Expenses

First Year CARDA Expenses

These are estimates of typical first-year costs to handlers. As CARDA is 100% volunteer, there will be no reimbursement from the organization for any of these expenses. These expenses include neither the approximately 10 hours a week that you’ll spend with your training group nor the daily obedience training at home.

These expenses assume that this equipment will need to be purchased, if not previously owned. There are varying costs of products, and we have tried to come up with an average pricing structure. Listed at the end of this section is optional equipment that some handlers choose to have, but may not need in the first year.

Estimated Expenses

Fees

Subtotal$120
Pre-Apprentice registration fee$40
Apprentice application fee$20
Annual dues$60

Car

Subtotal$1525
Mileage (about 5,000 at $0.25 a mile)$1250
Extra car service$275

Required Equipment

Handler Equipment - Day Search Pack

Subtotal$2065
Compass$50
Signal mirror (may be with compass)
Whistle$10
GPS, handheld mapping$400
Backpack$150
Watch$40
Multipurpose knife$50
Headlamp$50
Flashlight with extra bulb$40
Spare batteries$20
Candle or fire starter$10
Matches in a waterproof container$10
Space blanket or equivalent$15
High calorie snack food$20
Food preparation equipment, fuel & utensils$60
First aid kit$200
Space blanket or equivalent$20
Wool or synthetic hat$20
Sturdy boots (consistent with weather and terrain)$150
Gaiters$50
Gloves$25
Helmet$60
Rain jacket$150
Rain pants$50
Cold weather jacket$100
Insulating underwear layers$100
Waterproof bag$15
ANSI reflective vest$15
Safety googles/glasses$20
2 large leaf bags$5
Bandana$5
2 locking Carabiners$30
Webbing & Paracord$30
Duct tape, 5-10 ft.$5
Chemical light sticks$15
Insect repellent$10
Flagging tape$5
Pencil & pad$5
Assorted plastic bags$10
Tissues or toilet paper$5
2 quart or liter water bottles$15
Water purification$15

Dog Equipment

Subtotal$180
Collar, leash$30
Long line$15
Shabrack$35
Harness$20
Booties$30
Muzzle$15
Chemical light stick or equivalent$15
One food ration$5
Additional water as required$15

Handler Flight Pack / Rescue Backpack

Subtotal$822
Sleeping bag (appropriate to conditions)$200
Insulating pad (appropriate to conditions)$20
Ground cloth$5
One man tent or equivalent shelter (bivy bag or tarp)$200
Stove and fuel$55
Mess kit$12
Food for 3 days for handler$45
Food for 3 days for dog$5
Dog dish$15
Extra clothing and socks for weather$140
Large backpack or duffel bag to hold equipment$125

Grand Total: $4,712

Optional Equipment

Note: Some equipment CARDA considers optional may be required by your local agency, if you work with one.

  • Folding shovel
  • Seat harness
  • 50 feet of 9 mm rope (static)
  • Altimeter
  • Toiletries
  • Camera and film
  • Extra eye glasses / sun glasses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Sam splint or equivalent material
  • Insect bite treatment
  • Anti-acid
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Sunburn cream
  • Dog sling
  • Bringsel
  • Dog medications
  • Dog treats