Monday, September 2, 2013

Trail Names

I've read a couple of books lately by people who have done long hikes - one on the Pacific Crest Trail and one on the Appalachian trail.  I just finished the latter one last night, and I find the trail names kind of fascinating.  For example, from the book about the AT through-hike, in 1994, here is a sampling of trail names:  White Rabbit, Del Doc, Boots, Earth Frog, Jett Butt, Methuselah, Sunday, Feather, Geezer, Poet, Magoo, Sher Bear, SourBall, and Gourmet John.  And that is a small subset of long distance hikers that the book's author, Indiana Jean, met on her hike of nearly 2,200 miles.

I don't have a trail name, I guess because I have not done any truly long hikes beyond maybe a week - if that.  My friend Hawkeye (who I am planning a four day hike with later this year) tried giving me Da Vinci (Art) as a trail name but it didn't really stick so far.  Another guy once called me "Professor" once when I was fiddling with my GPS.  And one of my current teammates on the marathon team calls me Pepe' Le Pew (because of my steady, "effortless" stride that eats the miles, not because of the way I smell - at least I think that is the reason)!  But that name would not fit me while long distance hiking, because I would be stopping to suck oxygen far more often than I would keep a steady, never faltering stride. When I was younger, "Kitchen Sink" might have been a good trail name for me, because I seemed to carry everything but the kitchen sink on my treks. But while hardly an ultralight hiker, I have gotten more intelligent about what I pack as I've gotten older.

I guess the thing about trail names is that someone else has to give you that moniker - I don't think that you can pick your own trail names.  So maybe I need to do more long hikes and see what people come up with.

For people out there who happen across this post - do you have a trail name?  If so, what is it, and how did you get it?


  1. I've never thought of a trail name but I think I'd just stick with 'happyone.' : )

  2. That is perfect for you, so I hereby proclaim your trail name to be "Happyone!"