I'm really excited to tell you that our new book, The Dirtbag's Guide to Life, is officially on sale! Pre-orders have shipped, and you can buy ELECTRONIC versions directly in our online store, and PRINT and KINDLE versions through Amazon! And if you're in the Seattle area, get one of 50 tickets to our launch party on Monday, March 18th, which will include a free electronic version and a very special limited edition copy that we're hand-making out of stuff we find laying around the house!
Say hello to our new baby, The Dirtbag's Guide to Life!
Ahh! It's here! Our first publication at Boldly Went is live and beaming out to e-Readers around the world!
Despite spending a year and a half with my head buried in this project, I clearly can't stop writing about it, because to celebrate, I want to give you a thorough behind-the-scenes introduction, talk about how it fits into the big picture of what we're up to here at Boldly Went, and let you know how you can help if you want to see this thing blow up!
From the blurb, here's a short summary of what the book is:
While a life of adventure has traditionally been reserved for the rich and the sponsored, to the dirtbag, it's a birthright for the masses. Partly a celebration of an underappreciated subculture of hiker trash, ski bums, and vagabonds, and partly a "how to" guide for adventure on the cheap, The Dirtbag's Guide to Life is the first solid attempt to define an outdoor movement that has taken root in backpacker hostels, long trails, and climbing crags around the world.
While the book focuses on those lovable, cheap, smelly, hardcore adventure junkies we refer to as dirtbags, I’ve done my best to make it as fun, interesting, and useful as possible for anyone who thinks of themselves as a part of the outdoor community. It's divided into chapters focused on five of the biggest challenges that confront people trying to build a life centered on adventure, and the topics are relevant for anyone who's likely to have found their way to this blog - how to save money on travel, how to balance a career and a passion for outdoor pursuits, how to live responsibly in a complicated world, how to navigate relationship challenges when your interests drift towards the extreme, and how to find meaning in life by immersing yourself more deeply in the things that you love.
To get there, I do my best to distill the concrete wisdom that Angel and I have learned through our own experiences, and through our interactions with other people who center their lives on outdoor pursuits. The book gets right down to the specifics of articles to read and organizations to get in contact with directly, the PDF edition is densely hyperlinked, and all versions include a long appendix with further resources to check out. I've done my best to include as much practical advice as possible, because I want to be able to confidently say that the things readers will learn will easily offset the cost of purchase. We really do want everything we do to be helpful to you all. That’s not just me being altruistic - it's the only way I personally can feel good about pouring so much into this. A major theme of the book is that people shouldn't waste time amassing useless "stuff" that doesn't improve their lives in any meaningful way, so I've done everything I can to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem!
While there have been other good, practical guides to budget and adventure travel, as far as I know, there’s nothing quite like The Dirtbag's Guide out there. To my knowledge, it’s the first book-length attempt to comprehensively define the dirtbag counter culture, and to talk about why it's significant in the bigger picture. The book gets into big philosophical questions about how to be a decent person in a screwed up world, and beyond just a guide to saving money when you're hiking, the book is something of a dirtbag Tao - an outdoor "rule of life".
But let's be honest: you can't take yourself completely seriously on a project about dirtbags, that's primarily focused on organizing your entire life around playing outside more often, so even when it veers into serious issues, the whole thing's all in good fun.
The book in the bigger picture of Boldly Went
The book stands on its own, and I think dirtbags outside of our existing community will love it. But I think that those of you who are connected to the bigger Boldly Went project will have the richest experience. There's a lot of personal backstory from Angel and I that we haven't talked about in other venues, but more importantly the vast majority of examples, ideas, and references came from people we've met through Boldly Went. You'll almost definitely recognize some names you know! You might even be in it! (Don't worry, you all are awesome, and I only included positive examples!)
Rob "Danger Muffin" Zimmerman, who helped me shape the content and clean up an infinite number of typos, told perhaps my favorite PCT story ever in the podcast, and has been the key player in helping us get established in Truckee, CA. Megan Myers, who designed the logo, was one of our earliest Bend, OR supporters and also designed our business logo. Patreon supporters read early editions and offered advice on the text and first attempt at a cover, and the book really is an outgrowth of this community!
We also see the book as having the same overarching goals as Boldly Went. Everything we do is focused on building up the outdoor community, making outdoor adventure more accessible, connecting like-minded people who wouldn’t meet otherwise, and promoting important personal values that we also think are important in the outdoor community - environmentalism, simplicity, humanism, and a visceral connection with nature.
How can you be involved and support this project?
I genuinely appreciate that you're interested enough in this project to read this far into the post! So thank you! If you want to help us make it a success, there are a couple of important ways you can do so!
Where to purchase a copy, and why
You can currently purchase electronic versions of this book in three different formats: PDF, ePub, and Kindle, and if you're in the Seattle area you can sign up for a super limited edition handmade print copy!
Where to leave a review, and why
If you do read, it's hugely helpful if you leave a review online - even if it's nothing comprehensive or stellar.
Where we'll be online
Other, maybe less-obvious, things you can do
Now, onward to trying to figure out how to get this thing to the masses! Thank you so much for helping make this writing dream a reality, and supporting this next big step in our crazy little Boldly Went project!
Tim and Angel
The goat in the picture lives in Silverton, CO, and tried to kill us. We survived to bring you this dirtbag wisdom for the ages.