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 to be purchased in the first year.

Estimated Expenses

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


Mileage (about 5,000 at $0.25 a mile) $1,250
Extra car service $275
Subtotal: $1,525


Required Equipment

Day Search Pack

Handler Equipment:  


Signal mirror (may be with compass)  
Whistle $10
GPS, handheld mapping
Multipurpose knife $50
Flashlight with extra bulb $40
Spare batteries
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
First aid kit $200
Space blanket or equivalent
Wool or synthetic hat $20
Sturdy boots (consistent with weather and terrain) $150
Rain jacket
Rain pants
Cold weather jacket
Insulating underwear layers
Waterproof bag
ANSI reflective vest
Safety googles/glasses
2 large leaf bags $5
2 locking caribiners
webbing & paracord
Duct tape, 5-10 ft.
chemical lightsticks
Insect repellent
Flagging tape
Pencil & pad
Assorted plastic bags
Tissues or toilet paper
2 quart or liter water bottles $15
Water purification $15
Subtotal: $2065



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


Flight Pack / Rescue Backpack

Handler flight pack:  
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 to hold equipment $125
Subtotal: $822


Grand Total: $4,712


Optional Equipment

Warning: 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)
Camera and film
Extra eye glasses / sun glasses
Prescription drugs
Sam splint or equivalent material
Insect bite treatment
Sun burn cream
Dog sling
Dog medications
Dog treats




Site designed and supported by One Flash Web Design