As our family trip to Chile draws closer and our travel plans are (almost!) in place, my thoughts have turned to the tedious task of packing. Given that we live in shorts and t-shirts all year round in Panama, packing for Patagonia and the hilly Lake District in southern Chile actually warrants some proper planning.What to pack for a family adventure to #Patagonia #Chile! #FamilyTravel Click To Tweet
For the first week I shall be travelling solo to Patagonia, staying at the incredible Explora Patagonia. For the second week I will join my husband and two kids in Santiago. From there we’ll head south again to Chile’s ‘Lake District’.
The Weather in Patagonia
If you google ‘Patagonia weather’ you’ll find it’s often described as ‘four seasons in one day’. Temperatures range from 0-22°C / 32-72°F, rain is expected at any time of the year, giving way to snow during the winter months. The average wind speed is around 15-20km/hr but it can reach a biting 120km/hr in the summer months, making it feel up to 6°C / 30°F cooler than what it really is.
The Weather in Chile’s Lake District
The weather in Chile’s Lake District is similar to the Northwest Pacific coast in the US and much of Northern England and Scotland. Summers are pleasant, yet still a little unpredictable, and the winter months bring snow.
What to Pack for Patagonia
Based on weeks of research and the helpful packing list that Explora shares with their guests, this is what we’ll be taking. Note that this list would work just as well for the Scottish highlands, southern Alaska or indeed most destinations with an erratic climate!
On Your Head: Baseball Hat | Warm Hat
For Your Body: Hiking Clothing: T-shirt | Hiking leggings/trousers | Fleece | Gore-tex Jacket | Down Jacket
Under Armour Women’s ColdGear Infrared EVO leggings are ideal for temperatures between 0° and 55° F
A lot of hiking trousers/pants double up as shorts (zip off the bottoms) but I personally prefer the roll-up variety such as this ExOffico pair which also come with a handy zippered security pocket in the right leg
I tried this North Face fleece on the other day. Although it is thin and as light as a feather it is gloriously snug and warm. The hood is tight and the neck gaiter effective. Ideal for wearing under a bulky coat.
A waterproof coat is a must! I will take my Berghaus Goretex Jacket (with roll away hood) as I like its long length. Plus it’s guaranteed to keep me warm and dry.
I have a Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket which I love because it weighs nothing, can be rolled into the bottom of a backpack and is incredibly warm under a waterproof layer.
Gloves: Liner gloves | Windstopper gloves
Feet: Hiking socks | Hiking boots
Good quality hiking socks such as these Merino ones are crucial, as are a decent pair of hiking boots. I’ve always loved the UK brand, Brasher although I believe they have recently joined forces with Berghaus, another one of my favourite brands.
Other accessories: Neck gaiter | Sunglasses | Sunscreen | Sports bra | Compeed | Small back pack (25L)
To avoid any chills creeping in, I’ll pack a neck warmer.
And of course sunglasses are essential.
My favourite suncream is Avène, which is particularly good for sensitive skin.
If you plan on horse riding, or just stepping it out, don’t forget your sports bras, ladies!
If you are carrying expensive camera equipment you’ll need a waterproof (note: not just water resistant) backpack like this Mountain Hardwear Scrambler one.
*Explora provides guests with trekking poles and riding helmets / riding gaiters for horse riding.
Hiking clothes: Tshirt | Trekking pants | Berghaus Parka | Sweatshirt | Balaclava
Let’s be honest, you can take the kids almost anywhere as long as they have the right gear (there’s nothing worse than cold kids!). So this is what I’m packing for my two children for our trip to Chile’s Lake District.
This may be a little extreme for Chile’s Lake District but these Kids Thermal Fleece Balaclavas look so snug!
And this The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go T-Shirt for kids seems very apt.
This cheery yellow surf hoody caught my eye on bodenusa.com
Feet: Socks | Hiking boots
Other Accessories: Weather Cream | Backpack | Sunglasses | Snacks
When my kids were babies a friend of mine gave me a tube of Weleda Weather Protection Cream and it is the stuff of miracles! My son’s ‘moustache’ area often gets very raw in drier climates. I’m not sure whether this is an allergy thing or an adaptation thing (we’ve always lived in very humid climates) but what I can tell you is that this cream always, always helps it!
A good backpack such as this one from Jack Wolfskin Kids will be handy both on the plane and on the trail.
My kids don’t often wear Sunglasses but I feel it’s time I cracked down on that that given how strong the sun can get in these parts.
Lastly, don’t forget the
bribes, incentives! Nuts & Chocolate Trail Mix ought to do the trick on the trekking trail.
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Chile: a guide to Chile with kids
Peru: a guide to Peru with kids
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