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Thread: Trailnames?

  1. #1

    Default Trailnames?

    Will you be using a trailname?

    If so is the name one you have from previous experience? One that is self-appointed? Or one that you hope to find or have find you along the way?

    At the risk of ostracizing myself I'll say that I don't fully grasp trailnames...BUT on the other hand, in time maybe I'll come to understand and do have some inclination towards the adage, "When in Rome..."

    At this point I'm thinking the name I've been using for the last 30 years or so will do.

  2. #2
    Registered User DangerPea's Avatar
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    Red face Trail names

    Stuart-
    In response to your question about trail names. I am not sure if I can paraphrase this as eloquently as I once read it, but here goes: part of what the trail is about is leaving behind the material aspects of your 'real or other world' identity & having the opportunity to be whom ever you want to be. The trail is a leveling arena in which your profession, how much money you make or have, what kind of car you drive or other social status tags are irrelevant: everyone is walking from GA->ME (or vice versa) on their own two legs & carrying everything they need on their back (we'll leave the supported hike cotroversy out of this for now).

    Also, the trail allows for anonymity to what ever degree one prefers, which relates back to what I said about leaving behind your other world identity. Trail names are sort of a symbol of that. You can project who ever you want & often your trail name gives a little snapshot of who that person is. Your trail name usually describes some aspect of you in a funny, ironic or profound way that your given name does not.

    We are all on a level playing field, faced with the opportunity to be the person who we want to be, which may or may not be the same as your other world persona, and the trail name encompases that. It is also one of the manifestations of the thru hiker experience & thru hiker community as an actual subculture, with it's own norms & such that are seperate from mainstream society. In main stream society people identify one by his or her given name. In AT society, people identify others by their trail name...

    Hope that sheds some light. Of course, this is my personal interpretation of what trail names are all about. Perhaps others have different ideas....

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply DangerPea.

    I didn't really mean to divert the focus of the thread to trail name rationale. I get it and I don't, particularly applied to myself in which situation my hike has a lot to do with self-validation, and therefore being me completely seems the thing to do. Also for me I'm not an overly social person and very likely less interested in the social aspects of the trail than many. I do agree that trailnames do offer a unique identity within the trail culture, but on the other hand I'm not so sure that use of real names is any less distinct, maybe more distinct given the redundency and similarity in many trail names year after year.

    The level playing field is an interesting notion, and I think I'm drawn to many of the activities I choose in a somewhat similar vein. I'm typically interested in achieving goals that money can't buy. I like to achieve things that have to be won on heart, blood, sweat and tears. I like to tackle things that don't come easy and for which a physical price must be paid. Many of the things I'm interested in can't be had by virtue of economic. Still I'm not so sure the playing field on the AT is anymore level than the playing field of life. Granted we all have to walk it, but some may have a better chance than others. Some have more resources which offers to them an advantage; more hotels, more hostels, more time, ability to make equipment adjustments, better equipment. Some have better physically ability; structural problems, health issues. Some have better mental fortitude, etc.

    Anyway I'm not arguing a point, just thinking and typing at the same time. I appreciate the response.

    Is DangerPea your trail name?

    Oh, and to the notion that the name reflect part of your personality you ought to hear my wife's suggestions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think it would be against the rules for me to post such language here

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    Default

    Stuart, your not alone. Note, Jbivin as opposed to "Trail name". But, thanks, Sweatpea for your reply. Your response really hit home with me and now feel compelled to create a name.

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    Dangerpea, I mean, not Sweetpea...sorry.

  6. #6
    GAVA '04; GAME '05
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    Default

    No trail name? You're no weekender! We thru-hikers are a close-knit bunch; we watch out for each other; we root for each other. Simply put, we are special, unique. Therefore we need our trail names as our badge to proudly proclaim our thru-hiker membership, to bond ourselves to this special fraternity.

    .....also consider just how difficult it would be to spread gossip along the way if we all used our real names!

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    Default

    stuart, that's a good trail name!! my parent's gave me the name doug , my buddies gave me the name 'robo' other people have given me a few other names. i thought trail names were given to you , i still remember a few hiker's trail names from 30 yrs. ago. like daniel boone's cousin ( if there was a fork he always tok the wrong one ) if we're picking our own names i'm going with "TRAIL HUNK " it's really too big a lie , call me doug or robo or when supper is ready

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    stuart, that's a good trail name!! my parent's gave me the name doug , my buddies gave me the name 'robo' other people have given me a few other names. i thought trail names were given to you , i still remember a few hiker's trail names from 30 yrs. ago. like daniel boone's cousin ( if there was a fork he always tok the wrong one ) if we're picking our own names i'm going with "TRAIL HUNK " it's really too big a lie , call me doug or robo or when supper is ready
    Stuart? Good trail name? I am afraid not... he/she would attract more mouses. (Stuart the movie)


    Flash Hand

  9. #9
    Registered User Butch Cassidy's Avatar
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    Default Trailname

    Paladin: One ot the Twelve Peers or famous warriors of Charlemagne's court, of whom the Count Palatine was the foremost; also fig. a knightly hero, renowned champion, knight errant. (The Oxford English Dictionary)
    Some considered a crusader, The Trail is me Lady, I champion her cause.
    The Paladin.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper Dave
    Paladin: One ot the Twelve Peers or famous warriors of Charlemagne's court, of whom the Count Palatine was the foremost; also fig. a knightly hero, renowned champion, knight errant. (The Oxford English Dictionary)
    Some considered a crusader, The Trail is me Lady, I champion her cause.
    The Paladin.
    Also a 155mm self-propelled howitzer. Nice trailname. The successor howitzer to this was supposed to be the Crusader, but got turned down after engineering conflicts and budgeting. Crusader! Now that's another idea for a trail knight in shining armor
    a.k.a CHOP-CHOP

  11. #11
    Registered User JimSproul's Avatar
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    Default

    Greetings all -

    I am trying to turn my hike into an educational tool for kids. I hope to have a few classes and my duaghter's elementary school follow my progress. There are a bunch of folks out there that have never had water that did not come from a tap or a bottle. I want to broaden their experience.

    Besides, the "pressure" of them watching should help motivate me through those low spots to come.

    See ya' down the trail.

  12. #12
    Spirit in search of experience. wacocelt's Avatar
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    I've known alot of folks who began the trail thinking that the idea of a trail name was pretty dumb, however when some of thier tried and true hiking buddies began calling them somehting it gave them a welling sense of pride and enthuisiasm. It's not for everyone, but don't write it off until you see and feel what it's all about out in the field. Be well!

    Christopher
    Everything is exactly as it should be. This too shall pass.

  13. #13

    Default

    I just hope whatever name the trail bestows on me is fitting and not a 2,000 mile piss take!

    (piss-take = make fun of).

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wacocelt
    I've known alot of folks who began the trail thinking that the idea of a trail name was pretty dumb, however when some of thier tried and true hiking buddies began calling them somehting it gave them a welling sense of pride and enthuisiasm. It's not for everyone, but don't write it off until you see and feel what it's all about out in the field. Be well!

    Christopher
    I agree and that is the approach I will take when my thruhike comes.

  15. #15

    Default

    I have been trying on a few "trailnames" to see how they fit and I have come up with "YogaMad".

    I am truly mad about yoga, and will start teacher training as soon as I get back from my hike. I plan on practising when I am on the trail as well. (yoga is great for getting the kinks out!!)

    Thoughts anyone? Or should I wait until someone pegs me with a name?

  16. #16
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackyd99
    I have been trying on a few "trailnames" to see how they fit and I have come up with "YogaMad".

    I am truly mad about yoga, and will start teacher training as soon as I get back from my hike. I plan on practising when I am on the trail as well. (yoga is great for getting the kinks out!!)

    Thoughts anyone? Or should I wait until someone pegs me with a name?
    Sounds like a GREAT name! You should start with it, and if it sticks, it sticks. If you get renamed, then so be it! When we hiked in 2001, we didn't want to give ourselves trailnames. We actually felt somewhat left out because of that, and each of us struggled with trail names for almost 500 miles before finally getting pegged with some. It makes it difficult for people to recognize you if you keep changing the name. So, in my opinion, pick one before you start, and be willing to be renamed. If you don't get renamed in the first week or two, it probably won't happen.

    Gravity (and my wife, Danger Pea) GA-ME 2005!!!!

    Gravity Man and Tuffie GA-WV 2001

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the input Gravity! Hubs is not picking a name - he just says call him "Dave"!

    So when do you start? We might meet up...although you will probably meet up with Hubs before me - I am normally about half a mile behind him!

    We are starting sometime the first week of March.

  18. #18
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackyd99
    Thanks for the input Gravity! Hubs is not picking a name - he just says call him "Dave"!

    So when do you start? We might meet up...although you will probably meet up with Hubs before me - I am normally about half a mile behind him!

    We are starting sometime the first week of March.
    Ah, those that insist on keeping their names are given really, uh, "good" ones right away The Dave won't last...

    We are starting march 1! SO EXCITED! So, we will hopefully meet! We aren't planning on going too fast or too far each day. Especially in the beginning in march. We hiked through some mean weather as well as a cold and some sicknesses. This time we know better and will take it easier!

    Gravity

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gravityman
    Ah, those that insist on keeping their names are given really, uh, "good" ones right away The Dave won't last...

    We are starting march 1! SO EXCITED! So, we will hopefully meet! We aren't planning on going too fast or too far each day. Especially in the beginning in march. We hiked through some mean weather as well as a cold and some sicknesses. This time we know better and will take it easier!

    Gravity
    Well we will be about a week behind you...We fly out end of Feb/beginning of March, but then we are driving down to my mom's in Pensacola to get some gear we had shipped to her house. Then heading back up to Atlanta - I'm sure DAVE doesn't want to spend a long time at my mom's!

    I hope he gets pegged with a good trail name...Pain in the Ass is probably already taken! J/K!

  20. #20
    GAVA '04; GAME '05
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackyd99
    I hope he gets pegged with a good trail name...Pain in the Ass is probably already taken! J/K!
    You could always call him "Pass" for short, and you'll know what it means.

    I went by Sal Paradise in 04 and didn't have any problems with the normal-name-as-nickname thing. Then again it was only after I told them it wasn't my real name.

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