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Out on the trail and heard a word? Something that sounded quite absurd?”

Many sports and activities have their own words and specific terminology. If you have heard something you did not understand then you can look it up here. Note; there are some words that have different meanings for different sports or activities.





    MULTI SPORT (High Altitude only)- (AMS, A.M.S.) AMS is an abbreviation of Acute Mountain Sickness; a potential serious condition that effects people whilst at high (usually over 10,000 feet) altitude.


    MULTI SPORT- (Base Layer) The layer of clothing normally worn next to the skin such as underwear, thermal leggings and tops, and vests. Usually referred to when many layers are worn such as in cold places,


    CAMPING- (Bivvy Bag) An ultralight weight shelter usually the size and shape of a sleeping bag that can be used to provide a waterproof place to sleep outside of a tent.

    SURVIVAL- (Bivvy) A shelter made from materials found nearby such as branches, leaves, logs, rocks or similar.

    MULTI SPORT- (Bivvy Bag) A tough waterproof bag (often coloured orange) that can be used as an emergency shelter for one or more people, particularly used to help warm up someone with hypothermia or feeling cold. Usually referred to as a survival bag.


    CAMPING- (Footprint) An extra waterproof layer that goes under the ground sheet of a tent to provide wear and tear resistance and additional waterproofing.


    CLIMBING- (LID) A slang term for a helmet used to protect a persons head.


    MULTI SPORT (Long Drop) A very basic toilet consisting of a deep hole dug in the ground in which waste literally ‘drops’ before being covered with top soil etc. (The term ‘Short Drop’ is sometimes also used to describe a shallow version of the long drop; usually for single use)


    MULTI SPORT- (Pack) A shortened name for a ‘Backpack’

    MULTI SPORT- (Pack, Pack In, Pack Out) Often used in Hiking and Mountaineering as a verb to describe carrying something in a rucksack from one place to another e.g. “We will pack-out all of our rubbish”.


    CLIMBING- (Climbing Rack, Rack) A term used to describe the collection of equipment used for climbing, abseiling, rigging or associated activities.

    CAVING- (Rack, Rak) A device used almost exclusively by cavers to descend or abseil down a rope. The device is attached to the rope and the caver’s harness.


    MOUNTAINEERING- (Saddle) A ‘U’ shaped area between two mountain peaks.

    HORSE RIDING- (Saddle) Seat, usually made from leather on which the rider of the horse sits.

    HORSE RIDING- (Saddle Bags) A pair of bags hung from the horses ‘Saddle’ usually behind the rider.

    CYCLING- (Saddle) The seat of a bicycle, tricycle etc.

    CYCLING- (Saddle Bag) A small bag fixed to or just under the seat of a bicycle, tricycle etc.


    MULTI SPORT- (Scramble) Term used to described climbing up through rock(s) that does not need ropes but hands and feet are needed.


    (See ‘Long Drop’)


    KAYAKING and CANOING (Spray Deck) A flexible and waterproof/water resistant cover used to cover over the opening of the kayak or canoe to stop water getting in. Usually used in bad weather and white water. Sometimes used for covers on other types of boats too.


    MOUNTAINEERING (Summit) The peak or top of a mountain (sometimes used for hills).

    MOUNTAINEERING (Summit) An action word meaning to hike or climb to the top of a mountain; i.e “We will attempt to summit the mountain tomorrow”.


    MULTI SPORT- (Waist Belt, Waist Strap) A pair of straps and buckles on a large rucksack that fasten around the waist/hips and help transfer weight off of the shoulders onto the hips and keep the backpack stable.

    CLIMBING- (Waist Belt) The strap of a climbing harness that tightens/fastens around the waist of the wearer.


    MULTI SPORT- (WHITEOUT, WHITE OUT) Term used to describe conditions of heavy snow fall, fog and low cloud (often with failing light levels) or a combination of these that seriously affect ability to see- sometimes causing problems with navigation, seeing the ground or keeping in view of other people. Most often used on mountains.




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