There are only two possible outcomes for thee O Circuit in Torres del Paine. One is that the universe bestows upon you glorious weather and you spend each day basking in the sun. The other is that all meteorological hell breaks loose, and since you’re sitting at 50°S, there’s not much you can do about it. Needless to say, knowing what to pack for Torres del Paine is pretty important.
If you’ve got space in your backpack, you can start with this Patagonia Packing List. But everything you don’t bring with you, you can rent. There are lots of spots to rent camping gear in Puerto Natales. And you might just save yourself some weight and money by doing it.
Gear rental in Puerto Natales is both easy and affordable. The shops know what conditions in Torres del Paine are like, and they’re quick to recommend gear that will hold up. So if you’re planning on renting camping gear in Puerto Natales, here are a few of the best shops in town along with average prices for gear rental.
Where to Rent Camping Gear in Puerto Natales
Erratic Rock has one of the best reputations in town for all things trekking in Torres del Paine. They stock MSR, Thermarest, Marmot, North Face, and other major outdoor brands.
The best part about Erratic Rock is their free 3 o’clock trek talk that happens every day at 3 pm. In this one hour session, they’ll give you an overview of the trail along with advisories, suggested routes, and other recommendations. It’s a good place to meet other travelers and pick up things you forgot, but I found some of their prices to be slightly higher (>$1/day) than the other shops. Learn more about Erratic Rock’s hostel, equipment rental, and expeditions.
Where to Find It: Manuel Baquedano 719
Rental Natales looks a bit upscale, but their prices are on par with other shops in town. The shop is small, but they rent mostly name-brand gear. Their location away from the square ensures that their gear is a bit more lightly used than the gear at Erratic Rock, and they are super friendly. Check out Rental Natales here.
Where to Find It: Bernardo O’Higgins 662-A
Other Gear Rental Shops that Rent Camping Gear in Puerto Natales
Update for 2022: Unfortunately, Camaleon, Casa Cecilia, Chumango Hostel, and Gear Spot have gone out of business since this post was published
Feeling lazy? You can also rent your gear in the park! If you’re hiking the W-Trek, the FantasticoSur and Vertice sites will allow you to reserve a tent, mat, sleeping bag, etc. with your campsite booking. The prices can be a bit of a gouge, but it will save you from having to carry your gear which is definitely worth something. Renting gear for every day of the O Circuit is not currently possible.
Before You Go
Before heading into the backcountry, be sure you have everything you need. Set up your tent and check for holes. Test out your lighter. Check how ful your propane cans are. These things might seem obvious, but they’re totally important for a safe and comfortable trek. You can take a look at our Patagonia Packing List for everything you’ll need for your backcountry trip.
Cost of Gear Rental in Puerto Natales (2017)
Equipment rental in Puerto Natales was way more affordable than I expected it to be. Most shops had pricing tiers available for every type of product so you could choose something more or less technical, depending on your needs. Based on my hike in 2017, here’s what you can expect your average daily rental cost of gear to be.
- Tent for 3-4 ($7,000CLP – $10,000CLP)
- Tent for 2 ($4,500CLP – $5,000CLP)
- Backpack 30-70L ($3,000CLP – $3,500CLP)
- Sleeping Bag to -5°($2,500CLP – $3,000CLP)
- Sleeping Mat ($500CLP – $1,000CLP)
- Trekking Poles ($3,000CLP – $3,500CLP)
- Cook Stove ($1,000CLP – $1,500CLP)
- Gas ($3,000CLP – $4,000CLP)
My rental cost averaged $14,500CLP (~$22 USD/day). This is pretty damn good when you consider this included my accommodation**, activities, and cooking gear for a week. After factoring in food, transport, camp costs, and entry fees, I was still traveling in one of the world’s greatest national parks within my daily travel budget. For more information on what all this cost, check out this Outlandish Guide to the O Circuit.
**Private campsites range from $8 – $75 USD per night with a higher nightly rate for refugios.
Where to Stay in Puerto Natales
You’ve probably already sorted out your campsites in Torres del Paine, but if you need a place to stay before your trek, here are some of the best hotels in Puerto Natales.
Refugio Hoshken | Refugio Hoshken inexplicably brings cool people together. It’s a basic spot but the vibe is right, the staff is super friendly, and they’ll even let you leave your stuff in storage while you undertake your trek! Dorms from $14.
The Singing Lamb | The Singing Lamb is quite simple but spacious common areas and its location just five blocks from the bus station make it the go-to hostel in Puerto Natales. Double rooms start from €51.
Hotel Simple Patagonia | The Hotel Simple Patagonia is anything but simple. The architecture is sleek and you’ll enjoy stellar views of the Ultima Esperanza Sound, which well warrants its location 4km from the bus station. Double rooms from $158.
HaasJune 8, 2017 at 11:26 pm
Thanks for the article! Do you know how far in advance you need to book your campsites?
BeatrizOctober 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm
Hello! I was wondering if you needed to make a reservation for the gear beforehand? And if it was necessary to stay at the campsites?
Taylor RecordOctober 23, 2017 at 7:46 am
Hi Beatriz! It’s not really necessary to reserve gear in advance. There are lots of shops in town, and if you can’t find what you need at one place, it should be easy to pop in to another. As for the campsites, yes, it is required that you stay in designated campsites along the route. Torres del Paine is highly regulated, and there’s just one trail looping through the park. Good luck 🙂
GraceNovember 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm
I´m wondering if you know of any good locations to store gear while trekking Torres del Paine. I will have clothes,shoes, etc. that I would like to take out of my pack to make space for rental gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc.)
Taylor RecordNovember 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Hey Grace! If it’s just clothes (nothing valuable) most hotels in Natales will let you store it for free 🙂
AmberDecember 23, 2017 at 4:15 pm
I’m trying to plan a trip now starting in Patagonia and heading through Peru, Colombia and Bolivia. I’m torn between renting and taking equipment. I plan to hike quite a bit. What kind of quality and weight is the rented gear? If I brought my own tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat they would be 3kg total. Could still be a lot of hassle though!
Taylor RecordDecember 26, 2017 at 8:28 pm
Sounds like a fun itinerary, Amber! I believe my rental gear was around 3kg. I think I would gauge this choice on how often you’ll be camping. If you’re doing it less than 7 days a month, it probably makes more sense to rent. That being said, I wish I owned my own stuff the whole time I was in Patagonia since it’s nice to have for hiking, staying in hostel backyards, and hitchhiking. Let me know how you go!
Andrew HaldenDecember 30, 2017 at 7:45 pm
Hey Taylor, was there much bushwhacking and orienteering needed or is it a route pretty much marked out the entire way, the W this is?
Taylor RecordDecember 30, 2017 at 11:51 pm
Hey Andrew. The trail is VERY straighforward. There is truly only one route you can take through the park, and you can expect to see orange tape or markings every 2-3 minutes. There will also be enough other hikers on the trail that getting lost would be impossible. If for some reason you do get lost, you can backtrack to the last orange marking to see where you got off track. Enjoy your trip!
Andrew HaldenDecember 31, 2017 at 5:04 pm
It’s 5 nights I believe? What campsites did you stay at? I’m just working out our best route and stopping points as I read some campsites are super expensive, others just $8 and some free? Did you go east to west or west to east?
Also, in mid January will the route be packed with hikers? Kind of want some solitude along the way.
Ps. Thank you!!
MatejAugust 30, 2018 at 6:17 pm
I am wondering if the sleeping bag was cleaned after each use? Or should I bring a liner?
I can imagine people on the trek don’t follow the most strict hygene and I would prefer to sleep in clean bag….
TaylorAugust 30, 2018 at 7:20 pm
Hey Matej. That’s a good point! I know they do some cleaning, but I can’t imagine the bags are washed after each trekker. I was sleeping in my warmest clothes, so I didn’t sweat or make too much contact with my bag, but a silk liner isn’t a bad idea!
johnJuly 14, 2019 at 9:26 pm
I was checking on full board prices on the O-circuit and am I reading this right?- $160 US dollars for breakfast, bag lunch and dinner????
Taylor RecordJuly 14, 2019 at 11:10 pm
Hey John. Are you talking about Chileno? Not sure the exact cost in 2019, but that one was around $120 when I visited in 2017. Instead, I’d recommend getting a spot at Torres Central and getting up extra early to get to the Torres in time for sunrise.
KrisOctober 17, 2022 at 12:11 am
Just to let you know about gear rental, the only place that is workign right now is Rental Natales, all the other are out of business. Well erratic rock is running as a hostel only.
Taylor RecordNovember 15, 2022 at 2:12 pm
Hey Kris. Wow, thank you for letting me know! I’ll look into some alternatives and update the post.