/ Anyone living the dirtbag lifestyle in the UK?

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rockface - on 07 Dec 2017
By 'dirtbag', I'm going by this definition: "A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle."

Seems pretty tempting to just quit work and live the simple lifestyle in a van, climbing whenever possible.

Anyone braving it at the moment?
Kevster - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

In a van, try Spain atm, bet there's plenty.
In the UK, besides the streets, where would people sleep etc?
Skip - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Kevster:
> In the UK, besides the streets, where would people sleep etc?

In a van, with wood burner fitted. Used to do it myself and would do again if I could afford to.
Post edited at 18:35
Flinticus - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

Drug addicts count? Seems to tick all the boxes.
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:
A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag.

Edit: I'd love to hear the justification for the dislike.
Post edited at 18:47
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

No explanation for the dislikes? Not surprised. Too lazy. Just sat there waiting for someone to justify it for you.


Lusk - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

Dislike number 3 is from me to you whinging about dislikes!
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Like. Whinging should never be encouraged .
Moley on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

Sounds a great lifestyle and why not if you can. But not working and presuming one doesn't have a private income or allowance, how do you pay for day to day living?
Kevster - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Skip:

If you were a rock climbing bum with a van, would you really stick out the wet uk winter or drive that van to southern Europe for a few months?
Tobes on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag.

How and who pays for someone to live/climb/doss (and presumably travel around) in a van these days?

Long gone are the days when you could sign on then sod off for a month at a time. Unless it’s ‘trustafarians’ you object to (blame the parents!) I can’t see it being feasible in today’s current economic and social climate to.....a, be a dirt bag climber and b, scrounge off the state.

Are there loop holes in the welfare system I’m unaware of?

SAF - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:
Looking at your profile, could you get on the NHS Bank or Agency for a few different Trusts in prime climbing locations, and just work as little as you need to fund your habit.

I went on the Bank 18 months ago for different reasons, and it is definitely a much better work life balance, the main thing being that you are in control of when you work, and don't need to ask for Annual leave (and get declined).

Get some savings built up first to cover any sickness/ downtime (unlikely) then work out the absolute minimum number of shifts each month you would need to get by, then aim for one or two more than that. Also with a bit of planning you can make it so you work seasonally.
Post edited at 20:15
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

> How and who pays for someone to live/climb/doss (and presumably travel around) in a van these days?

Sponsors.

> Long gone are the days when you could sign on then sod off for a month at a time. Unless it’s ‘trustafarians’ you object to (blame the parents!) I can’t see it being feasible in today’s current economic and social climate to.....a, be a dirt bag climber and b, scrounge off the state.

There are a thousand and one ways to support yourself and still follow your dreams. My point is that you should support yourself.

> Are there loop holes in the welfare system I’m unaware of?

Unfortunately there are indeed a thousand and one ways to game the system.
Tobes on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Sponsors.

If I’m following correctly, if the dirtbag gets someone else to pay for their life style eg a ‘sponsor’ that then makes them a scumbag? Bit harsh eh.

Yep did van life for a year in NZ, supported by casual labouring but no way could I have gotten any ‘state’ supported benefits.

Looks like the dislikes are catching up

pasbury on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

Ask Andy Pollit, Jerry Moffat, Paul Pritchard and a thousand other 80’s doleys. Including me for a while. It was a bit like a very basic universal income at the time.
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

> If I’m following correctly, if the dirtbag gets someone else to pay for their life style eg a ‘sponsor’ that then makes them a scumbag? Bit harsh eh.

You asked who pays people to climb, I provided you with an answer. Professional climbers are financed by sponsors to promote their brands. Simultaneously they inspire and entertain the rest of us. Not scumbags, geniuses.

> Yep did van life for a year in NZ, supported by casual labouring but no way could I have gotten any ‘state’ supported benefits.

Good on you for following your passion and I bet it tasted all the sweeter for being self financed.

> Looks like the dislikes are catching up

Fair enough, the world has plenty of people who feel they are owed a living.
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to pasbury:

> Ask Andy Pollit, Jerry Moffat, Paul Pritchard and a thousand other 80’s doleys. Including me for a while. It was a bit like a very basic universal income at the time.

For every dedicated genius, pushing boundaries and inspiring us mere mortals, there were a thousand also rans dedicated to the scene and robbing small independent climbing shops, but not actually putting in the time at the crag.

....and IMO Pollit, Moffat et al should have been on healthy government grants for services to sport.
wbo - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate: perhaps the grudgingly miserable nature of some of these posts is generating the dislikes.

It is not difficult to generate enough money to live on if you have low living costs without being a scrounger

Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to wbo:

> perhaps the grudgingly miserable nature of some of these posts is generating the dislikes.

> It is not difficult to generate enough money to live on if you have low living costs without being a scrounger

I often find myself being grudgingly miserable in nature, but in this case I feel you have misread me. I applaud and am in awe of those among us who are brave and resourceful enough to pursue their dreams without expecting everyone else to finance them.
Tobes on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If I’m following correctly, if the dirtbag gets someone else to pay for their life style eg a ‘sponsor’ that then makes them a scumbag? Bit harsh eh.

You asked who pays people to climb, I provided you with an answer. Professional climbers are financed by sponsors to promote their brands. Simultaneously they inspire and entertain the rest of us. Not scumbags, geniuses.

Yeah yeah I get all that, your original post went along the lines of self financed good, getting others to pay bad. My response (above) was ‘who’ is it that’s paying for climbers to live that life (you were not referring to sponsors at this point, you were just saying supported dirtbag = scumbag)

I don’t think anyone’s questioning the integrity of sponsored climbers here. It was your b/w view that supported meant scrounging. I wanted to know who (ie tax payer) and how (ie benefits) was it possible for someone to get supported these days (not sponsored).

This is a conversation best had in an actual pub I think!
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

> You asked who pays people to climb, I provided you with an answer. Professional climbers are financed by sponsors to promote their brands. Simultaneously they inspire and entertain the rest of us. Not scumbags, geniuses.

> Yeah yeah I get all that, your original post went along the lines of self financed good, getting others to pay bad. My response (above) was ‘who’ is it that’s paying for climbers to live that life (you were not referring to sponsors at this point, you were just saying supported dirtbag = scumbag)

> I don’t think anyone’s questioning the integrity of sponsored climbers here. It was your b/w view that supported meant scrounging. I wanted to know who (ie tax payer) and how (ie benefits) was it possible for someone to get supported these days (not sponsored).

> This is a conversation best had in an actual pub I think!

But haven't you already answered your own question ? Didn't you finance yourself for a year in NZ by casual labouring? Are you saying you resent this and someone else should have paid.

....the vast majority of conversations are better had in the pub.
Tobes on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag.

Back to your original paragraph.

Who are the ‘others’ you are referring to here that turns the dirtbag into a scumbag?

And please don’t say sponsors!

Timmd on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> For every dedicated genius, pushing boundaries and inspiring us mere mortals, there were a thousand also rans dedicated to the scene and robbing small independent climbing shops, but not actually putting in the time at the crag.

> ....and IMO Pollit, Moffat et al should have been on healthy government grants for services to sport.

I guess you say that 'cause you're a climber, but I bet there's people who'd still tut tut at the thought of them being given any kind of credit or a 'free pass' because thy eventually excelled and earned their living from climbing. Which sets me wondering about perspective, and how one defines 'value to society', which reminds me of being a teenager and having philosophical conversations with friends.
Post edited at 21:36
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

> Back to your original paragraph.

> Who are the ‘others’ you are referring to here that turns the dirtbag into a scumbag?


To be absolutely clear. Anyone forced to pay for another's lifestyle choice through deception, taxation, theft or fraud.

Personally speaking, I would be happy for my taxes to go towards those few, exceptional individuals whose endeavours and antics enrich the lives of the rest of us but not at the cost of financing a whole host of lazy freeloaders.

Differentiating between the 2 groups may be largely impossible for the powers that be. Life isn't fair.
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I guess you say that 'cause you're a climber, but I bet there's people who'd still tut tut at the thought of them being given any kind of credit or a 'free pass' because thy eventually excelled and earned their living from climbing. Which sets me wondering about perspective, and how one defines 'value to society', which reminds me of being a teenager and having philosophical conversations.

Oh Timmd..... getting far too deep now. Perhaps you should organise a UKC Christmas do where we can all get pissed and talk bollocks at each other.
Big Ger - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

Are crusties making a comeback?

Oh god, the smell....
The New NickB - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> ....and IMO Pollit, Moffat et al should have been on healthy government grants for services to sport.

No, you have been very clear about what you think of them.
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:
> No, you have been very clear about what you think of them.

Yes, I have haven't I....


For every dedicated genius, pushing boundaries and inspiring us mere mortals, there were a thousand also rans dedicated to the scene and robbing small independent climbing shops, but not actually putting in the time at the crag.

....and IMO Pollit, Moffat et al should have been on healthy government grants for services to sport.


Anything unclear about that Nick ?
Post edited at 21:46
pasbury on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

It was called unemployment benefit at the time and it was pretty well elective, you could just turn up at the dole office and claim. Prove your address, sign a form to say you weren’t receiving an income from work and in a couple of weeks you’d get a cheque.

It allowed a period of freedom at minimal cost to the taxpayer (I think my first dole payout was £27.50 a week). I think it was very beneficial to my generation because it was a safety blanket.

Does any of this anger you? You seem very uptight about people getting something for nothing. But I think that feeling of being the recipient of unconditional benefit from my country has given me a sense of obligation ever since. If my tax contributions could only go towards the same sort of system today I would feel happy.
Tobes on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> To be absolutely clear. Anyone forced to pay for another's lifestyle choice through deception, taxation, theft or fraud.

Ok that’s a bit of a leap. Ignoring the second one (taxation). you actually reckon there are, in this specific example of a ‘dirtbag’ climber, people funding their climbing lifestyle by deceiving, stealing and fraud?

And if our ‘dirtbag’ is claiming benefits how exactly does that work? How regularly do they have to attend a back to work interview, is it means tested (perhaps through previous ni contributions they are actually entitled to) can they sign on at different locations or always have to return to the same office, how long can they claim for before being signed off?

It was a long time ago when I last went through this process and even then It would have been pretty hard to keep that up for any length of time, and I was just after another job.

I still think that in 2017 it’s too hard to ‘claim and climb’ for any length of time, so your original point is unrealistic in that respects.

Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

Sorry to burst your bubble Tobes, but the world is full of people (climbers and otherwise) who entirely fund their lifestyles through fraud, theft and deception. You also seem to be operating under the delusion that benefit fraud isn't a real thing.

Perhaps the entire government departments tasked with combating it are wasting their time? Perhaps the thousands convicted for it every year are victims of miscarriages of justice ?
The New NickB - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> Anything unclear about that Nick ?

Yes, your thinking. Climbers living the dirtbag lifestyle on benefits (not that the OP suggested relying on benefits) are scumbags. Unless they happen to be people you admire for their climbing talent.
Post edited at 22:17
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Make your mind up Nick. First you say I've been very clear, then you say I'm unclear. Which is it?
LeeWood - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Moley:

Depending on your definition of dirtbag - does this mean you must climb 8hrs a day, every day ?

Most folk would be obliged to compromise and here's a way to do it. WWOOF, Helpx and Workaway facilitate travel and some hosts are themselves climbers - and keen to get out
The New NickB - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Make your mind up Nick. First you say I've been very clear, then you say I'm unclear. Which is it?

It’s obvious to everyone but yourself apparently!
paul__in_sheffield - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to pasbury:

I worked through that period and so turned up on Friday nights in Stoney, sleeping up the Dale, and back home (Nottingham at that time) on Sunday night. There were (crap) jobs if you wanted to do them, so technically the guys were taking the p**s signing to say they were available for work (you did explicitly sign for this). There was also a lot of claiming of rent for houses which weren’t lived in and rooms being sub let.
However after a couple of nights not sleeping in the Land of the Midnight Sun in a paper thin Blacks sleeping bag, I always went home thinking they were worth the cash just for putting up with those conditions and training/climbing so hard ;-)
Heike - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:
I'd say go for it. I have never done the whole 'dirtbag' lifestyle for the whole time (aways went back to earn some money to sustain it), but we have taken several long breaks out to do just this - my hubby (then boyfriend) and I for a couple of three-months/ four month trips - several times round the world and then for 5 months when we had a kid and went dirt bagging round Europe in a van when the wee man was 4 years old before school. We always needed to build up the money to sustain the trip, but really, it was worth it: Best times of my life!
Post edited at 22:57
garycrocker - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to SAF:

Right on! I moved to the mountains and reduced my working week to 3 days. It depends to some extent on your priorities.
rockface - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Skip:

Sounds grand. Was it really so expensive?
Stichtplate on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> It’s obvious to everyone but yourself apparently!

Everyone ? The only thing obvious to me is your poor grasp of both facts and honest debate.

rockface - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to SAF:

You know, that's my plan. Work ten days or so at a time on agency then go travel/climb for a month. Living in a van during. Cheers for the tip.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag.

> Edit: I'd love to hear the justification for the dislike.

I guess this also applies to those climbers in receipt of a state pension. Bloody scroungers.
pasbury on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

You seem to have issue with the idea of people ‘’’getting something for nothing’’’ why?

What is wrong with giving people a basic allowance to survive?
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to pasbury:

> You seem to have issue with the idea of people ‘’’getting something for nothing’’’ why?

I'm all for people getting stuff for free, I'm just against being forced to pay for it.

> What is wrong with giving people a basic allowance to survive?

Dunno, why don't you start a thread on that topic and see if anyone wants to discuss it with you?
Nevis-the-cat - on 08 Dec 2017

Depends.

If you've grafted and paid tax then yeah, take some time out, eat mussels from the sea shore and buy a rangey dog.

If you've never had a job and thus paid nothing into the systems then it takes the piss. These f*ckers are happy tot use all the services, roads, NHS that we have to pay for, while pretending to be some sort of social warrior.

It's easy to say to people who sit on the motorway for hours at a time, and or do soul destroying jobs "get an new one", but it's not that easy.


Ben Sharp - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> Perhaps the entire government departments tasked with combating it are wasting their time? Perhaps the thousands convicted for it every year are victims of miscarriages of justice ?

I'm not sure what the figures are today but during David Cameron's reign on terror on the working classes the official figures for benefit fraud was £1.3bn and the government increased the number of DWP investigators to 3,700 staff. At the time unpaid taxes accounted for £34bn and the government had 500 people at HMRC tackling tax evasion by the wealthiest people. We have one of the most unequal societies in the world. David Cameron's government's main success was allowing the media to shift the public's focus onto the small amount of benefit fraud and take the gaze off our staggaringly unequal society. It seems like you're still peddling his propaganda for him.

There's nothing right about benefit fraud but it's a question on focus. In a culture of food banks, a huge increase in poverty (especially child poverty), the devestation of the welfare state, the country's embarrasing treatment of disabled people and the shambles of the universal credit roll out it does seem strange that your big beef is with the tiny proportion of people who you think are managing to claim benefits while spending their lives climbing and being funded by the state (something which under the current system is incredibly hard to do compared to how it was in the 80's).

I'm not saying benefit fraud doesn't exist and I'm not saying it's right but if you're talking about scumbags then there are worse fraudsters to get outraged over than the poor. You're just pushing propaganda that has allowed the government to dismantle the essential safety net of the welfare state and turn it into an incredibly humiliating experience that leaves many more people in the most dire conditions than it allows to scam the system. Why people don't focus on that is beyond me.
Post edited at 08:01
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into that. Perhaps you could put a little more time in, scan up to the top and see anywhere scumbag tax avoiders have been mentioned until you shoehorned them in. I'm not "pushing Propaganda", I'm discussing the thread's topic.
wintertree - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

Not sure they were climbers, more hikers, but the car park at Umpah Hot Springs has about 10 vans of such types parked up when I was there in 2013. “Naked Hippy Birdbath” one trip advisor review distainfully called it. Great place.

I gather overnight parking is now banned.

The USA seems like a better place for this sort of lifestyle.
Post edited at 08:37
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:
Nick Bullock seems to be doing it quite successfully. If I remember correctly, Nick managed to pay off the mortgage on a small house and the rental income he gets fro that is enough to get by living in his van. No doubt suplimented by his writing royalties.
Post edited at 08:51
cb294 - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

> Ok that’s a bit of a leap. Ignoring the second one (taxation). you actually reckon there are, in this specific example of a ‘dirtbag’ climber, people funding their climbing lifestyle by deceiving, stealing and fraud?

Anecdotal, I know, but I once gave a lift to a German dirtbag climber in Norway. When stopping at a small village shop he offered to show me his secret trick for living cheaply in admittedly insanely expensive Norway: Put apples in the paper bag, enter the code for onions at the scales, and play dumb tourist if caught at the cashiers.

The arsehole even dared threaten me when I took his stuff and chucked it in the parking lot. Not that I had much more money than he did, but that "trick" would have never crossed my mind.

I understand if people who are totally destitute to the point of lacking food resort to such low level crime, but as a means of funding an extended holiday?

CB
SAF - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

So whilst everyone else is bickering about the morals of dirtbags/ Scumbags or reminiscing about the good old days of the dole, I'm going to go for some boring practical "advice".

Make the NHS work for you....you have put in the hours training, and the slave labour on placement along the way, so work out a way to make the NHS pay for the lifestyle you want, it is no where near as bad a place to be when you have some control.

AGENCY vs NHS BANK - On the face of it Agency always seems to be the better earner than Bank, however the calculations aren't quite as straightforward as all that. You will often be self employed as Agency so, no Annual leave, whereas bank you get a legal entitlement to 5.6 weeks (pro rata) statutory leave a year. On the NHS Bank you can continue trickling into your pension with the NHS contributing 14% to your 7-9% contribution, that is a massive boost to your hourly rate even if you won't see it for 40+ years, if you are thinking of just taking a year or two career break then consider Agency, if this is a longer term lifestyle choice then consider NHS.
NHS Bank Terms vary from trust to trust, so watch out and do your research. Some trusts pay you the bottom point of your pay band regardless of how many years experience you have (which is just plain out of order, and then the managers and government have the cheek to whinge about the cost of Agency staff), others (my trust) recognise your pay point and have a clear (contractual) pathway for bank workers progression up through the pay points.
I worked a combination of agency and NHS bank for the first 6 months, and then settled for just the NHS bank (closer to home, familiarity with working practices, new the people I was working with, nicer area etc.).

UNSOCIAL HOURS - Never underestimate the power of unsocial hours to boost your pay, if you work 12 hour shifts over the weekend, get your extra 30% for Saturday and 60% for Sunday, you have bought home almost a weeks salary! When I go back after having my Baby, I intend to only work Sundays (12 hours), on the bottom point of band 6 working every Sunday will earn me approx £13k a year (without any child care costs, and minimal income tax to pay)...Not bad...in 6 or 7 years time when I get to the top of band 6 it would bring home £17k a year (why would I ever work more than a day a week again?!). I have multiple spread sheets going on excel for what different shifts/ combos of shifts are worth to me....so get number crunching!!

SAVINGS - Before going on the Bank, I spent a nearly a year trying to negotiate part time work/ reduced nights, but work just wouldn't entertain it. I also spent this time saving hard, so that when I started on the Bank I had enough savings to live (basically) off for 12 months without working. Certainly don't go into it with any debts, buy you van outright etc. and it will seem a whole lot easier and less stressful. And know your rights, if you earn enough regularly enough, even as a zero hours worker (Bank may be slightly different to Agency) you are entitled to things like Statutory sick pay, Paternity, maternity. I am currently going via the HMRC (and seem to be winning), as my trust is refusing to pay up.

Grow thick skin, you will come across anti agency staff and staff/managers who just don't like the fact that you are brave enough to do something different from the 40+ years of 37.5 hours a week that they settle for. I sometimes feel like I am being punished for doing things differently.

You are a fair bit younger than me, I have been in the NHS 18 years (half my life) and I am ashamed to say that I had become institutionalized to the NHS and it's ample terms and conditions, and had to give myself a big kick up the backside, and remind myself that many of my friends work freelance/ self-employed in the outdoors and offshore industries and they manage to have mortgages and kids, and get by like this for years. Don't let yourself get trapped in the NHS!!!

Live in your van between shifts (not sure if that was your plan anyway). Several of my colleagues who have been stitched up at the beginning of there careers and placed in Ambulance stations miles from home (management seem to like doing that to their staff), just live out of there vans between shifts, Hospitals all have showers, you can get a travel iron and a mini ironing board to use in the changing room, and you'll be laughing.

Hope that helps, it's well worth doing
Trangia on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to pasbury:



> What is wrong with giving people a basic allowance to survive?

It's good where someone has unfortunately fallen on hard times, but I would draw the line where that poverty has been self imposed through choice.

Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> It's good where someone has unfortunately fallen on hard times, but I would draw the line where that poverty has been self imposed through choice.

That would seem a logical position but apparently there is a sizeable cohort out there who believe they have a moral right to reach into your pocket to fund their lifestyle while they pursue their hobby of climbing. Obviously such tax funds would be diverted from less worthy causes such as pensions, NHS or education or even just supporting the unfortunate tax payer's own family.
I wonder, is climbing the only hobby worthy of such unquestioning support or would 5 a side footy, carp fishing, world of warcraft, stamp collecting or simply epic onanism also qualify?
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

I love your righteous indignation at a proposition that is almost entirely of your own imagining.
LeeWood - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

what do you reckon - the % of all unemployed who are also climbers ? 0,0001% ?

At least they are off the streets and keeping the routes clean !
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> I love your righteous indignation at a proposition that is almost entirely of your own imagining.

Really Nick? My first post on this last night....

"A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag."

Cue a whole lot of indignation (but not on my part). But still nobody wants to explain why.
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> "A fine and brave way to live if supporting yourself but if you're expecting others to pay for your lifestyle you're not a dirtbag, you're a scumbag."

I’ll give you a starter for 10. If I was the OP, I would think that your opening gambit was unbelievably f*cking rude. But maybe that is just me.
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> I’ll give you a starter for 10. If I was the OP, I would think that your opening gambit was unbelievably f*cking rude. But maybe that is just me.

Blunt maybe, but not as rude as you suggest and it’s a fair point.
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Blunt maybe, but not as rude as you suggest and it’s a fair point.

Read the original again, it’s the assumption as well as the bluntness.
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> Read the original again, it’s the assumption as well as the bluntness.

Which bit do you find particularly offensive? The bit where I state that it's a fine and brave way to live or the bit where I suggest people should support themselves?
LeeWood - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

a) the % of folk you are railing against are statistically inconsequential; the real robbers in society are the filthy rich and the corporations they serve

b) I agree that all folk of working age should support themselves, but for many unmployment will be a passing phase - the social state is desogned to support this. Can you tell us you have never been carried ? If not I bet someone can find you guilty of some other misdemenour ;) environmental perhaps ...
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Ah, I see.
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to LeeWood:

> a) the % of folk you are railing against are statistically inconsequential; the real robbers in society are the filthy rich and the corporations they serve

I was just making a point of principle which was why I was surprised at the apparent offence caused.

> b) I agree that all folk of working age should support themselves, but for many unmployment will be a passing phase - the social state is desogned to support this. Can you tell us you have never been carried ? If not I bet someone can find you guilty of some other misdemenour ;) environmental perhaps ...

Since first entering the Work force in 86 i’ve had 2 or 3 months on the dole. Plenty of other misdemeanours but expecting others to pay my way has not featured among them.
Christheclimber on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> However after a couple of nights not sleeping in the Land of the Midnight Sun in a paper thin Blacks sleeping bag, I always went home thinking they were worth the cash just for putting up with those conditions and training/climbing so hard ;-)

And some of them even managed to save enough money to go to the Valley to climb including Dirty Derek!
mrchewy - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:


> Since first entering the Work force in 86 i’ve had 2 or 3 months on the dole. Plenty of other misdemeanours but expecting others to pay my way has not featured among them.

Then why did you sign on? I'm slightly confused by this - when you went to sign on, you expected help financially yeah? Someone paid your way for those two or three months and that was the taxpayer.



Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to mrchewy:
> Then why did you sign on? I'm slightly confused by this - when you went to sign on, you expected help financially yeah? Someone paid your way for those two or three months and that was the taxpayer.

Are you finding it hard to differentiate between someone claiming a couple of months of dole while looking for work and someone claiming dole while deliberately avoiding work?

Edit: you do understand how NI contributions are supposed to work don't you? Over 30 years paying in against 2-3 months taking out seems reasonable to me.
Post edited at 12:29
james wardle - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

These days you don't have to quit work to live in a van. A couple of my software developers are van based. one currently in the UK the other two in canada and NZ. We encourage flexitime as long as you turn up when needed as it's more productive, and people contribute code from wherever they are.

You need a very self motivated personality to do this, and we get people quit remote working because they cant handle the freedom and the lack of structure to the day. but for the people who it works for i think it's kind of cool. I do think we will look back of offices like with did on grim 18th century mills in a hundred years time

i do find they get more work done on the weeks it's raining and the guys are stuck inside. but better work done when it's sunny and they are all trying to think of the most optimal and efficient way to do stuff so they can quit early and go climbing.

The upside for me is that i don't have to pay for office space, and when there a deadline everyone works round the clock to get things done.

So the dirbag lifestyle on an almost a 6 figure salary is possible just become a world class programer

C Witter on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

You're not worth arguing with. That is all.
mrchewy - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

"Expecting others to pay my way has not featured amongst them."

Oh I can differentiate between the two just fine - one wants to work and one doesn't, I'll assume you wanted to. What's confused me is your ability to sign on and take money, whilst proclaiming loudly - I'm not expecting anyone to pay my way but I've paid in and it's mine by rights. In fact, I've paid my own way. Yes. I have. Paid in for years, so I'm only having my own money back in reality. That's fair. Nothing to do with anyone other than me. Self reliant you see. What!?

What I find sad is your seeming inability to recognise that in the mass of bumbly lifestyle climbers who achieve nothing of note, no first ascents or magazine articles, there's often a vibrancy that reflects well on all of us and is an inspiration to many weekend climbers, newbies and yes, sponsored climbers too.


French Erick - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:


> Long gone are the days when you could sign on then sod off for a month at a time. Unless it’s ‘trustafarians’ you object to (blame the parents!) I can’t see it being feasible in today’s current economic and social climate to.....a, be a dirt bag climber and b, scrounge off the state.

> Are there loop holes in the welfare system I’m unaware of?

Seems to me such a European answer!! Surely the American dirtbags have low/no expectations that the state will be looking after them in any fashion? It is so ingrained in us here that it becomes the 1st question. Interesting in itself!
I couldn't hack the dirtbag lifestyle. I am far too attached to my earthly comfort. I like owning things. I like security. I like having a safety net in case "all fails". It doesn't stop me from occasionally having moaning fits about how I feel shackled...but overall not for me.
When I feel it is all a bit too much, I go climbing/head for the hills at the earliest possible opportunity.
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to mrchewy:

What has got you so confused Mr Chewy ?

A few hundred quids worth of dole set against many tens of thousands of my own and my employers NI contributions.

Legitimately claiming dole while seeking work as opposed to committing benefit fraud by collecting dole with no intention of seeking work.

From your profile I see you declare yourself to be a van dweller working the minimum you can to support yourself . Look up thread and you'll see I have called such a lifestyle both brave and a fine way to live, further I have said I'm in awe of and applaud such people. Bearing this in mind could explain what exactly I have said that you are finding so objectionable ?
bedspring on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

I find this debate rather interesting.
I would imagine most would object to some work shy person claiming benefits and playing X Box all day, with no intention of working. However once they are a climber, part of the gang, the viewpoint changes somewhat.
I wonder if on an X Box forum, people would object to the climber, but approve the Dirt bag X-boxer?
LeeWood - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to cb294:

> I understand if people who are totally destitute to the point of lacking food resort to such low level crime, but as a means of funding an extended holiday?

I never got down to this but in 1982 I had a quasi-dirtbag phase, during which I was in Chamonix for a few weeks. I quickly learned that to nosey in the bins next to picnic tables is rewarding - rich tourists can't be arsed to take home the remains of their spread. Oh, and I once had a complete small tome of cheese rolling in the gutter :o . I also learned that the quickest way to fill your stomach in Cham (from bought food) is to eat stodgy bread pudding, but that eating 2 at one sitting can be the quickest way to empty your stomach ;)
LeeWood - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to bedspring:

they're so busy twiddling joysticks they don't even stop to discuss ;)
stevieb - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to bedspring:

What’s your view on other athletes in Olympic sports? Should we give lottery funding to potential Olympians? And for rowers or cyclists who are just below lottery funding standard, are they allowed the dirt bag lifestyle to follow their dream? And if they make it big should they put it back student loan style?

I actually agree with the main thrust of your point, but I think there are a lot of people not contributing to society; and a few thousand young motivated adventurers, atheletes and artists (many of whom end up as ‘successful’) are not the biggest problem we have.

mrchewy - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

Ex van dweller as of a couple of months ago but yeah, I've pottered around Europe playing at being a climber a lot the last few years and I've yet to meet a van dweller, which is who the OP was on about, who expects or even tries to get the state to finance their lifestyle. Not one.
Lots of kids who work the summer at festivals and then live on 300€ a month in Spain during winter. People like me, who rent out the house and live on the balance or work a little as necessary rather than grind away 9-5 in expectation of five weeks annual holidays.
That's my experience and believe me, I'm sociable, I talk to everyone about everything when it comes to living in a van. It's not easy and anything that saves money or helps finance a trip is spoken about.
Then lo and behold, on a thread about my lifestyle, someone comes along spouting tales of benefit fraud that's he's read about in those colourful autobiographies of his 80s climbing heroes and issues condemnation within a few words. I find that strange, not only having no knowledge of the current 'dirtbag scene' but just being so negative in general. Strange.

A thread about chasing your dreams and you're worrying about benefit fraud.
Stichtplate on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to mrchewy:
If I may say so you seem a little hypersensitive to this issue Mr Chewy. I've spouted no tales of benefit fraud (apart from acknowledging that it happens) and far from being negative about the dirtbag lifestyle, I have actually expressed my support and admiration.

In return you have insinuated that I'm a hypocrite because I've had a couple of months on the dole while others have decided that I'm bitter and up tight based on my belief that deliberately choosing to live off the state is bad unless you have been forced to do so.
Post edited at 14:17
bedspring on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to stevieb:

> What’s your view on other athletes in Olympic sports? Should we give lottery funding to potential Olympians? And for rowers or cyclists who are just below lottery funding standard, are they allowed the dirt bag lifestyle to follow their dream? And if they make it big should they put it back student loan style?

>

If I was an Olympic athlete I would be rather insulted to be called a dirt bag. Obviously their is a balance to be struck, but some person who has been trained to be a nurse at the expense of the state, and looking at their log book cannot climb for toffee, unles they have improved massively in the last 12 months, I think should be paying their way.
profitofdoom on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

> By 'dirtbag', I'm going by this definition: "A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle."

I did it for years at a time up to age 30. Did brief periods of well-paid casual work then lived very cheaply for months on the proceeds, climbing and travelling. Then back for a bit more work. Happy years. Not for me after age 30 though
stevieb - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to bedspring:

Well I was thinking the potential stars - 20th best slalom canoeist or 15th best butterfly swimmer
bedspring on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to stevieb:

I think this guy is about 56`000th best climber, nothing wrong with that, I am sure he enjoys it, but do not ask me to supprt him.
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to bedspring:

> I think this guy is about 56`000th best climber, nothing wrong with that, I am sure he enjoys it, but do not ask me to supprt him.

Who is asking to be supported?
The New NickB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to C Witter:

> You're not worth arguing with. That is all.

It’s so much fun though!
Oldnick on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> It’s so much fun though!

At least we can agree on something.
rockface - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to SAF:

That was sooo useful. Thank you. I never would have thought about some of what you mentioned. I'm already on the bank in GGC (spare time) and thank fully people are mostly appreciative of your help, but I guess agency would be different. I never thought about the prospect of doing it long term, but who knows, might change my mind when I try it.
rockface - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to james wardle:

Sounds pretty cool! Shame I can't bear the thought of becoming a programmer!
Big Ger - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

> By 'dirtbag', I'm going by this definition: "A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle."

Yes, we're all down the library posting on UKC at the taxpayers expense, living the dream.

Siward on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Edit: you do understand how NI contributions are supposed to work don't you? Over 30 years paying in against 2-3 months taking out seems reasonable to me.

Not directly on point but the idea that NI contributions are insurance, or a fund, or pay for benefits or pensions is one of the most enduring myths out there. It's a tax, nothing more.
bedspring on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Siward:

> It's a tax, nothing more.

I would call it a Ponzi scheme, but thats for another thread

Stichtplate on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Siward:

> Not directly on point but the idea that NI contributions are insurance, or a fund, or pay for benefits or pensions is one of the most enduring myths out there. It's a tax, nothing more.

If contribution based job seekers allowance is a myth it's a very elaborate one.
Timmd on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> Oh Timmd..... getting far too deep now. Perhaps you should organise a UKC Christmas do where we can all get pissed and talk bollocks at each other.

Some kind of meet up would be good, but I think I'm too hectically occupied to arrange it myself. My teenage hood was full of deep conversations while different drugs were taken (by some) when I look back, with straight laced middle class kids and idealistic hippies, and people from the Manor estate coming from different perspectives. Amusingly, we decided that working class teenagers called liberty cap mushrooms 'tits', and middle class ones called them 'wizards hats'.

I guess the person who gives more to society is probably somebody who makes a financial contribution, and also manages to improve quality of life for people in some definable way, in increasing safety or emotional well being or something, too. That's possibly what one should aim for to find meaning (which is always subjective, of course).
Post edited at 17:14
Darren Jackson - on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Timmd:

>... My teenage hood was full of deep conversations while different drugs were taken

You are Tim Westwood, and I claim my £5... BOOM!!!
Timmd on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:
Argh! I'm definitely not him. I should add I think artists add something to society, or else art wouldn't exist, perhaps, if there wasn't human need for it, to create and to look at it.
Post edited at 18:09
natetan - on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:

There are loads of british dirtbags.. but why spend all your time in the cold and wet UK when there is much more hospitable (and cheaper) places to be.
natetan - on 10 Dec 2017
It is actually piss easy to save a bit of cash and live in a van etc.. Spain can cost as little as €300 a month this way and in the process you become a home owner ;)

I am 2.5 years in to my 'dirtbag' life - van life in europe & usa + asia travel.. It is all pretty cheap and not so hard to earn some dollar along the way (although initially I saved a bunch before leaving).

bedspring on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to rockface:
Read this http://vandogtraveller.com and go for it
Post edited at 21:15
Tom V - on 00:36 Mon
In reply to profitofdoom:

See, the difference is, you paid for your lifestyle. You didn't expect me to fund you.

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