Pacific Crest Trail Slang

Whether you’re full-time hiker trash or a section hiker you’ll be sure to hear a few of these PCT slang terms while trekking to Mexico or Canada. If you’re ever confused on a term you’ve heard, be confused no more. Let us know any new ones you come across too!

1. NOBO

NOBO Refers to when you hike North Bound; Mexico to Canada.

2. SOBO

NOBO Refers to when you hike South Bound; Canada to Mexico.

3. Trail Spice

Trail Spice is when you get a little dirt or sand in your food.

4. Hiker Trash

Hiker Trash describes a thru or section hiker. This term most likely comes from hikers being mistaken for homeless people when in towns along with their stench.

5. Nero

Nero is a half day of hiking or a near zero day. Some time spent in a town and a few miles on the trail.

6. Cowboy Camp

Cowboy Camping is when you camp under the stars without setting up your tent.

7. Thru Hiker

A person who hikes an entire long-distance trail from start to finish.

8. Trail Angel

a Trail Angel is person who offers a helping hand in the form of many things; housing, shower, food..etc

9. Trail Magic

Trail Magic comes from a Trail Angel or non-hiker. It refers to the gracious goods provided to hikers.

10. Section Hiker

A hiker that hikes just a portion of a long-distance trail.

11. Zero Day

Zero day is when a hiker takes a day off from hiking, usually in town.

12. Yellow Blaze

Yellow Blaze is when a hiker skips part of the trail, usually by car. Yellow blazes are the lines down the center of the road that one follows when one leaves the trail.

13. Slack Pack

Slack pack is when a hiker hikes a portion of the trail without their pack, or with very minimal gear in order to make the hike easier or more efficient. Usually one leaves their pack and comes back for it or one gives it to someone to drive further up the trail.

14. Hiker Midnight

9:00 PM. The time by which thru-hikers are usually asleep.

15. Dry Camp

Dry camping refers to a camping area that has no nearby water source.

16 . Hiker Funk

The stench from a thru-hiker, after hundreds of miles, that usually takes a few showers to get off.

17. Hiker Box

Hiker Boxes are boxes in towns, trail angels houses, resupply spots etc. You can leave unwanted gear or food for other hikers. You can also take from the these boxes for something a little more fresh from the usual.

18. HYOH

Hike Your Own Hike.


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