So, what is a “dirtbag?”

Unless you’re intimately familiar with the outdoor lifestyle, you probably associate the word “dirtbag” with a unkempt, disheveled, generally unlikable person.  However, referring someone a “dirtbag” is actually a term of endearment in the right circles.

The term gained popularity among rock climbers in an effort to define their lifestyle.  Sure, there are climbers out there who stick strictly to the gyms and short routes on sunny Saturdays, but then there are those who truly live to climb.  Literally.  They live out of old Subarus, eating hot dogs over a fire on an old wire hanger.  They sleep on the ground, or in their hammock, or tilted back in the front seat of their car and brush their teeth using a water bottle to rinse.  They have blisters and calluses and sunburn and farmer tans and the most expensive thing they own is their climbing gear.

A dirtbag is actually someone who aspires to live a life well lived. They’re someone who relentlessly pursues happiness, sometimes at the expense of societal norms.  They place passion above all else and seek adventure in the every day.  A dirtbag works to hone their craft and push themselves to the limit in order to grow – even the tiniest bit.  They know success comes when you’re a little outside your comfort zone and that a little pain is sometimes the key to solid Type II fun.

I might not be a climber, but I am most certainly a dirtbag.