Along the “Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track”, built by Baikalplan e.V. and our Russian partner organization MOO Bolschaja Baikalskaja Tropa in 2009 with the support of volunteers from all over the world, there are several abandoned and partially dilapidated old log cabins. Hiking along the 100km long track, it would not only be more comfortable, but also warmer to spend the sometimes chilly summer nights in cabins instead of tents. For some visitors it could even be a very special experience to sleep in a log cabin. Apart from that, the cabins would be perfect to wait out one or two rainy days or to spend a night entirely safe from the Siberian brown bear.
Currently, the huts are temporarily used by fishermen or remain completely vacant. Unfortunately, ownership structures are never quite clear in Russia. We are in touch with many stakeholders in the region and receive a helping hand not only from the district administrator, but also the authority in question. They would not only support repairing and using the log cabins as tourist accommodation, but would place the huts under their guard. Far from being definite, this means a lot in Russia.
In order to help new ideas and concepts to become accepted in Russia, it is very important to present not only words, but actions – to show that something is happening, that progress is being made.
The target of Baikalplan e.V. is to give the region an idea of how, with little effort and small means, an environment-friendly tourism infrastructure can be established that also creates local jobs. Repairing some of the log cabins would be a huge step for the region. Currently, there is a lack of financial means, and the local community slowly has to be re-familiarized with the potential of personal commitment. In Russia, it is still quite common to wait for the Moscow government to come and get things going. This is why we are looking for expert volunteers (carpenters, joiners etc.) to help us repair some of the cabins with simple means – yet surrounded by a fantastic scenery. Even though some things might seem a little chaotic in Russia, craftsmanship and the skill to use a little to make a lot are appreciated there.
First and foremost, it is important to weatherproof the cabins, so as to offer beds and to generally give them a cozy feel. What we need is ideas how this can be achieved, and a lot of improvisational skills.
Many mountain huts are in a very bad state or have to be re-built completely. Especially when exchanging structurally viable elements, expert advice is not only a nice-to-have, but strictly essential. We provide building material, chainsaws etc. on site, but we are continuously looking for volunteers who know well how to use them.