With the Sochi Olympics drawn to a close and various conflicts raging along its borders, Russia may seem like an ominous place to travel these days. Despite trumped-up media concerns and the grumblings of your elderly Korean-War-Veteran neighbor about visiting "the reds", a road trip through Russia might be exactly what fits the experienced - and truly ambitious - traveler's bill.
Russia is by far the world's largest country (spanning an incredible ten time zones), and as a result of its sheer size, sports some of the world's finest natural parks, referred to locally as zapovednik (nature reserves) and zakaznik (game reserves). The largest freshwater body in the world, Lake Baikal, is really the only well-known tourist destination in Russian Siberia and while stunning, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to seeing Russia's natural sites. At zapovednik and zakaznik one can find world-class hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and off-roading, and with just a little knowledge of the Russian language and some orienteering skills (GPS likely won't work out here), you're well on your way to encountering the majestic scenery of the Russian wilderness.
Hunting is one of Russia's oldest pastimes, where the right to use hunting grounds was once granted to every social class, even in cases where it might contradict the privileges of the infallible nobility or even the Czar himself. Hunting clubs were among the largest social organizations during the Soviet times, exceeded in popularity only by membership to the Community Party. Nowadays there are specialized hunting outfitters and agencies that specialize in organizing hunting trips for foreigners. The competition between these agencies has drastically improved the quality and quantity of game and reduced prices, much to the benefit of adventurers such as yourself. Wolf hunting is the most popular and widespread large game animal in Russia, which invites true daredevil hunters looking for an added element of danger.
Camping in Russia is truly a unique experience because you can camp anywhere, as long as it's not church land, private gardens, or near a drinking water reservoir. Ask any of the locals, they'll tell you it's perfectly fine to camp right on the side of the road! That being said, staying at an official campsite is often inexpensive and they typically have amenities such as running water and a small store for supplies. If you're interested in fishing or hiking, a river resort would be a great place to setup base camp, as these resorts cater to fishermen and hikers alike and are located near popular hiking and fishing locations.
Regardless of what you'd like to do while in the Russian boondocks, there is no doubt a four-wheel-drive SUV rental is the most convenient, comfortable, and secure way to travel in the wilderness. If a road trip is what you seek, consider Russia; because driving a rugged SUV through the awe-inspiring Siberian landscape will surely trump that road trip in the family van through the mid-west to the in-laws - unless maybe they're finally taking you wolf hunting.