NOBO. LNT. HYOH. Huh?
The world of backpacking and long distance hiking has its own specialized terminology. Some of these are common to outdoor activities in general (Leave No Trace), or the interwebs (YMMV). I picked up several on the JMT; the rest show up repeatedly in books and blog posts about the PCT and thru-hiking.
Here is a set of terms and what I understand them to mean, that I will now consider fair game to toss around indiscriminately in posts.
base weight: the weight of a pack, minus consumables (food, water, sometimes fuel & toiletries); in essence, the non-variable element of pack weight
camel up: to drink a bunch of water at a water source, so that you don’t have to carry as much on the way to the next source
cathole: a hole you dig to poop in (pronounced “cat hole”, not like “cathode” like I initially thought)
cowboy camp: to sleep out under the stars, without a shelter
HYOH: Hike Your Own Hike, ie. do what works for you and don’t stress about or judge others’ choices
LNT: Leave No Trace (and take nothing but pictures)
nero (day): a day when you hike a small number of miles (nearly + zero = my favorite hiking portmanteau)
NOBO: northbound (south to north); can refer to the direction, or a hiker going that direction
section hiker: someone who is hiking a section of a longer trail, possibly with the goal of eventually completing the whole hike
skin-out weight: base weight (see above) plus all clothing worn
SOBO: southbound (north to south); can refer to the direction, or a hiker going that direction
thru-hiker: someone who is attempting / has managed to complete a long hike from end to end
trail angel: a person who helps out hikers by handing out food or water on the trail, providing a place to stay or ship packages to, helping hikers get to and from trailheads, and much more
YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary, ie. you may not like the thing I just raved about, it all depends on your personal preferences or characteristics
zero (day): a day during which you hike zero miles; a complete rest day
Check out some experienced thru-hikers’ vocab lists here and here (and then stick around to check out their fantastic blogs).
Leave a comment if I have already used an unfamiliar term that I didn’t cover here.
[…] called this day a zero in my journal; guess it would be considered a nero (according to my own hiking lexicon)? I was happy for the rest day, whatever it gets called. The burger was surprisingly good, not just […]