I am writing a several part series on things I took with me to Russia, here are links to the other lists:
So I was asked by several people to make lists of things I took with me to Russia and then discuss what I felt I didn’t need, what I should have brought and the reasoning with what all I packed in the first place. So I’ll be doing this in several posts, so they don’t get too ridiculously long. To start this off I will first state that I am female, in my early 30s, am not into girly stuff and makeup, and while some of my clothes are more feminine options my packing list is probably more like what guys would pack. I also was in Russia during their spring from April 25 to May 25, daytime temps ranged from 41-78 degrees Fahrenheit, averaging in the mid-50s to mid-60s. It rained about 1/3 of the time I was there and parts of the city can be quite windy at times, so keep that in mind if you plan to explore the city. So below is my list and the number in parentheses is the amount of each item I brought with me.
Clothing That I Packed In My Suitcase
- Yoga Pants (3)
- Shorts (1)
- Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirts (4)
- Tank Tops (2)
- Long-Sleeve Button-Up Shirt (1)
- Outside Nicer Short-Sleeve T-Shirt (1) (What I wore when exploring Moscow)
- Pajama Pants (2)
- Pajama Shorts (1)
- Pajama Tank Tops (2)
- Socks (4)
- Sports Bras (3)
- Underwear (5)
- Bandanas (5)
- Stocking Hats (2)
- Slippers (1)
- Flip-Flops (1)
- Teva Sandals (1)
Clothing I Wore On The Plane To Russia
- Cargo Pants with Many Pockets
- Long-Sleeve T-Shirt
- Sports Bra
- Light Coat
- Hiking Shoes
Things I Didn’t Pack or Need But You Should Consider for Winter Months
- Cold Weather Boots
- Heavy Coat
- Heavier Clothes for Going Outside
- Warmer Hats
Now like I said I am not a girly person, so I am not into fashion at all, I’m into comfort, but if you do plan to go somewhere nice, like to nicer restaurants or to the ballet you would probably want to pack one set of dress clothes/shoes for that occasion. But honestly I really can’t stand ballet and I despise eating at most restaurants so that really wasn’t something I considered while packing my suitcase.
Now what I packed that I didn’t really need in regards to clothes. Honestly I was content with what I brought, I really thought about this ahead of time and pondered what I would need. I didn’t want to go too crazy on bringing clothes and they will do your laundry for you, but I opted to always do my own. The one thing that I felt that I really didn’t need was the slippers, I wore them a couple of times in the beginning, but really they just annoyed me and I stuck with wearing flip-flops around the hospital and in my room. And then I really didn’t wear my actual shorts at all while there, the weather really wasn’t warm enough to warrant wearing shorts. I did wear my pajama shorts when I started getting hot flashes at night, but during the day time stuck with the yoga pants.
What I thought I should have brought with me. Hmmm, this is a tough one, honestly when I was there I didn’t feel like I needed anything else in the way of clothes. But like I said I’m pretty laid-back when it comes to clothes, I’m all about comfort and not about fashion so I was fine with what I had. I know, I’m boring….
Onto the topic of why I brought what I did to Russia. Well when I first started packing my suitcase there was no suggested packing list on the Russia HSCT group, it had gone missing and they were working on making a new one, so I scoured through old posts looking at what people suggested and checked out some blogs. By the time I left to go to Russia they did get a packing list in the files section, but it really just listed everything I had already found while scouring the group for info, so wasn’t super helpful. What I decided is that less was better when it came to packing clothes, no need to get crazy, and no need to bring fashionable stuff. Seriously you are in the hospital the entire time, often being hooked up to drips, being stabbed with needles, etc. it’s not like the nurses or other patients care what you look like. Comfort is key, bring comfy clothes!!!!! And remember at least 6-10 days of your time in Russia you will be in isolation and will be wearing the stunning white judo suits, so at that time the only clothes of your own that you wear are underwear and bras, or I suppose you can go commando and let it all hang out, I mean other than nurses popping in occasionally you spend your time alone.
While I do love wearing tank tops at home, I figured most of mine were not super appropriate for a hospital setting, so I opted to go with v-neck t-shirts. V-neck shirts work better than regular t-shirts just because a great deal of your time you have something sticking out of your neck and shirts with bigger neck holes just are easier to get off and on. Tank tops also work well. I brought a long-sleeve button up shirt in case I got cold in the room, but really the only time I would wear it was on walks around the hospital grounds on cooler days. For pants, I went with yoga pants, but many people bring sweat pants or leggings. Honestly the only reason I went with yoga pants was because the Walmart in my area had them on clearance for $1.00 each about a month prior to me leaving for Russia so I bought several pairs for the trip. When it comes to things to wear on your head, many women like to bring special hats, scarves, etc. that are designed for people who have undergone chemo. For me I had some stocking hats and bandanas. I don’t mind rocking the bald look, but bandanas are more my thing. Although for heading out to the lounge to chat with the other patients, it really was easier for me to just go bald or wear a stocking hat of some type.
Footwear is a personal preference. Many people love slippers, others prefer to just wear socks in their room, the non-slip socks are recommended by some. I personally like flip-flops, but many people with MS cannot wear them. And then quite a few people wear Crocs, many of the nurses wear those. Sandals were common for men. Really it comes down to what you prefer. But you should have something other than socks for when you want to head to the lounge area to hang out. Now I did wear hiking shoes on my flight over and I did wear those when exploring Moscow and occasionally when walking around the hospital grounds, I also opted to wear my Teva Sandals with socks when walking around the hospital grounds as well. Now I went with hiking shoes solely because I can not feel my feet and I feel more comfortable walking around in hiking shoes than in regular shoes, again personal preference.
Now I did a lot of exploring around Moscow in my free time and when I did that I opted to wear my cargo pants and either my outside short-sleeve T-shirt or the long-sleeve T-shirt I wore on my flight over, and then usually took my light coat with me. I always wore my hiking shoes. While my fashion is not at all like Russian fashion, it worked for me and I was comfy.
Now I will say when it did come to packing my stuff for Russia I did pack one complete set of my “hospital clothes” in my carry-on bag along with my other important stuff, in case something would happen to my suitcase. I wanted to ensure I at least had some clothing for Russia. Luckily my suitcase arrived just fine.
So there you have it, my packing list for clothing. Nothing super exciting, just basic stuff. My advice, don’t over-pack and bring comfy clothes. And also pack for whatever season you will be there for and if you are from a warmer climate, remember that Russian seasons are most likely different then where you are from so check in advance what the temperatures will be like when you are there. For me when I was there the weather was the exact same as when I left home, so it was comfortable for me the whole time, but for others who came a bit later on, they found it quite cool and felt they didn’t pack enough warm clothes for going outside. But inside the hospital the temperature is always a nice temperature and you don’t have to worry about getting too cold while inside. And Moscow tends to be quite windy in places so remember that, I’m from a windy area and it didn’t bother me, but it did bother others.
Don’t over-think things, pack for the season, bring comfy clothes, and relax! If you forget something, you can buy it in Russia!