Must Watch: Bending Jaws

A couple of very cool things about this video. The first is that you get to see people at the highest level of surfing actually being human. You know, doing what we may do before going out to surf a head-high beach break: deciding on a board, tying on new leashes, getting antsy. It’s a nice bit of levity that so many surf videos ignore in place of sponsor logos and overly-stereotypical hard rock montages.

The second is the footage. It’s not all GoProed and first person POV. We get to see just how vertical a wave like Peahi gets when everything is firing, and it’s scary. But if you’re one of the skilled few … what a way to live.

Oh, the end credits are adorable.

Dirtbag or Lumbersexual? 4 Ways to Know.

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His shirt is tucked in. To cut wood.

It’s official. Lumbersexuals are real. It’s not just a clever euphemism for those who thrive at the intersection of barista and hipster.

I know this not because they were crawling all over Cisero’s Bar in Park City a couple of weeks ago, where they ordered Old Fashions with a straw and sported horizontal stripe socks over leg tattoos and above Red Wing Iron Rangers, but
because Forbes Magazine—Forbes—explained their reason for being in a write up about Winter Outdoor Retailer.

Tight jeans. One-size-fits-none flannels. Ironic mustaches or well-manicured facial hair of some kind. An old-school vest. Maybe a thick-knit, loose fitting beanie made by an Etsy shop that donates proceeds to Fair Trade sandal makers in Ecuador. To the informed, the Lumbersexual is easily identified, like the goth kid at a young Republican’s Club meeting.

But to the non-cognoscente, they can be confused with a more authentic subset of the outdoor lifestyle community: the dirtbag.

Now, having a tremendous amount of respect for the latter, and living as one for at least a few weeks in total every year, I think it’s critical that society be educated on how to separate the two classes. So here’s how to tell the difference. Read carefully.

1. Mode of Transportation
This is pretty easy. Fiat. Mini. Scion? Lumbersexual. Subaru. Sprinter. Tacoma with a cap: Dirtbag. I know, many are quick to ask why a dirtbag wouldn’t be out cragging in a Prius. They tend to be pricey and more than that, they’re not great for crashpads or rainy-night Monopoly games. Still, it’s not unheard of, and there is some overlap. If unsure, examine the sticker compendium. A Backcountry.com goat or a Petzl logo adhered to the back window will ensure the driver’s level of outdoor authenticity. Sportsmobile, small RV or Minivan? Dirtbag.

 

To the informed, the Lumbersexual is easily identified, like the goth kid at a young Republican’s Club meeting.

 

2. Condition of Clothing
If it’s Goodwill-fresh, pleated, and somehow meant to look old, you have yourself a Lumbersexual. If the pants are dirty and the down jacket is patched in at least in one spot with duct tape, that person’s spent a great deal of time in places that lack rudimentary plumbing infrastructure. Flannel shirts are common among both demographics, but the amount of distance between fabric and the wearer’s skin can be correlated directly with the actual number of nights per year the person has spent in a tent. Same goes with pants. Also, to identify a dirtbag, look for fleece, specific brand trucker hats, approach shoes, and tattoos not purposely exposed.

3. Grooming State of Beard
This is real difference maker. If it’s clear the beard exists simply due to a lack of time in front of a mirror or general apathy, it’s a dirtbag. A beard deliberately cultivated and overtly styled is easy to spot. Look along the neckline if there’s any reasonable doubt. If the mustache somehow stands out or looks like it belongs on the face of a circus strong man, you’re not looking at a dirtbag. Many believe the beard is what’s driving the confusion, and leading some to believe its wearer is authentically rugged. Make no such assumption.

 

Flannel shirts are common among both demographics, but the amount of distance between fabric and the wearer’s skin can be correlated directly with the actual number of nights per year the person has spent in a tent.

 

4.Immediate Surroundings
Take in the habitat, it can be very telling. If you need some coffee and the only options are pour over or french press, the odds are very good in you’re in a place populated with Lumbersexuals. In fact, one is probably serving you. His “name” will be Marcel or Felix. This will happen in Manhattan, anywhere close to San Francisco, or according to recent reports, Downtown Nashville. Pizza counters and taco stands are known places to spot dirtbags. They flock to feed at places with the best possible calorie-to-affordability ratio possible. See: Roberto’s in Las Vegas, Flagstaff’s Diablo Burger, the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining, or Davanza’s in Park City.

I should caveat this brief guide by saying that we all have our uniforms, our dress choices. The key for the dirtbag is utility and durability. How many days was it tucked under a harness, singed by campfire ash, and permeated with thick, warm sweat before it was stuffed under the back seat? (Only to be put back into rotation when in town to pirate WiFi.)

I’m all for everyone enjoying the outdoors, and support this expansion of the adventure travel gear and apparel industries into markets considered “less core.” It’s important to the future of the business.

But so is authenticity. And if you are, you are. It doesn’t matter what I think of your jeans.

Nevada GOP tries to make history of the Antiquities Act

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Image from FriendsofGoldButte.org

There’s been a lot of talk about this of late. In what appears to be a trend of short-sighted, bitter, and petulant behavior by the newly power-infused republicans, there is a concerted effort to take away a president’s power to create National Monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

Nevada state republicans, now four strong, have targeted Gold Butte, a stretch of red rock desert between Las Vegas and Mesquitte that’s decorated with enough Native American rock art to be deemed the Louvre of the Mojave. It sits just outside the northwest border of the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. It’s also pretty much ground zero of the laughably insipid “land war” between the polygamist racist Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management.

You may recall that last year, a collective of silly anti-establishment gunslingers wanting to play Old West once again protected Bundy’s baseless claim that the land on which his thousands of unpermitted cattle graze is not subject to government claim. It’s an absurd joke that the situation garnered the attention of the country, which did nothing more than reassure us all that Militia-happy “Patriots” want nothing more than an excuse to play guns. (Anyone who took part in that rally of idiocy has lost all right to ever bitch about the Kardashians rise to fame.)

But I digress.

Point is, republicans believe that Obama is just throwing darts at a map and naming the random landing locations after his daughters. The Antiquities Act is a time-honored, never-abused piece of legislation that has done wonders for the local economies in which they’re located. Here are just a few National Monuments so named using the Executive Order granted by the Antiquities Act:

I have personally gained employment because of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by President Clinton in 1996, as have countless other backpacking guides, fly fishing guides, gear shop employees, and restaurant workers.

The Silver State’s GOP also wants to prevent Obama from expanding the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, which showcases an extravagant collection of dinosaur remains just north of Las Vegas. In case you haven’t been up that way, rest assured that’s all there is up that way: desert and dinosaur bones. (Of course, dinosaur bones do suggest, you know, science, so there’s that issue to contend with.)

I’m not sure what the republicans are trying to protect, other than the promise they made to their benefactors to do the same thing they want to prevent Obama from doing: making decisions without the input of the subject’s stakeholders.