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Adventure

How to be a Ski Bum

Now that winter is upon us there’s an important question to be answered: How do you actually make the ski bum lifestyle happen? Here’s how to work as little as possible, ski every powder day, and still pay your bills. Most of the time.

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Living the dream—that’s an expression that always creeps into ski bum lore…but what does it mean? It means skiing pow, all the time. And working? No…

Living the dream—that’s an expression that always creeps into ski bum lore…but what does it mean? It means skiing pow, all the time. And working? No thanks.  Except this combo actually requires more ingenuity than moving millions on Wall Street everyday. If you want to LTD, all you need to do is keep your eyes on the prize, wing it on blind faith, and get used to eating free bar peanuts.

While living the dream, your income is going to be, ah, limited, but the simplest way to watch it become a useful sum? Don’t waste your money at the bar. This entails learning how to socialize/dance sober or only wasting other people’s money. Those who don’t have their eyes on the prize love buying drinks.

Don’t ever get a job you depend on for your ski pass, and never ever get a job that requires you to show up before 3, preferably 4:30-5 pm. Take into…

Don’t ever get a job you depend on for your ski pass, and never ever get a job that requires you to show up before 3, preferably 4:30-5 pm. Take into consideration—wretched as they can be—jobs that involve food service will take care of your grocery bill. And, if you quit your job for whatever reason (i.e., your boss won’t give you time off to go slay some ongoing massive, storm in Utah) you will still have a pass when you get back.

Don’t settle for the ads in the paper or a sketchy Craigslist situation. A room in a crappy condo for $700 a month? Unacceptable. Couch surf until…

Don’t settle for the ads in the paper or a sketchy Craigslist situation. A room in a crappy condo for $700 a month? Unacceptable. Couch surf until all your friends start looking for the best housing deal possible to get you out of their living room. Hallways, garages, and porches will also suffice. You’ll eventually end up in a slopeside cabin paying less then everyone else (oh, yes, it happens, just be strong enough to hold out).

The key to being a successful skid is not being beholden to: car/house/credit card/children/pets, etc.  Get in the mentality that even a houseplant…

The key to being a successful skid is not being beholden to: car/house/credit card/children/pets, etc. Get in the mentality that even a houseplant is too much of both responsibility and money. That $12 you spent on fertilizer would have in handy on a ski trip in Argentina. Was that fern really worth it? Really?

Living the dream has requisite periods of being absolutely broke.  When you return from months of big mountain travels with $8 to your name, don’t…

Living the dream has requisite periods of being absolutely broke. When you return from months of big mountain travels with $8 to your name, don’t despair! Just go to the bar, eat the free popcorn, say yes if people want to buy you a beer, and troll the scene via word of mouth for a replacement job(s). You’ll be back on the bandwagon in no time.

Alas, summer is not really for having fun. This is the tough part: you must slave every waking hour and train to stay strong in your limited spare…

Alas, summer is not really for having fun. This is the tough part: you must slave every waking hour and train to stay strong in your limited spare time (this is also a good way to keep yourself out of the bars, saving more money). And when those people who went rafting all summer are still working in February while you’re on your way to Chamonix for the whole spring, well, send them a postcard.

Medical insurance can seem relatively pricey when you are skimping on the cheap cheese at the store, but hurting yourself while LTD + $35k in medical…

Medical insurance can seem relatively pricey when you are skimping on the cheap cheese at the store, but hurting yourself while LTD + $35k in medical bills = nightmare + new 9-5 job in cubicle. Find a good plan (preferably a national one, you are a storm chasing nomad, after all) and supplement it with an Adventure Advocates (http://www.adventureadvocates.com/) plan to cover any deductible for accidents. Now go giv’er!