Leave No Trace

So you abhor the kale-chewing, washboard-abs showing, uber-fit types, or the trustafarian driving a Mercedes SUV off to a ski condo for the weekend, or any of the other stereotypes you’ll hear people toss around here. Doesn’t matter. Being a good steward of the outdoors isn’t about stereotypes — it’s about doing the right thing. Know the Leave No Trace principles before you head outdoors. Check them out at . And bonus points for knowing that LNT is based in Boulder. Aren’t you smart?

Y ou’re finally in Boulder, welcome! And you’re psyched to settle in and be your absolute Boulder-y, sporty, Boulder-iest now.

Or not. Go ahead: Waste bitter greens and gasoline. Leave high-fructose-corn-syrup infused Coke bottles at the crag. Throw compostables into the landfill bin at Whole Foods when you stop there after your workout. See if you can weather our judging stare.

Truth: For the most part, if you feel judged, you’re inventing those judging stares. We’re pretty accepting here. But Boulder stereotypes are fun to talk about, so let’s roll with it.

You came here to go to school (kind of) and become totally outdoorsy hardcore. If you’re looking for a Boulder-y formula, try any combination of these:

Go green

Several kinds of greening are in order, my green-to-Boulder friends.

First, head to the farmers’ market for some locally-grown, organic greens.

You live in the dorms and have a meal plan? No excuse. You don’t have to cook greens to eat them. In fact, eating them raw screams to your dormmates, “Look how healthy I am! I am so overflowing with freaking vitality that I’m going to piss green.”

Um, that doesn’t sound healthy. Especially when you combine that with your multivitamin, which causes you to piss orange.


Your next green mission: the environment. Become a locavore. Ride your bike or longboard everywhere. Denounce cars, cows, ibuprofen (it gets in our water!), air conditioning, fracking and hair product with parabens in plastic bottles.

Collect your trash for the year in a lululemon bag — the freebie bag you got when you spent big bucks on yoga pants. Tell everyone you can’t and won’t create more trash than what fits in that bag during your frosh year.

Your hair looks terrible and your yearlong trash bag stinks. But goddamn you’re righteous, and your kale salad is kickass.

mountain biking — you ran this morning but like to cross-train.)

You’re at Neptune Mountaineering buying more climbing gear. (Actually you spent all of mom and dad’s cash for the semester there and then had to get a job — there.)

You’re riding hill repeats to NCAR. (Actually you’re doing hill repeats on Flagstaff, but you don’t want anyone to know you’re training that hard right now — you’re planning sneak domination at the first cyclocross race of the season.)

Too much gear

As referenced above, Boulderites are known for having too much gear.

Fifteen bikes. Seventeen climbing ropes. Forty-five pairs of skis.

Might be exaggerating.

But whether you’re in the dorms or squeezed into a house on the Hill with 11 of your closest pals, you should squeeze in some more gear.

Guideline: If you can roll over in bed and touch gear — a bike, your tele skis, or you roll right off your crash pad — then you’re on the right track.

Your other vehicle is a bike, but…

You arrived here in your uncle’s old two-door sportish car. (Calling it a sports car would be a grandiose misnomer.) Your bike is crammed into the back seat. Your snowboard called shotgun. Because of your three backpacks, climbing gear, tent, sleeping bag and other camping gear, there was barely enough room in the trunk for the two trash bags you call the “Louis-Vee Euro Royale Touring Set,” which are stuffed with your clothes.

You need a Subaru or a truck. Or if your bestie has a Subaru or a truck, feel free to get a Prius.

But put a roof rack on the thing, add a bike tray and ski/snowboard rack and plan to get snow tires in November.

This isn’t part of the vehicular stereotype, but bonus points if you paint flames on your Prius.

Patagucci out

No need to deck yourself out in all Patagonia all the time.

But the Boulder-casual uniform does call for some outdoorsy brands with logos and whatnot.

Also: If you don’t have a puffy jacket yet, you have mere weeks to obtain one. If you already spent all of your money on kale, gear, a commuter bike, a Subaru and your membership to the All-Sports Recovery Club (where you recover from your obsessive training), then head to the Sports Recycler for a second-hand puffy.

But ride your bike there and tell everyone you bought a recycled puffy to be green.

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