Dirtbaggin’ middle class style

Is this it?

After years of schooling and anxieties, visions of the promised future had turned – cliché – into a bitter reality. Trapped in the office with mortgage, only a pension and wasted years waiting at the end. Gotta get out before it’s too late. Also, I need to climb more.

Solution: how ’bout we sell everything, get rid of works and debts and buy a camper van? That we did.

The idea was to see how little we can come by with. Less mony, less problems, perhaps? Less work, more time to do stuff we want, for sure! For me, “stuff” equals as climbing and mobile life-style fits that like a gauntlet. Maybe we’ll even get to see some other places besides climbing crags with the van?

Old habits aren’t easy to break and class conciousness persists even in the children of the most class-free of wellfare states. Hence, we haven’t gone the total Dirtbag way. Dirtbags being those hard-core, life-style climbers you encounter at crags, in the self-decorated rusty old vans inspiring awe at the fact they’ve made through the steep approach track. Or in tiny supermarket tents about to explode at the slightest breeze. Dogs running free at the illegit camp site. Guitars and tambourines by the fire. You get the picture. We, instead, decided to play it safe with the van and opted for a factory-furnished, relatively new (stretching the term) model. Our dog stays mostly on leash. I take the guitar out when no-one is there to hear.

Still, we got astonished looks at the wake of our Expedition (from non-climbing folks, mind you): “Are you really going to live in that?” Umm, yeah. At regular camping grounds we’re usually the smallest unit around whereas at climbing venues we have the slightest of bourgeoise aura with our equiped home vis-à-vis the aforementioned vans and tents. We fall somewhere in between and that’s quite fine with me. Blending in, not standing out too much, still doing it my way. The middle class dirtbag is born.


For more information on dirtbag climber sub-species, see the Climbing Zines revealing dictionary on the subject.