Thinsulate, thinsulate and more thinsulate!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It's cold and dark in winter, even for those who live in Russia and think -10 is not all that bad! It was quite humid when I went and the wind didn't help, as well as wandering around outside, visiting Alyosha for example, so bring as much thermal stuff as possible. 3 pairs of normal socks just do not cut it (believe me, I tried!)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lip balm - chapped and split lips due to the cold are not pleasant or beautiful!
Photo Equipment: A tripod - it is dark most of the time so you will need to expose your photos for quite a while - most of mine ended up blurry as I could hold the camera still enough.
Miscellaneous: Make sure that you have a lot of change - most places are reluctant to take anything higher than a 100 rouble note so any thousands you have will be pretty much useless.
- Adventure Travel
- Skiing and Boarding
Luggage and bags: Backpacks may be comfortable, but note that wearing a huge monster on your shoulders you look like a foreigner, a backpacker. So we decided to use suitcases, it looks more ''russian''.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take extremely warm clothing with you (in winter the temperature sometimes falls below -30 degrees).
Luggage and bags: Don't take too much - you are in town. Because we made this tour starting from Norway and we stayed only 4 days (including bus tour), we took only 1 suitcase and 1 little backpack. In winter you have to expect temperatures about -10 until -25 degrees centigrade - that's very cold, folks. Take warm clothes with you, a warm cap with face protection. Perhaps you can buy this things in Russia, too. If you need leather or fur clothing, buy it in Russia, it's more beautiful and cheaper than in Western Countries. In Winter you must expect icy roads, so you need very good shoes - if possible, with spikes. You should bring the spikes with you - I have them not seen in Russia. If you come from Norway, you can buy them there.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Family Travel
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you need special medication, you have to bring it with you. You will not get special medication without prescription in Russia. If you need medication, which is known for misuse or if you need to take injection supplies with you, go to your doctor at your home and get a confirmation, that you have to use this for medical reasons or take your diabetic ID with you.
All other things are like other tours.
Photo Equipment: Check, if your photo equipment is working at very low temperatures. If you use digital cameras, take the reserve batteries warm at your body - perhaps in your suit pocket. Don't use IBM microdrives in your camera - it's possible, that they don't work. Use regular Compact Flash cards. You need a tripod for making pictures - it's too dark in winter. You cannot hold the camera quiet enough. Use 400ASA-films, that's OK. 100ASA-Films are not good enough. You will need a camera with night photo program or you must have enough practice to make night photos. It's not too easy.
Luggage and bags: Something battered - nothing to stand out
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We travelled in winter time - the more clothes, the better. Hats are a necessity and babuskas (generic term for little old ladies) will come and tell you off for not wearing a hat. It is a dry cold and quite pleasant - if you visit the nightclub at the hotel 69 make sure you take your jacket with you when you leave. One of our group had left his outdoor 'survival' jacket in the nightclub and couldn't retrieve it until the next evening. So he spent the next day slowly turning blue while we were out and about/
Photo Equipment: Be prepared for the short amount of daylight in winter time (no big surprise, considering how far north you are) The photo on the title page was taken at about 2pm, sunset in early December.