Top 10 Characteristics of a Dirt Bag Boater

By JASON SHREDER

I don’t know. You tell me. I was wondering what I was going to write about this week and it hit me right on the head — a pine cone that is.  I was killing some time at the takeout a few days ago, (because I forgot my kayak gear), and was actually relaxing.  I found this old dirty towel, tucked under the van seat, a couple of wet PFD’s (life preservers), and some lukewarm water and made myself a riversidenest.

What is a dirt bag kayaker? Am I one? Do I know any? What characteristics define the role of a true dirt bag kayaker? We’ll get to that in a minute. For now, though, maybe I should tell you about me and how I fit into the picture.

Well to start, I am a dedicated Missoula kayaker who needs to paddle every day, but I don’t know if I would truly consider myself a dirt bag.   Some of my friends might consider me a prima donna, but I know I can hang with the dirt bags — easily. Trust me, I have absolutely nothing against dirt bag kayakers because if I did, it would narrow my friends down to a couple.

In this state of random relaxation — after the pine cone hit me in the head — I decided to compile a checklist of the qualifications I think defines a dirt bag boater.

Drum roll please…

1.  Thrifty in every sense.

2.  Home is in the back of a Subaru or truck 8 months of the year or more

3.  Dirty, stinky, feet

4.  Works just to quit as soon as a good river trip comes along

5.  Gear is many times marginal, but still able to function on river

6.  Owns a dog with a collar that is a beat up NRS strap

7.  Relies on Snicker bars (poor man’s power bar) to get through the day

8.  Beside the river, lives a simple life, needing  little besides the river and essential gear

9.  Has no problem wearing mismatched flip flops

10.  Hamm’s, Rainer, and Olympia are top shelf beers

These are just a few of the things that come to the mind of this Missoula kayaker. I know I’m missing lots of things so please contribute to this piece. I want to know what you think defines a dirt bag boater.

 

Like this blog by one of Missoula’s legendary kayakers?  Check out these other blogs by Jason Shreder, owner of Zoo Town Surfers: Go with the Flow and Get in the Know or Kayaking the Lochsa River or The Sellway River – A Preason Kayaking Treat .

You may also want to check out our page on Missoula Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rafting.

See Jason Shredder’s “Go With the Flow”archive.

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Jason Shreder, owner of local whitewater company Zoo Town Surfers. I love Missoula, the great community, and all the awesome water that surrounds it.  I’m constantly moving and 90% of that movement involves kayaking, rafting, working, and hanging out with my awesomely supportive girlfriend anddogs.