One of the traditions on the AT (and other long distance hikes) is to take, or be given, a trail name. Having read many books and articles about this tradition I have yet to find a definitive answer to its roots. The most believable explanation is that on the trail you are all the same level, no one is better than anyone and that the majority of people are trying to escape the past or/and find their new future. Therefore you take a trail name to leave your “off-the-trail” person behind and become/find the new you.
I had a few options for a trail name: initially I was thinking “Good heart” which has more depth to its meaning than my character. My family name is Bunker which, in tracing my family history, I found was actually an English version of its original French name Bon Coeur (Good heart). But I wasn’t 100% comfortable with that and introducing myself to people as “Good heart” just didn’t sit right with me.
In a previous blog you would of read about my experience at the Appalachian Trail Institute (ATI) and meeting a great group of people. One of them formed a Facebook page just for our group and a member of the team posted this: So for a while I was Bearrito, until fortunately the original poster Arlene was blessed with the name.
Due to my immersion into the Latino culture in Texas I was called Britino (British Latino) but I think this would take to much explaining and is really localized to the time I am in Texas. While in North Carolina working I cannot say I was Britino at all.
And so I settled on my final choice: Britican. Being a dual citizen of Great Britain and America the combination became Britican.
My trail name may well change once hiking if other thru-hikers decide to call me something else, but for now I am Britican.