I Need A Trail Name!

VIDEO for “I Need a Trail Name” is up! <— *CLICK*

In the world of long-distance hiking, one thing you can look forward to acquiring (other than poison oak or really stinky feet) is a good trail name.

Name me and WIN a bottle of Gringo Bandito! Ooo-La-La! Muy hot & tasty!

A trail name is used more often than your real name on the trail, and there’s a few reasons for this.

One is that it’s easier to figure out who someone is referring to. If you ask a group of hikers if they have seen Bill, they might ask “Bill who?” There might be several “Bill’s” hiking the trail at that point. But if you ask them if they saw “Giraffe Neck” they’ll all know who you’re talking about!

Another is that maybe you don’t want your real name while on the trail. Your ‘real life’ might stress you out, and while on the trail you might want to distance yourself from your ‘real life’… So “Bob, the Banker from Boise” turns into “Limp-Along,” based on his penchant for getting blisters and limping painfully into camp at the end of each day.

Another is because it’s just fun to get a name, and for others to give names! I have a friend, Jeff, who loves nicknames. In fact, his whole family has nicknames, even his grandmother.  Over the years, Jeff has tried, mostly in vain, to attach a nickname to me. “Yard Sale” came about from my habit of forgetting things at his house. “Pond Scum” originated from a time a bunch of us went hiking to a swimming hole above Santa Barbara, and I came up from a dive with a big patch of moss hanging off my face. Neither stuck as well as the moss did to my face, thankfully! Another came on the Life Without Limbs trip while in Singapore and India. My friend Steve and I were videographers for

Manfrotto 2, Foster's, and Manfrotto 1, in Mumbai, India

that leg of the trip, and we had monopods to set the cameras on, and the monopods were made by a company called “Manfrotto.” Thus, Steve was dubbed “Manfrotto 1,” and I was “Manfrotto 2.” Another friend on that trip was from Australia, and I dubbed him “Foster’s,” after the beer from his homeland.

It’s fun to get and give nicknames!

So, my dilemna…I don’t have a trail name yet! Since there’s no rule saying you have to actually be on the trial to get a trail name,  I’m going to open it up to you…my friends, family, and people I may not know yet…to wield supreme executive power and use it to dub me a trail name that I will carry with me along the Pacific Crest Trail…and beyond!

So for the next few weeks I’ll be collecting potential trail names. I currently have five people waiting in a small, yet comfortable cave outside Poughkeepsie, New York, and they will sift through the submitted names, and choose the five they like best.

Then, I’ll put up those five potential trail names here on the site, my Facebook and on YouTube. The name with the most votes will be my official trail name, and the person who submitted the name will get a bottle of Gringo Bandito hot sauce! They were my first sponsor for my thru-hike, so I’ll pass on the love to others. You can’t really find Gringo Bandito very far from Southern California where they are located, so it’s rare, but tasty.

So please, help name me so I can know who I am! Go to the bottom of this page, and in the “Comment” box send in your trail name suggestions. If you think of more than one, send them all in!



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3 Responses to I Need A Trail Name!

  1. Basti says:

    After I’ve read your post and watched your video there’s only one possible trail name for you! It’s very obvious ideed and I think it sound cool, too. (or should I say “sounds hot”?)
    Yes, I know. A little bit too simple? I don’t think so! After all it’s your first sponsor. You’ve done a lot of work to actually get a trail name and this work (blog post and video) was always related to Gringo Bandito hot sauce! And watching your video It seemes to me that you’re a real fan of this stuff! Isn’t it a local product, too?
    Think of it! GRINGO BANDITO! Listen to the sound of this name! GRINGO BANDITO!

    Imagine walking the trail, the pack on your back, dust on you face. You’ve walked the whole day and you’ve finally reached one of those shelters. And then there’s a stranger sitting next to the fireplace. He’ll look up and says: “Hey, aren’t you the one they call GRINGO BANDITO?”

    Doesn’t sound good to you? Oh, I’m sure you’ll love it! And after all: Every trail name is a good story! But if the story would be too obvious it’s not a good trail name. So what would you think what’s going on in the heads of the other thruhikers when they hear this name?

    I’m sure GRINGO BANDITO would be the perfect trail name for you!

    Greetings from the other side of the world!

  2. Sauerkraut says:

    My opinion is that a trail name should be given
    to you by people you are hiking with.

    Usually something funny will happen along the way
    and you will be named.


    PCT 2008

  3. Very nice post. I simply stumblled upon your bloog and wanted
    to say that I have truly loved surfing around your blog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

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