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We provide all the group and technical gear. That includes tarps, tents and stoves, climbing protection, ropes and anchor material, boats, spray decks and PFDs. You need to bring all your personal gear.

We recommend splurging on a couple items: anything you put on your feet and rain gear. You will spend a lot of time in your boots and shoes. Put in extra time and effort to get a perfect fit and then invest even more in working them in before you come to COLT. You and your feet will appreciate it. As for the rain gear, Vancouver Island is a temperature rainforest. We time COLT to avoid the wettest time of the year, but you can still expect to spend some time in the rain. Excellent quality rain gear will keep you drier for longer which translates into warmth and comfort.

Download the equipment list PDF which includes everything you need to stay warm and comfortable on land and water trips and during your time at the lodge. Most gear can be purchased at specialized gear stores such as Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) and Atmosphere, but we do encourage buying gear from your local gear store. Some cities have very good used gear stores or gear swaps. Call us if you have any questions.

Clothing

Item Description Quantity Approx. Price per unit CAD$ Approx. Total CAD$
Base Layer Merino wool, Polypropylene, Capilene, Silk, Thermax, etc. 2 $70 $140
Warm layer Wool or Fleece 2 $70 $140
Waterproof shell with hood Gore-tex or similar, waterproof-breathable or justwaterproof, should be heavyduty, does not need to be insulated 1 $250 $250
Underwear Polypropylene, Capilene, Silk, Thermax, wool, synthetic blend, etc. 1-2 $40 $80
T-shirts Quick dry, no cotton 2 or more $50 $100
Warm pants 1 pair fleece or wool (optional, but a very good idea for those that get cold) 1 $60 $60
Pants 1 pair Nylon quick dry, breathable wind pants 1 $130 $130
Waterproof shell pants Gore-tex or Gore-tex knock off. Preferably have zips to enable fitting without removing boots but not required. Or rubber rain pants of good quality like Helly Hansen 1 $80 $80
Shorts Hiking shorts, quick dry 1-2 $60 $120
Gloves or mittens Wool, fleece or polypropylene (Windstopper fleece is excellent), or wool or fleece mittens. Ski gloves are acceptable, but should be heavy duty 1 $15 $15
Gloves or mittens Water resistant mitten shells. Gore-tex or coated nylon/cordura shell to be worn over mitts if your main gloves or mittens are not waterproof or heavy duty 1 $65 $65
Wool Cap and/or Balaclava Fleece is acceptable. Lightweight polypro/fleece balaclava is handy to wear under paddling or climbing helmet 1 $35 $35
Sun Hat Wide brimmed or baseball cap 1 $20 $20
Swimsuit What is comfortable 1 $40 $40
Farmer John/Jane Wetsuits 3 mm neoprene suitable for kayaking and canoeing (long legs, no arms). There are also some available at the Lodge that can be borrowed, having your own would insure better quality (rental fee may apply). A wetsuit needs to be tight fitting 1 $130 $130
Paddling Jacket Waterproof Jacket with tight neck cuffs. A drytop/wetsiut combination is best. There are also some available at the Lodge that can be borrowed, having your own would insure better quality (rental fee may apply) 1 $160 $160
Drysuit or long sleeve wetsuit During your surf kayak trip to Tofino and the 2-day whitewater rescue course, you will be in cold water a lot. A drysuit or long sleeve wetsuit 4/5 mm, will allow you to stay in the water longer and be warmer. They are more expensive and if you are not sure if water sports are your thing, it might not be worth it to invest in one. If there is a chance to borrow one from a friend, it is highly recommended. Rental of a drysuit for the 2-day rescue course is about $60 1 $60 $60

Footwear

Item Description Quantity Approx. Price per unit CAD$ Approx. Total CAD$
Socks Wool or fleece 2-3 $30 $90
Liner socks Thin socks that go inside your socks 2-3 $20 $60
Gaiters Optional - To be worn over top of boots. Coated nylon or Gore-tex acceptable. Not required if you have good pants or do not ordinarily use them. Outdoor Research is a good brand. Recommended for the Spring program 1 $140 $140
Mountain boots Plastic boots are often used for the spring sessions but not needed for the summer or fall. For leather mountain boots, a sturdy pair with at least 1/2 shank and high rand are required. Test boots with the socks (1 or 2 pars) you will be wearing. Boots must be able to hold crampons. Lightweight hiking boots are not adequate. Please check with the COLT director if you cannot fit into a mountain boot! 1 $300 $300
No Keen-like shoes please! Crampons do not fit on them Students with Keen-like boots cannot fit crampons on and therefore cannot come onto the glacier. This includes soft light hiking boots!
Rock climbing shoes Please make sure that your rock climbing shoe is a snug fit similar to a well fitten glove. Some students show up with too big of a rock shoe and have to buy another pair later on. Do not buy them too small either! There should be no pain, rather some light pressure. If possible there should be no space between toes and the tip of the shoe 1 pair $120 $120
Neoprene Booties for paddling Neoprene booties or Neoprene socks with running shooes also works very well 1 pair $30 $30
Gumboots (optional) Some students feel these are essential for the cold water canoeing and kayaking. For summer they are nice but not mandatory. For fall, they are pretty nice as we do a lot of water courses in November. Some students may not want to purchase them, but if you have them, bring them! It is possible to buy cheap gumboots in Campbell River 1 pair $30 $30

Expedition Gear

Item Description Quantity Approx. Price per unit CAD$ Approx. Total CAD$
Bivouac-Sack (Bivy) Good quality, waterproof, breathable sleeping bag cover with taped seams and insect screen. Gore-tex or similar fabric (we do many trips without tents). This is not a one-person tent, but many students like the bivy sacks that come with small poles. 1 $220 $220
Sleeping pad Closed-cell foam ensolite or equivalent. Minimum 14mm thick. Inflatable pads are excellent, but also require repair kit and stuff-sack 1 $100 $100
Sleeping bag Good quality 3-season, rated -15C to -10C if you get cold easily. Otherwise in the -5C to -10C range might be warm enough. Synthetic filled (fibrefill, Dacron, Polarguard, Hollofill, Qualofill, Lite-loft) are preferred over down for our wet coastal climate. If you bring a down bag, it is vital it be kept dry (waterproof outer is recommended), and a bivy-sack is a must 1 $250 $250
Dry Bag/Stuff Sack Minimum 1 x that fits your sleeping back 1 x 15 liter 4 x 10 liter (important for sea kayak trip, bigger bag will not fit into storage compartment) Plus extra stuff sacks can be useful (5L, 10L, 15L, can be more or less, depends on personal preference). The smaller in size, the easier it is to pack it in your backpack. Can also be waterproofed for sea kayaking Min. 6 $20-30 $120
Backpack 65-75L Backpack lard internal frame pack 65-75L capacity (less than 65 might not be sufficient). Best way to find out if the size is good enough, try to fit in all your camping gear and some clothing in the bag. If there is still space for some group gear, the bag will be big enough 1 $250 $250
Hiking poles collapsible Hiking poles are great to protect you from longterm injury during long hikes with heavy loads. Also great for stretcher building and needed for first aid scenarios 1 pair $95 $95
Daypack 20-35L For day trips and the Squamish trip, it is a must! 1 $100 $100
Compression Straps Used to fasten items to the side of pack (optional) 2
Plastic garbage bags Heavy duty works best. Used to waterproof equipment and clothing 1 box $10 $10
Water bottle At least 1L wide mouth Nalgene or Aluminium works best 1 $16 $16
Headlamp Hands free with spare batteries 1 $50 $50
Pocket knife Leatherman or Swiss army type with locking blade is best 1 $100 $100
Compass Silva Ranger type is best, Silva Type 3 or equivalent is fine. Look for sighting mirror. 1 $30 $30
Eating Utensils Unbreakable cup, bowl and spoon; Insulated mug is good. 1 of each $10 $30
Lighter To light campfires and backpacking stoves 2 $1 $2
Whistle 1 $5 $5

Miscellaneous

Item Description Quantity Approx. Price per unit CAD$ Approx. Total CAD$
Sunscreen and Lip Balm Waterproof sunscreen with minimum SPF 40. Lip balm with sunblock. 1 of each $15 $25
Personal First Aid Kit Band-Aids, blister material such as moleskin, tape, aspirin, etc. Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, razor and blades, shaving cream, tampons, etc. $16 $16
Prescription glasses and contact lenses If you wear them, bring a spare set. Contact wearers should bring a pair of glasses as backup. No price is put here because we assume that you would have your own personal glasses/contacts already. 2
Watch Waterproof is suggested; Alarm is a must 1 $30 $30
Knee Pads Basketball type to protect knees while paddling (for kneeling in canoes) Optional $40 $40
Nose clips To practice Eskimo rolling in kayaks Optional $7 $7
Notebook/Journal/Writing paper and pens/pencil Rite in the Rain books are useful. You will be expected to take notes in order to maximize your learning 1 $15 $15
Duct tape Small roll for miscellaneous repairs. Available at hardware or building supply stores 1 $5 $5
Insect repellant Optional $10 $10
Sno Seal/Scotchgard To waterproof leather boots and outerwear 1 $10 $10
Log book Has to be professionally bound (no ring bound), Rite in the Rain Model 311FX can be purchased at the Lodge 1 $8 $8

Optional

Item Description Quantity Approx. Price per unit CAD$ Approx. Total CAD$
Battery-powered alarm clock Not necessary if your phone has an alarm clock 1 $5 $5
Camera Waterproof or with waterproof case is suggested 1 $200 $200
Candle Lantern With spare candles for long nights 1 $30 $30
Chair Therm-a-rest or Crazy Creek type For basecamps 1 $120 $120
Climbing helmet Must be UIAA approved 1 $80 $80
Bath towel and hand towel Quick drying is helpful, the Lodge will provide towels for on-site use 1 $20
Expedition sewing kit with awl Found in most outdoor shops 1 $12 $12
Gore-Tex socks Excellent for keeping feet dry on long mountain trips in the snow 1 pair $70 $70
Lightweight hiking boots Make sure you find something comfortable, ideally Gore-tex 1 pair $130 $130
Pogies or thin neoprene gloves Hand covers for paddling are recommended 1 pair $25 $25
Rock climbing harness Must be UIAA approved and in good condition 1 $75 $75
Small binoculars 1 $30 $30
South-western rain hat Great for BC weather 1 $50 $50
Swimming goggles For kayak rolling practices 1 $15 $15
Map case or large Ziplock bag Will help to keep your paperwork dry on rainy trips; Does store loge books etc. 1 $24 $24