Last updated on February 11th, 2024 at 05:23 pm


One thing I didn’t anticipate when planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is that the gear would cost nearly as much as the trip!

Usually, Sarah and I try to be a bit frugal with our decisions, checking whether we need to get top-of-the-line items in all circumstances. (Hint: Regarding clothing and tech, the answer is almost always yes.) But with this trip, I sensed that getting passable and great gear was a little closer to the difference between life and death, so I told Sarah that I was willing to pay whatever I had to ensure I’d be back in one piece.

I didn’t realize how much that cost would be.

Take a look at this checklist. It’s the guide we’re using to ensure we have everything we need for the climb. At first, it might not look like a lot until you go into a store—in our case, Mountain Equipment Company—and ask questions.

When moisture-wicking socks cost $23 a pair, I’ll leave it to your imagination just how much it’d cost to buy anything made up of more fabric than a pair of socks (i.e. most everything else on the list!)

Some people have asked—why didn’t we just rent? But we thought about that too, and because of how moisture-wicking fabric is made, the coating that keeps you from getting soaked in sweat (something you don’t want to happen when you’re exposed to the elements in tents at sub-zero weather) does erode over time, so the only way to be certain of getting good-quality gear is to buy it new.

Alas.

The small comfort I can get from this is that it’s a purchase I don’t see us making again anytime soon (if ever). Jackets for every season and reason, lightweight yet warm clothes—it’s moments like these when it’s good to live in Canada, where I’m sure I’ll find a use for all of these.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

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