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Jan 10, 2013
salty
You actually climb more when you have a job. No job = injury. More motivation to crank. Oh, and the dirtbag is dead. Get over it. Haywood Jeublowme
From Cortez, CO
Joined Dec 9, 2012
6 points
Jan 10, 2013
blah
its odd to me that when people want to dirtbag and limit there needs and expenses they always keep booze and bud. I am not trying to look down on people for the recreational substance of choice. I am forcible removed from drinking and pot, (both make me feel awful instantly, some kind of allergy to alcohol and pot just gives me a migraine). So I dont have many positive experience to contextualize the benefits. All I know is that compared to my imbibing friends I have far more disposable and discretionary income for trips and gear, which might explain the size of my rack. some people I climb with could have up to a third more total income than me and yet always seem to be broke. Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Joined Dec 19, 2011
84 points
Jan 10, 2013
eureka ha
ask someone who actually is a dirtbag and does not have internet, computer, or MP account (i.e. don't ask anyone on here unless you want that neo-classical-weak-pussy shit dirtbagging experience)




but for realz......if you drink anything that is not free you fail
mozeman
Joined Dec 17, 2010
124 points
Jan 10, 2013
Having a blast on the Sound of Power - Photo by Th...
From my experience trips of one week up to two months are the ideal setup. Enough time to get into the swing of things, motivation remains high, and you actually get things done. Sure you can adapt the "dirtbag" lifestyle if you want, but wait, oh yeah, you still have a job and a life to go back to afterwards. Jeff Gicklhorn
From Reno, NV
Joined May 2, 2008
333 points
Jan 11, 2013
blah
so a diet of smugness, fart sniffing and urine... Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Joined Dec 19, 2011
84 points
Jan 11, 2013
First, make a commitment. Planning is very important especially on the beginning, but stay spontaneous also. People will judge you but stay strong. Second, sell everything you own , except for the gear of course. Leave only the essentials. Third, get a good low key rig, no vans, they attract too much attention. Fourth, get a lifetime membership to a chain of gyms. Fifth, get a cell phone with good navigation app. You can sleep on Wallmarts parking lots anywhere in the country. Stay clean, low key and well organized. Hit up temp agencies for jobs. Get a po box and a travel insurance for gear. Done deal! Suqui
From asia
Joined Jan 11, 2013
0 points
Jan 11, 2013
Suqui wrote:
First, make a commitment. Planning is very important especially on the beginning, but stay spontaneous also. People will judge you but stay strong. Second, sell everything you own , except for the gear of course. Leave only the essentials. Third, get a good low key rig, no vans, they attract too much attention. Fourth, get a lifetime membership to a chain of gyms. Fifth, get a cell phone with good navigation app. You can sleep on Wallmarts parking lots anywhere in the country. Stay clean, low key and well organized. Hit up temp agencies for jobs. Get a po box and a travel insurance for gear. Done deal!


craigslist help wanted ads can be pretty good too. spend a couple days/week picking up odd jobs for grocery cash. beware the creeps though.
frankstoneline
Joined Apr 23, 2009
22 points
Jan 11, 2013
Inverting in rocktown
Dirtbagging is easy, you just avoid spending money at all costs. It's funny to hear people give advice on how to behave in a campground. Dirtbags don't pay for camping! Camping should be free anyway. Get friendly and ready to spend some time in Camp 4 1/2. There is always an option to stay for free, and in most places it's perfectly legal too. If you can do without your phone, get rid of it. I just buy a pay as you go when I am running out of money and need to look for work or something.

Having a car is a huge expense, probably the biggest challenge to living cheap. If you are truly committed you can sell your car, strip all your possessions down to climbing gear and hitchhik/catch rides from climbers to get around.

Dumpster diving and such tricks to get food are okay, but food isn't really that expensive. If ALL you are paying for is food, it's probably just going to be 100 dollars or so a month. I've lived on less than 2000 dollars a year for quite a while. It doesn't take much savings to go on long awesome climbing trips.

Although I agree with people that you can get just as much climbing done living indoors as dirtbagging. But being a dirtbag is more than just climbing 200 days a year, it's the shared experience, the joy of travel, etc.
Kevin DB
Joined Jul 28, 2012
207 points
Jan 11, 2013
Middle St. Vrain
If one must ask HOW to dirtbag, one is not fully prepared to be a dirtbag. Adam B
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Joined Oct 14, 2008
180 points
Jan 12, 2013
The joy of travel says it all! Climbing is only a part of it. Travel in style if you can! Experience what different areas have to offer but be commited to moving on. Suqui
From asia
Joined Jan 11, 2013
0 points
Jan 12, 2013
I do a ton of things other than climbing, but from living on the road as a dirtbag for the past 14 years, a friendly smile and that vibe in your eyes saying you've been doing rad things... the connections you make with the fellow wanderers... that to me is so much more meaningful than how hard or crazy a thing you climbed.

If you're thinking of being a climbing bum, have a shit-ton of fun.
ryan albery
From Cruisertonfieldville
Joined Mar 20, 2009
270 points
Jan 12, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!
Oh, and if you're going to be a dirtbag, make sure you come from a middle class or higher background. That way, you'll always have mom and dad's house to go back to when things fall apart. Parents' health insurance is a good thing, too. camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,369 points
Jan 13, 2013
the fridge leavenworth
Sell your computer. Get off MP and go climb. Hmann2
Joined Mar 10, 2011
33 points
Jan 15, 2013
This is a pretty funny post. I agree with most of you but in the end I think one of the most important parts of a life of climbing is the one of gaining respect and keeping the respect of your peers. We all know that its fun to dirtbag it while your young and such and all your buddies with you will thank its cool and funny and such for a while. Eventually most of them get some form of a job and stop mooching off of someone. I and Im hoping you dont want to be that last dirtbag who still thinks its cool to bum anything and everything just for the sake of fitting into those scenes we all know are there….and then have all your working friends loose the respect they once had for you. In other words gain the respect and keep it. If you can afford it climb a bunch and dont talk %^&*. If you cant dont worry about it and try to enjoy some good honest work and climb in your free time like a ton of peeps. Dennis Sanders
Joined Dec 8, 2011
1 points
May 5, 2015
Sorry to rehash an old thread but damn is there some dirtbag hating going on in here! I'll stick up for my people. I am a dirtbag climber. I spent a month in J Tree living in a cave. And yea I spend most of my hard earned (workin 70 hours a week manual labor for 8 weeks to save up for a 3 month hitchhiking trip that included J Tree) money on weed and beer and smokes, but thats cuz that shit makes life funner, and climbing easier. In fact one day I walked to my cave carrying a 12 pack of ramen and a 12 pack of sierra nevada. Got my priorities straight. I say to you all, mind your own business and let us be. I pick up my own and others trash, I dont hassle anybody for nothing, I pay my own way, cept for campsites (but how many of you pick up trash for an hour a day?) And dirtbagging it is far from dead. We're out there, but Im probably one of the few who cares to take to the forums.

Tips: Be creative, think like a homeless person (you are).
Greg Petliski
From Iselin
Joined Jun 24, 2012
20 points
May 5, 2015
Mens Crisis Center .12a
My only advice for dirtbaggers...have a plan for "after."

You can't be a dirtbag forever. At some point, you're no longer a dirtbag. You're just a homeless person.
Ian G.
From PDX, OR
Joined Apr 13, 2009
346 points
May 6, 2015
freshies
you don't need to be a dirt bag to climb a lot. get a flexible part time job that allows for time off. take 1-2 months and climb with some $$$ in your pocket.

you'll like it better.
curt86iroc
From Golden, CO
Joined Dec 8, 2014
8 points
May 6, 2015
Nearing the end of Thank God Ledge.
Dirt bagging seems pretty overrated, but, to each his/her own. Do whatever you like but I would just say to pay your own way in the world. Don't steal and scam or use entitlement programs that are designed for the truly needy and underprivileged members of our population. I've talked to dirt bag climbers who are actually proud of the fact that they get food stamps and welfare and are, therefore, able to continue their climbing spree. All at the expense of those that really need those programs.
It's good for your soul to work and be a productive member of a society.
Jeff G.
From Fort Collins
Joined Feb 26, 2006
1,040 points
May 6, 2015
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Jeff G. wrote:
Dirt bagging seems pretty overrated, but, to each his/her own. Do whatever you like but I would just say to pay your own way in the world. Don't steal and scam or use entitlement programs that are designed for the truly needy and underprivileged members of our population. I've talked to dirt bag climbers who are actually proud of the fact that they get food stamps and welfare and are, therefore, able to continue their climbing spree. All at the expense of those that really need those programs. It's good for your soul to work and be a productive member of a society.


Dirtbag climbers aren't the only group who abuse the system. That kind of entitlement alone gives the naysayers ammo to cut public assistance programs. If only there was so kind of way to give help to those really in need.

For the record, I think anything that gets people out on their own is a good thing. Whether you own three houses or you live in a cave at JT you're supporting yourself... Plus growing up and gaining responsibility along the way.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
106 points
May 6, 2015
I've heard climbers recently bragging about how rad they climb and they collect food stamps, use the welfare programs. It's disgusting. I get it if you've worked a regular job and were let go; so you collect unemployment.

But to take from the system as a well abled citizen and the only thing you give back is picking up trash for an hour? Don't strain yourself too much there buddy. Hate for ya to break a sweat.

Make sure you get the new Arcteryx jacket. Patagonia is so 2012....
MT head
Joined Feb 14, 2015
0 points
May 6, 2015
Jeff G. wrote:
Dirt bagging seems pretty overrated, but, to each his/her own. Do whatever you like but I would just say to pay your own way in the world. Don't steal and scam or use entitlement programs that are designed for the truly needy and underprivileged members of our population. I've talked to dirt bag climbers who are actually proud of the fact that they get food stamps and welfare and are, therefore, able to continue their climbing spree. All at the expense of those that really need those programs. It's good for your soul to work and be a productive member of a society.


Couldnt agree more. I hitchhiked for three months this past winter, Austin TX to J Tree and back, and dipped down to Slab City for a week, and so met a lot of road folk. Im pretty sure, without exaggeration, that no hitchhiker or freight hopper I met paid their own way, but got stamps, unemployment, and/or panhandled. And most thought it was morally and ethically ok to do so. I disagree, though pandhandling is ok, because youre just asking, people can and do say no. But I worked 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 2 straight months, doing manual labor, to pay for my 3 months of hitchhiking. And these dirty traveling kids are making in a few hours panhandling what I made in 10 hours of hard work!

Ian G. wrote:
My only advice for dirtbaggers...have a plan for "after." You can't be a dirtbag forever. At some point, you're no longer a dirtbag. You're just a homeless person.


You absolutely can, there are 60, 70, 80 yr old dirtbags out there aplently. Life is entirely what you make it to be. Let those who say it cant be done get out of the way of those doing it!
Greg Petliski
From Iselin
Joined Jun 24, 2012
20 points
May 6, 2015
MT head wrote:
But to take from the system as a well abled citizen and the only thing you give back is picking up trash for an hour? Don't strain yourself too much there buddy. Hate for ya to break a sweat. Make sure you get the new Arcteryx jacket. Patagonia is so 2012....


Perhaps I wasnt clear enough. I am on zero govt. assistance. I worked 7 days/70 hours a week for 8 straight weeks, without a day off, to pay for my 3 months hitchhiking. I paid for my own food, my own beers, my own everything. I didnt pay for camping, but would often ask folks if I could stay at theirs in return for packing a bowl or something (remember Im on foot, so no car to park). When I lived in the cave though, which is mildly illegal, I decided an hour's trash cleanup more than pays for a site fee. And to the point, I dont see anyone else out there doing it, not you, not park service, nobody. Campsites at virtually every National park are loaded with microtrash, and not only is it an eyesore, its step one in an overall degradation of nature. Just like the broken window theory, which postulates that small crimes lead to larger ones, a dirty campsite encourages future visitors to continue littering. A clean site encourages people to keep it clean.

Hopefully that brings you around, because again, Im NOT on food stamps, unemployment, etc. I just dont pay for campsites, but choose to contribute my time, both as an official and unofficial volunteer in the places I visit. Can you say the same, that you donate your physical time to benefit your recreation area? Or do you just pay the money and maybe do a weekend a year of some volunteer work and call it good?

As far as your Patagucci and Arc'fairy comments, I agree 100%. Thats why I own ZERO items from either company, and shop almost exclusively at REI garage sales, thrift stores, etc. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Greg Petliski
From Iselin
Joined Jun 24, 2012
20 points
May 6, 2015
Don't steal, beg, fight, litter, brag, offend, lie, mooch, wear out your welcome ect...

Do be courteous, thankful, creative, contribute, help out, stay clean, help clean, work hard and be nice to people.

Drink, smoke, borrow, and trespass in moderation.

Learn and master: cooking, an instrument, another instrument, a language, another language, body language, a trade, story telling, smiling, happiness.

If you're not going to go to school, make life your school.
If you're not going to work, make life your work.

Do SOMETHING 40 hours a week.

Read every day.

Progress as a person.

Avoid easy tasks.
It's easy to sleep on the beach all day, stay inside when it's raining, bail off a climb, give up, see the bright side, etc.

It's hard to spearfish, night climb, go for a run, wake up with the sun, apologize, etc.

There will be those days when your hungry, can't get a ride, it's raining and you're alone. Don't get down. Enjoy a walk in the rain and talk to yourself about what would taste delicious.



Don Ferris
From Eldorado Springs
Joined Nov 27, 2012
42 points
May 7, 2015
Mens Crisis Center .12a
Greg Petliski wrote:
You absolutely can, there are 60, 70, 80 yr old dirtbags out there aplently. Life is entirely what you make it to be. Let those who say it cant be done get out of the way of those doing it!


Those are probably more the exception than the rule...not judging, to each his own. All I'm saying that before you cross the rubicon and make dirtbagging the end all be all of your existance you better make damn sure it'll be worth it when you're 60, 70, 80 years old.
Ian G.
From PDX, OR
Joined Apr 13, 2009
346 points
May 7, 2015
Buy two large sweet potatoes. Visit a campsite with a nice campfire and ask to borrow the heat to cook them, then when ready, cut them up in one inch slices and share with everyone.

They are killer healthy, tasty, and everyone appreciates the gesture.

Then - let the reciprocation begin.
Jorge Gonzalez
From San Gabriel, CA
Joined Jun 5, 2008
3 points


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