AT Thru-Hiker Dictionary

Below is my hike in thru-hiker terminology.  Definitions are provided at end!

I will be attempting to be a NOBO thru-hike beginning March 31 at Springer Mt, GA. I’ll be a hicker for sure but will be a white-blazer as well.  No blue-blaze or yellow-blaze but I may slackpack.  As for you, feel free to HYOH.

Vitamin I and mountain money will be extremely important. I’ll also make sure to camel every morning.

I’m looking forward to meeting my tramily and lots of AYCE’s.

With the help of trail angels and their trail magic, I’ll complete my end-to-ender in Maine. I hope to finish by Labor Day…assuming I don’t take too many zero’s and nero’s.

AYCE (adj) “All You Can Eat”; it’s a thru-hiker’s dream

Blue-blazer (n) term of gentle derision for one who periodically uses shortcuts, connector trails, or alternative routes

Camel (v) to chug large amounts of water before the day’s hike

End-to-Ender (n) a thru-hiker who starts at one end of a long path and hikes straight to the other

Flip-flopper (n) a thru-hiker who starts at one point and uses a shuttle and a change of direction to complete the hike

Hicker (n) an inexperienced thru-hiker who’s still figuring out his/her gear

HYOH (v) “Hike Your Own Hike”; in other words, don’t tell others what to do

Mountain money (n) toilet paper

Nero (n) a conglomerate of “near and zero”, as in a very low-mileage day

NOBO (adj, n) northbound

P.U.D.’s (n) “pointless ups and downs”; stretches of monotonous trail that have elevation gain and loss for seemingly no reason

Slackpack (v) to hike without a pack (also: “mule”)

SOBO (adj, n) southbound

Trail angel (n) a person, usually not a thru-hiker, who takes care of hikers, often in the form of food, rides, and lodging

Trail magic (n) altruistic gestures administered by trail angels; known to restore fail in humanity

Trail squatter (n) a local who seeks out prime trailside camp real estate

Tramily (n) people you meet along trail that you may hike with, camp with or share a hostel, etc.

Vitamin I (n) ibuprofen

White-blazer (n) a purist

Yellow-blazer (n) term of derision for a quasi-thru-hiker who hitchhikes portions of a trail

Zero (n) a zero mileage day; usually taken for a much needed day of recovery

3 thoughts on “AT Thru-Hiker Dictionary

  1. We came upon a trail angel on the PCT at 10:00 a.m. one day. He had a full service bar set up in a park that the trail went through. We didn’t hike any further that day and we set up camp near this Angel. It was a very good day!

    Sent from my iPhone



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