Backpackers use a lot of jargon! Use this list to demystify some of the common terminology.

HYOH: Hike Your Own Hike. A philosophy ensuring enjoyable and successful backpacking whereby you hike your way, your speed, your style and don’t force yourself to conform to another hiker or group of hikers.  Can be counter-intuitive at first (“But don’t I WANT to hike with everyone else in my group all the time?”). Not an excuse to be a jerk or give backpackers a bad reputation.

Trip Reports: Detailed online reports written by fellow backpackers immediately after a trip. The report outlines everything from trail conditions to water supply levels and any hazards.  Can easily be found online and are great for planning a trip.

Stealth Camping: Living temporarily in a location, usually for recreation, in a covert or secretive fashion.  Stealth camping is also referred to as wild camping, ninja camping, or free camping.   Stealth camping is often practiced by hikers, cyclists, and kayakers.

Thu-Hiking: Hiking a long distance trail, end-to-end, in one hiking season.

Section Hiking: Hiking a long distance trail, one section at a time,without continuity and not necessarily in sequence with the other sections.

BLM: Bureau of Land Management (less restricted access compared to state or national parks).

Zero Day: A day planned into your trip (or taken spontaneously) when you hike zero miles and let your body rest.  Although a zero day can be planned into a trip of any length, it’s most common on long distance hikes.

Nero Day: A day when you hike very few miles – or, nearly zero.