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Refugios or Tent?

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Syracuse, New York
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Refugios or Tent?


My brother and I will be hiking the "W" at the beginning of December. We're debating about tenting or staying at the refugios. Any thoughts based on your experiences?

If we decide to tent, is there a place(s) in Calafate to rent sleeping bags and tents for use in TDP? If so, what are the approx. costs?

We have our own gear in the States but would prefer not to bring it as we'll be staying in hostels and warmer climates after TDP (Buenos Aires and Peninsula Valdes).



Santiago, Chile
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for Chile
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1. Re: Refugios or Tent?

At the beginning of December I would go for refugios, I think. Less to carry too. You can probably rent gear in El Calafate as you can in Puerto Natales. It isn't top of the line though. But the bags would be fine inside the refugios. Tents have to be really good for the (mainly)wind and rain. If you camp, you can eat in the refugios if you give advance warning.

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2. Re: Refugios or Tent?

You can also rent sleeping bags or bedding from the refugios.

December can be really windy, I think. Camping in the wind and rain isn't much fun. Plus hiking without the added weight is a lot more pleasant.

Refugios have my vote!

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3. Re: Refugios or Tent?

Hi there - the website www.wtrekking.com will give you an idea of what you'll need and how much the hire costs are. Its provides a great summary and tips for hiking the w

South Africa
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4. Re: Refugios or Tent?


We are also looking to do W Trek in MArch and were thinking aboiut camping as is alot cheaper. What did you decide and waht were your experiences?

Do you strongly suggest refugios?

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5. Re: Refugios or Tent?

The wind isn't such a big issue since the campsites on the W trek are all very well sheltered. The exception is Paine Grande, where there are sheltered spots but you have to get there early to take them. I saw quite a few tents ripped to pieces and blowing in the wind there !

I'd take camping any time, otherwise you miss out on being close to the Torres del Paine for sunrise/sunset and there are no refugios in or near the Valle Frances.

6. Re: Refugios or Tent?

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