Outdoor slacking still takes work


Back-of-the-beyond recreation was recently celebrated by a magazine called InsideOutside in its 10-year anniversary issue. The southwestern Colorado publication featured dozens of grassroots writers who shared stories about how they worked as little as possible in order to ski, snowboard, hike, fish, hunt, bike, climb or otherwise hang out.

But as Luke Auld-Thomas recalled, living in a tin can of a trailer got less comfortable as winter set in: “ … every inch of pipe in it had frozen solid. What’s more, I had three feet of snow filling up my wood stove, and my girlfriend had just left me for someone with a better heater.”

Lisa Jones remembered: “I thought that all the empty space outside my living room window was just for the looking at; the landscapes are just scenery, rather than places you actually occupy, places from which you need to somehow make a living.”

But one writer urged living the dream, no matter the cost. In his “how to” essay on becoming a ski bum, Wayne Sheldrake said, “It’s better to ask yourself if you really have the chops to balance skiing and college. If not, save everyone else the headaches — skip college and go ski.”

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