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How not to blow your budget right away

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I recommend starting off with lower mountains. First of all, it’s good in the sense that you have plenty of opportunities to learn the basics of hiking before venturing to higher mountains. Secondly, when you start off slowly, you can also take time to put your equipment together – on your first trip the most important expensive items are proper boots and a sleeping bag that’s warm enough. From then on you can keep improving your equipment and picking up additional pieces as you go along. I did my first ascents with boots from a completely unknown manufacturer and ordinary everyday clothes. They weighed more and weren’t as good but I could manage. In higher altitudes, weight and other qualities of equipment sometimes start defining who reaches the peak and who doesn’t.

But if, for some reason, your first peak is a high and technical one, I suggest that you simply communicate with your group leader and companions – usually there’s a chance you can borrow equipment (especially technical equipment) from others.

At the same time – don’t be disappointed if people don’t offer to lend you certain items. After all, it’s expensive stuff and some people may have negative experiences with lending things out. For example, lending out carabiners can be tricky, because the owner has no control over how the carabiners are used and may not wish to risk his life and health by using them later.