Southeastern Outdoors Backpacking in the Brooks Range
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Backpacking and Hiking Related Terms

Below is a partial list of terms related to backpacking and hiking. If you have any suggestions for the terms list please e-mail them to us and we will try to get them added here.
  • Amphibian - A class of cold blooded vertebrates that which breath by gills in early stages of life but later develop lungs and some live on land. Such as Frogs and salamanders.
  • Appalachian Trail - a hiking trail from Springer Mountain Georgia to Mount Katahdin Maine covering more than 2150 miles.
  • Base Camp - a central camping location where day hikes and climbes originate from.
  • Bivy Sack - a waterproof sleeve for your sleeping bag often used in lieu of a tent by climbers and ultralight backpackers.
  • Blaze - trail markers that are usually either painted directly on the tree or nailed to tree to help indicate which trail you are on.
  • Carabiner - a oblong mechanical device usually made from aluminum with a spring loaded loaded clip  used in various ways for rope attachments.
  • Carnivorous - an animal that feeds on other animals.
  • Dome Tent - a dome shaped tent that usually uses flexible poles.
  • Family Tent - a large tent generally used for car camping usually to big to be used for backpacking.
  • Four-Season Tent - tent designed to withstand sever weather conditions such as snow loads and strong winds.
  • Freestanding Tent - a tent that stands erect without the use of stakes or guy lines. Usually a dome type tent.
  • Gators - a waterproof garment that protects your pants and/or legs from water and snow. They usually cover your calf down to and over your boot.
  • GPS - 'Global positioning System' an instrument used to compute locations in longitude and latitude.
  • Ground Cloth - a waterproof fabric or plastic sheet placed between the tent and the ground. Used to protect the tent from punctures, abrasions, and dirt and help reduce moisture on the bottom of the tent.
  • Headlamp - Flashlight, light source that, that is worn on your head or a helmet. 
  • Herbivore - a plant eating animal.
  • Leave No Trace - the skill of placing a minimum of influence on the environment when we are hiking or using backcountry. 
  • Loop Hike - a trail or series of trails  that allows hikers to end up where they started without much backtracking.
  • Overhang - a rock shelter or cut under of a cliff that does not actually form a cave.
  • Rainfly -
  • Rappel - a method of descending a rope using specialty devices such as harness and descender.
  • Seam Sealer -
  • Shock Cord -
  • Through Hike - hiking an entire long trail such as the Appalachian Trail.
  • Trailhead - the beginning of a trail.
  • Vestibule - a feature on some tents that allows for covered storage of items such as boots, without getting them inside the tent.
  • Water Purification - when getting your water from back country sources it is recommended that all water be purified before drinking. This is generally done in one of three ways; boiling, chemical treatment, filtered.

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