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A glossary of definitions for common terms you'll encounter when hiking, backpacking, or dealing with outdoor gear.

What is Slackpacking?
Learn about the key differences between backpacking and slackpacking right here.

What does DWR mean? Here's how it applies to hiking and backpacking gear.

Waterproof Breathable
What does it mean when a piece of outdoor gear is both waterproof and breathable? Here's the answer.

An explanation of what breathability means in the context of hiking, how it's measured, and why it matters.

Do you dream of becoming a thru-hiker? Here's what it means, plus a list of worthy thru-hikes in the United States.

A weatherproof outer layer is your best defense against the elements -- but what, exactly, does that mean?

All About Waterproof Hiking Gear
The term waterproof isn't quite as self-explanatory as it seems -- read up on the catches that apply when you talk about waterproof hiking gear.

What Does Exposure Mean for Hikers?
What does it mean if a hike is exposed?

What is Section Hiking?
If you're not a through-hiker and not a slackpacker... maybe you're a section hiker.

What is Postholing?
Postholing is a miserable way to spend a hike. It happens particularly frequently in spring.

What is Bushwhacking?
One of the most miserable ways to spend a summer hike, that's what bushwhacking is.

Please Explain Dayhiking
Get a clearer understanding of this classic term for a short hike.

What is Screeing?
This fun, but dangerous way of descending a scree slope probably isn't worth the thrill.

Where Are You Hiking? Backcountry vs. Frontcountry vs. Slackcountry
Backcountry, frontcountry and slackcountry may mean slightly different things, depending on your background and your sport of choice.

What's a Social Trail?
Learn the difference between a social trail and a planned trail.

What's a Terrain Trap, and Why Should I Care About It?
A quick explanation of terrain traps and avalanche hazard.

What's a Tent Vestibule?
Some tents have vestibules built into them, while others come as a separate add-on.

What's a Rainfly?
If you have a double-wall tent, the rainfly is the outer layer.

What is a Tent Footprint?
A footprint offers extra protection for your tent floor. Here's how to decide whether or not you need one, and where to get it from.

What Are Pit Zips?
Find out what pit zips are and why you might still want them in some jackets.

Supported vs. Unsupported Through-Hikes
Unsupported vs. supported long-distance hikes: Learn the difference!

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