For a more comprehensive list of terms visit this glossary site

Alpine – Of or relating to high mountains.

Ascender – Person bringing up the rear of a hiking group.

Bearing – A specific direction.

Blaze – A mark usually on a tree, to indicate a trail.

Bushwhacking – Going off the trail and through dense undergrowth.

Cairn – Stone piles, which mark the direction of a trail.

Crest – A high point along a trail.

Declination – The difference between true North and magnetic North.

Exploratory – A hike designed to test a new route plan.

Exposure – A hazardous section of a hike in which a fall could lead to serious injury or death, e.g. rock faces, mountains, ledges etc.

Gaiters – Nylon or leather covering that reaches from the top of the boots to the knee, stops debris from getting into the boots.

Height of Land – The elevation at which a trail begins.

Internal Frame Pack – Backpack that uses internal supports to distribute and support its weight.

Notch – a ‘v’ shaped pass between two high points.

Orienteering – A trek using a compass to find your way

Post-holing – When a hiker punches through snow or loose earth with every step.

Rambling – One established meaning of this word is ‘to wander’. Rambling is similar to hiking but is generally less intensive, e.g. a countryside rather than a mountainous activity.

Route Finding – Finding new routes for a hike, i.e. the result of going off trail.

Runoff – Water flowing over saturated earth.

Scrambling – This isn’t as technical as rock climbing but it is a steep hike that will require you to use your hands on the rocks for balance.

Scree – Loose stones near the base of a hill or mountain.

Switchback – A trail that moves diagonally and goes back on itself in order to move up a steep incline. Trail – An established route for hikers clearly marked on maps or with signposts.