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Old 09-17-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
Ryder West OP
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: PNW Marysville WA
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tent and sleeping bag in sa: to bring or not to bring

Three friends and myself are taking the ride south to Ushuaia January 2016 from the US. We've had some discussion about whether or not to bring tent and sleeping bags. For those of you who have been down this route what are your opinions as far as available lodging through Patagonia and the surrounding areas?

Wouldn't mind not bringing the extra crap if it can be avoided but don't want to be a fool and get caught unprepared.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:06 AM   #2
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Although I never did this special trip I would never leave home without tent and sleepingbag. There is allways a chance to pitch a tent even in winter but there might not allways be hotels...
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
U'mmmm yeaah!!
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Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Although I never did this special trip I would never leave home without tent and sleepingbag. There is allways a chance to pitch a tent even in winter but there might not allways be hotels...
What he said... shelter and warmth and having it with you is priceless.

Don't sweat the petty things; Pet the sweaty things !!!
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
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SA to Ushuia

Went down to TDF in 2009 without camping gear from Bolivia.

Had no problems finding lodging and small hotels. It is probably even easier now that much of Ruta 40 is paved. But do take the Carretera Austral Rd. ..much more scenic and mostly dirt vs the Rt. 40 superhighway.

It was a great experience and will go back some day. You will love it!!


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Old 09-19-2014, 02:14 PM   #5
Sounds good, let's go!
Joined: Mar 2005
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Hi Ryder West,

If there are 4 of you it is not very expensive to split a room 4 ways. Cheap motels and hospedajes are available all the way down your route. After riding all day, sometimes it is nice to stop at a 10 or 20 dollar hotel and park your bikes in the lobby or secure parking and take a shower. These days wifi is common so you can kick back and check out ADVrider on the internet. Prices are rising though. And some countries are quite spendy.

Costa Rica and Chile were very expensive compared to other countries. I camped a lot in those countries last year. But of course, I was traveling solo. And Argentina has great municipal campgrounds even in smaller towns. Wifi and electrical outlets so you can update a ride report in your tent for 3 to 10 dollars a night. So I loved Argentina for camping.

But I met a lot of riders who shipped their camping gear home. Unless you are riding off the beaten track, there are lots of places to stay. With 4 guys you can overcome all kinds of difficulty out in even the most remote deserts of northern Chile. If a bike fails just bring a tow rope and motor down the road pulling your mate to the next town.

Rather long winded, but if this is your first trip down through Latin America, I would leave the camping gear at home and bring a tow rope. The advantages of camping are riding to remote areas and sitting by the campfire and checking out the amazing constellations in the southern sky and the peaceful quiet of southern Patagonia (well okay, except the fierce wind flailing your tent all night) or the northern deserts. That is perhaps the only reason to bring camping gear when riding with others who can fend for you if your bike has an epic fail.

Now if the other three guys back out (which is common), then I would take camping gear.

You'll have a blast no matter what!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

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Old 09-19-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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Chile is relatively expensive and much of it is sparsely populated so there are opportunities for free camping which can stretch your budget. On days that I ride until near dark, it seems like a waste to pay for a hotel just to sleep for a few hours. I would have camped more in Chile than I did but my riding partners were not really into camping if they didn't have to. Having other riders to split the cost of a room helps. I wouldn't leave my camping gear behind unless your riding buddies are dead set against camping.
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