What to bring - Russia
The weather conditions along the Russian Coast can be quite unpredictable. It is not unusual to have beautiful weather at 20°C and then have conditions change abruptly to well below 5°C with fog and wind. For this reason it is very important to cater for the ‘extremes’. The choice of clothing for cold climates is a very personal matter. It depends on your individual experience with cold conditions and can even depend on whether you feel you are more susceptible to the cold than other people.
The following tips should help you to stay comfortable in the colder weather. People often tell us that they didn't use all their cold weather clothing. But it is certainly better to have more warm clothing than not enough!
The secret to keeping warm is the ‘layer principle’. This says that you are better to have several light layers of clothing than one heavy layer. Between each layer, there is trapped air that, when heated by your body, acts as an excellent insulator. Avoid tight clothing, since it leaves no room for trapped air. WOOL and SILK are superior to cotton, because they can trap warm air.
The most important layer is the outer waterproof and windproof shell because a small wind of 6kph can carry away eight times more body heat than still air! Being wet accelerates the loss of body heat. Air is a very poor conductor of heat, but water is an excellent one. If your skin or clothing gets wet, your body will lose heat much more rapidly. Even at 10°C you can suffer ill effects of cold if you are wet.
Avoid overdressing as this leads to perspiration; and in wet weather, wear WATER REPELLENT OUTER GARMENTS that will keep you dry on the outside but still ‘breathe’ enough that moisture from your body can escape.
Body heat is most likely to be lost from where we have most surface area in comparison to total mass - namely, the hands and feet. Keep them warm and dry. If all the rest of your body is covered, as much as 90% of the heat you lose can come from your head; so be sure to wear a CAP, BEANIE, or BALACLAVA.
The temperature on board the ship is between 15°C to 25°C, so there is a big drop when we venture outside to get onto the Zodiacs and travel ashore. We usually ﬁnd that people overdress on our ﬁrst few excursions ashore, but it is better to be a little over-cautious at ﬁrst.
Underneath your waterproof outer layer, you will need 2 or 3 layers depending on the day - for example, thermal underwear, jumper and ﬁbre pile jacket.
MOSQUITOES AND BLACK FLIES - Kamchatka is said to be the worst place in the world for mosquitoes. They can be very aggressive and there are even several species that have adapted to different environments. If possible, wear light coloured clothing as mosquitoes are attracted by dark colours. A “Bug Shirt” or mosquito net over the face is highly recommended when on land. Insect repellent is a must. Itch relief gel may be useful as well.
Below are suggestions of what clothing and items, to bring:
- Waterproof pants
- Polar Fleece Jacket
- Thermal Underwear
- Warm Trousers or Jeans
- Woollen Sweaters or similar
- Cap – woollen/beanie
- Cap with visor
- Waterproof Daypack
- Sunglasses with ultraviolet ﬁlter
- Extra Pair Comfortable Walking Shoes
- Insect Repellent
- Plenty of Film or Memory sticks
- Suitable electrical adaptor (if required)
- Medications and Prescriptions
- Zip-lock Bags (for camera, ﬁlms, etc)