18 Random Thoughts While Trekking Torres del Paine

trekking Torres del Paine, hiking, chile

Me looking towards the French Valley

18 Random Thoughts While Trekking Torres del Paine, Chile

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Trekking alone is often one of the greatest methods of having ingenious thought.  Actually, doing just about anything alone and without the distractions of technology generally leads to these thoughts.  I tend to have these ideas and clear thoughts on long bus rides, but I tend to forget them as soon as I arrive.  This time, I made a point to write down all my thoughts.  However, the problem is that I found myself entertaining myself more than I was finding genius.  Here are my 18 random thoughts from trekking Torres del Paine National Park, in the south of Chile, and some photos to go along with it all.

1. Food always weighs less in the stomach than in the backpack… but it always ways the same on your hips.

2. No matter how cool they look, basketball shoes are no replacement for hiking shoes… even if they are Jordan’s.

3. A man will always try to stand up to 100km/h winds with a 15kg pack on his back… even while standing on the edge of a 200m high cliff.

4. A hiking buddy once told me that the best way to get to the top of a hill is to keep telling yourself there is something you want at the top… Unfortunately, I only find myself more and more pissed off with each hill as I discover time and time again that Jessica Alba isn’t up there.

5. I have discovered the absolute best way to keep mice away, smell as bad as I do… note, this also works for women and employment.

6. Packing wine is heavy… Pack whiskey instead it has higher alcohol value.

7. I wish there was ice cream on hiking trails… I would pay 80 dollars for a drumstick right now.

trekking Torres del Paine, hiking, chile, Glacier Grey

Glacier Grey

8. Trekking poles might reduce strain on the knees… But add double to your arms.

9. Some people hike way to fast… slow down enjoy the view. Here, have some whiskey.

10. When walking alone for days anything that moves is terrifying… especially rabbits.

11. I definitely prefer going up more than down… when I know my finally destination is up.

12. Dear Inca trail… send your porters to Torres del Paine I’m tired!

13. Trekking would be much more enjoyable if done in the company of a women’s beach volleyball team… and they would carry me.

14. It is completely possible to eat nothing but chorizo sausage and crackers… healthy? maybe not; possible: yes.

15. There is nothing like solitude when trekking… to realize how tiny you really are.

16. Whoever designed trekking paths was definitely on a horse… and left their poop scattered everywhere.

17. I don’t care how good your equipment is Germany, there is such thing as bad weather… and I found it.

18. There is no greater guide to creative thinking then hiking alone for 4 days… it’s too bad I can never remember my great thoughts at the end of it.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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21 Comments

  1. I just read these on my way to hospital where I may need an operation on my right leg and be in a cast for three months!
    Amusing random thoughts and some great images

    I totally agree about the whiskey (as long as it’s single malt)

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    • Matt… if you get a cast you HAVE to let me sign it!!!!

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    • that sounds perfect man!

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  2. I think you found genius after all. I 2nd number 13. Gorgeous photos as always. B well, Phil

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  3. Just curious, how did you remember all of these thoughts!?! Your pics are divine! What an absolutely unforgettable hike.

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    • A good writer always packs a notepad with him/her wherever he/she goes 😉

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  4. Buenas dias Brendan,
    Loved this post and your photos, once again, are outstanding…You seem to get better and better with your photography….
    Hoping to do some of my own backpackin’ and trekking come the first of this new year…..
    Take care and keep up your wonderful posts and photos….
    crazychefpatti Somewhere in Mexico

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  5. They certainly are random (pretty sweet too!). The thing I took the most out of this post though was to take my own notebook to record these thoughts. Trekking is a great way to literally leave you alone to your own thoughts.

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    • The notebook thing was something I learned from a comedian actually. For travel writing, it’s nice to just be able to jot down really nice lines whenever one comes across your mind. In fact, sometimes I even write articles around those great quotes. I can’t even imagine how many great lines would never make it to print if I thought them and then never wrote them down.

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  6. Glad to hear that the mice stayed away, but pretty sure you didn’t smell *that* bad…at least I hope not 🙂

    Have made a mental note to pick up a bottle of whisky for next hike. Good for staying warm at night, too.

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    • The whiskey seems to work well keeping those St. Bernards warm all the time… it’s a good idea! lol

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  7. lmao!! what i want to know is how did you possibly keep track of all this stuff? did you write it down in a journal? 😛

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    • ya, as I was telling Rob, I learned a long time ago from a comedian to always carry a tiny notebook in my back pocket. I usually just jot down little thoughts or good quotes that come to mind. And the end of a day, or hike, I read them all and make use of it all… it will do wonders for your writing I swear by it.

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  8. I love these random thoughts. what a great idea to write them down. Isn’t it funny what we think about when alone with our thoughts

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  9. Brendan I love these snips of wisdom….we really want to publish a story with some of these great photos of Torres del Paine. Please submit when you get back.

    Merry Christmas from Massachusetts, sorry I can’t send you a drumstick ice cream!!

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  10. My husband and I are going to Torres del Paine in February, and I can’t wait! We’re just going for a long weekend, so we can’t do the longer hikes, but I’m still excited to be there.

    And my dad always carried the whiskey on our family pack trips in Yosemite. I didn’t realize this was such a common backpacking staple 🙂

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    • even the quick little hike up to the Torres is amazing… and Whiskey is a class hiking item. Those big dogs, saint bernards, always carry it around with them when they’re hiking.

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  11. That place looks amazing!

    And it’s got my name, but in plural, which means me: but more.

    I think I spent the entire 2 week hike in Nepal dreaming about Thailand and Thai food. So much so that after the trek was over, I said to my partner, “We’re going to Thailand. Now.” We changed our flights, left Nepal early and went to Thailand. It was so good. Tom Kha soup was worth 8000 Nepalese stairs.

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