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Thread: trail names

  1. #1
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    Default trail names

    I've been curious as to how many people get their trail names. Are they given or chosen. Anyone have interesting stories behind their names?

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    http://www.myspace.com/officialbillville Mountain Dew's Avatar
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    Some people pick their own trail names but most people get named for something that they do. I'm a Mountain Dew addict and thus my trail name " Mountain Dew". I once carried a three liter of it in my pack out of a town for 17 or so miles. hahahaaaa The funnier trail names though are the ones that people get from other hikers.
    THE Mairnttt...Boys of Dryland '03 (an unplanned Billville suburb)
    http://www.AT2003.com
    [email protected]
    http://www.myspace.com/hudson_hartson

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    Registered User Patco's Avatar
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    Default picked my own

    Some say you can pick your own nose, but not your own trail name. Well I did both and lived to tell about it.

    I started with Mayberry as a choice, but then after about 6 months I went for the less common PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controller's Organization). That has stuck without duplication - so far.

    My dad also picked his own name prior to hiking - Brushy Sage.
    There are 3 kinds of poeple in this world; those who can count and those who can't. :datz

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    Default Trail names...

    Quote Originally Posted by tphennig
    I've been curious as to how many people get their trail names. Are they given or chosen. Anyone have interesting stories behind their names?

    My friend, "Model T" says...."if you dont pick a Trail Name...you might get stuck with one you really hate..."

    I've always been called Jaybird by friends....thus, my trailname....sorry, no EXCITING trail story to go with it.

    i have had the pleasure of "naming" several people with their trail names in the last couple of years. ("NotKeith", "Walmart", "DragonFly")
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

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    Registered User 2Ply's Avatar
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    I was given the name 2ply because years ago I used an external pack and carried way too much stuff, alot of it strapped to the outside. We got to talking about gear and what we really didn't need. I left to go to the latrine and someone said yea I bet that is even 2 ply from all the junk you carry. When I came back I was dubbed as 2ply, I thought is was because of the stuff hanging off my pack, like a salesman plying his wears, but that was not the case and it has stuck for years now.

  6. #6
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    Some other threads on trail names:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=56&highlight=names
    (trail names and how they find you)

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3083&highlight=names
    (adopted trail names)

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1358&highlight=names
    (trail names)

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=130&highlight=names
    (trail names)

    Obviously Steve Hiker is not a trail name. If I ever do a thru-hike I'll let others give me a name. Living dangerously is more interesting.

  7. #7
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
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    Default

    Ever since I staged my own death I have gone by SpiritWind because I don't want anyone knowing that I'm really Elvis.

    I don't know who or how trail names got started but....It's nice leaving the world behind for 6 months and hiking as a complete unknown.

  8. #8
    Dainon
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    Perhaps I'm missing the obvious, but is there a reason for using an anonymous trail name rather than one's given name?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dainon
    Perhaps I'm missing the obvious, but is there a reason for using an anonymous trail name rather than one's given name?
    No good reasons, only silly ones, like, "I'm a different person now! Call me something different, like Limping Bear!"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritWind
    Ever since I staged my own death I have gone by SpiritWind because I don't want anyone knowing that I'm really Elvis.

    I don't know who or how trail names got started but....It's nice leaving the world behind for 6 months and hiking as a complete unknown.
    I always thought Elvis was on the AT, but I never could figure out which one you were. Loved your new movie "Bubba Hotep".

  11. #11
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    This horse has no name.

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    at least 10 characters
    Last edited by Jersey Bob; 10-27-2004 at 15:01.

  13. #13

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    Trail names are much easier to remember than real names!

  14. #14
    Registered User hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default trail names

    NO ONE who has ever been within 200 yards of my tent overnight will argue with my trail name -Hacksaw- I sound like a hacksaw on steroids when I sleep. No, I am not a candidate for surgery, and no, I don't use shelters(I know this will make Lion King Happy!)

    Dunno where they came from or why, but it really is easier to remember trail names and it is much less difficult to have others understand who you are referring to when you call a distinctive trail name instead of trying to sort through all the joe john bill bob fred todd sue ann linda jane mary or especially non-gender-specific given names that will be found during any given Thru-hiking season.

    Hacksaw

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Lobster
    Trail names are much easier to remember than real names!
    Amen. I hiked with three different Jasons for extended periods of time on my thru-hike. I'm darn glad they all had trail names.

    Something I've found interesting to note is whether hikers revert to thier real names when they keep in touch with each other in the real world. I've found it about 50/50 with my trail friends.

  16. #16
    Registered User hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default Active users-trail names/given names

    Out of curiosity I just checked the "Active users" box on the homepage, and of the 25 names listed 22 were obvious trail names and three were given names, may be trail names as well, but they were the only 3 that were "name" names.

  17. #17

    Default

    There seems to me to have been a noticeable shift in trailnaming. Now, more often than not folks pick their own name beforehand rather than having others or themselves choose it because of something that occurs to them on the trail.

  18. #18

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    Here's a funny trailname story from my hike:

    In the Whites, three of us NOBOs had already encountered about 15-20 of the early SOBOs, and at least 4 of them had "moose" in their trailname. The proportion was so high we found it amusing and I suggested that we play a game where upon passing a new SOBO, we would on the spot coin a new trailname for ourselves based on a theme decided in advane. We had to keep a straight face while introducing ourselves. Then, after the SOBO passed we'd vote on who picked the best improved name. I thought we'd have one theme round where we had to have the word "moose" in our trailname, but we only wound up doing this once and with a pirate theme. Our names were 'Smiley Barnacles', 'Captain Goldchin' and 'Butterbeard'. I still laugh at how funny this game could have been if we had played it more often.

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    Default VaCreeper

    I was actually named Creeper by two gals I knew,when I played HS football in Virginia.Not for the obvious reason, but for not moving fast.When I started hiking the AT in 2000 I added the Va to Creeper as my trailname.It mainly came from the fact, that I was a slow moving hiker.I only found one other hiker slower than I was and, his trailname was"Kotiah".I met him on the trail north of Wesser.He told me that he was so slow that when hikers passed him,they checked his pulse.I'm happy to say,I'm not quite that slow.

  20. #20
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Default trail names

    My "trail name" is also my real life name, too.

    I apologize to anyone who already knows the story, but here goes.

    Mags is a family nick name that goes back to at least my grandfather. Having an unusual last name of Italian origin leaves many English speakers stumped. Easier to say "Mags" than trying to pronounce the last name of Magnanti. (In Italian is is pronounced Mon-nyan-tee, like lasagna. "Americanized", we pronounce it Mag-nan-tee. Rhymes with bag-fan-tea). My grandfather was called Dom(enic) Mags, Dad and my youngest brother are called Steve Mags. (Except in boot camp, my borther's drill sgt would call him "Steve Whateverthehellyourlastnameis" during mail call, in his recent deployment to whatever the Airforce calls sgt. school, his buddies called him "Spaghetti". Apparently ethnic sterotypes still live on in some quarters! ) In reviews of our other brother's band, they would call him Joey Mags. You get the idea...


    Many people call me Paul Mags or just Mags. (At work, I am called Mags due to there being two Pauls). Very few of my friends calls me Paul. When people talk about me they will say Mags or Paul Mags. On the AT, took another more playful nick name as a trail name. (Magaroni)..guess what? That was shortended to Mags as well!

    So my "trail name" is family nick name. When people hear the name, they think I am into American muscle cars...but no, it is really because it is a name that has a long history for my family. I like it...on trail or off.




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