Hiker Jargon 101
So you are interested in the hiking lingo, but have no idea where to start? I’ve compiled a list of terms that I use frequently when discussing my adventures that might help you interpret my blog a little better.
Flipflop: starting at one end of the trail and hiking aways, then jumping to the other end and hiking the other direction to the point where they flipped.
Vitamin I: ibuprofen
Thru-hiker: hiking the whole trail within one year.
Section hiker: hiking one chunk of the trail at a time, can be any sized chunk or any length of time.
Weekender: person out for a weekend on the trail
Day hiker: you’ll smell them…their laundry detergent and deodorant are potent to a thru-hikers nose.
Zero day: when you don’t hike. Town zeros are common for some rest, resupply, dealing with something in the real world, gear problems, medical shit etc. Woods zeros are also great for rest.
Nero: a near zero day. Basically anything under 10 miles. Can be as low as a mile, high as 9 miles usually although exact definitions vary.
Woods Zero: Taking a day off in the woods. Usually done to enjoy a good swimming hole or very scenic area.
Camel up: drink a ton of water at one source because you don’t want to carry extra or distance between sources is far.
Yogi: to get food off of non hikers, day hikers, or weekenders who bring too much food without actually asking but rather by looking pitiful and hungry because you’ve eaten most of your food.
Trail angel: non hikers or former hikers who go out of their way to help a hiker out in rides, food, beverages, medical help, place to stay etc.
Trail magic: food in coolers or sodas in a stream to cool them, basically free food. Usually is tucked a little in on the trail near a road
Trail register: notebooks in shelters used to write messages. Can be about your day, animal life, or a warning to other hikers, notes to hikers behind you (catch up!), drawings…whatever. Mostly an AT thing.
Trail name: can be given or you can give yourself one. People are usually given then from something stupid you said, did, or ate, or a joke.
Slackpack: can be done a few ways, usually you stay at a hostel, then some drive you up to the next road crossing and you hike back with a day pack to your stuff, then the next day you get driven with all your stuff to that same spot and continue hiking normally. Good way to get extra miles in with less effort. Can also be done by getting your stuff driven ahead to meet you at the next road crossing.
Pack Explosion: when almost all the contents of the pack find themselves mysteriously outside of the pack in odd piles surrounding the pack and the hiker. The hiker sits and looks at everything willing them back inside the pack, back to order, but they never seem to move themselves inside by themselves.
White blaze: the purist way, they want to see every white blaze on the trail, specific to the Appalachian Trail
Yellow blaze: hitch hike around a section of the trail to skip it. Looked down upon greatly…bill bryson lost so much credibility doing this. Its yellow blazing for the lines on the center of the road.
Blue blaze: cutting of a section of a trail by taking a side trail. Sometimes its done to see something cooler than the trail, sometimes its done because people need to catch others and it will knock off some miles.
Aquablazing: canoeing a section of the trail.
Green blazing: hiking while high
Pink blazing: hiking with someone for romantic interest (usually a guy following a girl since that’s how the ratio tends to go, but could go the other way)
Brown blazing: going from privy to privy because you have the shits, very common when hikers continue hiking after Chinese food.
AYCE: all you can eat.