15 Savvy Hiking Expressions

Appalachian Trail Flowery Path

Appalachian Trail, Photo by Ray Anderson

No matter your vocation or weekend pursuits, there are phrases and acronyms specific to your interests. This week we have hiking jargon with guest blogger Ray Anderson – hiker extraordinaire – of Hingham, Massachusetts. Read about American hiking trails, make a list of must-haves for hiking, and see some fabulous pictures at Ray’s blog, http://TakeaLongHike.com.

Ray’s hiking bio
“So far, I’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, The Long
Trail (Vermont), and much of the Continental Divide Trail. I developed an
abiding interest in hiking twenty-five years ago when I began climbing the
4000+ foot mountains of New Hampshire. I’ve completed the highest mountains in New Hampshire (48) and have finished climbing all the 4000 footers in New England (67). This year, I tackle the Adirondacks in upstate NY (46).”

Peak-Bagger: A Peak-bagger is a hiker who aims to summit (bag) certain mountain peaks on some type of plan. A hiker, for example, can apply for recognition after he climbs all the 48 four thousand footers in New Hampshire.

Thru-hiker: A hiker that will attempt to hike the complete trail in one go, or in one season.

Section hiker: A hiker who hikes a trail in small sections; he or she may not plan on completing the trail.

Nobo: Northbounder

Sobo: Southbounder

Trail Name: The catchy moniker a hiker chooses to go by for an extended hike. Examples are legion—Yogi, Vagabond, The Mad Viking, AWOL, Skittles, Dreamwalker, Hamlet (that’s me), etc. Choose a name before someone tags you with one you may not like.

Camel up: Quench your thirst; fill your water bottles.

Vitamin I: Ibuprofen, or similar pills to ease joint pain and treat other aches.

Gorp: Typically, a combination of mixed nuts, dry cereal, raisins, chocolate chips or candy bits, and such. Usually homemade and eaten from baggies. Designed to give quick energy.  (Eat too much gorp and it will begin to taste like birdseed.)

TP: I saw this on everyone’s gear list and couldn’t figure it out. TP stands for Toilet Paper.

Bushwhack: Blaze your own trail

Flip-flop: Hike in one direction, then leap ahead by other means and hike in the opposite direction, back to the former spot (used in dealing with snow, fires, bad weather).

Zero day: A no mileage day.

Trail angel: Anyone, usually a non-hiker, who helps a hiker—ride, food, a place to stay, etc.

Yogi: To not quite ask for food, but get it by looking hungry, forlorn—use your imagination.

*     *     *

Try this yummy recipe for trail mix – Food Network’s Sunny Anderson’s Happy Trails Granola recipe.

“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

Additional Sources – Food Network, The Quote Garden

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4 Comments

Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Words & Vocabulary

4 responses to “15 Savvy Hiking Expressions

  1. Ray Anderson

    Well, I don’t know about hiker extraordinaire, but it sounds good. Thanks.

  2. karenselliott

    Ray – Of course you are! I think you may have more mileage than my ’02 Mustang!

  3. On our wedding trip in 1972 my husband and I hiked the Barr Trail to the summit of Pike’s Peak. He hiked back down while letting me ride the cog railway (what a guy!). Two days later we hiked the Bright Angel Trail down to the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon where we camped outdoors overnight. We got an early start the next morning to get ahead of the sun’s heat.

    His jargon: “You can do it.”
    Mine: “I’m not so sure.”

  4. Tracy Hinkel

    The.grand canyon is awesome if your out that direction. For weekends at home, I’m looking to hike around on the the turquoise trail in Albuquerque!

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