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Title image - BAI takes you to: Lake Baikal

Recommended Gear for Traveling Around Lake Baikal

Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.

Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip, but note that not all brands and models are current.


Running-trail shoes: These are great for travel and easy walking on a lot of the trails.

Hiking boots: Lightweight hiking boots (nylon with a Gore-tex sleeve) are great for walking around Moscow, hiking on the Lake Baikal trail, and even walking a bit in the snow. Fit is much more important than brand. Take the time to select a pair that fits your foot, and break them in well. (Asolo, Merrill, Scarpa, La Sportiva)

Sport sandals: They are excellent in camp during evenings when worn over wool socks. (Teva, Chaco)

Liner socks: Three pairs, to keep from getting blisters. There will be some opportunities for laundry at hotels.

Lightweight socks: Three pairs of synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Wigwam, Fox River)

Heavy socks: Three pairs synthetic/wool blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale, Wigwam, Fox River)


Lightweight pants: Two pair (any brand Supplex or “stretch woven” pants)

Midweight long underwear top: Zip-T neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)

Midweight long underwear bottom: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Briefs: Five pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear.

Long-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work well. Shirt material should have vapor wicking capabilities. (North Face, Patagonia-Capilene)

Jacket, synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended. (eg. Wild Things Primaloft, Patagonia Puff Jacket)

Down insulated jacket: A medium weight down fill jacket with a hood. The hood is optional but is highly recommended. This jacket could be substituted by bringing a couple more fleece layers and a shell, if preferred. (Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia)

Waterproof breathable jacket & pants: The jacket must have a hood and the pants must have full-length side zips. (ArcTeryx, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Head & Hand Gear

Mittens w/ pile liners: (Outdoor Research)

Bandana: Two to three traditional cotton style. This is an important item with many uses, large sizes are best.

Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.

Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears.


Sunglasses: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR.

Headlamp w/ spare bulb: AA or AAA battery powered (Petzl or Black Diamond)

Spare batteries: Bring plenty for reading in tents at night.

Camping Gear

Backpack: Medium sized, internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. (Dana, ArcTeryx, Black Diamond)

Pack cover: Recommended. To protect your gear on rainy or snowy days (REI, MEC, Osprey, Gregory).

Roller suitcase: Medium size, small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of the plane. This is for convenience in Moscow, and when moving through the airport or city streets.

Sleeping bag: Minimum 30F to Maximum 50F (0C to +10C) Down fill 0(Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face)

Water bottles: Two 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene or lexan type bottle)

Pack towel: Small or medium size pack towel. Do not bring ‘terrycloth’ they are too bulky and difficult to dry. Bandanas work in a pinch. (PackTowl)

Trekking poles: Recommended. Useful for going up and down trails. Adjustable poles are better for packing. (Leki, Black Diamond)

Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry on bags for any international or domestic flight

Medical & Personal

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or Terrapin)

Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher (any brand)

Toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, comb/brush, shave kit, (bring travel size bottles to keep your kit small).

First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/Aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, Neosporin-type suave, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor (antibiotics, sleep aids).

Large trash compactor bags: For waterproofing some items inside your duffel.

Zip-loc bags: These are always useful for disposing of personal trash (including toilet paper from bathroom breaks along the trail), so bring plenty

Baby wipes

Earplugs: Very useful for sleeping in tents and lodges. Available in most hardware stores.

Water purification tablets: Such as Potable Agua brand iodine tablets. You will be given plenty of purified water during your trip, but one bottle of backup purification tablets is always a good idea for your travels. They are especially useful in hotels along the way You should not drink untreated tap water anywhere in Russia and bottled water in some rare cases might not be available. You may also like to try a SteriPen for purifying water (

Travel Items

Day pack: For electronics and super-valuables.

Small travel bag: Can also use a second duffel bag. For storing travel clothes and personal items at the hotel in Irkutsk.

Nylon stuff sacks: Two or three, for organizing your gear and clothes. Lighter colors are preferable for easy labeling.

Clothes for international travel: Two to three changes of comfortable simple travel clothes. Evenings in Irkutsk and Moscow can be slightly cool in autumn.

Work-out clothes and/or bathing suit: Simple and versatile, for hotels.

Passport belt/pouch

Small padlocks: For locking duffel bag(s)




Film: If using, be sure to keep in your carry-on luggage, in clear zip-loc bags so that it can be inspected.