Gearing up for Patagonia

On my feet, I will wear waterproof boots for much of the race. But the Inov-8 Roclite 288 GTX — a high-top with a flexible sole and sticky-rubber tread — weigh half what traditional hiking boots might clock on a scale. With such lithe boots, you trade some support and protection for faster feet. It’s worth it in a race.

Climbing section on the 2009 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race

Finding the right outerwear and apparel for Patagonia is a major challenge. My team has decided on tops and base layers from Ibex Outdoor Clothing. The company uses a fine merino wool that is viable across a range of temperatures. It retains some warmth when wet. It breathes when your body is hot. After years of testing every type of fabric on the market, old-fashioned wool is still a top choice when I race.

My mountain bike, the Giant Athem X1, is a fast and speedy iron steed. This high-end bike has dual suspension to take in the bumps. But for long cross-country segments, it is made to be efficient on flat ground and long climbs. I have ridden the X1 for three months of training and have come to appreciate its mutability across a spectrum of trail types.

Big water was a given on the 2009 race, where racers kayaked in the Straight of Magellan

In icy Patagonian waterways that might include the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel, my team is not compromising on the gear. We will paddle two-person Necky Amaruk kayaks and stay outfitted the entire time in dry suits and hoods. We will paddle with gloves and booties on. The waterproof suits — Kokatat’s Gore-Tex Front Entry models — should keep us safe in the worst case of a capsize in the waters at the end of the world.

—Monitor Regenold and Team Gear Junkie at

Commenting on post : Gearing up for Patagonia
Posted by Brock Foreman - 01/15/2010 11:45 AM

Soooo jealous. Fear not—you’re a Primal Quest vet. Safe travels!

Posted by Bernice - 01/19/2010 01:59 PM

Great call on the Ibex clothing. Best stuff! Do those tents have good ventilation for condensation that may build up inside? You guys taking pads of some sort?

Posted by Mark Griffith - 01/20/2010 11:17 AM

Looking forward to the report of this race. I agree that Ibex stuff is amazing. Which tent model exactly are you guys using, their website is a bit of a maze.

Posted by J. Carvalho - 01/20/2010 02:21 PM

The Giant Athem X1 is made of aluminum, not of steel.

Posted by sherry - 01/23/2010 07:03 AM

I did Patagonia in 2008, our feet were wet most of the time due to hiking in the bogs. Cold when you sleep, we had ice inside our tent

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