Luggage for SAPE Patagonia trip

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Luggage for SAPE Patagonia trip

Postby emilitch » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:43 pm


We are off on the SAPE trip this coming February (and very excited) and I was hoping for some feedback on luggage. We did the Incra Trail with GAP in 2011 and each brought a suitcase in addition to our backpacks -- with all the gear we brought for the 5 day hike it worked out great, but only because the hotel in Cuzco did our luggage storage for the 5 days.

We'll be gone for 16 days on this trip and I'd like to do the same thing again but wanted some feedback? I have a photography "problem" and am carrying a full backpack of lenses/gear alone -- I REALLY don't want to be the annoying girl from America who packs like she's moving in, but packing for two weeks/two seasons in addition to photography equipment is not compact... Any info on how mobile we'll be on this trip and whether it's reasonable to expect that most of time I can happily leave a bag with a hotel?

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Re: Luggage for SAPE Patagonia trip

Postby joanandliz » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:05 pm

Hi Erika,

I hope this response isn't too late for you. I'm just back from the same trip (it was truly amazing) - and I suffer the same photography 'problem' ! So here's how it went for me: first off you can leave a case/bag at the hotel in BA and collect it on your return, very useful if you're spending some time there before/after the trip and don't want to bring summer clothes to Patagonia. For the trip itself I took a 45l backpack with me in addition to my 25l 'daypack'. The main backpack is left in hotels when you're hiking but keep in mind that you will need to lug it around a bit - between hotels and buses - but never for very long or far. A few others on the trip brought wheeled suitcases and they had no problems at all. There's always somewhere secure to leave your main bag when you're out and about.

You do quite a lot of walking on the trip (not just the trekking section !) so it's important not to be carrying too much kit. I brought a DSLR and three lenses (70-300mm; 18-55mm; and a 60mm macro), three memory cards a 16GB and two 4GB (the thinking behind multiple cards wasn't the capacity, rather security, at least if the camera was stolen/fell into the sea etc. I wouldn't lose all my pics !), two spare batteries and the usual chargers. There was plenty opportunity to recharge in hotels almost every night so three was more than enough for me. I considered bringing a monopod but decided against it and really didn't miss it at all, in fact it would have been just one more thing to carry.

My 25l daypack had a lower compartment for the camera and lenses and an upper section for everything else I needed (Crumpler Jackpack Half BP - I left two fairly large LowePro camera backpacks at home as they weren't designed for anything but camera gear). It's REALLY important to have room for the following each day:
Water bottle
First aid kit
That doesn't sound very heavy but it all adds up, believe me ! I can't stress enough how important it is to travel as light as possible. If you have a good utility lens then try and stick to that. The trekking is very challenging at times and the less weight you're carrying the better. It really is an incredible trip and you get to see some amazing scenery, enjoy !

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