10 Signs You’re A Dirtbag Trail Runner

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are or suspect someone you know to be a dirtbag trail-runner. I’m here to set the record straight…


Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are or suspect someone you know to be a dirtbag trail-runner.

I’m here to set the record straight and throw some of my awesome dirt-bag friends under the bus a bit (sorry guys, it’s for the greater good of the dirtbag community).

Tyler and Cat channeling their inner dirtbags in Bryce Canyon. (Photo Credit: Molly Nugent).


Photo credit: The New York Times

If you wonder about your own (or want to determine someone else’s) dirtbag status, here are ten signs:

1. You are nomadic. You either a) Live in your car/ RV/ tent , b) Are planning on living in your car/ RV/ tent , or c) Are couch-crashing long-term. Traveling is a must for every dirtbag trail runner (unless you live in Boulder, Colorado, in which case I hate you. ….can I sleep on your couch?)

Tyler Tomasello’s epic tent set-up in Colorado (Photo cred: Tyler).


Shacky and Vanessa’s awesome RV, affectionally named The Summit Seeker. (Photo cred: Shacky)


Another fellow dirtbag, Flint, in his “Flintmobile”. Living the hobo life like a PRO! (Photo credit: Mike Miller).
Cat Bradley and Crista Scott on one of their adventures to Seattle, in full-dirtbag mode.

2. Showering is a complete and total luxury. If you’ve found that even after home from an adventure that you still take a shower only when completely necessary, chances are you’re a dirtbag. Double-points if you have ever worn your running clothes straight into the shower, because it just. Makes. Sense. 

3. Flannel is worn all-year-round (even on your runs) and preferably in a disheveled manner. Patagonia Houdini jacket? Puh-leasseee.

Cat Bradley rocking her flannel and Luna Sandals like a true dirtbag.

4. Buffs are basically another name for the Dirtbag Hair Whisperer. In fact, you can’t imagine life beforebuffs. They keep your hair where it should be, are stylish as hell, and in a bind can be used as TP (note: never touch an abandoned buff in the wilderness). Second to buffs are trucker hats. Every dirtbag must own a trucker hat. Race t-shirts are another must for the dirtbag trail-runner.

Tyler and Sean in full dirtbag attire. (Photo credit: Molly Nugent).
The Dirtbag King and Queen….Jenn Shelton and Anton Krupicka (Photo cred: Luis Escobar).

5. You rarely (or never…) wash your handhelds, hydration packs, ect. Because that takes entirely too much effort. Black mold? Who cares! If you’re going to get sick from something it’s going to be that sketchy pool of murky water you drank from on your last trail run.

6. You have a love affair with craft beer (or PBR– the gauntlet tends to swing in both directions). Double-points if you have a cooler in your trunk that is literally just for beer. (And always filled with beer to look forward to at the end of your longer trail runs. Sometimes you wonder if that’s the reason you trail run at all.)

Double-points if you drink your beer out of a cozy.
Tyler Clemens and Crista Scott drinking Budweiser in the back of his truck, total dirtbags.


7. Speaking of beer….You’ve also done a beer mile.

Post-Born To Run Ultra Beer Mile. (Photo cred: Nancy Kaplan).
Beers are ready! (Photo cred: Traci Asaurus).
The beer mile Master, Pat Sweeney (Photo credit: Abby Dunne).


8.You have a beard (or mustache). Ladies, for us this means pretty much not shaving anything and giving absolutely no fucks.

Beards, Beers and Buffs….the dirtbag trifecta.

9. You’ve wandered into a public place post-long run and wondered why the hell everyone is staring. Because, I mean, salt caked on your face and dirty legs are totally normal. It’s not like you’re walking around naked or something. Double-points if you have ever taken a hobo shower in the bathroom of a public place.

Tyler Tomasello and his dirty post-Western States 100 feet. Photo credit: Luis Escobar


10. All of your friends also fall into the above categories. This is called your dirt-bag trail running posse. Double-points if you guys already have a nickname for your group. Oftentimes also referred to as your running tribe.


What are other signs that you (or your friend) might be a dirtbag?

[This post was originally published on Crista Scott’s personal blog, RunEatCreateRepeat.com]