As a general rule, travelers try to take many belongings with them just "for all occasions". During our expeditions, weight of the luggage is limited. Excess weight of your belongings makes rafting down the river difficult and problematic; helicopter transfer will be unsafe as well. At the same time, there are some items which are necessary You Don’t Dare Forget When Traveling in the wild taiga forest and mountains. This article is devoted to this theme.
The list of the expedition equipment items include group equipment and personal items of tourists. The list of the expedition equipment is compiled by our guide-instructors, who has a great travelling experience. The group equipment that must be carried is shared between all the participants of a team. Apart from the necessary equipment food also takes up a lot of space and weighs a lot. The list of products allows us to minimize a total weight of the expedition equipment.
All the participants get acquainted with the list of the group equipment and food so that they do not take the same equipment. Participants are required to pack their own gear and personal belongings themselves. To suit individual needs of the participants we take into account your wishes in food, clothing, etc.), provided they are reasonable. If the expedition equipment exceeds the allowed weight the personal equipment will be first checked. Therefore, packing your personal belongings try to take reasonable amount of items.
Means of transportation (for rafting)
For rafting on mountain rivers PVC boats are preferable. The shape of boats can be different, but we recommend you to use inflatable bottoms boats preferably without a transom instead of the hard bottom boats.
Apart from extra weight such boats have a large draft that is not accessible for rafing in the shallow water. It is important that a boat has enough space for a fisherman , as well as his stuff and part of the group equipment. In our opinion, a catamaran is a best mean for rafting and fishing. In our expeditions we prefer to use the four-seat catamarans; they are not heavier than two-seat catamarans and smaller in size than six-seat catamarans . The only disadvantages are the following^ the catamaran assembly takes a good deal of time and the necessity to have an experienced team for rafting along the complicates parts of the river. All participants are provided with paddles; for any reason, there are always two extra paddles.
During our expeditions we use the next equipment:
- Power chainsaw and a two-handed chainsaw, 2-3 axes .
- Folding table for preparing meal (one table for the team).
- 3-4 pots (Multi Set Cookware).
- Special stove is to cook meal on the fire .
- Communications tools:
- two satellite phones (main and reserve) for a team to communicate with helicopter pilots . During our expeditions we use THURAYA satellite phones, rarely GLOBALSTAR, IRIDIUM .
- portable radio sets. The use of a portable radio set allows a guide to coordinate all crews during the xpedition. Every crew is provided with a portable radio set.
- charger is necessary to recharge the batteries in electronic devices (photo and video, GPS and satellite phones) . If it is necessary, we can take with us a mobile generator or a medium-sized inverter system.
- Tents. We use 2-3 person tents in our expeditions. Large and heavy tents for individual accommodation are not applicable.
- Head torches and camping lights (with spare batteries) for lighting the camp site . Your camping trip will be miserable if you forget lighting.
- Tourist banya (sauna).
- Containers (barrels) and hermetic storage bags for food preservation .
- First aid kit is kept on the last boat ( catamaran ) . In addition , each participant of the expedition is recommended to have a personal first aid kit.
- Throw line (rescue line) is very valuably to provide safety of tourists during rafting.
Personal equipment and its completeness are checked by participants themselves. Well-packed utensils is a keystone of an enjoyable rest.
Personal care products, insect repellents and sun protection cream.
- Hermetic storage bags. All things must be packed in waterproof hermetic bags with backpack-like straps.
- Stainless steel tableware: plate, cup , fork, spoon.
- Means of personal defense.
For this purpose, one can use signal pistol, a Osa Pb-4 flare complex, or a gas gun. If you have a special license you can bring a gun or a rifle. However, guns have to be always discharged in the camp. We do not recommend you to bring expensive rifles , especially wood-stocked , so you will have problems with the water condensate due to the temperature difference even when the weather is dry. It is recommended to bring waterproof packs for guns.
- Photo camera and video camera. The possibility of recharging batteries during the expedition can be discussed with a guide.
- Chairs. Every participant brings their own folding chair.
- Fishing gear.
To choose the fishing gear it is necessary to study the relevant section on this website or discuss the choice with experienced friends . There is no necessity to bring all your fishing gear and carry a heavy box. Bring small boxes for squid to carry in a pocket. For transportation of rods a hard rod tube is necessary
- Rubber boots or waders.
You should decide yourself rubber boots or waders to bring. You should have good insoles for your boots to feel cmofortable. In addition, we recommend you to bring a second pair of quick-drying shoes.
- Polarized sunglasses.
Most of mountain rivers are so transparent that you can see with the naked eye the bottom of the river. Reducing glare reflected off of water, polarized sunglasses help see fish and rocks below the water surface. Moreover, it is a real opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable fish catching spectacle.
The weather in the Urals is unpredictable and a raincoat keeps you dry and comfortable in the worst weather. Keep it always handy in case of rainy or snowy weather or just for protection from the wind. We recommend you to bring PVC raincoats.
- Warm cloth.
In the Northern and Sub-Polar Urals, temperature could be below zero even in the mid-July. Accordingly, you should have a set of warm clothes for the badweather.
We recommend the next set of cloth for the Northern and Sub-Polar Urals: woolen socks and thermosocks, thermal wool underwear, fleece undersuits (pants and shirt), woolen sweater, windblock fleece jacket, hat, waterproof gloves, raincoat.
- Woolen socks and thermosocks keep your feet warm and dry. Three pairs of socks is recommended to bring.
- Anti-mosquito suit.
Travelling in the taiga forest in the Northern and Sub-Polar Urals you should be ready that we will see a lot of mosquitos especially in July. However, even in warm autumn days mosquitos can be active. If you do not take regular repellent “shower“ it is better to bring an anti-mosquito suit.
- Tourist mat.
The main purpose of a sleeping mat is not to make the ground softer, it's to insulate from the ground cold. Without the insulation under you it doesn't matter how good your sleeping bag is the cold from the ground will make you uncomfortable. A folding mat saves space in a boat and can be used as a seat. You should remember that it takes time to dry a fabric-covered sleeping mat. As a variant you can buy inflatable sleeping mat, thta makes you to feel comformnatble even on uneven or rocky surfaces. In this case you should have a repair kit which allow you to quickly and easily repair a puncture to your inflatable sleeping mat.
- Sleeping bag.
In the Northern and Sub-Polar Urals, temperature could be below zero even in the mid-July. Accordingly, for such conditions we recommend you to bring lightweight sleeping bag (in a compression sack)filled with Holofiber insulation at which you could sleep comfortably in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius. To feel yourself comfortably, take a set of bed linen. When the sun rises , the temperature in a tent will be as in the greenhouse. In this time, you can sleep covered with bed sheet and a pillowcase filled with clothes as a pillow.