Top 10 Tips for the Torres Del Paine Circuit Trek in Patagonia

We love the circuit trek in Torres Del Paine National Park. It is a fast paced trekking adventure at the bottom of the world. If you like beautiful and remote mountain experiences, then you need to consider trekking in Patagonia. You will not be disappointed.

Ice Surfing in Patagonia

Top 10 Tips for the Torres Del Paine Circuit Trek in Patagonia

Patagonia has some unique world class mountain views, equally the region has some challenging weather conditions. You can expect long days walking along with a heavy back pack. This Circuit trek has all the ingredients of real adventure at low altitude at the bottom of the world. Check out our Top 10 Tips for a successful trek and CONTACT US for further information.

The Famous Torres Towers

1). Come Physically Prepared

This fast paced trek covers a lot of distance.  90 miles in all, from start to finish for 10 days. Longer days are followed by easier days, and we will have distance to cover every day. Each day has different terrain and elevation gains. You will hike up over 700m/ 2,296 feet on 3 different occasions, furthermore on one of these days you will have your 15kg/ 35 lb back pack on.

If you want to hire a porter to help carry your load, it will cost an additional $170 per day. This additional cost covers porters wages, food and campsite fees.  If you will carry all your own gear, then you need to be training hard 4/5 times a week over the months leading up to the trip. We highly recommend feeling comfortable carrying 15kg in your training. We can help you prepare and get a plan in place for this amazing trek.

French Valley in Torres Del Paine

2). Be Prepared for Bad Weather

The land of wind is unforgiving and the conditions can be very challenging. It can rain for days on end and you need to be prepared for this. There can be muddy trails and poor trail conditions, so you need to have quality rain gear. In addition to that, you need to have the right light weight gear.  You could have rain the day before you hike into the cold and snow on the John Gardner pass, coupled with high winds. This is a normal few days in the Torres Del Paine National Park. There is never bad weather, just bad gear.

Deep inside the French Valley

3). You will be Covering Long Distances

The longest day on the trip is the hiking up 700m/ 2,296 feet and down 1,050m/ 3,444 feet over the famous John Gardner Pass. This is a 13.6 mile or 22km day, however, it can be split in two depending on current weather conditions in the park.  All other days are anywhere from 6.8 miles or 11km to 11.8 miles or 19km, furthermore most days are full 8 hour days on the trail.  We can provide more details on signing up.

The back side of Torress Del Paine

4). Build up a Strong Immune System

Throughout the whole trip, you will be sleeping in tents with minimal chance of shelter. You will be exposed to hot, cold, wind, rain and a variety of harsh weather. Take multi vitamins before arriving on the trip and take them each day on the trek.  Your temperature will fluctuate a lot so you need to keep colds and chest infections at bay. Having the right gear and clothing will also help with regulating your temperature as you manage yourself in the harsh outdoors.

Glaciers in the French Valley

5). The Right Backpack, Gear and Clothing

If you are carrying all your own equipment you need to have the essentials and no more for this trip. You need to have an Expedition 80 liter backpack, coupled with a smaller backpack. The smaller backpack is for the days you hike up into the French Valley as well as the hike up to the Torres Towers.  On signing up to one of our trips you will receive a 25 page trip dossier, as well as an itemized kit list. The dossier is designed to  help you better understand the trip.

We are also available to chat about the gear that you need for your specific trip dates. Remember it can snow in any month higher up the trail.  You need to be prepared for all types of weather conditions, as you can experience all sorts of weather all in one day. I highly recommend having light weight quality clothing for this Circuit Trek in Patagonia. CONTACT US for further information. You should also consider a battery pack to support your charging. Solar panels will probably not work too well.

Torres Del Paine in Autumn

6). Don’t Bring Too Many Additional Snacks

You will be given bags of snacks, in addition to sweets bars and nuts.  These bags will be refreshed on the morning of day 5 in Los Torres camp. On our trip we will spend two nights in this location. You will have received breakfast, Lunch and Dinner so there will be plenty of food available to you throughout the trip. If you bring extra snacks, again you will have to carry them.

The John Gardner Pass

7). Stay Well Hydrated

One of the most wonderful parts about Torres Del Paine National Park, is that there is plenty of fresh glacial water. You will have access to clean water to drink each day on the trail. You do not need to treat the water, however you do need to make sure you take the water up stream from the trails. I always like to have a 2 liter camel bak, equally important is bringing a 1 liter Nalgene bottle. You will be carrying all your gear at 15+kg you should only plan on carrying 1 liter of water at a time.  Keep your pack pack as light as possible, because there are plenty of places to replenish water along the trail.

Dickson Camp in Torres Del Paine

8). Manage Your Layering Correctly

If you are going to be outdoors all day, coupled with hiking in a range of temperatures you need the right layering system. You will be camping in a range of conditions, not to mention the rain. Being ready for all eventualities should motivate the layers you choose. You will be covering a mixture of up hill and downhill in the sun, with wind and rain. Understanding the layering system, equally important is getting outdoors and trying out your gear. Always remember you have to carry your own backpack. You do not want to over heat or sweat too much in a region like Patagonia.  Therefore, managing your temperature will be very important for a safe and comfortable trip. We are happy to explain more about this if needed.

Snow on the John Gardner Pass

9). Be Ready for Camping

This may not be the trip for you if you don’t like camping. Although there are some larger Refugio’s on the ‘W’ trek or the front side of this famous circuit. The food in the Refugio’s is not great, additionally there are 6 to 8 people in a room. There is no space for your gear, and all in close quarters.  Camping is the only real way to complete the circuit trek. It is important to have a comfortable lightweight inflatable Thermarest mattress. In addition to the comfortable Thermarest you need a lightweight warm goose down sleeping bag. Get out camping and test your gear. You do need to come prepared for a lot of outdoor experience.  READ MORE.

Mountains of Torres Del Paine

10). Be Adaptable

You need to understanding the impact the weather will play on this trip. In Patagonia and this part of the world adverse weather plays a massive role in your experience.  It can rain for days on end, be sunny but most certainly you will experience high winds. Winds in the region can gust up to 56 miles an hour or 90km. Winds can be higher on certain parts of the trail.  You will need to stay positive in possibly harsh conditions. You should expect good and bad weather. Just come expecting these types of conditions.

Get in Touch and Learn About our Trips

We run trips to the Torres Del Paine region of Patagonia from late October to early April each year.  If you are up for this fast pacing trekking adventure in Patagonia, coupled with some unique mountain viewing. Just get in touch and we can help you plan for the trip of a lifetime. Additionally,  one of our favorite times to visit Torres Del Paine, is Autumn time.  Autumn is early April in Patagonia.  Most people try and visit the park between November and March. The back side of the National Park closes from mid April. We can help you pick the right time that makes sense for you. Read some REVIEWS from our trip.

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