5 tips for the successful dirtbag
There comes a point in every young climber’s life when they decide it will be a good idea to go and “live the dream.” To free themselves of the outside world, live as cheaply as possible and chase routes not $$$. Here at iboutdoor we applaud such ventures and offer the the following hard-learnt advice:
1) Find yourself a willing dirtbag partner
Climbing partners can be found in many places. You can scour internet forums, ask at your local wall or even hang out at the crag, ever hopeful. But remember this:
A climbing partnership is closer than any other friendship.
You have each other’s lives in your hands. You’ll spend long days on the rock, enduring foul weather, stress, exhaustion and other hardships. Comfort zones will be pushed. Personal hygiene will be minimal and at some point you’ll probably end up spooning.
You’ll see each other at your worst and learn to read between the lines of what your partner is saying. “How’s it looking up there?” will become code for “hurry up, I’m freezing.” So pick somebody that you will get on with. A sane, upstanding member of the community…
Someone that shares your enthusiastic obsession for all things climbing. Somebody who’ll bounce out of bed in the morning, eager to get going on the rock…
2) Location, location, location
The holy grail of dirtbagging is the camper van, but these require an investment of time and money. Whilst sleeping on friend’s floors and sofas is also a desirable option, they’ll come a time when you need to sleep closer to the crag. Try to get a comfortable night’s sleep, to recharge your batteries ready for another day of verticality.
3) Never underestimate the power of food to boast your morale
A tasty, nutritious meal is just what you need after a hard day’s climbing to fuel the body and lift your spirits.
4) Embrace suffering
A good friend once told me: “Everything in life is either a good experience, or will make a great story.”
5) Never lose sight of why you’re doing it
There’s no other way to get as much time out on the rock, without any commitments. Wake up, climb, sleep, repeat. Whether just for a week, or for much longer, every climber should be a dirtbag at some time in their life…
Inspired by http://semi-rad.com/