As I drove from Denver to the C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, CO, on the epic road through the Rocky Mountain State Park at about 12,000 feet, I came to two realizations: a) even brisk walking at high altitude sucks, and b) this was going to be one of the most incredible weekends I had personally ever had. And I wasn’t even there yet. Camp Dirt really started on Facebook, and culminated in Colorado from Aug. 26 to 28, where Dial for Men unrolled a weekend of fun and filth designed to exemplify the brand’s mission and invite men to “Get your dirt on. We’ll get it off.” The social media-driven sweepstakes invited men to enter on the brand’s page for a chance to compete for a $10,000 prize for the dirtiest camper.
The brand randomly selected 10 winners (one of whom was a woman—no bias here), and each of whom brought a buddy or a brother (or a husband) to the ranch to get dirty. They also invited me. I had planned to stay in a no-tell motel on the cheap, but one of the teams didn’t show, so the folks from Dial and its handling agencies Red Tettemer + Partners out of Philadelphia and Revolution Marketing from White Plains, NY, hooked me up with the empty room—a gorgeous, fireplace-endowed, king-size bed filled, Dial for Men product-encrusted palace of a room. Much love. The competitors came from all over the country—Chicago, North Florida, Reno, Texas and Washington, D.C., to name a few. They, and I, arrived in Denver on Friday night and Dial brought them by van across the mountains to the ranch. (I drove a rented Chevy Colorado pickup. Seriously.)
Everything got started full-contact style on Saturday morning, bright and early with the first event: the Swamp Bowl. A half-size flag football pitch was made for the muddy field of play and the players got in to get dirty. I didn’t get in on it this time, concentrating on filming, but the muck was flying, and so were the players. The mud was calf-deep and even though Dial said they made sure the horses hadn’t contributed any of the muck, I didn’t entirely believe them. After the Bowl, we moved on to Bulldozer Drag racing and Digging with Dynamite to round out day one, with plenty of breaks for great food, drink and cleaning up between events, thanks to Dial’s products. The dust kicked up during the Drag racing was a gritty, heavy clay that definitely required showers. And after the driving was over and done, cold, cold beer was served to ease those dry, dry throats.
Day two dawned with the professionally designed Paintball ‘Pocalypse course first, where the two contestant teams faced off against one another three times for points, and a bonus for the player who captured the flag. After the contestants finished, the staff and marketers and media (that’s me) got locked and loaded for a free-for-all shootout. I won. (Editor’s note: The previous statement has not been evaluated for accuracy.)
The day rounded out with an ATV Rodeo in torrential soaking rain and an epic 50-foot long mudslide ending in a four-foot-deep mud puddle for the final splash. The ATV course was lugnuts deep in mud thanks to the driving mountain storm. Luckily, the filth was far from over. The slide kept contestants and staff climbing up the hill and roaring back down for hours. We only stopped because the hypothermia seemed to be getting serious.
The prize money winners were friends from Florida and each got $5,000, but all the competitors said that the prize money came in second to the experience and the memories they collected from the weekend. We all felt like winners for just having been there. Also, the experience cemented our certain knowledge of our own badassery. Now that’s a brand halo that won’t wash off. Thanks Dial for Men. See you next year (I hope).
From the November/December issue