Chile is a country in the west of South America that has activities for travelers of all types. Santiago, the capital of Chile is a popular destination for travelers as is the Patagonia region. This Chile packing list contains a list of recommended items to take on your trip to Chile.
Climate In Chile:
The climate of an area plays a huge part in determining what you should pack.
Due to the vast length of the country, Chile’s climate ranges from very hot to very cold. Chile is in the southern hemisphere and in the summer (1 December to 28 February), Santiago, Chile can reach temperatures in the high 80s°F. On the other hand, cities in the southern tip of Chile such as Punta Arenas can go below freezing during the winter.
I’ve included some charts that depict the climates of several major cities in Chile:
Punta Arenas, Chile:
Puerto Montt, Chile:
Depending on your style of travel, you may want to bring either a suitcase or a backpack. I happened to pack relatively light, so I only needed a backpack.
Kelty Redwing 50 – This was my primary travel backpack not only in Chile, but when traveling around the entire South American continent. The Redwing 50 is a 50-liter capacity internal frame travel backpack. Unlike most other travel backpacks, the Redwing isn’t obnoxiously large and isn’t too hiker-ish. The pack barely meets carry on requirements, so I had to be careful not to over pack it. You can read my full Kelty Redwing 50 review here.
You might also want to check out the Kelty Flyway and the Osprey Talon series, which are both travel backpacks that I’ve heard other travelers rave about.
REI Flash 18 – In addition to my Kelty Redwing 50, I also brought the REI Flash 18, which is an 18-liter daypack. Whenever I left our apartment to tour the area for the day, I would take my 18-liter pack with some bare basics such as a water bottle, camera and snacks. The Flash 18 is extremely lightweight and packable, which makes it a good choice for being an auxiliary backpack. This is my review of the Flash 18.
While in Chile, I didn’t notice many people wearing shorts, though the temperature was around 80°F. In an attempt to look less like a tourist and to fit in with the culture, I tried to wear mainly jeans and my convertible zip off kakis. This is a refined list of clothes to bring when traveling to Chile.
*Note: Depending on your needs and activities, you may need to bring more or less clothes.
1 Pair of Jeans – everyone in Chile seems to wear jeans, so you’ll probably fit in while wearing a pair. Though they can be heavy, jeans are versatile and are an essential when traveling to Chile. If you are traveling for a longer amount of time, you may want to bring another pair of jeans.
1 Pair of Convertible Pants – pants that convert into shorts are especially useful in Chile where the temperature drops significantly at night. Convertible pants are also much easier to hand wash than jeans.
2 Pair of Athletic Shorts
1 Long Sleeve Shirt
2 Polo Shirts
1 Dress Shirt
1 Rain Jacket – Your need for a rain jacket will largely depend on the region you are visiting, but I brought one just in case. Instead of purchasing an expensive waterproof jacket that you may never need, you can always bring a poncho.
1 Down Jacket – While my down jacket was obsolete in Santiago, the temperature dramatically dropped when we went down to Punta Arenas. I wore the First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie, which is extremely lightweight and moderately warm.
Undergarments – amount depends on the length of your trip, though I wouldn’t bring more than 7 pairs of underwear
4 Pairs of Socks – socks are easy to hand wash, so you probably won’t need to bring too many. I brought 3 pairs of below ankle socks and one pair of long merino wool socks that I wore while in Patagonia and the colder regions of Chile.
1 Pair of Sneakers – My primary shoes were the Merrell Embark Gloves, which were waterproof trail running shoes. They were lightweight minimalist shoes and were quite comfortable. (If you are planning to hike in Patagonia, you may want to bring a pair of hiking shoes, or you could rent them.)
1 Pair of Sandals – I also brought a pair of Adidas Superstar Slides. They are really comfortable and great for wearing casually.
Toiletries and Hygiene:
Etc. – See the general packing list for a full list of toiletries you may or may not need to bring.
Chile uses 220-volt outlets, while the voltage is 120 in the US. Some chargers, such as laptop chargers support 220-volt outlets, however you should purchase a voltage converter to prevent your chargers from burning or frying.
This is a voltage converter review that I wrote for the voltage converter that I used while in South America.
iPhone and iPhone Charger – Chile is a generally safe country, so bringing your valuable electronics shouldn’t be an issue.
MacBook Air and Charger
External Battery – To keep my electronics powered up on the go, I brought the Anker External Battery, which can recharge an iPhone 4-5 times and an iPad 2 once.
Money Belt – money belts are great solutions for keeping large denomination bills just in case. My money belt, the Travelon Money Belt, can hold about 8-12 bills.
Sunglasses – Santiago can be really sunny in the summer, so you would probably want to bring a pair of sunglasses.
Camera – I’m not a photographer, so my only camera was the one on my phone. If you are serious about taking pictures, you may want to consider taking a DSLR camera.
Lock – Though all of my bags were carry-on, I still opted to lock the primary compartment of my backpack. I used the Master Lock TSA Luggage Lock.
Watch – I took my Timex Ironman Sleek watch.
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