When I was 11 years old, shortly after I had joined Boy Scout Troop 116 in Elkhart, Indiana, I prepared for my first backpacking trip. Until this trip the only camping I had done was when the whole family and our giant canvas tent were loaded into my dad's station wagon, and we travelled to a nearby state park. As the planning and packing began I knew backpacking would be better than any previous camping trip. I was going to carry my own gear and hike with other scouts five miles to a farm. I was excited.
Trail names are a tradition on long distance hiking trails. They give you a chance to adopt your own persona that is removed from your everyday identity in your non-hiking world. Part of this tradition is to have your trail name given to you by others, but this is not a hard rule that all must follow.
The Appalachian Trail is a brilliant idea, born from a tragic moment, which turned into so much more than anyone could conceive.