When you venture out into the wild on a long-distance hiking trail, it is tradition to take on a trail name (because you don't want anything that happens on the trail to come back and find you in the “real world”).
Convicted serial killer? Famous athlete? Just unfortunately named? I'm looking at you, Mike Hunt.
Whatever your burden, the trail will lift it off your shoulders (and replace it with an incredibly heavy backpack).
There does exist a set of unwritten rules governing the subject of trail names which some hikers take more seriously than others:
- You cannot bestow a name upon yourself, it must be given to you.
- You have the right to refuse proposed names until you feel a suitable one has been conjured up (but be careful, people will still call you what they wish).
REBORN ON THE TRAIL
Once you shed the slave name forced upon you by your parent(s) or guardian(s) (overlords in either case), you are free to do as you wish on (and off) the trail.
Sure, people in town may give you looks when you give your name as Zoran The Magnificent at a restaurant, but they will also fear you for being different from them (which everyone knows translates into respect). You are already likely smelling of the outdoors (aka filth) or wearing only your underwear (my outfit of choice when going out in town), so what's a name on top of all that?
Below you will find a (nowhere near exhaustive) list of hikers I met on the trail (yes, my trail name is listed as well):
Achilles, Banjo, Bear Claw, Bunny Slayer, Booty, Hummingbird, Glide On, Deep Dish, Pool Side, Bearcat, La Cantata, Shark Rider, Appa, Moise, Indie, Marmot-Q, Storytime, Shorts, Kelso, Lint, Rooster, Cougar Bait, Dusty, Trenchstar H. Rockfoot, Kit-Kat, Tugboat, Kushy, Starfox, Tigger, Shady Acres, Gone Slow, Apache, Pepper Flake, Shotput, Make-do, Kokonut, Journal, Atlas, Vijazzle, Rainbow Brite, Muk-Muk, Deuce, Karma, Crazy Horse, Reverend Dude, Rooster, The Dude, Garage Man, Solar Time, Fire Hazard, Bliss, Pants on Fire, Dance Party, Pants Off Dance Off, T-Rex, Pooh Bear, Giardian Angel, Krav, The Inquisitor, Epic, Buckwheat, Tool Box, Coyote, Roadkill, Vogue, Naturally Caffeinated, Porsche, Ugliest Cheerleader, Safari, Puff, Solstice, Golden Boy, Luna, Werewolf, Pounce, Whitney Shoeston, Tragic, Trivia, Rub-a-Dub, Kitten, Steamer, Focus, Skedaddle, Stretch, Ice Bucket, Weeds, Lady Killer, Girly Girl, Cookie Monster, Ice Ax, Devil Fish, Beer-O, Fatty, Mac The Wizard.
So there you are, your reason for embarking upon a ridiculously long hike has arrived. Enjoy your new name, friend.