How to Not be a Dirtbag Sellout

Words:: Bradford McArthur

Do you classify yourself as a dirtbag?  Or perhaps you have dreams of one day attaining this most lofty goal of all full time climbers?

Hate to break it to you, but once the URLs and are selling t-shirts to anyone with a visa, perhaps it’s a sign.  It’s a sign that the once mythical creature has been captured and repackaged to the masses of pop culture now conveniently sold back to you in the form of merchandised identity.

Seek, Consume, Purchase, Adorn Identity -AKA- Craigslist, Sprinter, Debt, Dirtbag.  Sound familiar?

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But if you still want to chase the carrot, there is already a whole whack of media leading the masses exactly how to play the game.  With so much influence to become a #wanderlust dirtbag, it might be helpful to instead highlight some of the lesser known pitfalls of the wide road paved ahead of you.


Challenge: How to not reek like the Grinch

Without a shower in your house on wheels, those nightly hot bathing sessions are suddenly going to be a thing of the past.  There are two clear choices ahead of you, either redefine your personal* understanding of “cleanliness” like our hippy Youtuber below or find new ways to keep clean.  We highly recommend the second option. *(Please remember that redefining words will not alter the strength of a fragrance for those around you)

When you finally take that leap and become the dirtbag of your dreams, please do yourself, your friends, and the climbing community at large a favor and keep your rich aroma of success in check.  We don’t actively crop dust you with flatulence, please don’t crop dust us with your odor.

Just remember the age old saying “you can’t smell your own BO.”

Solution: Baby Wipes


Here’s Santa with some hot tips on hygiene: “Come on folks, we all got crotches and they stink!”


Challenge: How to not be a dirtbag sellout

If we weren’t already crystal clear, here it is again: Ultra posh van life isn’t being a dirtbag.

Just ask yourself, would Warren Harding have this in his van?  Would he even have a van?  If the answer is no, and you choose likewise you’re probably one step closer to being a real dirtbag.  Congratulate yourself.  Actually a real dirtbag wouldn’t care so if you did feel proud you’re not ready young grasshopper.

Solution: Youtube “How to build a climbing Van” and do everything opposite.



Challenge: Avoiding Food Poisoning

Once you become a prolific dumpster diver living in a vehicle without cooling capacity, food suddenly has a slightly shorter life span.  Your mother is worried.  It’s alright though because I touched base with her (won’t tell you which base) and told her we’d show you the following video.

Solution: Eat your pasta in one sitting



Challenge: Not turning to a different form of homeless

We’ve all had those climber friends who went a little overboard on the dirtbag train.  Their dedication to being a dirtbag gets so extreme that you find they are actually climbing less than if they worked for 5 hours a week and had a few small bucks at their disposal.  Instead they are always bouncing from cave to cave evading the authorities and helping themselves to some food from a homeless shelter.

Their blind allegiance to “total freedom” by avoiding societal norms and monetary bondage actually is the opposite of freedom.  They are limited by their personal “anti work, dirtbag at all costs” dogma and not free to enjoy the benefits of working to create a passive income that can actually increase time spent climbing.

Solution: Climb more!



There you have it, heed these warnings, proceed with caution and always – just try harder.