Unguided trekking in Tierra Del Fuego - Bad idea?
December 20, 2013 7:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Tierra Del Fuego soon, and I am considering going on a four to five day unguided trek...

The routes would either be across from Puerto Williams across Isla Navarino and back in a loop, or a trek to Cabo San Diego (easternmost point on Tierra Del Fuego proper) and back from the end of the road that dead ends part way there.

I'm experienced at backpacking in the US, and from what I can tell, the terrain I'm looking at is quite mild, minimal elevation change, no bouldering or climbing.

Is there anything I'm not considering here? Unpredictable weather? Bandits? Unfriendly wildlife? Is the water in the streams and rivers in this region particularly prone to carrying waterborne diseases?

I intend to go without a guide, using maps of course, with a partner who is inexperienced but is physically very fit (marathon runner).

posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch to Travel & Transportation around Argentina (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From a friend who does a lot of back-of-the-beyond camping and hiking: never assume the water is safe (e.g. giardia-free). Iodine pills or other treatments weigh less than shitting your guts out two days' walk from the nearest phone.
posted by rtha at 9:02 PM on December 20, 2013

re: the water - I got a Lifesaver bottle for a friend of mine who works in really remote aimags of Mongolia and he said it has literally lived up to its name on many occasions.
posted by elizardbits at 9:08 PM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

Have you seen what the weather is like in Puerto Williams this week? 90km/h winds are not especially strong for Tierra del Fuego. It might not stop raining for the entire trek. Check out this page for some good info about what "summer" is like down there.
posted by fuzz at 6:55 AM on December 21, 2013

I did a summer as an exchange student once in a coastal town about 200 miles north of Tierra Del Fuego, and the wind was incredibly strong - like, getting out of a car I had to make sure to keep a hold of the door while I got to my feet so that a stray gust wouldn't make it swing wide & smash into the car. Looking at the greenery in fuzz's link, it has that same look that I remember, very few trees, mostly gnarly shrubbery clinging desperately to the earth. I have zero experience with hiking, but, I would assume the weather is the most challenging part of hiking in Tierra Del Fuego.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:48 PM on December 21, 2013

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