Chapter 7. Hikes with tents


Equesto had been providing hike tours for 8 years till 2017. Nowadays such tours occur from time to time. We will tell you about the features of hikes with tents.

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Hike to the Shavla Lakes

No tent - no shelter

Tent in Altai is irreplaceable thing in a hike to the mountains. The wildest and the most beautiful sights are located too far from hotels and campsites. Rafting, horse tours, bike tours and even bus tours - tents may be required. There is no need to waste time searching for a hotel: we can stay overnight wherever we want.

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Many tourists reject such an accommodation: cold and discomfort. Of course, hotel is better. But tent may be cozy and warm as well. As we say - 'There's no bad weather, there is bad equipment'. 

Important issues on choosing a tent

  • Weight. Picking a tent depends on how you are going to carry it. The weight is relevant if only you carry tent on your back.
  • Installation. If you will have to install and uninstall the tent every day, you'd better pick a variant with easier installation.
  • Water resistance. The higher, the better, at least, from 5000 mm. Heavy rain may soak it through.
  • Wind resistance. It is better to pick tents with aluminium or thicker fiberglass frame. Wind can be destructive.
  • Quality in general. Fittings and stitches and are the first things that may break and tear. So check the quality of stitches and locks.

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Staying overnight in a camping

Our experience. We mostly use tents of 'Tramp' series. They are more expensive, but water resist, based on the strong frame, they're light, qualitative and easy to install. We tried different brands, such as 'Salewa', 'Redfox' or 'Coleman'. We tried tent houses, single tents. All in all, we came to conclusion - the simpler, the better, the more qualitative, the better.

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In a horse tour

Picking a sleeping bag

  • As warm as possible. You can always open it up to if it is too hot. But you may get cold in a light bag. Even in summer night temperature can go below zero.
  • Fluff or synthetics. Fluffy sleeping bag is expensive and demands special care and storing. So synthetics is an optimal filler for Altai.
  • Weight. It depends on how you are going to carry it: if on you back - pick lighter one. 
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Three-layered sleeping bag with hollow fiber as a filler: good for summer or even colder.

Our experience. For hikes in which the weight is a critical parameter and night temperature may get really low, for example to Belukha, we used 'Tramp Oymyakon' or an analogue (up to -20 degrees). To horse tours and for rafting we take warm sleeping bags with three-layered hollow fiber. It is comfortable up to -10 degrees. In summer they are hot a bit, but it helps a lot if it gets cold.

Picking a sleeping pad

There is not a big choice. The cheapest, easy to use variant is a foam-pad. Alternatives are a bit more expensive and heavier, but comfortable and self-inflating. Take something anyway - without a sleeping pad you may chill your back. An inflatable mat is a very bad variant. It can be easily pierced; if it is cold - the mat won't protect you from it. Moreover, that mat is heavy - it is better to use it travelling by car.

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Inflatable pad is much more pleasant for sleeping

Our experience. We used inflatable pads every time we could, except for hikes. We sacrificed comfort to minimize the weight. Inflatable is better by every parameter: just like ordinary full-size mattress - warm, soft and cozy.

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Morning packing

Some more pieces of advice

It is better to use hiking poles. They help to unload your back and legs. Your backpack should be comfortable, with wide straps. Take the clothes for the temperature -10 degrees: warm socks, cap and vests. If they don't come in handy you are lucky. Don't buy cheap equipment for one and only hike - it's a waste of money. It's better to rent good stuff. Cheap equipment of the bad quality will make you suffer. But if you are going to hike again, you will have to throw away the cheap stuff and buy the qualitative. For one and only hike it is much cheaper to rent equipment.

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Hikes with the load are heavy

Sometimes you will have to pay to set up a tent. Don't argue - just pay) It is not always legal, but be sure, those guys usually clean the territory and remove garbage.

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Campsite at Chulyshman

That's it, in a shell. If you are interested in a perfect camping, here is some more and detailed.


When there were much less tourist bases, our tourists lived in tents. 
Our purpose is to make it feel comfortable in uncomfortable conditions and 'Altai all-inclusive' (tourists may just come with their bags). So we supplied them with all the equipment.
Eventually, our tent camps got more comfortable than some touristic bases: we had hot shower, electricity, kitchen and canteen, dry closet, chairs and tables, home size tents, special linens for sleeping bags, gas stove and even wi-fi sometimes. We carried all that pile of equipment on a trailer (we still selling it out).
When we couldn't use transport with trailers, we had to cut the list of stuff to carry. And we used pack horses or rafts.

It was interesting time and experience. I still don't see anyone trying something like that.

Alexey Kiryanov,
Equesto CEO (FB)


Chapter 1. Why Altai and what's its zest?

Chapter 2. Best time of the year to go to Altai

Chapter 3. Best solutions how to get to Altai

Chapter 4. Taking off our rose-colored glasses: antidote against 'all-is-good' ads

Chapter 5. Activity in Altai

Chapter 6. Touristic bases, hotels and campsites of Altai

Chapter 7. Hikes with tents

Chapter 8. The ancient Altai and history

Chapter 9. Important questions got answered

Chapter 10. Prices in Altai

Chapter 11. Altaian tour selection guide

Chapter 12. Goods of Altai

Chapter 13. What do people say after visiting Altai?

Chapter 14. The examples of independent travels in Altai

Chapter 15. Organizing a tour

Chapter 16. Bike tours in Altai

Mailing for the first time comers to Altai

9 - Edited (2).pngIf you are going to visit Altai, you probably started with searching for the information in the internet: how, what, where, how much, what are the routes, reservation, sightseeings and tours. That's a huge work and it is time consuming.

Our mailing is a set of several letters full of concentrated and structured information, links to well-tried sights and sources and answers to questions.