Thru-Hiking Inspired Tattoos: Pacific Crest Trail and Beyond (Part III)

Some folks indulge in a celebratory meal or revel in the luxurious comforts of a restful vacation after completing a section or thru-hike, but the following hikers chose to permanently etch art onto their body to honor their hard-won achievement. After months of looking at the same blaze, trail logo, or map, now they can just look down and see it on their leg, arm, or wrist forever.


Trail name: Lint
Instagram: @lint_hikes
Trails hiked: Ice Age Trail 2003, AT 2004, PCT 2006, CDT 2007, Colorado Trail 2008, PCT 2009, AT 2010, CDT 2012, Arizona Trail + PCT 2013, AT 2014, CDT 2015, Florida Trail 2017.

Trail name: Rest Step
Trail hiked: Pacific Crest Trail sections 2014-2018

Trail name: Righteous
Instagram: @henry_takes_trails
Trail hiked: Pacific Crest Trail 2017

Trail name: Hotshot
Trail hiked: Pacific Crest Trail 2018

Trail name: 77
Instagram: @beertownbill
Trail hiked: PCT 1977 and AT 2017

Trail name: ODR (old dirty razor)
Instagram: @theotherforkintheroad
Trail hiked: AT 2015, PCT 2017

Left photo: my interpretation of the five sections of the PCT: hot desert sun of SoCal, mountainous Sierra, plentiful water in NorCal, fiery Oregon, and Washington evergreens. Right photo: my interpretation of the natural landscape from Springer Mountain to Maine.

Trail name: Aladdin
Instagram: @aladdin_hikes
Trail hiked: Pacific Crest Trail

Muir hut in the Sierra, with a happy little cloud.

Trail name: Chaunce
Instagram: @Juliana_Chauncey
Trail hiked: Pacific Crest Trail 2017

Name: Giuliano Stella
Instagram: @estrella.1977
Trail hiked: Camino de Santiago

Via Della Plata on the Camino de Santiago.

The following tattoos were done by 2018 thru-hiker For Now (@dirtynotahippy). He funded his hike by tattooing for donations/tips along the way. The tattoos are part of his trail name series.

Top left: Space-bear; Instagram: @brumstheword
Top right: Skillet

Bottom left: TuKan; Instagram: @davidmalek
Bottom right: Melon-head; Instagram:@summer_melonhead

Trail hiked: Appalachian Trail 2018

Trail name: Einstein
Instagram: @youth.retired
Trail hiked: John Muir Trail 2018

Trail name: Critter
Instagram: @abbyoreos
Trail hiked: Currently hiking the PCT

It is a pick-mattock, a trail tool commonly used for working on tread and especially useful for rock work. I drew it up and got it tattooed after doing a season of trail work in Baxter State Park (home of Katahdin, aka Northern Terminus of the AT). I did a lot of epic rock work there and the pick-mattock quickly became one of my favorite tools. I worked about four seasons there.

Trail name: Backtrack

This is my trail magic tattoo, commemorating all of the great people I met who were more than willing to help out a stranger with the soda I needed to get up that next mountain.

Trail name: Bookie (or Gator Tator)
Instagram: @Bookie_and_no_shame
Trail hiked: AT 2015

This tattoo tells the story of the trail starting at my ankle and going north. It is divided into quarters, each section including flora from that region. The artist took some liberties to create a story with the plants. The colors go from spring to summer to fall. As some of the buds close others open, representing the physical, mental, and emotional growth that took place. My hike included a leapfrog, and the artist wrapped the ferns and autumn leaves back around making sure that one of the leaves connected with the image just above my knee, representing my return to trail. Plants starting at my ankle: mountain laurel, ferns, trillium, poison hemlock, goatsbeard, chicory, oak leaves, acorns, jewel weed, black-eyed susan, birch leaves. This tattoo was done by Nick Filth @ Hidden History in Dover NH.

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