Don’t deny it, we know it’s true. Here’s what you’re going to need to make it through a successful season.

The Right Vehicle

The right vehicle is key. In the summer you can dirtbag it in just about anything, but come winter time things get a little more serious. You’re going to need something that can handle the elements, transport your skis AND handle some late night drive-in-drive-out parking space poaching. The right vehicle should have all-wheel or four-wheel drive, decent tires and a working heater. Other perks include fold down seats, a truck bed, roof rack, all 3 mirrors, and the ability to play some form of music. Personally, if I had my dream car, it would be a long bed 4-wheel drive pickup, however, I have total respect for minivans, conversion vans, hatchbacks and the famed short bus. All you’re looking for is the ability to get you to and fro, a place to store your stuff, sleep for the night, and carry your skis. After that everything else is just an upgrade.

A Budgetistock-542835130

I know, this seems obvious, but it’s a real thing. Living the ski-bum life without a budget will put an end to it right quick. Stick to PBR and bottom shelf booze. Enjoy the repetitiveness that comes with cooking your food three times a day on the back of your tailgate and learn to love the “free” things in life like reading, writing, conversation and fun. You’d be amazed how much there is to do without spending a dollar.

A Willingness to Eat Anythinghobo-soup

Come on, everyone knows the old joke? “How’s a ski bum make tomato soup? Mix tea water, ketchup packets and Saltine crackers together in a bowl.” Now, raise your hand if you’ve eaten ramen for more than two meals in a day. This guy has. Eating while bumming can be hard. I won’t deny stooping as low as taking home other people’s leftovers at the bar. Food is expensive and in the winters those haven farmers markets are hard to find but there are easy tricks to get around that. The easiest? Campbell’s Chunky Soup. Sure, it’s a little high in sodium but it’s also only $1.89 per can or 5 dollars a day for a decent three meals. Just saying, don’t be picky.

A Love for Whiskey, Beer, and CoffeePint of Ale Beer and shot of Whiskey on Bar with colorful lights in background

This is a bit of a farce. You don’t need a love for whiskey, beer, and coffee, but you’ll have one by the time you’re done. A couple of key points here. First, none of these things are actually good for you no matter how often people tell you they are. Second, none of them are going to actually make you warmer, even though people might tell you otherwise. Other than that, have at it. Just remember to pay attention to your budget.

A Good Batch of Friends

You’re going to make the best friends of your life. There’s no doubt about that. It helps, however, to have some old friends too. The road can get complicated, lonely, exhausting, and endless and sometimes it’s good to have a base to check into. Don’t let your ski-bumming consume you past the point of your old friendships because when your car breaks down, you run out of food and money and haven’t showered in 6 days, you’re going to need someone to help you out in a pinch, and that’s where your friends come in.



3 Comments on So, You Want to Be A Ski Bum?

  1. Bump skier101
    December 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm (6 years ago)

    Don’t bum it for too long. Nothing worse than a 50 year old single ski bum hanging at bar talking about how epic his ski day was and how awesome he skied 20 years ago. Know when to quit and get a life.

    • Ryan
      December 13, 2016 at 3:37 am (6 years ago)

      Nothing worse than quitting and getting a life.

    • Magui Martinez-Pena
      December 13, 2016 at 6:01 pm (6 years ago)

      Isn’t ski bum a life? and I mean a good life! At any age 🙂


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