The Torres del Paine W Trek is a classic route around the most breathtakingly beautiful national park in Chilean Patagonia. Threading its way around megalithic mountains, splashing through icy streams, creeping past grumbling glaciers and winding through elegant verdigris forests, it’s not hard to see why the W Trek is one of the most iconic hikes in South America.

But as you’d imagine for a multi-day hike at in the unblemished wilds at the bottom of the world, there’s a certain amount of kit, clothing and preparation that goes into completing and enjoying this unique challenge. That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate packing and preparation list for the Torres del Paine W Trek. This is it. The daddy of all W Trek checklists. The only one you’ll ever need!

Hiking the Towers Base

Note: If you hike the 7 day W Trek with Cascada Expediciones you’ll be provided with much of the food and equipment that independent hikers must bring for themselves. We’ve listed those items in a separate section that you can ignore, safe in the knowledge that Cascada has got you covered! Also, check out our guide featuring all you need to hike the W Trek to become a pro.



All hikers need...

  • Regular synthetic underwear x 7

  • Long thermal underwear bottoms

  • Full length hiking pants

  • Hiking shorts

  • Long thermal underwear top

  • Long-sleeved synthetic top

  • Short-sleeved synthetic t-shirts x 2

  • Medium-weight fleece jacket

  • Sun hat with brim

  • Woolly hat

  • Water and windproof parka jacket

  • Waterproof gloves

  • Synthetic hiking socks x 7

  • Sturdy and supportive waterproof trekking boots

  • Sunglasses


Optional extras are...

  • Bandana

  • Waterproof pants

  • Fleece pants for camp

  • Athletics socks for camp and town

  • Casual city clothes

  • Casual shoes


All hikers need...

  • Toothpaste

  • Toothbrush

  • Soap

  • Combined shampoo/conditioner

  • Moisturiser

  • Sunblock (SPF 15 or higher)

  • High factor sunblock lip balm

  • Insect repellent

  • Travel towel

  • Washcloth

  • Comb

  • Deodorant spray or wipes



All hikers need...

  • Heavy-duty one litre capacity water bottle x 2

  • Small flashlight

  • Plastic bags for wet clothing

  • Multi-tool knife


Independent hikers need...

  • Tent (if camping)

  • Sleeping mat (if camping)

  • -9°C thermal sleeping bag  (for camping and refugios)

  • Mess kit (including pan, cup, plate, knife, fork and spoon)

  • Small gas cooker

  • Compass

  • Toilet paper

Optional extras are..

  • Hiking poles

  • Small locks for luggage/bags

  • Polar liner for sleeping bag

  • Wet wipes

  • Safety pins


All hikers need...

Independent hikers need...

  • Individual bags of oatmeal mixed with milk powder x 6

  • Individual bags of pasta / rice / noodles / couscous / mashed potato x 6

  • Stock cubes / instant packet soup x 6

  • Tortilla wraps for 7 days

  • Tuna in sachets for 7 days

  • Peanut butter in sachets for 7 days

  • Fruit, dried fruit, nuts for 7 days (buy on arrival in Chile)

  • Jerky or veggie jerky for 7 days

  • Candy for 7 days

  • Tea bags / instant coffee sachets / hot chocolate sachets



All hikers need...

  • Over-the-counter painkillers

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories

  • Over-the-counter diarrhea treatment

  • Band aids

  • Blister plasters

  • Knee braces

  • Personal medication



All hikers need...

  • Camera with spare memory

  • Camera charger

  • Phone

  • Phone charger

  • Electrical adapter

  • Binoculars

  • Mini sewing kit

  • Duct tape

  • Book

  • Pack of playing cards



All hikers need...

  • Passport

  • Travel insurance details

  • Plane tickets

  • US Dollars or Chilean Pesos

  • List of useful phone numbers (tour operators, hotels, etc.)


Independent hikers need...

  • Detailed topographical map of Torres del Paine

  • Punta Arenas bus timetable

  • Puerto Natales bus timetable

  • Campsite / refugio / hotel booking confirmation print outs


Things to do before you leave

All hikers...

  • Check visa / reciprocity fee requirements for all countries on your trip for your nationality

  • Notify your bank and credit card providers (so they don’t block your cards)

  • Ensure your travel insurance covers hiking up to 900 metres above sea level

  • Check and activate your phone’s roaming plan

  • Check your camera and flashlight batteries

  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, passport and insurance details with a friend

  • Know your baggage allowance for international and national flights

  • Advise airlines and accommodation of special dietary requirements

Grey Glacier on the O Trek

Now there’s just one thing left on the list; book your W Trek hiking tour in Torres del Paine National Park!  You can also contact us so we can organize the W Trek you’re looking for.

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