Still under construction, more items to be added!

About the pillow… I do have a “soft” inflatable one, with some kind of filling on one side. It’s adequate, but quite prone to both a feeling of stickiness (especially on warm nights combined with a sleeping mat) and making my hair static. Not a problem for a few days, or even a week, but 40 nights? A proper, but still very small, pillow is worth the volume it I think, for the added comfort.