Trail Lingo

AT: an abbreviation for Appalachian Trail

White-blaze: the six-inch by two-inch swatches of paint on trees and rocks that mark the trail.

Blue-blaze: the side trails are usually marked by blue paint.  They may take you on short-cuts, side attractions, to the summit of mountains, or on an easier part of the trail.  They usually lead back to the AT.

Yellow-blaze: a term for skipping a section of the trail and taking a vehicle ahead.  Named for the yellow lines on the road.

Pink-blaze:  when a guy changes his plans to chase after a girl on the trail.

Banana-blaze: when a girl chases after a guy on the trail.

Purist: someone that insists on passing every white-blaze.

Nobo: a hiker that’s headed North.

Sobo: a hiker that’s headed South.

Flip-Flop: when a hiker completes the whole trail in a pattern other than Georgia to Maine or Maine to Georgia.  An example would be hiking from Georgia to West Virginia, then going to Maine and hiking back to West Virginia.

Yo-Yo: when a hiker makes it to Maine, then turns around and hikes back to Georgia.  This doesn’t happen very often.

Thru-hiker: a hiker that’s doing the whole trail in one calendar year.

Section-hiker: a hiker that’s doing a section of the trail.

Day-hiker: someone that’s just out for the day.  Can be recognized by clean smell.

Yogi: when hikers try to coerce others into giving them food or rides.

Trail name: a nickname that is given to a hiker because of her mannerisms, food preferences, a silly situation, or funny behavior.  Examples of trail names are Daffy, Radio, or Croc Hunter.

Crew: a group that is hiking together.

Hiker trash: a term that hikers call each other because of their general dirtiness and low standards of living.

One thought on “Trail Lingo

  1. I should think that the people who go from GA to ME and then back again would be given a more dignified name than Yo-Yo; while the allusion isn’t lost on me it also hints that there’s a psychological collapse implicit in spending a year in the woods such that it warrants the alias.

    Your blog is very accessible and helpful; an apposite starting point for anyone interested in making the trek.

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