The Dirtbag Bible
AKA How to be a sled bum
I’ve put in a few years living EI check to EI check and let me tell you, it’s no easy task. I’ve also lived in some pretty cool places to save money too—like a renovated pigeon coop and a Harry Potter looking house with 5 other dudes. Money management is at the top of the order if you want to swing for the fence all season long.
It may all look like fun and games when you creep on someone’s Instagram, but no one is gonna post a picture of their bank account dropping down to zero in January when their truck breaks down in Revy or when they wiped the whole front-end off their sled in Trout Lake. Sled bumming is not like ski bumming where you buy a season’s pass to a ski hill, pay the entire winter’s rent up front and live off hot dogs, bong rips, and Buckleys for every meal.
There are a few simple commandments to follow in the SLEDDER DIRTBAG BIBLE for optimal fun maximization.
What kind of truck do I need?
If all you’re doing is driving from Golden to the Gorman Lake parking lot all season, you probably don’t need the King Ranch or Harley Davidson Edition F-350 for that 8km drive. The $300 Tacoma with 968,342 km will do just fine. If you’re lucky, someone will pass one down to you for a case of beer.
If you plan on going on a few roadies with other dirtbag pals, look for an old ¾ ton with lots of cup holders and ashtrays. They can handle sled decks and tow trailers. Crew-cabs also double as two single beds for when you really want to dirtbag it up. (NOTE: when choosing to sleep under your truck on those snowy nights be sure to wipe off all the oil leaks or your sleeping bag will be the same color as whatever is leaking out of your rig.)
For extra dirtbag points be sure to rip the box off your truck and install a flatdeck.
If you see a diesel 4×4 camper van for sale, immediately buy it. If you think I’m talking about one of those Delica things or whatever they’re called, simmer down and take another pull of your low-fat soy milk chai latte, I’m talking about a real van. Like an E-350 with a Powerstroke that someone stuffed onto a 4×4 truck frame and built a crushed blue velvet lair inside.
Basic rule of thumb: The truck shouldn’t cost more than the sled. The bigger the spread on this ratio the better.
What kind of sled do I need?
This is a no brainer. Obviously you are going to buy the most badass sled you can afford. Make sure you have enough bank to fix it and run roughly $4,500 worth of fuel through it.
Extra dirtbag points for zip ties holding the hood and other plastic panels together.
Extra dirtbag points for cool, homemade patches on the seat.
It costs to be cool so make sure you get all the appearance items in order during the summer when you still have cash flow but leave an allowance for quickly changing in season sledder fashion trends.
Be sure to stay in touch with the hottest in sled parts fashion. Watch as many of the latest video blogs from 509 and Chris Brown as you can.
If four-stroke chute climbing is your thing, be sure to have the latest AC/DC greatest hits compilation on hand.
If superman seat-grab backflips are goin’ down, you better have them dialed because no one looks fresh picking up thousands of little parts from their disintegrated machine after they over-rotated.
OMG what should I wear?? I got you covered here for sure.
Always wear goggles so mirrored or blacked out that even you can barely see through them.
The boots match the belt, the pants match the socks, the jacket offsets the pants and the helmet ties everything together. Got that?
Thinnest gloves you can possible manage.
What should I do so everyone knows I’m a sled bum?
Refer to the Sledders Dictionary post from a few months ago.
Call everyone “Dude”.
Chicks are dudes, dudes are dudes, everyone is a dude.
Get the conditions lingo down. “How’s the snow dude?” Viable answers include:
Always ask the gas station attendant how fresh the premium is.
Always have a good supply of empty beer cans, axes, gas cans, broken sled parts, busted ratchet straps and maybe a chainsaw chain in the back of your truck and refer to it as ‘Lifestyle Residue”.
Don’t ever miss a pow day.
Where should I live?
Stay away from the rapey room, rapey house , rapey apartment, rapey pigeon coop, rapey what have you. You’ll know what I mean when you’re being shown around the place and the landlord tells you that all the previous tenants have mysteriously disappeared.
Sharing a house with…
A couple: Do a background check. Did they just meet 3 days ago and are engaged? This could be an early warning sign of trouble down the road.
10 Aussies: AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI!!!!!!!! Be prepared to hit the beer bong on a regular basis.
Extremely single and attractive member of the opposite sex: Work together, help each other out. ”You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours and the funny thing about my back is that it is located on my —-.”
A camper on your truck is the most incredible way to dirtbag. Huge style points if it’s painted Real Tree Camo.
Under the bridge might be okay for the first few nights but be sure to have a few spare Olde English 40’s on hand to pass around.
One room bachelor loft above a giant shop with a solvent tank for a sink, a tool box for a pantry, hubcaps for plates and oil cans for cups. This is known as ‘unicorn accommodation’. You might want to consider purchasing this little piece of heaven.
SIDE NOTE: Clean your place once a year whether it needs it or not. It’s a no brainer.
No one is a born dirtbag, it has to be earned.
You can have dirtbag roots or genealogy, but true dirtbags put in time to master the craft. Dirtbags like to roll with other dirtbags and give themselves a name, kinda like gangs I guess. The Sled Sluts, The Stingers, The Dogtooth Rangers, Trailer Park Boarders, Kootenay Life, The Shithawks. Rival dirtbag gangs live in harmony dirtbagging together. There are no beefs.
There are different stages of dirtbag: You start out as a prospect and are taken under the wing of a journeyman dirtbag. Once you have proven you can sleep on someone’s floor using the rug as a blanket—for an uncomfortable amount of time—and eating ketchup soup for sustenance, you can start your apprenticeship. 1st year can be the most expensive as this is the year you must accumulate a lot of expensive gear. 2nd year can be a doozy: hauling in everyone else’s stuff on the overnight trips, chopping all the firewood, filling everyone’s sled up in the morning, staying up all night to stoke the fire; it can be exhausting. 3rd year can be the most exciting: learning all the ins and outs of dirtbagging. 4th year is for honing the skills and maybe take the lead and plan a few dirtbag trips.
Once you have completed all 4 years of the program, you are a certified journeyman/woman dirtbag. Time to get out there and enjoy it. But there is still one more rank of dirtbag: The Master. The Master Dirtbag has t-shirts older than you. When the Master Dirtbag talks, you listen. The Master Dirtbag never lets anyone know of their Master status. There is no exam to enter Master status, it goes by street cred.
Keep the greasy side down and the shiny side up.