Defining HIKING and BACKPACKING TERMS! | Miranda in the Wild


In this video I define common terms and phrases used by hikers and backpackers! Wanna get hip with the HIKING LINGO? If you are a new backpacker, these phrases and definitions should give you a good starting place. Think you know them all? Quiz yourself as you watch along to see how many common terms from hiking, backpacking and camping you know!

Terms —

ZERO DAY – A day on trail when zero miles are hiked.
TYPE-2 FUN – Fun that is miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect.
PEAKBAGGING – Attempting to reach a collection of summits or hill climbs.
BEAR-MUDA TRIANGLE – A system to keep bears away from your tent by having your food cache, camp kitchen, and sleeping area all 100 yards away from one another in a triangle, with your sleeping area upwind.
POOPORTUNITY – The discovery of a good place to poop on trail.
BLAZE – Markings that show the direction of a trail, usually on trees. 
LEAVE NO TRACE – Leaving as little human impact on a trail or outdoor recreational area.
BASE WEIGHT- How much your loaded pack weighs, minus consumables.
ULTRALIGHT – A base weight under 10 pounds.
COLD SOAK – Rehydrating your food without boiling water by soaking it longer, usually overnight. 
H.Y.O.H. – Acronym for Hike Your Own Hike, referring to hiking in a way that pleases the hiker.
DISPERSED CAMPING – Camping outside of a designated campground.
TENT PLATFORM – A designated platform or area at a campsite meant for pitching your tent. 
LIGHTWEIGHT – A base weight under 20 pounds.
CRAMPONS – A foot traction system that’s fastened to existing footwear.
CAIRN – A stack of stones used to mark where a trail goes, or where trails diverge.
THE 10 ESSENTIALS – The ten essential wilderness survival items.
FALSE PEAK – A peak that appears to be the top, but the true peak is beyond, and higher.
WAG BAGS – Human waste bags and storage used where burying waste is not allowed. 
TRAIL NAME – A name used when on trail, usually given by another hiker.
FACILA-TREES – As in, “I’m going to use the facila-trees.” Using the forest as your toilet.
GUY LINES – A cord or string that is used to secure a tent or tarp to the ground.
SCREE – A mass of small loose stones that form or cover a slope on a mountain.
NOBO – A northbound hiker.
SOBO – A southbound hiker.
NERO DAY – An almost zero day.
TREE LINE – The edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing.
A.T. – The Appalachian Trail.
P.C.T. – The Pacific Crest Trail.
C.D.T. – The Continental Divide Trail.
BIVY SACK – A small minimalist shelter usually used as emergency lightweight weather protection.
CONTOUR LINES – The lines on a topographical map.
CAT HOLE – The hole you dig to poop in.
GORP – Colloquial for trail mix, standing for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.
GLISSADE – Descending a steep snow or scree covered slope by controlled slide.
POSTHOLE – Vertical plunge of a hikers foot into what was assumed to be hard earth or snow.
SWITCHBACKS – Zig zagging up a mountain, mountain pass, or hill, rather than steeply ascending straight up.
BLADDER – Colloquial term for a hydration reservoir.
TALUS – A slope formed be the accumulation of rock debris.
HERD PATH – A non-official path formed by hikers and maintained by hikers.
GAITERS (not “Gaitors”… oops!) – Garment worn over the shoe or boot and lower pant leg to keep debris and water from entering the shoe or boot.
G.P.S. – Global positioning system.
COL – The low point between two ridge lines.
PACK-IT-OUT – Carrying out all waste with you.
VITAMIN I – Ibuprofen.
CUBEN FIBER – A strong, extremely lightweight fiber used in creating some ultralight tents, tarps, and backpacks.
PUFFER JACKET – A quilted jacket filled with duck, goose or synthetic insulating material.
TRAIL SPICE – Dirt which inevitably gets in food on trail.
CAMP CLEAN – Not quite clean, but clean enough for camp.
R-VALUE – The temperature rating of a sleeping pad, referring to the conductive flow of heat.
VESTIBULE – The outdoor spaces on the sides or front of a tent covered by the rain fly.
BEAR BAG – A bag version of a bear canister, usually meant to be hung from a tree.
TRAILHEAD – The place where a trail begins.

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