We are at the end of this journey together. To the best of my ability, I have imparted some of what I know about end-to-end backpacking. Here are a few final points that didn’t fall nicely into any of the other sections, and I still want you to know. 

Trail Names

Boxcar, Mother Goose, Waffle, NEO, Gumby, Quitter, Nat-Geo. If you are a hiker, you are entitled to a trail name. A trail name is a nickname usually given to you by someone with your consent or one you choose of your own accord. Names can relate to an experience, a character you link to, or just sheer nonsense. A suitable trail name is non-offensive and inclusive. These names are usually found in the hiker cultures to separate them from the “muggles.” There are some people I have met and had lovely conversations with, yet I only know them by their Trail Names. So, without further ado, I’m Talus, A rocky slope found at the base of a cliff or the weight-bearing bone in your foot. I chose to reuse my nature name from Camp Kintail to pay homage to my first major hike. My partner picked the name Waffle… because she likes waffles. Maybe trail names will pick up along the Bruce Trail. Who knows, but it certainly would make life more interesting. 

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker class of 2022

More than Hiking

Flowerpot Stack painting 2023

Every trail will have its proverbial peaks and valleys. If you are not having fun, stop and modify your goals. Perhaps completing the Bruce Trail becomes a lifetime accomplishment, or hiking all the significant spots and biking along the roadways. Your free time is precious, so hike your own hike wherever and whenever you choose. 

Go for more than just hiking. If you are into art, get creative with your experiences. Paint, take pictures, write poetry, draw, or shoot a video. If you are into ecology, turn your hike into a study of birds, rocks, or plants. If you are a social butterfly, make a part of your hike a way to communicate with your friends. Having a task you are doing could give meaning to your walk and help you through it when it feels tough.

Commemorating your accomplishments with a badge is a great way to celebrate your work. Show it off by sewing it on your pack or clothes. You are also supporting the clubs with each patch you buy.

Make your end-to-end official with the Bruce Trail Conservancy. If you do so, your name will be in the seasonal magazine, and you will get a certificate to show off your hard work. This recognition is available to members only.

Patch Collection from across Ontario


The environment is our collective responsibility. The Bruce Trail didn’t just magically get placed in our collective laps. It is made possible through donations and countless volunteer hours. It is also a finite resource. A ribbon of wilderness passing by some of the largest cities in Canada can be fragile. It’s worth protecting using the levers that are available to us. Financial, political, grassroots, and corporate, using these levers, we can protect the greenbelt from those who see it as a resource to be spent. Once it is gone, it is tough to get it back. Remember where the land is from.

Thank you for following along with these posts. Any misconceptions or opinions expressed are the author’s viewpoints and may not be shared by the Bruce Trail Conservancy or its affiliated hiking clubs. If you need help planning your end-to-end hike, I can be reached at holden.aaron4@gmail.com.

May your pack be light and your heart be full,

Aaron “Talus” Holden

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