Competition Finances: Taking a Look at the Books

After a friend of mine admitted that she almost couldn’t afford to compete this year, I became curious. In my mind, competitions weren’t too costly. Collectively, anything will seem expensive. Especially considering all but one of them were out of the province. Oh geez, sorry bank account. But still #worthit.

Unfortunately, my dutiful data collecting lasted me a total of 2 competitions last year before I just stopped writing down my spending. Conversely though, most comps follow the same spending pattern making calculating estimates a breaze! I won’t show you all the math I did behind the scenes because it confused me to no end and isn’t pleasant to see.

I competed in 8 competitions last year. 8! 7 of them being out of the province. So yeah, I invested a lot of money. How much? Apparently, a lot.


Thankfully, much of our travel is by car. Besides Nationals being held out West last year, we drove to all of our competitions usually carpooling and splitting gas money. Most of the time we were 3 or 4 to a car which cut down individual costs considerably. Lots of wear and tear on the car but, that’s a bit harder to quantify. I excluded any trips not intended for competitions, as well as a trip to Kingston in the winter for training. 300$ surprises me… but definitely makes me feel better for choosing not to fly to any of the “local” comps!

***Not included: Trips to: Red Rocks, Kamouraska, Dover, Kingston.

Gas money: 300$

Flight to Nationals: 900$

Total: 1200$


I just want to say how thankful I am for having friends and family willing to put us up for a night or 2. These costs would be considerably higher without you. For real – it really helps. Hotels really bring up the costs, which is something you don’t have to worry about when you’re climbing outside!

7 nights in a hotel: 1050$/2 people

Total: 525$

(holy cow – not bad at all)

Shoes + chalk

I used one pair of shoes essentially the entire comp season – not bad! Even better though, they were a gift from my parents. I’ll included my old pair of Miuras in this because technically I guess I did use them for training.

Shoes: 210$

Chalk: 40$

Total: 250$

Registration Fees/ CEC Membership

Pricey. Always are. A typical competition costs roughly around 50$ but it always depends on the competition. Entry fees for our Fredericton competitions are usually around 10$, but that’s because volunteers set the problems and there’s no one profiting financially. Conversely, Nationals are usually in the 100$ range because of their caliber. I don’t mind paying 50$ – it pays for a good set and usually a cool shirt!

Competitions: 436$

CEC Membership (Competition License): 60$

Total: 496$


Ah yes, a part of trip expenses that gets wildly overlooked. I eat a lot more than I anticipate. Breakfast, lunch AND supper adds up quicker than you think – especially when you factor in the unnecessary road snacks and impulse buys. This was easy to calculate because I always order the same meals… I’m so vanilla.

Breakfast: 56$

Lunch: 56$

Supper: 160$

Snacks/coffee/tea: ~50$

Total: 272$

All Together Now

Finally, when you piece that all together you have a grand total of…

Travel + Food + Accommodations + Registration + Shoes/Chalk = 

For strictly competition finances, that’s a lot. It doesn’t shock me at all because I still believe it’s worth every penny. I can afford it, so why not. I obviously love competing, but I am also enthralled watching others climb in a live setting.

I’ve easily saved over 800$ in hotel costs and meals whilst staying with friends and family. At least.

And to those people who look at that amount and say, “that’s nothing”. Well, climbing isn’t my only hobby and it isn’t the only thing I do. A part of me is also disappointed that I could have purchased 1097 chocolate bars with that money… or 914 bags of Ruffles All Dressed chips. You live, you learn.

Climb on xx