Through Hike Glossary


Cache 2014

One of the permanently maintained water caches along the PCT.


Angeling verb: the act of providing unsolicited help to hikers; being a “trail angel
Base Weight: noun: the total weight of your fully loaded backpack before the addition of consumables (food, water, fuel, etc.)
Bounce Box: noun: a single box or container containing extra gear, equipment, food, or other supplies that hikers repeatedly send ahead to resupply stops in order to avoid carrying the contents in their pack
Cache: noun: a supply of food, water, or otherwise useful items left out for hikers
Camel Up: verb: the act of drinking a lot of water at once to quickly hydrate and delay the need to drink water again
Cat Hole: noun: a hole dug for the express purpose of pooping in
Cowboy Camp: verb: the act of sleeping without a tent or shelter; sleeping under the stars
Day Hiker: noun: a person who is only hiking for a day
Dry Camp: verb: the act of camping without a water source nearby
Flip Flop: verb: the act of skipping a section of trail with the intention of returning to the skipped section and hiking it in the opposite direction
Giardia: noun (g-ARE-d-ah): a parasite that colonizes and reproduces in the small intestine causing violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea
Glissade: verb: the act of sliding down a snow or ice-covered hill (on one’s feet or butt) as a means of shortcutting the trail and having an incredible time
HEET: noun: a commonly available gas-line antifreeze and water remover that hikers burn as furl for their stoves
Hiker Box: noun: a supply of food, gear, or any other item left behind by hikers for use by future hikers (usually found in post offices, motels, and trail angel houses)
Hiker Hunger: noun: a feeling of insatiable hunger brought on by repeated days of hiking and a limited food supply
Hiker Legs: noun: the rock solid pieces of muscle mass developed by hikers following continuous weeks of nonstop hiking
Hiker Midnight: noun: although it is hotly debated, hiker midnight is said to be 9 PM (aka when it is dark)
Hiker Trash: noun: a word used to describe thru-hikers – typically characterized by an offensive odour and a grungy beard (regardless of sex), frequently looking for beer, Wi-Fi, and electrical outletshiker
Kick Off: noun: refers to an event taking place each year in Southern California when many hikers begin their PCT thru-hike; also known as the ADZPCTKO
Near-o: noun: a day where very few miles are hiked – no definite measure exists, but it can usually be measured as 25% or less than your daily average
Puffy: noun: a name for a down jacket
Purist: noun: someone who believes that every single mile of the official trail should be hiked, unbroken for a hike to be considered a thru-hike
Register: noun: a logbook, piece of paper, or otherwise inscribe-able object used for documenting a hikers passing of a point on the trail
Section Hiker: noun: a person who is hiking a portion of a trail, but does not intend on thru-hiking
Shelter: noun: refers to a person’s tarp, tent, or cover; a fixed structure on the trail that can be used by hikers for escaping the elements
Slack Pack: verb: the act of carrying less than your entire pack by way of stashing gear for an out and back detour or using a third-party to carry your gear ahead for you
Stealth Camp: verb: the act of camping with the intent of not being found by anyone else (authoritative or otherwise)
Trail Angel: noun: a person who performs acts of trail magic and assists hikers expecting nothing in return monetary or otherwise
Trail Magic: noun: an unexpected act of kindness on the trail – can manifest itself in the form of a cache, the appearance of a trail angel, or otherwise awesome occurrence
Vitamin I: noun: another name for ibuprofen
Vortex: noun: a place, group, or thing that “sucks” hikers off the trail and contributes to diminishing mileage (PUB!!!)
Weekend Warrior: noun: a hiker escaping the 9-5 grind by taking two nights out in the wilderness (between a day and section hiker)
Yogi: verb: the act of cleverly soliciting food, drink, rides, or otherwise useful things from unsuspecting strangers you meet along the trail
Zero: noun: a day when no miles are hiked

Stolen  from



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