Boudreau’s Lexicon of A.T. Through-hiker Slang
Appalachian Trail Thruhikers [T-hkr] have cobbled up a strange lingo known only unto themselves.
Terms like, nobo, sobo, flipflop, trail magic, trail angel and bounce-box are familiar to most. But for
those who wish to better understand this gnarly human? subculture, a further compendium is below.
Appalachian Trial: a more accurate name for the national footpath stretching from Georgia to Maine
Appalachian stream: the A.T. after several days of rain; requires slogging; may create delamming
Bubble: “the pack,” the slowest batch of nobos or sobos together on trail; aka: “the partiers”
Blazing: the T-hkr’s methodical way of moving along the A.T. There are many types of blazing: white-
blazing: following the 2x6 inch white-striped markings for 2200 miles to completion; green-blazing:
hiking stoned; blue-blazing: following a side trail to spring, overlook, or [bad form] a mile-saving
shortcut; yellow-blazing: hitch-hiking, jumping many miles up the trail; frowned on by T-hkrs; pink-
blazing: hkr has fallen in love, is madly chasing a girl [boy] up the trail; aqua-blazing: “trails to sails;”
hkr parallels a section of trail via a water route*; brown-blazing: privy-hopping; tired of doing his
business in the woods, hkr hits every privy along trail
Camel-up: fending off dehydration, hkr drinks a liter or more at every water source
Coned: privy is full to overflowing
Cowboy camp: in clear weather, hkr eschews tent, spreads bed-roll under stars
Delammed: hkr’s shoes/boots have delaminated, shoe is shredded; often happens in Rocksylvania
FLASH: freakin’ lazy ass section hiker; day/weekend hiker who is loud, boring, makes a mess in shelter
Hangry: famished, starving; hkr is so hungry she is angry. Ex: Hkr A sees Hkr B approaching up-trail. As
they pass, A says “How ya doin?” B replies “Go fuck yourself.” Hkr B shows signs of being hangry. #
Hiker midnight: 9 p.m. Hkr is already sound asleep, or will be in the next 5 minutes
Hiker trash: us; the T-hkr community, sometimes looked down on by civilians in the towns
Nearo: rest day, almost a Zero; hkr wakes up, walks few miles to town, resupplies & overnights off-trail
Pud: a pointless up & down; the A.T. never goes around an elevation, always over the damn thing
Punchion: tech term for those split log bog-bridges, mostly in NH, VT and ME. Thank you, AMC!
Ratbaffle: string+stick+tunacan = those ubiquitous food-bag hanger gizmos that foil shelter varmints
Rocknroller: that tricky, unstable next rock; misjudge it at peril of ankle sprain or worse
Rocksylvania: almost the entire state of PA
Schwasted: excess beer consumption; hkr so wasted he can no longer pronounce this word intelligibly
Slack-pack: friend transports pack by car to distant trailhead; hkr makes an easy 25+ mile day
Slammed & delammed: exhausted, after a long day making too many miles, trudging over too many puds;
one hkr calls this feeling “eaten by a wolf and shit off a cliff”
Somebodies vs. Nobodies: the perennial sobo/nobo shelter bicker; which group are the tougher mules?
Stealth camp: hkr finds comfy porch or shed in town, sleeps there, resupplies early & hits trailhead
Vitamin I: Ibuprophen, eaten like candy on the A.T.
Work for stay: hkr does chores in the NH huts in return for free food; a must for nobos headed for ME
Yogi: to subtly beg day campers for food; hkr offers a dirty dollar bill for some chips, hopes for handout
Zero: hkr takes a full day off for well deserved R&R; she hikes zero miles this day
* Best spots for aqua blazing– nobo: from Waynesboro VA, rent one-way canoe to Harpers Ferry WV; sobo:
from High Point NJ, kayak down to Delaware Water Gap PA; either way: borrow a canoe and paddle some of
those numerous long lakes in ME [requires good map-reading].
# An actual “hangry” event, excerpted from a NJ shelter journal, August 2010.