well, if you are a long distance hiker, not too much. In fact, so little that you are required to get an entirely new one at the start of the trip!
We are not sure of why or where it all started, but we have had our hiker names for many years now. We were given our names in 2000 when we first hiked on the Appalachian trail in the USA. I can remember reading about the trail on chat forums and noticed that people were referring to others on the trail by nick names. Hmmm I thought... some of these folk are somewhat strange! Who would go by a name like THAT... Some were based on hiking things, 'wingfoot' 'hiking pole' and 'gaited mule' come to mind, but others were just strange like 'pooh bear' and 'wrong way', 'cupcake' and the list goes on and on. Who are these people and will we have to deal with them... Are they safe to be around?
So, we start our trip and discover that you have to have a nick name.. A trail name. Right O......
In the first weeks of us walking on the trail we met up with Dave McNany and walked with him around us for some time. He is from Tennessee and has an awesome southern accent. Daves trail name is Huckleberry. Sort of normal, especially in the south. In discovering we needed naming, Huckleberry got right on to it with suggestions every time we met. I should say at this point, Christine had named herself Dusty after a Soundgarden song by the same name. If you listen to the sone, it says life is good getting better and reflected her trip on this awesome trail well. Some say the rule is you have to be named, rather than naming yourself... OK, I think Huckleberry might have made that one up but I followed along anyway.
So, my names were coming in thick and fast. Some ok, some not so. I had a condition on it being a good one or I would ignore it.. I got some that were to be expected, kiwi was a common one, to be honest I don't remember the options I had to deal with because the final one was soooo good..
Most came after I had been asked again about New Zealand and what was popular. Farming, sheep (you can guess some that came after that) and cows.
"what about COWPIE?" (In southern accent) Cowpie? What's that? It's a cow shit... oh
Well, something in me liked that name and it 'stuck' haha
So from then on, we have been Cowpie & Dusty. I always had fun drawing little flys around a Cowpie in the trail books and as it spread along the track a lot of people wanted to meet this kiwi that was named after a cow poop. It was fun!
Heading into the trail days festival on the trail I happend to discover a field with cows... and cow poop, or cowpie (as they say in the US) so of course, I selected a nice compact one, lacquered it up and wore it at trail days.. It was great! I had a line of strangers getting photos with me, of course it was 'oh, you must be Cowpie I have heard about you, can I buy you a drink' and it went on.
So, we are now on the Bibbulmun trail and this time, we see a lot of folk using trail names so we have decided that we are now back to being Cowpie & Dusty!
Fun times again!
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!