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'Trail names'
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Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Gun Runner on 07/27/2013 11:25:56 MDT Print View

They seem to be pretty standard on the AT. Fav story I heard from buddies was about a girl that was hiking AT and carried a gun as she was required to do so by her father ... at some point said gun fell out of pack and she lost it. A hiker behind found the gun, recognized it and knew whom it belonged to and caught up to her and gave it back. From then on he was known as Gun Runner!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: 'Trail names' on 08/08/2013 19:46:16 MDT Print View

I have a hiking friend who for the longest time I didn't even know his real name. I don't know where he got the name. He's so weird that his trail name suits him more than his boring real name: John. A lot of hiker friends that I know have trail names and they have nothing to do with hiking a long trail.

I chose my own trail name on the PCT -- Piper. It was fun to have a different name for a while. But after a while, I started to not like having a trail name. My real self is out on the trail, I should use my real name. What I need is a fake work name.

My mom has become one of those trail angels whose house you stay at and everything. Her "trail name" is Piper's Mom, because my trail name was Piper. Now I joke that my trail name is Piper's Mom's Daughter.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: 'Trail names' on 08/08/2013 20:19:13 MDT Print View

I bet if I went on a thru hike I would end up with the Trail name Paddy.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F

Locale: SoCAL
Trail names on 08/12/2013 20:54:28 MDT Print View

I think it was in 2007 on the PCT. A guy gave himself a cool sounding trailname on his trail journal because he wrote, "I don't want to get a trailname like Pink Gumby". When I read that, I thought "FOOL, you just named yourself the name you didn't want." Sure enough that's what hikers started calling him since hikers read other journals before they start hiking.

When I hiked the PCT, there was a girl who resisted every name thrown at her because she wanted a one with a good story behind it. She finally got hers near the Calf-Oregon border after mailing her sleeping bag ahead during a heat wave (bad idea) and then the temperature dropped and she was desperately using a borrowed e-blanket to stay warm at night. Another guy I hiked with, real name was Miles. He didn't get his trail name until almost Washington because most of us thought Miles was his trail name.

Trail names can be fun. They can also be a bit mean spirited in some cases (choose your hiking partners carefully). Most thru-hikers know each others trail names but have no clue what their real names are, even if they hiked with someone for months.

-Miner (there is a story there about an ice-axe digging a cathole, and a trail that looped around the out of the way tree that I thought was off trail).