A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle. Dirtbags can be distinguished from hippies by the fact that dirtbags have a specific reason for their living communaly and generally non-hygenically; dirtbags are seeking to spend all of their moments pursuing their lifestyle
- Lack of "normal" employment, or complete lack of job
- Alternative housing, homeless, living out of car, etc
- Choosing this lifestyle in order to spend more, or all, their time pursuing their outdoor activity
- An extreme (according to social norms) commitment to their outdoor pursuit of choice
Not necessary, but common traits:
- Unusually talented at their sport
- Propensity to connect with other like minded dirtbags
- Very athletically inclined
- Adopt unique social views, and are unlikely to classify themselves in any common organized religious, social, or political factions
- If they are employed they are self employed or work in jobs that allow them lots of time for their chosen lifestyle.
- Not weekend warrior dirtbags, these people are in it for the long term.
- Often become masters at their sport/lifestyle. Many of the best climbers, trail runners and skiers were or are dirtbags.
- Unlikely to take regular showers, shave often or follow other normal hygienic procedures.
|Anton Krupicka, one of the most recognizable dirtbags in trail running. Photo by Kevin Winzeler.
Why we need dirtbags
Every now and again, a generation of young people come along and say no to what is considered the norm in society. Our generation's anti-establishment movement are the dirtbags. Yes, dirtbags have been around for as long as I can tell, yet the movement toward this kind of social freedom appears to be growing.
Dirtbags, as I am terming these people, are individuals who choose to spend their time exploring the outdoors and turn away from traditional jobs, marriage, and other socially accepted stepping stones of modern life. Dirtbags live for the present moment and find ways to spend most days doing what they love. They might be trail runners, rock climbers, mountain bikers, or skiers. They might even do all four of the aforementioned pursuits and some more.
Dirtbags might have jobs, and if they do their work is designed to maximize their time in the outdoors. I know of one dirtbag who works a few months of the year, saves up then road trips to small towns with incredible trails. Another saved up money from a lucrative job, quit the job and made his life one of endless road heading from trail to trail, mountain to mountain. Dirtbags seek work that allows them to play as much as possible and hone their skill. They want to climb higher, seek a tougher route, and ultimately to find something that just hasn't been done before.
|Joe Grant, a talented trail runner, writer, photographer, and trail running dirtbag. Photo by Matthew Brown.