I Need a Trail Name

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On the Appalachian Trail, most thru-hikers have a “trail name”, a nickname usually with a memorable story. This nickname can be self-proclaimed, or it can be assigned by others because of some humorous event or action involving the hiker.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I am too far ahead of the other hikers to have them witness any boneheaded things that I do, so I am reaching out to have you, my followers, vote for my trail name. You get to decide!

Here are some options and the story behind each.


This was my original idea as my trail name. The story behind this is that it was my nickname in the 1980s when I was a dishwasher. I was so slow that the kitchen staff nicknamed me Tortuga. Frankly, my whole attitude in life is slow. Why hurry? So much to see, to photograph, to experience. Unfortunately, my slow pace is preventing me from making the miles each day necessary to complete the Calendar Year Triple Crown. What irony if Tortuga could complete this feat.

Unfortunately, I heard on a Backpacker Radio podcast a few years ago that someone else has this trail name. Not that two hikers can’t have the same trail name, and I’m not even sure this person is still active, but I would like to think that I’m unique. Maybe Night Turtle (see below)?

Tight Squeeze

I Need a Trail NameI never even thought of this until Lee Casteen recently suggested it in a comment. This comes from a cave video of mine that has gone viral with over 8 million views so far. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to check out Tight Squeeze at Deep Cave. I like this one a lot because it gives me an excuse to talk about my life passion—caving! I love talking about caves. I love photographing caves. I love taking people caving, especially for the first time when you get to see the awe and wonder in their eyes. Most especially, I love tight squeezes in caves (ask me about the Birth Canal at Airman’s Cave and watch my eyes light up). In fact, I’m sometimes brought on trips specifically because I will crawl into tight leads that no other cavers, including those smaller than me, are crazy enough to attempt.

The more I think about this one, the more I like it. Nice double entendre. Platform to introduce caving to fellow hikers. Screw your votes. I’m just going to call myself Tight Squeeze.

Pink Rainbow Unicorn Hairbrush, aka Unicorn Brush

Pink rainbow unicorn hairbrush

For unique, this is it. I have a literal pink rainbow unicorn hairbrush. It is awesome. One of the best purchases of my life. I thought I would be offering it hikers all the time and become known as the guy with the pink rainbow unicorn brush. Maybe hang it off my pack so it’s even more prominent. But alas, I am alone; no hikers are maintaining my pace (most of them apparently stop hiking when the sun goes down).

The downside to this name is that it’s a confusing mouthful. Was it pink unicorn rainbow or rainbow pink something? Even the abbreviated name, was it brush or hairbrush? As much as I love my pink rainbow unicorn hairbrush, I’m thinking this one is just too much.

Toying with It

Ice Bear suggested this when I said I was toying with the name Pink Rainbow Unicorn Brush. I’ve used this term multiple times when thinking about using the Unicorn moniker. Humorous double entendre that lets me talk about my awesome pink rainbow unicorn hairbrush as the impetus.

Night Walker

Treeline suggested this since I do a lot of hiking at night. As a caver, night hiking is no big deal to me (which again gives me an opportunity to talk about my caving passion). Maybe combine this with Tortuga to be Night Turtle?

Vote now!

If you have other suggestions or variations, leave them in the comments below.

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11 Responses

  1. Switch between the two – TS by day and T by night, ppl will come to learn that Tortuga Is Tight Squeeze and just call you TITS for short.

  2. Sort of wanted to do a mash up for ‘night squeeze,’ but really that’s too forward. I like this one because you can also just be ‘tight,’ (of course you are) or ‘squeeze,’ which is more adorable. Well done, Bennett, keep walking and enjoying this world!

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