MtnRanks Just the Tips: 10 Ways to Make Your Car More Core

Posted on November 29 2014

You finally did it. You scraped together enough money to get a new car. It might only be new to you, but it runs and you’re stoked. It’s even clean, maybe too clean. Uh oh, you need to do something about this new car ASAP. You’re meeting up with the crew in a few days for a week long road trip, and you’re driving. What if your new car is too nice and nobody takes you seriously at the trailhead? You’re a core adventurer, but your transportation doesn’t look the part. Unlike the hardcore guys who have money to burn on tiny houses and lifted 4WD vans, you don’t sell out to the man to get sponsors or a 9-5, so you don’t have much of a budget for vehicle alterations. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below are our top tips to get your car from climbing gym suburbanite, to looking like a tried and true core adventure mobile.

  1. Stickers. That manila envelope full of vinyl that you’ve been setting aside for years? Time to put it to good use. Generally speaking, the more stickers you use the better, but make sure to diversify. A few of your favorite brands, a couple of conservation non-profits, one or two with wise ass remarks, and one of those “Coexist” stickers with all of the religious symbols will make for a nice blend of decals on your back window. If you have any old permits to put in your windshield, even better.
  2. Rims. If you purchased your new whip with nice wheels, shame on you. Put those things on Craigslist and get yourself something that’s a little too small with hub caps. Then use a crowbar to remove said hubcaps. Nothing says “my secret adventure spot is cooler than yours” quite like broken off hubcaps. You know, from driving for two hours on washed out forest service roads to get “out there”.
  3. Dirt (outside). Nobody who is a truly core outdoorsman washes their car. You’re always out there killing it and getting dirty, so what’s the point? If your exterior is looking a little too clean, find yourself a nice puddle and rally through it a few times. If you want to be extra core, smear some of that mud around with a Brillo pad and let the dirt bake on in the sun. 
  4.  Smell. It might have had that new car scent when you picked it up, but not for long. Get some whiskey, beer, bits of smoldering campfire log, moldy boot liners, and some cheese curds and disperse them in small pieces around the vehicle. You’ll be smelling like a road weary mountain warrior in no time, and like a fine wine the scent only gets better (or worse) with time.
  5. Dirt (inside). Get a large mixing bowl and combine equal parts climbing chalk, sand, dirt, gravel, trail mix, and Clif Bar crumbs. Proceed to scatter this mixture throughout the vehicle just like you did with your core scent concoction, and take particular care to get some in every available nook and cranny in the upholstery. Add a few well-placed coffee and tobacco stains to the front seats and center console, and you’ve got it made in the shade.
  6. Clutter (not to be confused with dirt). If dirt is like your wallpaper, clutter is your cars furniture. Organization is for the city slicking weekend warrior, so it’s important to make sure that your gear is strewn about your vehicle in as many seemingly random piles as possible. The more variety in your clutter, the better. Hit the thrift shop and pick up some $5 hikers, a few bent up carabiners and a Patagucci fleece to add to the mess on the cheap. Bonus points to anyone who can “randomly” find the exact piece of gear they need for the adventure at hand in front of their friends. Then pass the whole thing off casually saying “Huh, I wondered where this was.” The more expensive the “missing” piece of gear, the better.
  7. The missing piece. No proper adventure mobile is complete without a visible missing component on the exterior of the vehicle. Rip off that right rear door handle and open the flood gates of more epic adventure bar stories than you can imagine. “Oh, the door handle? Yea, clipped it on a tree while careening down the pass on black ice while running away from a grizzly after I spent the night reviving an injured elk calf that was to be its dinner.” The possibilities are endless.
  8. Racks. The more the merrier. If you can fit a ski box next to a rooftop kayak rack and hang a bike rack off the back, you’re doing it right. Bonus points to anyone who retrofits a fly rod holder inside their Subaru. Just be careful you don’t get too organized, that would defeat the purpose of your clutter. 
  9. Food. While there are already small morsels hidden in you interior dirt, no properly core adventure mobile is complete without proper nutrition. Half melted energy gummies in the glove box, some cans of condensed soup under the seat, and a half eaten bag of gluten-free jerky strewn across your dashboard should do nicely. This will simultaneously enhance your interior dirt and clutter.
  10. Music. Your car needs to have a working stereo so that everyone knows you’re core when you roll up in the parking lot. Just know, there are different tunes for different places. Climbing in the Red? Crank the bluegrass. Rallying DH in Whistler? Classic metal like Metallica and Pantera will do nicely. Kayaking in the PNW? Better turn up the whale sounds to get in touch with your inner marine biologist.


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