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Bend Hacks 101 

Yeah, we know it's not cheap to live #inBend. In honor of the Locals' Issue, here's how some of the not-so-rich-and-famous get by

Innovative Transportation on the west side, #110: If you don't have a car and you want to transport gear—just McGyver your way. A skateboard, tubular webbing, a couple cam straps, carabiners and some bungee cords go a long way.   - K.M. COLLINS
  • K.M. Collins
  • Innovative Transportation on the west side, #110: If you don't have a car and you want to transport gear—just McGyver your way. A skateboard, tubular webbing, a couple cam straps, carabiners and some bungee cords go a long way.  

It might surprise some readers to know that every Bendite didn't move to the high desert independently wealthy, with an extravagant work-from-home-job, or with a silver pint glass engraved with their surname.

Below is a peek into the world of the quintessential, avant-garde dirtbag, Central Oregon style. If you prefer to dine out of a jetboil, bathe with wet wipes and sleep beside the river on public lands, you'll be right at home with the unruly seasonal working-class locals' scene from which this specially curated listing of Bend Hacks was birthed.

Entertainment Hack, #101: Deschutes County Library

Not able to keep up with the steep financial commitment for streaming sites such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO or Spotify? Get your entertainment for free at the library. After casing bibliotecas planetwide, the Bend Library is off the hook. If a huge selection of modern music, tons of binge-worthy movies and series via DVD and a free books-on-tape application isn't enough, the library also offers a recommendations page on its website where you can request materials they aren't currently carrying. Dude!  

Free Internet Hack, #102

If you think the internet is critical as a person with a mobile device, imagine how much more important the internet would be without that phone. I have a derelict iPhone 4 I traded several hours of landscaping work for two years ago, so if I can find wi-fi and the right password, I retain virtually every smart phone service, despite not paying for a plan. I've made a life-sized board game out of a strategy called Internet Access Island Hopping. I'm the only player and, with a grid of hotspots logged in my database (brain), I have to navigate a series of ever-changing daily obstacles which require internet (my life in general).

Hot Date Hack, #103: Secret rooms

Though many of us are probably very familiar with Old St. Francis School's cigar bar, some are unaware that secret rooms reside in the hotel complex surrounding the fiery courtyard. If you happen to be hitting it off with a Tinder match and you're wanting to make a good impression for zero dollars, take them on a secret room tour. Plus, if you feel so inspired, you couldn't possibly find a better make out spot... Just saying. Only problem... How to find the hot date to take on the hot date? Haven't figured this one out yet.

Homie Hook-up Hack, #104: Pro deal, bro

Every ski bro-dude in town knows another boating dude-bro in town. They each have a few pro deals with a few companies. Their forces combined, pro-deal net worth doubles. Capiche? Imagine all the dude-bros/bro-dudes across the city with whom you could double down. This philosophy can also be applied to other special privileges. Maybe your buddy works at a bar and can get you free drinks. Or, even better, maybe your roommate's bestie is a mechanic... Cash in on the Homie Hook-up Network. Word of caution: this system of trade is totally frowned upon by business owners—particularly outdoor conglomerates....

Avoiding Crowds in the Wilderness Hack, #105: Work weekends

It used to be that arriving in a position that offered a Monday through Friday, nine to five schedule was a rite of passage; a boastable achievement. However, in Bend, having Saturday and Sunday off means you'll have the same days off as every other weekend warrior and tourist, and their kids and dogs. When I get a job, the first thing I ask is, can I have weekdays off, please? Times this by 10 for holidays.

A few more:

Affordable Gear Hack, #106:

Buy second hand or get your broken gear sorted at the Gear Fix.

Affordable Vehicle Hack, #107:

The Ford Focus zx5 door gets it done cheaper and pretty much as well as a Subaru. And, starting in 2016, they are all-wheel drive, stock. Plus, if you're 5'8" or shorter, you can sleep in a hatchback.

Affordable Housing Hack, #108:

Live out of town, in the Far Far East.

Affordable Gluten-free, Vegan, Tasty Lunch Hack, #109:

A Broken Angel food cart behind Palate, $8!

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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