As you head further south and you pass other travellers heading in the opposite direction, it is wise, and natural, to ask if they have been to the next destinations marked on your map, in order to garner any first-hand advice. If their experiences of the outdoors might have you rummaging through your bag to double check if you packed some necessities, you can relax, as whatever you are missing, can be obtained in the petite mountain town of Coyhaique, Chile.
The North Face
If you are planning to battle Patagonia and you have never heard of the name The North Face, then this may be your first trek and you will want to brush up on the big names in the industry. The North Face produce some of the highest quality trekking, hiking and camping gear available worldwide, and Coyhaique is lucky enough to have opened a store here, allowing you to get all the warm clothing, long socks, cozy hats, long johns, and all other accessories necessary before you head into the unforgiving chill of Patagonia.
The North Face Store, Horn 47, Coyhaique, Chile, +56 67 225 2096
If you get excited by practicality and being prepared for anything, Condor Explorer will make you feel like a kid again, as they have everything from carabiners, clips, and cables, to pieces for your portable camping stoves, and they even carry some of the top-quality hiking and trekking lines like Arc’teryx, Marmot and, how fitting, Patagonia.
Condor Explorer, 357 Dussen, Coyhaique, Chile, +56 67 257 3634
The equivalent of a department store from North America, the glowing purple words of Corona are a well known centre for shopping in Chile and is a perfect spot if you are looking for a camera to capture all the incredible sceneries that will be surrounding you, or a music player to enjoy some classical music in your ears while on the trails to block out the whistling of the constant wind. Whatever it is, swing by Corona and you may just spot something that you will later be thinking “very happy I brought this!”
Specializing in outdoor clothing, this little shop that looks like a house will have a lot of the necessities you might not find at the bigger shops, like durable plastic water bottles, stove-top cups, and cutlery for outdoor eating, as well as featuring a lot of climbing gear for those getting more vertical than horizontal.
For the discount shopper who knows that Patagonia is once-in-a-lifetime experience, in that they may never be back and the hiking gear may live a life relegated to the back of a closet when they get home, Trouer is a small outlet store in Coyhaique that has quality brands and clothing with a more modest price tag. Hiking boots, clip in cycling shoes, warm hats, sweaters, backpacks, and whatever else might be on your list, as well as some things that probably are not.
Trouer, Errázuriz 1103, Coyhaique, Chile, +56 9 4259 8524