There are only two ways to truly enjoy the W-Trek or O Circuit in Torres del Paine. Either the universe bestows upon you glorious weather and you spend each day basking in the sun, or all meteorological hell breaks loose, and at 50°S, and you forge it. Needless to say, packing the right camping gear for Torres del Paine is pretty important.
You can lug your sleeping bag & tent from home if it makes sense, but sometimes it just doesn’t. If you’re traveling long term or don’t own the right stuff, you might be better off when you rent camping gear in Puerto Natales. By making the decision to rent gear, you can often save yourself extra weight and a bit of money.
Gear rental in Puerto Natales is surprisingly easy and affordable. Below, you’ll find three shops I’d most recommend for renting camping gear in Puerto Natales along with the average cost of gear rental (2017).
Where to Rent Camping Gear in Puerto Natales
1. Camaleon Rent | My Pick
There are a few popular names for camping gear rental in Puerto Natales, but I hadn’t heard of Camaleon before. Camaleon stocks mostly Doite products, with a small selection of Marmot and MSR. The gear is lightly used, regularly inspected, and sufficient for Torres del Paine in the summer.
Their rental gear is slightly less expensive than the other shops in town, and they were quite nice, which never hurts. Victor – the owner – runs four tourism companies and is an incredibly helpful resource for all things Puerto Natales.
After shopping around, I found most shops rent the same camping gear at roughly the same price. I went with Camaleon because they were the most flexible, and they were happy to cut me a deal for the 8-day rental. For more information, you can find Camaleon on Facebook. Tell Victor I said hi!
Where to Find It: Eluterio Ramires 543
2. Erratic Rock | The Popular One
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 big brands.
The best part about Erratic Rock, in my opinion, is their free trek talk every day at 3 pm at Basecamp. 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 convenient place to pick up things you’ve forgotten, but I found some of their prices to be slightly higher (>$1/day) than the other shops.
Where to Find It: Manuel Baquedano 719
3. Rental Natales | The Next Best
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.
Where to Find It: Bernardo O’Higgins 662-A
+ a few other spots to rent camping gear in Puerto Natales
Can’t find what you’re looking for? There are at least a dozen more shops that rent camping gear in Puerto Natales.
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.
Cost of Gear Rental in Puerto Natales (2017)
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for. Gear rental in Puerto Natales is nowhere near as expensive as I expected it to be. As of 2017, the average daily rental cost of gear in Puerto Natales is as follows:
- 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) which is not bad 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.
**Some of the private campsites charge a reservation fee ($8 – 75 USD). Check out our full post on how to book campsites in Torres del Paine for more information!
Where to Stay in Puerto Natales
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.