Oh, great, that someone goes to hike in our country! A few notes to the report:
Additional cost to the aliens in camps or stores usually no one takes. It is practiced mainly in big cities. Or in the "official " places such as hotels, museums and the like. In the province with this problem should not be. A Greek or American, do you - for you the prices are the same as that for the Russian.
Alcohol for burners to get in Russia is difficult. Pure alcohol is not officially sold, so the best option is for the ignition of liquid fire. But in the villages, I am not sure that they will, except in cities, medium and large stores. Basically, our people do without them. So the best deal with a wood-burning stove. Or simply cook on fire. Bonfires we can burn in the woods anywhere. Is it only in the Moscow region this year introduced a ban because of the large forest fires last year.
Mountains Khibiny that on the Kola Peninsula - a very beautiful place, but there is a season of many tourists. If you want real wilderness, you should go to the north of the Kola peninsula. In the area of the city of Murmansk. There may not be as beautiful as in Norway ( no such large fjord ), but there is absolutely wild tundra. And friendly people. In Russia, farther north, the people are softer, more opening and friendly.
In the polar north, at the same Kola Peninsula, I would not take a tent, and took the pyramid. Wind can be very strong, so weak design is simply not survive. However, it is so clear.
The Caucasus is not the place I would recommend going to foreigners. There will need to have friends, then you will have to "wear on their hands. " If not, should be careful about expecting any problems. It is a region of amazing contrasts. People there are quite other than the North or Central Russia. Even I would not venture to go into every area of the Caucasus. Need to know where to arrive. Mineralnye Vody - not the best choice for the beginning of the route. It would be naive to think that there is someone needs your registration. They needs only money. And no matter how often does this person or police officer. This is our Caucasus :( Please, excuse them.
Nobody! Nobody has the right to say that can seize your documents. It's just ocherelnaya attempt to get money. Oh, this "free" Caucasus! :( Russians themselves have exactly the same problem there. Again, it is necessary to choose the right route. For example, through Krasnodar, or at least through Sochi. Incidentally, intrusive inspection of documents is not the biggest problem that can wait you there. I repeat: in any other place, except the Caucasus such problems you will not!
The helicopter, which you saw in the Caucasus mountains, most likely, or garbage from the mountain camps, or deliver any clerk to a tourist camp. It is not dangerous :)
Travel to Russia ( Siberia and including ) comfortable with topographic maps of the Ministry of Defense of Russia. Officially, they were forbidden to sell, but they sell everywhere. They cost quite inexpensive. Only need to be printed. There is also a scale of 500 m. But the official topographic map of the whole of Russia for GPS Garmin costs about $ 100. But who can tell about this untrained foreigners? :)
In general, guys, wonderful report!
I'm going for a few months to open a blog for the foreign lightweight hikers in Russia (only need to learn English better :)) If anyone that is interested - write, please ask. Tomorrow I'm flying in the Alps, but in the end of June will be able to answer any questions.