25 Thru-Hike Inspired Tattoos
Tattoos have long been humanity’s way of expressing creativity, transience, and permanency all in one. What better way to show others that you’re artistic, have a bit of an “edge”, and don’t mind having a piece of art stamped on your body for the rest of your years? According to Huffington Post, about 23% of Americans today have tattoos, and 32% of people age 30-45 have gotten inked. That’s quite a few tramp stamps. Alas, we all know most AT hikers are way too cool to ask for crappy flowers around “Luscious” at the small of their back. I did see a few tribal tattoos on my thru hike, but they were only section hikers (go figure). What I found really, really cool, though, were the AT tattoos. Most thru-hikers hadn’t gotten one yet, claiming they planned on inking themselves once they finished (myself included). There were a few former thru-hikers and trail angels, however, who had their AT ink bright and shiny for the masses to “Ooo” and “Ahh” at. We asked around the internet and got a few people to show us just how awesome/cool/super tatastic they are, here we go! Be sure to check out our updated list of Appalachian Trail Tattoos as well.
First off, there’s Guinness, a 2011 thru-hiker:
Then there’s the standard, yet solid AT logo from BooBoo, a 2000 thru-hiker:
Or how about Hudson’s (who is currently thru-hiking) inventive and very appropriate farmer holding some big hiking sticks:
And here we have Geared Up donning the classic AT signpost:
Elysia took this one at the Inn at The Long Trail with two shots of Tullamore Dew:
Then there’s legion, who hiked the AT and got the logo/map on his leg. Then he did the same for the PCT. Can we say “bad f***ing ass”?
This may be a bit narcissistic, but it’s ok because I said that. Here’s the one I got just last week:
BONUS UPDATE: Here are X more, posted onto the Appalachian Trials Facebook Page.
Danny Hopson with a classy boot footprint.
Cheesewiz sporting an intricate AT map / scroll.
This classic tat belongs to Stinky.
Spider and co. with the matching tats.
The Mayor. Also, that’s not a red outline, just blood.
Beautiful black and white concentric bootprints for Tony Janisch.
And the undeniable thru-hiker sentiment from Chris Stiles.
Bonzo (NOBO ’97), bringing sexy back (get it?)
Thin Mint (2014) sporting some GA>ME.
Invictus (NOBO 2013) is forever heading north.
Ian Young with the full leg mural.
Maria Wishart: “Trail name is peanut-b but my son’s trail name for me is Mama Bear, hence why the bear is holding a jar of peanut butter. The white blaze on the tree and my Deuter pack leaning up against the tree.”
“Minimalist. AT ’99 with LT ’02”
Trevor Pyke (SOBO 2013) and his half-arm SOBO tat
David Trevor Frye Class of 2009
Here’s Josh Pruitt’s half-complete Appalachian Trail sleeve. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
Tattoo to commemorate Erin’s full Appalachian Trail hike. I was given complete control over how to approach this idea. So starting at the ankle it’s the flowers from Georgia in the spring when she started her hike. Following all the way up to the top in Maine where she finished in the fall. The flowers gradually change from what you see in each area of the trail and change with the seasons as she made her way through.
Count the tree rings. That’s how many awesomes Erick Gaudreau’s tattoo is.
I’m going to be honest: to me, there’s no way you can hike 2185.3 miles and not get a tattoo commemorating the feat. But I also have a tattoo of Treetar (that’s a guitar-shaped tree) commemorating my 10th anniversary of first picking one up, so you be the judge. Either way, make sure you think long and hard about whether or not you want something embedded in your skin for the rest of your life. Or just be like Ice-T and say f**k it.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
Here is mine. Just got it on Tuesday.
Turbo, class of 2015
The tat of the guy holding two branches is obviously not a farmer. Sheesh! The guy is wearing a hiking hat not a straw hat. The guy is a hiker!
Looks like “Hudsons” tat.
I work for Backpacker Magazine, and we would like to talk to you about publishing a few of these photos in our next issue which is dedicated to thru-hiking. Please email me. Thanks! [email protected]
Twinville- I think that might be more than just any old hiker. My guess would be a park ranger by the shape of the hat and outline of the rest of the body and boots. Unless they know something we don’t…
I just finished my 2189 miles this year and I have one! Coordinates of Springer and Katahdin on my arm
Nice article and pics!