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breezy
23-03-2012, 11:34
Hey every body :)
So I don't know if this is the right section for this, but anyways, I was wondering if backpacking in Russia is an option for foreigners? The reason I am curious about this is because I was told that as a visitor, on documents it will say what cities/states you are permitted to be and if you are somewhere not listed you can get into trouble. Is this true? And if that is the case, is there still a way to backpack? Just because when I go to Russia, I would like to backpack during a break in between semesters. Thanks! :)


ps, happy friday!!!!! :) :11158:

Judge
23-03-2012, 11:46
Which documents, boarding card?

You're not tied to only one place, you can travel freely all over Russia..

Russia is great for backpacking,If you're off camping into the wild even better,no need for campsites, you can pitch a tent where ever you like...

If you're interested, there are many clubs in Moscow that go camping..

martpark
23-03-2012, 11:56
Which documents, boarding card?

You're not tied to only one place, you can travel freely all over Russia..

Russia is great for backpacking,If you're off camping into the wild even better,no need for campsites, you can pitch a tent where ever you like...

On the visa application, it asks what cities you'll be visiting.

I think if she gets a reg. a place nearby for a few days, she'll be ok.

Judge
23-03-2012, 11:58
On the visa application, it asks what cities you'll be visiting.

I think if she get a a place nearby for a few days, she'll be ok.

I see, yeah a few days is ok, if longer then she'll need to register..

breezy
23-03-2012, 12:02
Which documents, boarding card?

You're not tied to only one place, you can travel freely all over Russia..

Russia is great for backpacking,If you're off camping into the wild even better,no need for campsites, you can pitch a tent where ever you like...

If you're interested, there are many clubs in Moscow that go camping..

idk what documents my friends meant. they just told me that it would be listed in a document of some sort, so i thought maybe that was my visa. idk...i have never used a visa so i dont know how that works.
i would really love to go into the wild and be able to survive. The only thing is, i will be alone, so i hope it will be safe for me.
oh wow, clubs in Moscow go together? if i go to moscow that would be great. thanks. i will definitely look into that :)

breezy
23-03-2012, 12:03
On the visa application, it asks what cities you'll be visiting.

I think if she gets a reg. a place nearby for a few days, she'll be ok.

okay cool, thanks :) I did not know I would be okay in nearby cities :)

Judge
23-03-2012, 12:07
idk what documents my friends meant. they just told me that it would be listed in a document of some sort, so i thought maybe that was my visa. idk...i have never used a visa so i dont know how that works.
i would really love to go into the wild and be able to survive. The only thing is, i will be alone, so i hope it will be safe for me.
oh wow, clubs in Moscow go together? if i go to moscow that would be great. thanks. i will definitely look into that :)

I don't recommend you go camping alone here, there are bears in the woods:fudd:

Where will you be living in Russia?

Judge
23-03-2012, 12:09
Did someone mention bears???
It's Friday, so here's a bear joke..

eddie murphy - delirious (bear & rabbit) - YouTube

breezy
23-03-2012, 12:14
I don't recommend you go camping alone here, there are bears in the woods:fudd:

Where will you be living in Russia?


i want to be like Bear Grylls :) I just want to be able to say I did it all by myself i guess....
and I am not sure yet. I am waiting to see if i get into program at Moscow State University or St. Petersburg University. But honestly, I'd rather live in the countryside, not the big city....

SV1973a
23-03-2012, 12:23
i want to be like Bear Grylls :) I just want to be able to say I did it all by myself i guess....
and I am not sure yet. I am waiting to see if i get into program at Moscow State University or St. Petersburg University. But honestly, I'd rather live in the countryside, not the big city....

You mean you will be `grilled meat` for a bear.
Don`t go out camping all on your own. Especially not if you are a girl.

Judge
23-03-2012, 12:29
Sure, we have all learnt a lot from Bear Grylls, last thing I learnt was how to make a ''sheeping bag''
Don't watch it if you have just eaten...

The Sheeping Bag - YouTube


I would say St Pete's is better, you have karelia nearby , this place is very popular with Russian campers..There will be camping clubs at Moscow State University or St. Petersburg University.

Sparafucile
23-03-2012, 12:53
A Russian visa covers the entire country, and isn't limited to the places you specify on the Application Form. In fact the visa itself doesn't mention any locations at all. The only places you can't go are areas of Top Secret status, such as closed cities which produce defence-related technology. But there are very few of these now :)

There are many cheap hostels, low-price hotels and options for accommodation in the private sector in Russia - especially away from the big cities. But finding it takes time, because it's not a profitable kind of research to get involved in, and nobody publishes this kind of guidebook in Russia. The mainstream guidebooks like LP are mostly useless - they don't have any fulltime staff in Russia at all, and they just get their info secondhand from tour operators and hotels. And of course they are on major kickbacks from big hotel chains - that's how they make their money these days (because it sure ain't from the cover price of the books). There aren't any real hostel associations - the few that exist were set up by the 2-3 members they have, to give the appearance of being an 'association'.

You will need to do a bit of asking-around to find places to stay, but it's completely feasible. Bear in mind that the winter is five months long in Russia, and staying in a tent in the current weather would be utterly miserable ;)

FatAndy
23-03-2012, 14:17
i want to be like Bear Grylls :) I just want to be able to say I did it all by myself i guess....
and I am not sure yet. I am waiting to see if i get into program at Moscow State University or St. Petersburg University. But honestly, I'd rather live in the countryside, not the big city....

Aha... Most of innocent foreigners finish like this:
http://desktopwallpapers.org.ua/pic/201111/320x480/desktopwallpapers.org.ua-8502.jpg

And only experienced spies drop full bottle of vodka to a bear ;)

Here are some of touristic clubs in Moscow:
http://www.turclubmai.ru/ - Moscow Aviation Insitute club
http://gctk.narod.ru/ - Central City Touristic club
http://www.vpoxod.ru/ - KP touristic club (SPb/Mow)

If you'll be going to lake Baikal, whistle to me, I'll give you contacts of some people/hotels/hostels there.

SV1973a
23-03-2012, 14:21
And only experienced spies drop vodka bottle to bear ;)

Is this from the film about `characteristics of national hunting` ?

FatAndy
23-03-2012, 14:29
No, it is from real life ;)

Though condensed milk (sguschonka) works better.

But who of our normal backpackers will sacrifice vodka into the favour of sguschonka in the weight of backpack? ;)

BabyFirefly
23-03-2012, 16:39
If I were you, I'd pick a specific area/region of Russia and backpack through there.... it's a large country, and frankly, winters here are just *insert every bad word adjective in every language I know* terrible, so I hope this break you want to backpack in is not the winter break.

Also, you said you'd never used a visa. Is this your first travel experience? Russia is wonderful, but it's also very overwhelming at times. And I'd never backpack alone, even if I were a guy. Moscow is very much safe, but outside of big cities you'll have an incredible language barrier (but don't expect there to not be a language barrier in Moscow, it'll just be less severe) and you'll likely be one of very few if any foreigners and some cities that I've visited at least are just really shady. Especially if this is your first time in Russia, don't go at it alone.

breezy
24-03-2012, 01:05
You mean you will be `grilled meat` for a bear.
Don`t go out camping all on your own. Especially not if you are a girl.

well i definitely do not wish to end up as grilled meat, lol! Well, if i make a friend or two out there who are interested, maybe I will go with them. or maybe i will do that backpacking club thing

breezy
24-03-2012, 01:10
Sure, we have all learnt a lot from Bear Grylls, last thing I learnt was how to make a ''sheeping bag''
Don't watch it if you have just eaten...

The Sheeping Bag - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOEWvypaJS4)


I would say St Pete's is better, you have karelia nearby , this place is very popular with Russian campers..There will be camping clubs at Moscow State University or St. Petersburg University.

glad i was not eating while watching that video, lol! but that looked kind of cool. i think i can do that, lol

breezy
24-03-2012, 01:19
A Russian visa covers the entire country, and isn't limited to the places you specify on the Application Form. In fact the visa itself doesn't mention any locations at all. The only places you can't go are areas of Top Secret status, such as closed cities which produce defence-related technology. But there are very few of these now :)

There are many cheap hostels, low-price hotels and options for accommodation in the private sector in Russia - especially away from the big cities. But finding it takes time, because it's not a profitable kind of research to get involved in, and nobody publishes this kind of guidebook in Russia. The mainstream guidebooks like LP are mostly useless - they don't have any fulltime staff in Russia at all, and they just get their info secondhand from tour operators and hotels. And of course they are on major kickbacks from big hotel chains - that's how they make their money these days (because it sure ain't from the cover price of the books). There aren't any real hostel associations - the few that exist were set up by the 2-3 members they have, to give the appearance of being an 'association'.

You will need to do a bit of asking-around to find places to stay, but it's completely feasible. Bear in mind that the winter is five months long in Russia, and staying in a tent in the current weather would be utterly miserable ;)


oh wow, thank you so much for this information :) I did not know that the visa covered the entire country.
i will definitely look into hostels. The only reason I have not been asking around for hostels right now is because I am not leaving yet, so prices would probably change by the time I get there anyway. I am not looking to backpack during winter, but if I only go to Russia for a semester, and that happens to be the time it is freezing, i guess i will. But if that happens, i think i will stick to hostels and not a tent.
:)

breezy
24-03-2012, 01:29
Aha... Most of innocent foreigners finish like this:
http://desktopwallpapers.org.ua/pic/201111/320x480/desktopwallpapers.org.ua-8502.jpg

And only experienced spies drop full bottle of vodka to a bear ;)

Here are some of touristic clubs in Moscow:
http://www.turclubmai.ru/ - Moscow Aviation Insitute club
http://gctk.narod.ru/ - Central City Touristic club
http://www.vpoxod.ru/ - KP touristic club (SPb/Mow)

If you'll be going to lake Baikal, whistle to me, I'll give you contacts of some people/hotels/hostels there.

thanks for the info :)
omg, you are from Siberia? that is so cool! i was going to be going there in June for an archaeological expedition, but only 8 fellowships were being given and I did not get one :( i would have paid my own way there though, but then I realized that if i want to go to study in Russia this coming semester I would have to take some courses here in the summer. but maybe I will help with the expedition and railroad building next time :) but wow...i would love to go to Lake Baikal. :)

breezy
24-03-2012, 01:37
If I were you, I'd pick a specific area/region of Russia and backpack through there.... it's a large country, and frankly, winters here are just *insert every bad word adjective in every language I know* terrible, so I hope this break you want to backpack in is not the winter break.

Also, you said you'd never used a visa. Is this your first travel experience? Russia is wonderful, but it's also very overwhelming at times. And I'd never backpack alone, even if I were a guy. Moscow is very much safe, but outside of big cities you'll have an incredible language barrier (but don't expect there to not be a language barrier in Moscow, it'll just be less severe) and you'll likely be one of very few if any foreigners and some cities that I've visited at least are just really shady. Especially if this is your first time in Russia, don't go at it alone.


hahaha! yes, i am sure the freezing cold will make me feel that terrible, lol! i hope i do not backpack in the winter either, lol

yes...i have never used a visa before, but i have traveled before. I have only traveled to European countries that just required my passport, so this will be my first experience with a visa.
after everybody's feedback, i will probably not go at it alone anymore. just because i was thinking, what if i get hurt or something and i am just stranded there alone and nobody will ever know i am gone?
thank you very much :)

robertmf
24-03-2012, 06:48
... but wow...i would love to go to Lake Baikal. :)
I agree on Baikal for nature hiking, etc. Nice way to spend a Summer vacation.

FatAndy
24-03-2012, 07:40
thanks for the info :)
omg, you are from Siberia? that is so cool!
No, now from Moscow, but roots are from there (one of grandpas).

Judge
24-03-2012, 08:41
hahaha! yes, i am sure the freezing cold will make me feel that terrible, lol! i hope i do not backpack in the winter either, lol

yes...i have never used a visa before, but i have traveled before. I have only traveled to European countries that just required my passport, so this will be my first experience with a visa.
after everybody's feedback, i will probably not go at it alone anymore. just because i was thinking, what if i get hurt or something and i am just stranded there alone and nobody will ever know i am gone?
thank you very much :)

There are two ways of going about it, all depends how experienced you are..
First is wandering off somewhere without telling anyone.The other is taking a hiking GPS device with you, letting some one know your route and that person knowing where you'll be every day....If you join a club, the trip should be registered with the club..
Going with a group will be great language practice for you...

breezy
26-03-2012, 06:39
No, now from Moscow, but roots are from there (one of grandpas).

oh wow, that's cool :)

breezy
26-03-2012, 06:43
There are two ways of going about it, all depends how experienced you are..
First is wandering off somewhere without telling anyone.The other is taking a hiking GPS device with you, letting some one know your route and that person knowing where you'll be every day....If you join a club, the trip should be registered with the club..
Going with a group will be great language practice for you...

well, i have been camping and hiking before, but have always been with a group.the gps thing sounds like a really good idea, never thought of that. thanks :)

yakspeare
26-03-2012, 07:57
Hi Breezy,

I would love to do what you are planning on doing, here is a few tips:

1. Have you considered Russian trains as well? No experience in Russia is worth it unless it's with a Russian train. some people don't like them but I positively love them and you often meet people who will be your friends for life. You meet "real" Russians on them...often you find someone who is going where you are going and will invite you to their home or sow you their city etc.

2. Hitchhiking is a very different notion here. Firstly to get a lift you put your arm out to the side with the index finger extended. not the thumb. This is the same for taxis etc. In Russia, most people expect you to pay for the journey, and it is rarely free. Sometimes, fi they like you and you have had a good conversation etc it might be free, but expect to pay for it.

3. Couchsurfing. This has just started in Russia and it already quite popular with my friends. Basically you sleep on someone's couch/sofa in their home-rather than a hostel etc. The hostel industry isn't large in Russia, but it is growing. Cheap hotels exist everywhere though.

4. Don't eat yellow snow.

Markymountains
28-03-2012, 02:09
Hi Breezy
Glad to see your interested in the outdoors. Plenty of backpacking and trekking to do in Russia, right from a weekend camping in the woods to full blown expeditions in the mountains. I agree with the other comments though, best to go with a group, not on your own and once your registered in your chosen hostel/flat whatever, you can travel around free enough for any time you'll need to do your backpacking. If you or anyone else is interested, I run commercial and semi commercial Trekking and mountaineering tours starting from Sochi, during July and August with an English speaking Russian guide. If you would like more info or just advice you can private message me and I'll give you the contact details, websites etc :)

Markymountains
28-03-2012, 02:27
Oh one other thing Breezy
If your going to a university they will more than likely have a camping/trekking club, especially if it a mixed uni, ie Russian/foreign, good place to start anyway.

breezy
28-03-2012, 11:11
@ yakspeare

1. I have considered trains. I'm actually interested in riding the transiberian railroad :) ive only ridden trains in l.a. And they've been pretty ghetto experiences, but i'm sure it's probably different in russia....definitely wanna check them out though.friends for life.

2. Hitchhiking still seems a bit scary to me, but maybe I'll check that out too.
3. I've had friends who've done the whole Couch surfing thing. That sounds fun and interesting. I may actually be interested in that.

breezy
28-03-2012, 11:14
yakspeare- oh and I only eat yellow snow on the weekends:)

breezy
28-03-2012, 11:16
Hi Breezy
Glad to see your interested in the outdoors. Plenty of backpacking and trekking to do in Russia, right from a weekend camping in the woods to full blown expeditions in the mountains. I agree with the other comments though, best to go with a group, not on your own and once your registered in your chosen hostel/flat whatever, you can travel around free enough for any time you'll need to do your backpacking. If you or anyone else is interested, I run commercial and semi commercial Trekking and mountaineering tours starting from Sochi, during July and August with an English speaking Russian guide. If you would like more info or just advice you can private message me and I'll give you the contact details, websites etc :)
Oh wow,how cool, thanks :) if my school does not have a program, I will definitely get in touch with you because that would be great :)

MickeyTong
28-03-2012, 12:10
i will definitely look into hostels.



Hostel Trailer - YouTube

Judge
28-03-2012, 12:27
Breezy, Yaks right, a train ride is a must here.. Check out this thread, we have been talking about Russian trains..

http://expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=976040#post976040

If you're studying in St Petes then a trip to Murmansk is a must,it's just up the road..:10220:

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 14:42
I realized that if i want to go to study in Russia this coming semester I would have to take some courses here in the summer. but maybe I will help with the expedition and railroad building next time :) but wow...i would love to go to Lake Baikal. :)

No problems to go there in the winter too (especially if you will have an option in our Uni/Inst to make your post-semester exams/tests "avtomatom", just for a good-work-in-the-semester) - not less fun then in the summer.
I've been there 4 times in summertime (last time with my family) and once in Feb. There are downill ski "resorts" with rope elevators, snowmobiles, dog team sledges there. Our crazy guys make jeep racing on Baikal's ice.
And, what is more important, they still have omul' fish supply in the winter ;)
So, believe me, it's much more cool to be there in the winter (cos everyone can go in the summer) - half of your LA will die of envy ;)

robertmf
28-03-2012, 16:35
Hi Breezy,

I would love to do what you are planning on doing, here is a few tips:

1. Have you considered Russian trains as well? No experience in Russia is worth it unless it's with a Russian train. some people don't like them but I positively love them and you often meet people who will be your friends for life. You meet "real" Russians on them...often you find someone who is going where you are going and will invite you to their home or sow you their city etc.

2. Hitchhiking is a very different notion here. Firstly to get a lift you put your arm out to the side with the index finger extended. not the thumb. This is the same for taxis etc. In Russia, most people expect you to pay for the journey, and it is rarely free. Sometimes, fi they like you and you have had a good conversation etc it might be free, but expect to pay for it.

3. Couchsurfing. This has just started in Russia and it already quite popular with my friends. Basically you sleep on someone's couch/sofa in their home-rather than a hostel etc. The hostel industry isn't large in Russia, but it is growing. Cheap hotels exist everywhere though.

4. Don't eat yellow snow.

5. Watch out for cannibals (http://www.expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=402263&highlight=cannibal)

:evilgrin:

breezy
29-03-2012, 09:33
Hostel Trailer - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d5_lrn9v-g)


holy crap, not THAT kind of hostel, hahaha!

breezy
29-03-2012, 09:35
Breezy, Yaks right, a train ride is a must here.. Check out this thread, we have been talking about Russian trains..

http://expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=976040#post976040

If you're studying in St Petes then a trip to Murmansk is a must,it's just up the road..:10220:

thanks judge :)
i will definitely have a looksie into that thread. i hadn't even thought about train rides much until now :)

breezy
29-03-2012, 09:39
No problems to go there in the winter too (especially if you will have an option in our Uni/Inst to make your post-semester exams/tests "avtomatom", just for a good-work-in-the-semester) - not less fun then in the summer.
I've been there 4 times in summertime (last time with my family) and once in Feb. There are downill ski "resorts" with rope elevators, snowmobiles, dog team sledges there. Our crazy guys make jeep racing on Baikal's ice.
And, what is more important, they still have omul' fish supply in the winter ;)
So, believe me, it's much more cool to be there in the winter (cos everyone can go in the summer) - half of your LA will die of envy ;)

if i get a scholarship to go for a full year, i will be there for winter too, so that would be really cool to check out :) i can go for some jeep racing on the ice :)

breezy
29-03-2012, 09:40
5. Watch out for cannibals (http://www.expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=402263&highlight=cannibal)

:evilgrin:

omg, oh no!!!!! :eek:

robertmf
29-03-2012, 21:06
...
i will definitely look into hostels ... i think i will stick to hostels and not a tent.
:)

:emote_popcorn: Don't stay in the Bates Motel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(film) :drink:

breezy
30-03-2012, 02:40
lol

robertmf
30-03-2012, 02:51
lol

fyi: Kayak (http://www.kayak.com) for comparing air fares.