They do what the rest of us simply talk about doing: They climb all the time. When was the last time you took a week off to go on a climbing trip? When was the second to last time you took a week off? How many times between those two trips did you talk about wanting to take more time off to climb? And why didn’t you do it? Dirtbags don’t have this problem. They work when their projects are covered in snow or on the weekends when the crags are crowded with everyone else. They don’t ask where they should climb for their two weeks of vacation each year; they ask what they should get on tomorrow.
- They aren’t tied down. Dirtbags don’t have mortgages, homes, or jobs they feel they can’t leave. If they decide living in the desert would be fun, they turn the key in the ignition and drive to the desert. Maybe they have to wait two more weeks to get their next paycheck or work a few odd jobs along the way, but they aren’t planning trips months in advance because they “just can’t take time off from the office right now.”
- They live sustainably. How much water do you use every time you shower? The average American uses 17.2 gallon of water each time they shower. How often does the average dirtbag shower? Probably not every day. Take food waste for another example: dirtbags are famous for dumpster diving and eating abandoned cold slices of pizza that otherwise would go to waste. Think about all the fertilizers that go into making your food. What about the fossil fuels used in production and then transportation to the grocery store? What about all the hidden water? The production of pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water. Dirtbags add little to the demand for increased food production; they live off of what everyone else needlessly throws away.
- They don’t have a ton of extra “stuff.” If you’re living in a van or the bed of your truck, you don’t have a lot of space for non-necessities. Dirtbags have their clothes, their gear, some day-old bagels, and maybe a favorite book or two. They don’t have boxes of old magazines or 13 different bottles of hand salve gathering dust. They don’t hoard old stuffed animals or buy a t-shirt to remember every new place they visit. Their lives aren’t cluttered with things of little value.
- They have fewer distractions: With no house to clean, no TV to waste a Saturday morning in front of, and no yard to mow, there are fewer things to distract a dirtbag from getting to the crag. It’s hard to procrastinate climbing when you can see your project from your campsite.
- They are more content with less. If happiness is a rock and a pair of shoes, then dirtbags experience happiness a lot. They don’t need to work 40 hours a week to pay their mortgage, buy the newest matching prAna outfit for gym, or go out for dinner twice a week. All they need is a little food, some psych, and a rock.
- They crush. You’d crush too if you climbed 200+ days each year.
Originally published February 23, 2015, on coffeetapeibuprofenclimb.blogspot.com.