Aye, I’ll agree with Mr Attenborough on this one. Patagonia is the hidden gem of planet earth. Writing this 6-months on sends shivers up my scruffy backside thinking about it again. Absolutely, utterly, magnificent!
Step by step guide for planning Torres Del Paine. You can find out why I found it magnificent in my other post here. The only problem is planning it. It can be a pain with multiple companies owning multiple camping areas, expensive lodges, threats of being thrown out if you don’t have accommodation etc. It’s actually really easy and once you get into the park it’s very relaxed and chilled with people just wanting to help one another. Buying your spots to camp is another matter however. So here’s some useful tips on how to do this glorious bugger.
How to book it
- Do this at least three months in advance.
- First up plan if you’re doing the 0 circuit or the W, plenty of useful blogs already exist for what they are if you search for them
- Start by opening your browser window and grabbing a good cup of tea with some biscuits and pen wth some papaer
- Open up the https://www.fantasticosur.com in one tab and https://reservas.verticepatagonia.cl in the other
- The two different companies own different camping spots, once you know your route you the can use the two sites to align on dates for camping sites.
- You basically need to tick off each night one by one as fast as you can before booking them all.
- Start on your first nights route and find the camp site for it
- head the correct company and check if it’s available, if it is write it down.
- Move onto your next nights stop on your route and do the same again. Work as quick as you can and make sure everynight is free along your planned route on wither of the company’s websites.
- Once you’ve confirmed and aligned everything go back though and book them all one by one.
- I’d advise staying a couple of nights at Camp Pehoe before you began heading into do the W or the O it mentally prepares you and it’s glorious to look over what you’ll be hiking before you get into it
Doing it on your own
- Is exhilarating.
- The accomplishment you feel at the end is unreal.
- You can do it at your own pace, stop when you want, go where you want and have some true quality time to yourself
- I wasn’t alone the whole 9 days I was in the park. I teamed up with three lads one day and a group of girls for the final morning trek to the Torres.
- There’s always people around on the trails and they’re well marked.
- The cooking halls at each camp site are also social, you tend to sit on a long table together
- I hitched hike to the park via two cars
- Caught the bus back
- Take a pillow case to stuff your clothes into for night times
What trekking gear to take (aside from the obvious)
- Hire your tent, sleeping bag, gas, stove connector and matt from your hostel
- Plan your clothing and leave the rest at your hostel in bin bags, use your travel backpack as your main bag
- I’d advise taking lots of thin layers over a couple of thick ones
- I did the trek in Nikes but I’d advise walking boots in case it rains. I was lucky it didn’t for me
- Pen knife, cooking pot, tape, lighter, matches
Nutrition and food prep
- Read my post for here for general fitness and nutrition advice when trekking
- Plan your food for each night and put it into a food bag. Don’t carry massive bags of rice etc around with you
- Take spares
- Quinoa and rice mixed together
- 4 cans tuna emptied into a food bag,
- BCAA tabs
- Glutamine tabs
- Oats and granola mixed together
- Dried fruit
- Nuts and seeds
- Large Chocolate bars, 4 of them
- Chopped up broccoli into your bagged portions
- ginger and garlic cut up into you bagged portions
- bag of brown sugar
- salts or rehydration sachets
- Bag of sugary sweets
- You can drink all the water from the mountain lakes and there’s plenty in the camp sites Chia seeds, super greens powder and a small bag of whey protein to have in a shake on a morning with your oats (not essential but I like to intake a high amount of protein to maintain that hard earned muscle mass and in take a lot of greens for anti-toxins)
- I took a small amount of weed with me for the first two days chilling, having it on the Camp Pehoe lakeside was paradise
- nullStay in the over priced lodges or eat the over priced food
- Feed the armadillos (told you why above)
- light fires outside of the selected huts. Feel I should say this since one prick burned half the place down doing otherwise, which you’ll notice
Helpful maintenance/fitness tips for your aching body
- Stretch every morning and night
- BCAA and Glutamine tablets will help with muscle aches
- Rub your legs and body down with your hands once your in your sleeping bag at night. It will warm you up and encourage your body to dissipate the lactic acid