There are so many packing lists out there and I have to say that before I left on my own adventure, I probably studied at least 100 of them. In the end, I didn’t create a list of what to pack for the Trans-Siberian on its own (I was travelling long term so I took everything with me), BUT, there were a few things that I specifically took just for this train journey. Below is a list based on my updated RTW packing list, but it has been specifically tailored for people on the Trans-Siberian.
Remember that you also need to pack for your stopovers (unless you are doing the trip in one go) so you will need more than your comfy train clothes! And don’t forget the all-important snacks!!
For our actual time on the train, my travel buddy Sue and I had a day bag with things that we wanted to be able to easily access on the train, grocery bags with snacks, and our main backpack (which was stored under the seats). We didn’t get out our big backpack at all while on the train. This is particularly important if you are travelling solo and you decide to choose the top bunk. Luggage is stored under the bottom bunk and if you don’t know who your bunk-mate is it might not be too easy to get your bag out a few times a day. Plus, the cabins are quite small. There isn’t much space to get out suitcases or backpacks and hunt through them for things.
- Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Backpack Daypack– Keep everything you need for the train journey in this bag
- Tortuga Travel Backpack – 44 Liter Carry-On-Sized, Travel Backpack – Store this under the seat.
- Snack bags – You will get hungry. We just brought supermarket bags but you could bring special snack bags if you like. They will most likely be stored on the floor so they get scruffy!
- Rubbish bag – If you eat as many snacks as us, you will need a rubbish bag. They have one at the end of the carriage but having one in your compartment is easier and then you can just take it to the bigger bin when you remember.
For more about seat selection, read my article about How to book the Trans-Siberian.
Here, you need to make sure you have enough clothes packed in your day bag so that you don’t need to open your larger bag on the train. You will need temperature appropriate clothing in your larger luggage for your stopovers. Make sure you check the weather to determine how hot/cold it will be. To give you an idea of how much it changes – we got on the train in Moscow at 25 degrees celsius and sunny. Five days later we got off the train and it was -4 degrees and snowing!
On the train
- 5 pairs of underwear- Icebreaker Women’s Siren Botanical Hipkini
- 3 pairs of socks – Icebreaker Women’s Multisport Light Micro Socks
- Sandals – you can wear these to and from the bathrooms, around the train
- Thin jumper (just in case) – Icebreaker Women’s Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood
- 1-2 T-shirts. I love these ones – Icebreaker Women’s Tech Lite Short Sleeve Crewe Tee
- 1-2 singlet tops – Icebreaker Women’s Siren Cami
- Pyjamas. I wear a pair of running shorts and a singlet top – this means I can wear it as clothing as well without having to pack extra clothes.
- Comfortable pants – e.g. Icebreaker Women’s Everyday Leggings
or tracksuit pants
- Hiking boots – KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP Boot
- I pair of hiking socks – Icebreaker Women’s Hike + Mid Crew Socks
- 3 pairs of short socks – Icebreaker Women’s Multisport Ultra Light Micro Socks
- Winter coat
- 1 pair of jeans
- Thermal t-shirt
- 2 long sleeved tops
- 3 singlet tops (total, not in addition to your day pack)
- 3 t-shirts (total, not in addition to your day pack)
DO NOT TAKE A SILK LINER. Completely unnecessary because you are given clean, comfortable sheets and blankets. The silk liners are expensive and just a waste of money
- Small dry bag for dirty clothes – Outdoor Products 3-Pack Ultimate Dry Sack
- Eye mask – Dream Essentials Dreamlite Sleep Mask
- Spork. We bought a lot of noodles so I loved my spork.Light My Fire Titanium Spork
- Mug. This would have been handy. I drink a lot of tea so bought one cup from the train attendant and then kept the mug and reused it and gave it back before we got off the train. Didn’t have any issues with doing this.
- Locks – Make sure you lock your bags while you are on the train. Each compartment locks so you don’t have to worry about people stealing anything while you are sleeping. We never felt like we, or our belongings, we unsafe. But better to lock your bags just in case! Tarriss TSA Lock
- As I was blogging, I took my Surface Pro 3 and loved it. I got so much work done without the internet! Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (128 GB, 4 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)
- Hard-drive with movies and TV shows – Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
- Books (I read 5 on this train trip, so take a few!)
- Headphones and headphone splitter. If you are travelling with someone else this is the best product you could possibly buy. It is loud on the train so you need headphones to listen to anything on your iPod or computer – a headphone splitter means two people can watch the same thing.Belkin Speaker and Headphone Splitter
- Universal plug. We were lucky to have a power point in our compartment, but most of the time you will have to use one of the public power points in the train carriage.Worldwide Travel Adapter with Dual USB Charging Ports
- Power board. We didn’t have one but this would have been amazing! Belkin 6-Outlet Home/Office Surge Protector
- External power bank. As you will have to share the power points with everyone else on the train, it is a good idea to have an external power bank in case you run out of battery half way through a book!
- Camera – Sony NEX-5TL Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
- Wet wipes! A shower substitute for the long train rides!
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Other standard toiletries you will need for stopovers (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc)
- Train tickets. Make sure you get them back after each journey – you will need these as proof of how long you stayed in each city when you are departing Russia
- Copies of onwards journeys and ticket reservations
- Local currency. People come on and change money for you when you cross borders but their exchange rate isn’t very good. Make sure you have enough for any food or snacks you need. Once you are on the train you can’t go to an ATM until your next stop.
- Notebook and pen. Just in case you feel inspired to write!
Don’t forget to read my other Trans-Siberian posts:
- How to book the Trans-Siberian
- How to organise visas for Russia and China
- 5 unusual things to do in St Petersburg
- Must see Moscow
- 7 things I learned in Mongolia
- 3 tricks to avoid the crowds at the Great Wall of China
Note: This article includes Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will receive a small commission.
Have you been on the Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian? What is your advice for packing for this adventure? Is there anything I forgot? Comment below and let me know!