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March, 23, 2017

A Compass, a Sleeping Bag and Glasses: What to Take for a Walking Tour to Lake Baikal

Trying to recall the things you need to take for a trip is boring and tiring. When you are preparing for outdoor night gatherings around the campfire, thinking about the things you might need there is not what you want. We decided to help you to pack your bags and make up a list of indispensable things, because an entire trip would be ruined without them.

Warm clothes

Wild temperature fluctuations are observed at the Siberian Lake in summer: it can be +30 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, and only +5 degrees Celsius at night. You will be sorry if you do not take a fleece or wool jacket, a hat and socks to your trip. We also recommend you to take a jacket, without it other things will not save you from a piercing wind raging in some areas of Baikal.

Comfortable shoes

Leave high-heeled and spike-heel shoes at home. If you are going to walk the Baikal trails, you’ll need sneakers, trekking shoes for hiking, light Velcro sandals for walking on the beach. Any shoes should be worn several times before the trip, otherwise, the journey will be spoilt by bloody blisters caused by probably uncomfortable shoes.

A sleeping bag

Choose a “cocoon” model with the comfort temperature at the minimum level of +5 degrees Celsius. As we said before, nights on the Lake are cool even in summer. The warmer the sleeping bag is, the more comfortable your sleep will be. If you go hiking with your loved one, take connecting models. Sleeping this way will be warmer and more pleasant.

A ground pad

Another name of this thing is “care mat”. Such tourist’s mats are made from foamed polyethylene. They are needed for thermal insulation in a tent. In addition, a mat helps you to protect your sleeping bag against damage and moisture.

Sunscreen cream

Due to a large number of sunny hours on Lake Baikal (up to 2200 hours per year) and the position of the Lake at an altitude of 456 meters above the sea level, it is very easy to get a sunburn here. Tourists should bring protective cream with the SPF indicator exceeding 30 points. Then the evenly distributed suntan will make you happy for the next six months.

Sunglasses

This thing is also necessary due to the high solar activity on the Lake. Be careful when choosing the glasses, don’t buy cheap models for 150 roubles. They don’t protect your eyes from UV-radiation. When buying the glasses, consult an employee of the optical store or an ophthalmologist.

Cash

Tourists like going to local cafés and eat the national dish – “pozes” or “buuzes”. But payment process can be difficult. Local cafes and stores often do not accept bank cards, and the nearest ATM is located far in the city. Take care of this in advance and withdraw the necessary amount of money in Irkutsk. You’ll need an average of 3000-5000 roubles per week.

Individual first aid kit

There is no need to explain why you should take this. Put there an anti-febrile medicine (Paracetamol, Nurofen), activated carbon, fabric-based band-aid and elastic bandage. You can also add an insect repellent and a chapstick for protecting your lips against strong winds.

A map, a compass or a GPS receiver

These navigation devices will be useful for the people going for a walking tour along a complicated route. Think your route over in advance and inform a local forestry office or emergency situations ministry department about your trip. A good option is finding a guide. An experienced person will not only show where to go, but tell you interesting facts about the nature of the Lake and its inhabitants.

A camera

A tourist cannot do without this device. There are many beautiful places on Baikal, so you’ll want to save them in your memory forever. Pay attention to the stunning sunrises and sunsets, sparkling water surface and dense forests. We promise that you will not remain indifferent and bring home a lot of good shots.

The following items have not been included into the list, but are also noteworthy:

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Backpacks. Choose models with a frame for the back, a wide belt and straps. The weight will be distributed evenly, and walking will be easier. Take a backpack with a volume of 80 liters for women and 90 liters for men.

A tent. You should choose the option where the external dome is constructed first. This tent can be put in the rain without moisture getting inside.

A flashlight with spare batteries. Choose a model with LEDs. Their light is brighter, and work longer than conventional light bulbs.

 

A burner and cylinders with gas. If you are going to visit a nature reserve where you can not burn a fire, don’t forget a portable stove.

Firewood. In some places it is forbidden to cut trees (for example, on the Island of Olkhon), so you’ll need to look for dry wind-fallen trees or carry firewood from the nearest settlement.

Tableware. We recommend you to take metal plates, mugs. They are washed easier than plastic ones without the use of washing agents.

We hope that our list will help to make your journey pleasant and vibrant.

 

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