Trail Names: The Best of 2017

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When you’re on the A.T. you’re bestowed a trail name—a nickname, of sorts, that becomes your primary identity. Here are some of our favorites trail names from this year’s class of thru-hikers.

1. Mouse King

“My first night on the trail, I got to the shelter, and I noticed everybody was in their tents. No one was in the shelter because there were so many mice. I was so tired, I didn’t care. I was the only one who slept in the shelter. There were mice everywhere. I would turn on my headlight and they’d go away. Then after awhile, they just stopped going away. So I set up my tent in the shelter and went to sleep. The next morning I went to the privy, and there was a mouse right behind me, just staring at me the whole time.”

2. Cheese

“I was at one of the shelters, and I picked up a block of cheese, and ate it down in under a minute, and it was good, so they called me cheese. I tell bad jokes, and I’m from Wisconsin, too, so I’ve got all three things going on.”

3. ILL

“My first night out here, I got sick, and I threw up a couple times.”

4. Magnito

“I make jewelry out of metal wire, things like that. I was crafting on the rail a little bit, and someone said, ‘Oh you’re Magnito.’ It’s a super-villain in X-Men who is able to manipulate metal magnetically. After the A.T., I hope to start making jewelry for a living.”

5. Sliced Beets

“It’s a game I play with my son online.”

6. Santa Max

“Some young kid was here, and he had Max first. That’s the one I wanted. And because of the beard, he stuck me with Santa Max so he could keep what he wanted.”

7. Heat Wave

“I got it on the Pacific Crest Trail. I had never backpacked before, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was probably carrying about 60 pounds. I kept pulling up and cinching my backpack, and when we stopped at the first break, I unclipped everything, and I think my squeezed-up insides just kind of loosened, and I threw up all over the trail. Some older gentlemen came by and checked that I was okay and walked on. About 10 days later, or so, I ran into one of them again. He walked right up to me and was like, “Hey, Heat Wave, how’s it going?” The name stuck.”

8. Cindy Loo Hoo

“My hair is crazy purple, and I put it in a really high top bun a lot of the times.”

9. Red Fox

“I move through the woods like a fox, and I’ve got red hair and a big red beard.”

10. Banana Split

“I split my pants on Day 3, and I wear yellow shorts. I guess I’m kinda stuck with that the rest of the way.”

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