How I got my Trail Name….Sofa Queen


“And when you’re in a Slump you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done“

There were a couple things I knew I needed to have on point before I left on my PCT Trek. One big thing was my sleep system.


I have tried it all on previous trips: a foam pad only, an inflatable one, one pillow, two inflatable pillows, etc.  You get the point.


So in planning this thru-hike, I asked myself, ‘what is a big thing I need, that if dialed in, will contribute to my overall success?’ That, to me, was being able to sleep comfortably each night on trail.


Enter now all the options…  I did my research!  I’m a side-sleeper, so I knew an inflatable pad was the way to go. I found the Big Agnes SJX. Got that!  Then, I already had a foam one (plus the foam pad now doubles as a backcountry yoga mat… Boom!)  I had “tootsie,” my cheap, yet amazing foam cylinder-shaped pillow (about 12” long) that I always brought on car-camping trips.  That was necessary!  (It literally has never lost its shape.)  And lastly, since I’m a snuggler, I knew I needed something to cuddle, so I researched compressible foam pillows that could pack down, and I chose the MyPillow roll-n-go travel pillow.  Got that!


 Ok, you may be thinking, not that light.  No, it’s not. What carry all that?  Why not!? I brought all 4 items anyway!  (I did extra reps in the gym to cover the extra weight)


So, here I am… lots o’gear, setting up my first night on trail, and my girlfriends (who had joined me for the first 60 mile stretch), were commenting on my backcountry luxury.  Damn straight!


I sleep SO well!  Like amazingly well!  I could sleep for hours. I was perfectly comfortable, and I loved it!  A naturally, though, as the days passed, and other hikers started seeing my elaborate set-up, the jesting was began  (they were just jealous!)  I let it roll off the shoulders (because guess what, they didn’t hurt)!


I got called ‘Princess,’ ‘Queen,’ all the sorts. .  Nothing seemed to stick, as to a trail name, so I went with the flow and let the days pass.


But, it only took 3 days, and on the day that we happened to touch the Canadian terminus, my friends had conferred with other hikers, and they shared that “Sofa Queen” was my official trail name!

Out time at the terminus was so emotional. Not only did my friends tell me my official trail name, one of them, Tina, prepared a short speech and recited snippets from Dr. Seuss’s, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I cried.  I knew I was officially on my start!


Tina actually made this amazing video highlighting the first four days of our out-and-back trek from Harts Pass to Canada and back. You can watch the video here.


If you want to watch the SNL spoof about “Sofa-King,” and thereby understand the inspiration behind my name, you can watch the skit here.

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Comments 7

  • thetentman : Aug 5th

    Good luck and you should try a stuff sack with an interior fleece lining. At night just pull it inside out and stuff it with clothes. Multi-purpose, functional, and comfortable with no extra weight.


  • Mikeycat : Aug 5th

    Reminds me of the old Mancow Mueller in the Morning radio skit from the 1999/2000 timeframe (Chicago area).

    Sofa King Good!

  • Liz “Rest Step” Fallin : Aug 9th

    Hi Sofa Queen! Great to read your post. We met at Stehekin two weeks ago, and it was delightful to hang out with you for a bit. Looking forward to following your hike. Happy trails! ?

  • Craig Nicholas : Aug 10th

    I’m cheering for you Sofa Queen! We miss you in San Diego!

  • christine rhiner : Aug 20th

    Hi Sofa Queen, nice chatting with you! By now you are probably done with Washington. You have a great attitude and I do hope the smoke and fires simmer down. You will enjoy the Sierras! Icky


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