This may not count as a “real” trail name to some, but I gave IT a trail name, and so I will from now on be referring to him here as “Matches”.
Matches – formerly known as IT – was fortunate to get many of his meals for our backpacking trip from MREs that a friend gave him. Several of the MREs included small books of matches.
While we’re camping starting a campfire always seems to be an issue. Neither of us have much patience when it comes to things like that, though with many years of outdoor survival skill classes under my belt I am usually able to get a somewhat decent fire started after a couple minutes. Matches is not quite as thorough as I am.
Usually his luck comes from lighting lots of paper towels on fire with a lighter, and eventually it keeps going. He’s tried matches, lighters, flint and steel, even spraying bug spray on the fire to get it going, my personal favorite method – and the reason I’ve started calling him Matches, because I find it funny – is sort of a mix of two different ways of starting a fire.
One day he started a small fire with his lighter, and to keep it going threw matches in that would light for a few seconds. Eventually, he began putting all his kindling together, and adding a book of matches to it before using his normal Bic lighter to ignite it all.
We all laughed about it for a little while, when asked why I started calling him matches all I could answer was “because he starts the fire with a lighter, and then throws a book of matches in there to try and keep it lit!”
Despite the rain, bugs, and injury we had a lot of fun on the trail, even if we didn’t finish the 100 miles, yet.