Archive Lifestyle whitewater

A Dirt Bag Philosophy. by Mike Toughill

The very first article that got us started

IMAGINE YOURSELF in your boat, chilling in an eddy… Maybe you’re in your kayak. Maybe you’re pushing rubber, or shredding. Maybe you’re out with your best friends. Maybe you’re guiding a raft trip. Perhaps it’s a trip with a group new to you. Maybe it’s your first time paddling, or maybe just the first time you’ve run this river. Or maybe you’re in a familiar spot on your home stretch. Maybe it’s a warm sunny day. Or maybe the rain is falling in sheets, and the river is on the rise. Maybe you’re contemplating the stout you’re about to send. Maybe you’ve just finished the crux, and it’s a quiet paddle to the takeout… But no matter, you know this: you’re a true Dirtbag Paddler, and THIS is livin’ the dream, THIS is for life…

What does it mean to be a Dirtbag? First and foremost it means love of whitewater. We all recognize in ourselves a hunger for the action, a clamoring for the adrenaline rush that challenging ourselves brings. Even in the early onset of paddling mania, when that thrill can be had running Class II, that feeling of elation mixed with abandon is intoxicating and addicting. A dirtbag finds him or herself daydreaming of runs to be had, of getting away from “here” to get back “there”, and we begin to neglect everything else in life in pursuit of that next dose of It, increasingly seeking the company of other like-minded crazy people. We acquire that knowing look, and soon other dirtbags can tell we are one of them too. Maybe it’s the wild eyes… Maybe it’s the unkempt appearance, or that strong hint of river gear… Whatever it is, it’s for real, and it’s irreversible. Once you’re a Dirt Bag, it’s for life.

Once you’re a Dirt Bag, it’s for life.

We started this whole Dirt Bag Paddler craze on Facebook in order to establish a new order. We aren’t here as a group of exclusive paddlers separate from our fans , here to entertain from afar while running massive rapids and tall waterfalls. Sure, Admins are doing that and posting that. But we’re here because we believe that we ALL are the show. We don’t think you follow us, we like to believe you are ONE of us, truly living the idea that it’s all One Love and One River. We don’t aspire to exclusivity, we embrace inclusivity.

We wish to represent the values of community and togetherness as we explore and bring to each other the wonders and excitement of the greater worldwide paddling scene. Most of us regular dirtbags will only see our local rivers and stretches, will never paddle in those strange lands on the other side of the globe. DBP brings that global outlook to us all with a local feel, because dirtbags the world over are all the same. We speak many languages, but the language of whitewater is all the same. We live in many countries, but there are no borders on the river. Our societies may fear or hate others, but we inherently recognize each other and share in the love that unites us all, and separates us from the normal people. We acknowledge and respect our unique differences and see them as valuable and worthy. THIS is the unspoken Dirtbag Ethos. THIS is The TRUTH.

We are pleased to now offer up to you all DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE. Here we will continue to entertain and inform each other in the same tradition as our Facebook page: irreverent yet relevant, humorous and humongous, intelligent and inspiring, educating and advocating, and above all we BRING THE WALLACE! We’re all about soul boating, not ego boating, and we hope to inspire and be inspired by you. Just like on our Facebook page, we actively invite your participation in this endeavor as we attempt to record for posterity what it truly means to live this lifestyle. Please feel free to submit articles, pictures, video, and art to us by emailing us. DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE is meant to be a living document, and free for all! We’re stoked to share this life with each other, all around the DBWorld! Thanks for being one of us, Dirtbag! CHEERS!!

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