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how to live like a dirtbag climber? redux

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how to live like a dirtbag climber? redux

Postby xDoogiex » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:39 pm

After thinking for awhile which forum to put it in btwn here and e,s,s I figured maybe here. If better there then move it. It was a good civil thread I had in the forum not to be mentioned and had good info and won't be brought back. Anyway let's do this. For lot's of poorer climbers dirt bagging is the way to good. What are some things people do to sacrifice other things? How easy is it to live outta your car especially is that do able in winter?


Sorry if wrong words were in there. Can't edit on my phone
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Postby cp0915 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:00 pm

For the aspiring dirtbag (like me), I think a thread full of tips and tricks is invaluable.

Although I've not yet dirtbagged it full-time, I have spent weeks at a time (up to nearly two-month stretches) living out of my vehicle. A few tips I've picked up along the way:

1) try to drive very little, by spending as much time in a climbing-heavy area as possible before moving to the next destination;

2) select your long-term destination(s) carefully, taking into consideration activities you can do on rest days (like fishing, free concerts, swimming, sitting in the shade/sun to read, nap, etc.);

3) never pay for something to drink. Go someplace with plenty of water (to drink and bathe with). Forest Service campgrounds often have free tap water you can snag, if you get tired of pumping/treating water from streams/lakes;

4) needless to say, limit going out to eat. If you must, learn to really enjoy Subway's $5 footlongs;

5) free BLM or Forest Service primitive campsite are often abundant -- look for them -- and don't even consider paying to sleep in your car. If you get desperate, find a truck stop (loud) or even a Walmart parking lot;

6) I've found that I can live (rather comfortably, actually) on about $400/month on my extended roadtrips;

7) Uh, that's off the top of my head. Dirtbagging is an artform. I'd love to hear from folks who have done it long-term.
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Postby xDoogiex » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:50 pm

Great ideas. My job isn't the best paying(we all can't be doctors, engineers, and teachers) and I don't wanna pay rent anymore. Sucks I have car payments. I've moved into a house with a friend and his dad but I'm back to where I was before car payments when I lived alone with higher rent.
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Postby OOG » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:36 pm

When assembling your standard backpacking kit take a few lessons from the homeless. I've been using an old coffee can as a pot for cooking meals in for years. Also for winter instead of buying a 700 dollar gore-tex jacket buy a few wool shirts from a second hand store and a 3 dollar rain poncho. The cool thing about wool is its the only fabric that stays warm even when wet. Of course gore-tex is better but who can afford that crap, I sure as hell can't. I've done a fair amount of winter backpacking in the oregon cascades and got by without a tent, only a tarp to keep the snow and wind off me. A good sleeping bag is mandatory though.
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Postby Mark Straub » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:28 am

I'm not a dirtbag, but I'm 17 and I make about $140 per month (guess where all of it goes.)

Anyway, Ebay and Craigslist can save you. I've gotten some good gear from them. Always look for sales. Search for a used climbing store near you. Eat oatmeal, beans, rice, cheese, soup, and cereal. They are awesome and cheap.

I have not paid full price for any piece of gear I own that cost more than $20. They were either on sale or used.

-Mark
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Postby kiwiw » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:30 am

you can live out of your car for hella cheap, just depends how low you want to go. cots are really nice if your sleeping in ditches. worth 50-80$ you'll pay for a nice one. I wouldn't want to bum in the winter, too wet, you'd never dry out any of your gear. try a test trip for like 2 weeks to a month before dedicating your life to being poor.
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Postby Doublecabin » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:17 am

Volunteer Week; Grand Teton Climbers Ranch. I think it is still a REALLY sweet deal.
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Postby xDoogiex » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:32 pm

I need to find a way to live as cheaply as I can. I have a high cell bill but it's also my source of internet. Car payment and insurance and car loans. I moved into a friend's house and paying some rent but I wanna live cheaper. I've been eatting a lot of fast food since I've moved. I wanna try to live outta my car for a bit or attempt. Figure small storage place to keep my stuff. Can brush teeth and shave at work. Get a po box for mail. Comes down to washing and finding places to sleep outside at. To bad I can't bc camp in the cvnp
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Postby welle » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:45 pm

xDoogiex wrote:I've been eatting a lot of fast food since I've moved.


Learn how to cook - you can eat way cheaper if you make your own meals. Supermarket circulars will get your food bills under $100 per month.
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Postby xDoogiex » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:57 pm

I used to destroy ramen noodles. Living with a friend and his dad I've just felt weird buying food to cook.
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Postby welle » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:50 pm

I said "Learn how to COOK", not add boiling water :roll: And what's wrong cooking your own food? just say you are concerned about your health and/or waistline.
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Postby xDoogiex » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:15 pm

I'm kinda lazy sometimes :(
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Postby welle » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:25 pm

climbing + lazy = bad combo (unless you are loaded)
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Postby dskoon » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:00 pm

How about ditching the car and car payment? Sell it, and buy something used in decent shape. A truck with shell come to mind. Used VW camper vans are great as well for living/traveling out of; just buy the idiot's guide to working on them, and plan on leaving for your destinations a little earlier than usual. Especially if the route there involves hills. . .
Seriously, I lived out of a van once when going to school. Decent storage, especially if you customize a bit, and the ability to have a bed, pop-top for standing up, sliding door, etc. all very valuable to the car-dweller. Fun!
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