May 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm #1274340
Companion forum thread to:May 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm #1740577
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Man, you guys get around! Another great report.
It's interesting that wherever you go in the world, the geology and plants are similar. It's hard to tell whether you're in Russia, South America, or the U.S.May 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm #1740610
@gabe_joyesLocale: Lander, WY
Great work as always. Excellent photographs and write up. Take care of yourselves.May 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm #1740721
Great report and pictures. Nice work!May 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm #1740785
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I have always wanted to do this. There is even a professional guide here in NH.
But could not afford it. Your excellent article will go on my night table and be enjoyed for long time. Thank you.May 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm #1740797
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
Excellent trip report.
Honestly, for all of us who've ever fantasized about something along the lines of what you guys are doing, thanks for taking one for the team, and sharing the trials and tribulations.
I would have been crying long before Kristin with all the logistical and sketchy governmental purgatory/language barrier obstacles. You guys will be good for anything after this. I think I'll stick with places like Torre Del Paine for now.
I hope you guys make it to Southeast Asia (Vietnam etc). And although this is a backpacking site, I for one wouldn't mind an article or two about your experiences in cities, towns etc.
I would have been tempted to rent an apartment, hut, whatever for a few weeks just to counter the burn out.
Keep up the good work.May 26, 2011 at 1:05 am #1741284
@yaroslavLocale: Moscow/Murmansk, Russia
Oh, great, that someone goes to hike in our country! A few notes to the report:
Additional cost to the aliens in camps or stores usually no one takes. It is practiced mainly in big cities. Or in the "official " places such as hotels, museums and the like. In the province with this problem should not be. A Greek or American, do you – for you the prices are the same as that for the Russian.
Alcohol for burners to get in Russia is difficult. Pure alcohol is not officially sold, so the best option is for the ignition of liquid fire. But in the villages, I am not sure that they will, except in cities, medium and large stores. Basically, our people do without them. So the best deal with a wood-burning stove. Or simply cook on fire. Bonfires we can burn in the woods anywhere. Is it only in the Moscow region this year introduced a ban because of the large forest fires last year.
Mountains Khibiny that on the Kola Peninsula – a very beautiful place, but there is a season of many tourists. If you want real wilderness, you should go to the north of the Kola peninsula. In the area of the city of Murmansk. There may not be as beautiful as in Norway ( no such large fjord ), but there is absolutely wild tundra. And friendly people. In Russia, farther north, the people are softer, more opening and friendly.
In the polar north, at the same Kola Peninsula, I would not take a tent, and took the pyramid. Wind can be very strong, so weak design is simply not survive. However, it is so clear.
The Caucasus is not the place I would recommend going to foreigners. There will need to have friends, then you will have to "wear on their hands. " If not, should be careful about expecting any problems. It is a region of amazing contrasts. People there are quite other than the North or Central Russia. Even I would not venture to go into every area of the Caucasus. Need to know where to arrive. Mineralnye Vody – not the best choice for the beginning of the route. It would be naive to think that there is someone needs your registration. They needs only money. And no matter how often does this person or police officer. This is our Caucasus :( Please, excuse them.
Nobody! Nobody has the right to say that can seize your documents. It's just ocherelnaya attempt to get money. Oh, this "free" Caucasus! :( Russians themselves have exactly the same problem there. Again, it is necessary to choose the right route. For example, through Krasnodar, or at least through Sochi. Incidentally, intrusive inspection of documents is not the biggest problem that can wait you there. I repeat: in any other place, except the Caucasus such problems you will not!
The helicopter, which you saw in the Caucasus mountains, most likely, or garbage from the mountain camps, or deliver any clerk to a tourist camp. It is not dangerous :)
Travel to Russia ( Siberia and including ) comfortable with topographic maps of the Ministry of Defense of Russia. Officially, they were forbidden to sell, but they sell everywhere. They cost quite inexpensive. Only need to be printed. There is also a scale of 500 m. But the official topographic map of the whole of Russia for GPS Garmin costs about $ 100. But who can tell about this untrained foreigners? :)
In general, guys, wonderful report!
I'm going for a few months to open a blog for the foreign lightweight hikers in Russia (only need to learn English better :)) If anyone that is interested – write, please ask. Tomorrow I'm flying in the Alps, but in the end of June will be able to answer any questions.May 26, 2011 at 1:39 am #1741289
Unfortunately Caucasus region is like that. Tons of beautiful trails, but the locals' attitude is often questionable. Its sad, but I prefer to hike elsewhere.
Great choice of places – you probably got the best of Russia you could in the time you had. Always a pleasure to read your reports!May 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm #1742002
Danny, you wrote "and traveling lost its appeal as soon as she opted out" and I totally agree. I don't hike with my spouse because she is unable, but I do hike with friends and I sure enjoy the company. I like to share the wilderness with someone. Getting excited about what's around the next corner, some spectacular view, etc, that's so much fun to share with somebody. So I understand the journey loosing some of its appeal without someone to enjoy it with you. Thanks for all your reports and I hope that the finances hold out until you both have done all you want or need to do. Work will always be there but health is an elusive thing. Enjoy it, the both of you, while your young and in shape. I look forward to more updates in your round-the-world journey.Jun 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm #1743664
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading your articles. You gave me some ideas for some adventures I might like to undertake in the next ten years or so. Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.Jun 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm #1744152
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
I love your report. I have been to Russia many times and have not been able to get out of Moscow. So this was really cool to see the backpacking you did. What a treat. Keep it up. I agree, BPL should let you include the info on getting Visa's and more details on the good, the bad and the ugly. I was dying laughing when I saw the picture of the Russians in their swim suits. It reminded me of the reaction of some of our guys when the flight crew had his vacation pictures on his lap top running through. They were in shock.
I love the Russian people and can't wait to go back. Just don't forget your 'donation' money. Keep it handy!
Thanks again!!!Jun 4, 2011 at 11:52 am #1744862
@ktennessLocale: Sierra Nevadas
I am re-reading this while wearing the same pants that I'm wearing in all of the above photos. All I can think is "I am so tired of wearing the same pants."
Thanks for your positive feedback. Most days I feel crazy for enjoying this simple, unique lifestyle but you guys (and gals) make me feel sane.
We met the most generous and friendly people in Russia. Traveling, and becoming part of the BPL community, has made me realize how many good people there are in the world. It is a very nice feeling.Jun 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm #1751887
@manuel-espejoLocale: La Cuchilla de los Santa.
p.d: lol…Jun 22, 2011 at 4:20 am #1751972
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Nice trip report. Always wondered what Russians think about tent camping. @Manuel – Eastern European often sunbathe. Saw more than necessary working in those countries, so all should be forewarned
Did not see this along the French-German border, but it was raining when I visited.Aug 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm #1899616
Hi – LOVE your reports!! Wonderful armchair reading and lots of good ideas for helping me lighten our loads too. Can you please explain (or post a photo) of the Tyvek Coupler? And are you using the neo-airs vertically or horizontally?
JaneAug 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm #1899645
@dannymilksLocale: SF Bay Area
Thanks for the compliment. Always glad to help other travelers, even if it's for an armchair adventure.
I used Gorilla Glue to seal the bottom and middle seams of the tyvek coupler. I left the top end open so we could blow up the pads, and get them in and out. Eventually, the seams busted – I made the coupler too close fitting, which didn't allow for the effect of our weight on top of the pads. I resealed the seams with construction glue and this has held for the last two years.
The Tyvek coupler is soft and flexible now. Maybe not waterproof anymore, but definitely water resistent. We haven't had a puncture in 2+ years of this system despite using it for hundreds of nights. And, it is the best way we have found to keep the pads together without any cold spots in between. I've tried strings and straps, and they just don't do as well in preventing any space between the pads.
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