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Trans-Siberian Railway Packing list

a group of people standing in front of a building

While we are getting ready for the new trip, making a travel plan, reservations of accommodation and flights, booking tours, there is one more quite challenging task: to make the list of things to pack with you. Especially if it is the Trans-Siberian Railway packing list!  The same task I had a year ago, during my preparation for this legendary tour. The trip took more than a week around Lake Baikal , Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan and Moscow

a large body of water

So, what should you take on the Trans-Siberian Railway tour with you?

Trans-Siberian Railway packing list for all seasons:

 

  • Documents and copies of most important documents  – the most essential thing in the list! Copies can be useful in some situations, for instance if originals would be lost, or in case of problems with luggage in airport (we had this situation during my trip..). Necessary documents: international passport (!), personal ID, printed insurance, booking of flights, accommodation, tours. And put documents in the waterproof folder.
  • Medicines – sometimes pharmacy could be very far, so for any case it is better to have necessary medicine with you on all your way, such as anti-cold medicines, antipyretic drugs, against a sore throat, painkillers, antimicrobials (in Russia we use liquid iodine), an antimicrobial patch, drugs against poisoning, diarrhea, and just in case bandage.
  • Russian rubles – not everywhere it will be possible to pay by card and very rare by other currency than rubles. So it is better to have enough cash with you.
  • Download offline map on your phone – always useful in any trip
  • Phrasebook – it might be useful as well, in small towns people very rarely speak any other language apart from Russian
  • Powerbank (better even two) – pictures, pictures and again pictures-near Lake Baikal it is impossible to keep yourself out of making them, so you will definitely need to have additional power bank for your phone or take additional accumulator for your camera
  • Flashlight – in some very beautiful parts, especially near Lake Baikal lanterns are not everywhere, however you might be interested to see the most amazing lake in the world in the nighttime or to walk a bit away from your hotel to see astounding star sky. Or actually just to have dinner somewhere outside of hotel as far as the way to a restaurant could be dark too.
  • Reusable bottle for water – it will be your “best friend” on the way. You will definitely need water especially while walking a lot. And it is better to take care about the environment and be sustainable, let’s not use disposable plastic cup.
  • Some games, books, download movies on your phone for entertainment while traveling by train – in case is if you will travel by train between towns it is better to have something to do, because travel on the Trans-Siberian railway could take not less than one day completely in train and much more. Maybe take a book of Russian writers Tolstoy (Peace and War or Anna Karenina) or Pushkin (Stories of Belkin or Fairy Tales), download movies about Russia, and some games.
  • Personal care products – it is up to you, what essential things you might take.

a group of people posing for the camera

Trans-Siberian Railway packing list for Winter time (November-April)

 

  • Thermal cloth – you can expect to experience quite low temperatures during your trip around Siberia in winter, as well as it could be very windy. So thermal cloth (pants, T-shirts, socks) is very important to take for comfortable travel. You don’t want to spend whole your holidays inside, do you?
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf – better if these things will be made out of wool. Gloves and hat should be two layers. Gloves can be with special net that work with touchscreens for using phone outside without removing gloves – for your comfort. Hat should fully cover your head, especially ears. 
  • Shoes – better with natural fur (could be made out of wool as well), long (almost up to your knees), with good tracking feet (please take a look at the picture) and of course comfortable. Please, don’t take shoes even with small heel. There will be many very beautiful natural attractions, sometimes you will need to climb hills to see the best sceneries and sunsets.

a close up of a logo

  • Chemical warmers for hands and legs – recently in shops (mainly sport shops) special small chemical packages appeared. They are sold in germetic plastic. When you feel cold, you can just open it, and reaction of inside chemicals and air will start with heat emission. It can be used for hands and legs. I tried it myself – it is a very good way of taking warm when you are walking a lot outside. At the same time, it is environmentally friendly because it is reciclable 

a large green field with trees in the background

Trans-Siberian Railway packing list for Warm time (May-September)

 

  • Hat, gloves, scarf – it is better to take these things for warm time of year as well, because sometimes it can be cold and windy. Of course you don’t need to buy a very warm hat, gloves and scarf. Hat and gloves can have just one layer, and scarf can be thin. Scarf or handkerchief can also be used to cover your head while walking in the forest (important to protect your head from insects).
  • Waterproof jacket – it won’t be comfortable to walk around natural attractions with an umbrella, so better to have special jacket in case of rain. 
  • Sweater – again in case if the weather would be not so warm, as far as it is changing very fast. As well as evenings and mornings are very fresh in this area of Russia. 
  • Comfortable shoes – again important to have good tracking feet of shoes, but at least in this case no need in warm shoes. However, they should be closed, so all your foot in a shoe. 
  • Insect repellents – there are a lot of insects at that time of the year especially in Taiga and near Lake Baikal 
  • Swimming suit – but please take into account that temperature of water can be maximum +20 degrees, and the average temperature is +15 degrees celsius.

Some other things which are not mandatory but might be useful: sunglasses in both times (snow reflecting sun and can be blinding as during summer time) and SPF-cream for warm time. You can take either backpack, or/and to take suitcase (but better if all things fit in one suitcase, don’t take two). 
Hope that this list will help you to pack your luggage. You can even just print it and tick all things you have put in your bag already. Enjoy your trip!
Read our article about what food to buy in a Russian Supermarket before your train trip not to stay hungry and really feel like a local.

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