Colorado starter pack: the academic review  

I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life. It’s no secret that we tend to attract a lot of outdoorsy types here, from granola hikers to rich skiers. Our state reputation to other people consists of mountains and marijuana, but we have a lot more than that to offer, like… sandals. There are lots of things Coloradans need in order to show off state pride.  

Please enjoy the following list of items and activities required of any Colorado resident. If you can’t say that you participate in at least four of these trends, we are required by law to exile you to the top of the great mountain where you will sell those donuts for the rest of time.  

  1. Birkenstocks 

Strong, versatile, (expensive) sandals that can be used for almost any activity. Pair with a giant T-shirt and a pair of shorts that are completely covered by the giant T-shirt. 8/10.  

  1. Chakos 

Also sandals, but more colorful and more squishy. For the adventurous granola. 7/10.  

  1. Patagonia Sherpa  

You have a time window of 3 months to wear this before putting it on will make you start sweating instantly. Also, it’s expensive. All of these are expensive. 6/10.  

  1. Pit vipers  

Pair these with long hair and a Hawaiian shirt to give “cool stoner.”  5/10.  

  1. Skiing 

Congratulations! You ski! I’m so happy for you that you strap giant sticks to the bottom of your shoes and go careening down a mountainside! It’s so much fun that you ride on one of those stupid sky hell seat things where you can look down and think “If I fell from this height, I’d die immediately!” Do you enjoy trying not to run into trees? Is that a relaxing afternoon for you?  

Listen! If you sincerely enjoy it, that’s great! But I am sick and tired of people looking at me in shock when I tell them I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life and never gone skiing.  

“Are you sure you’re actually from Colorado if you’ve never skied hahahahaha?” Oh, my mistake. I guess my birth certificate was forged and I’ve actually just been astral projecting from Kansas this entire time. I didn’t realize that I was assigned skier at birth. I didn’t realize I’m not a valid Coloradan if I don’t spend money letting the forces of gravity pull me off the side of a cliff.  

I. Don’t. Want. To. Ski. The most experience I’ve ever had skiing is doing the ski jump on Wii Fit at age seven and turning into one of those snowballs that happens when you screw it up and rolling down to the bottom of the mountain in shame. Skiing is for rich people from the South who drive up property rates.  


  1. Subaru 

Whether your adventure is following the call of the wild or driving your kids to soccer practice, this is the car for you. My family had one and it quit completely on the way home from Denver, so I’m not going to get one. You can though. 5/10.  

  1. Outdoorsy stickers 

These are fun ways to show that you’re “quirky” and that your friends describe you as a “free spirit.” Remember what a free spirit you are when you’re constantly on the run from enemy spies on a perilous quest to drown a cursed ring in the fiery chasm of Mount Doom. Then maybe you’ll think twice about quoting Tolkien without giving him credit. 2/10.  

  1. Overpriced T-shirts 

Everywhere has these, but not everywhere can put things like “Dude, I think this whole town is high” on them. Yay us! 4/10.  

  1. Marijuana  

Might as well just put this on the flag. Whatever/10.