People tease me about buying boxed wine because it has a hiker on the box. Having a glass of wine to celebrate an epic hike is awesome. Welcome chardonnay to the blog today and find out where she gets her trail name from.

From time to time people ask me about the name chardonnay. I give people the side eye who ask if it’s my real name. No. It’s a nickname, cycling, playa and trail name. Typically I only use my given name at work. I started using the name back when I was road cycling (I’ve ridden my back across Iowa 11 times on RAGBRAI), I liked carrying Chardonnay on my bike for adult beverage stops. When I went to Burning Man it just felt right to use chardonnay as my playa name. Then as I prepared to do the Pacific Crest Trail I found out about trail names; I was certain what mine would be. And yes, it is chardonnay with a small c!

A fitting name

Did you know Chardonnay is the most diverse – and most planted – white wine grape in the world? Full-bodied, bold, beautifully crafted and quite mature…..I identify with all those descriptors. See chardonnay is more than a nick/trail name, it’s my alter ego, a better version of me.

When I hike, I pack in (and out) Chardonnay in cartons. I’ve even had it shipped in a mail drop to celebrate at the PCT northern terminus.  Bandit wines and Wine Cube (easy to find at Target) are great for hiking, they are lightweight and can be recycled. They also have Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are great for day hiking and camping. But when I thru-hike I tend towards Chardonnay. Pack up some cheese and Nut Thins crackers and boom, instant motivation to get to camp!

Even got to do some wine tasting on the Appalachian Trail near Delaware Water Gap. It’s great to grab some wine (and WATER, don’t forget to hydrate) with the girls after a nice hike. Hike responsibly!

chardonnay everyday……happy trails!

Chardonnay is a thru-hiker getting ready to chase the last leg of her Triple Crown in April. You can learn more about her at her website,

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