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Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the proper terms for something, or the reasons behind naming something

13
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3answers
3k views

Is there a difference between a hiking trail and a backpacking trail, including if it's the same piece of land?

I saw an article about the Long Trail, a 272-mile trail through the Green Mountain range in Vermont, USA. It's famous for being the oldest hiking trail in the United States, having been built between ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between a Canoe and a Kayak?

Canoes and Kayaks have a lot in common, and for the most part I can look and say that is a Canoe and that is a Kayak. But I have been seeing some vessels that blur the line between them. It seems ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

What features of a trail camera make it easier for photographing animals than other cameras?

In this answer to a question I asked about how to photograph moose without scaring them, one of the possible suggestions was a "trail camera." What exactly is a trail camera? How does it differ in ...
15
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2answers
4k views

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

I heard someone talking about whitecaps and how they could be dangerous for boating but I am not sure I understand, what they were talking about. What are whitecaps and why should I be concerned ...
1
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2answers
104 views

What is a kassakåta?

Within the mountains (and other wilderness areas) of Västerbotten and Norrbotten in Sweden, there is a lot of cultural heritage, with Sami huts ("kåta") like Måskåsj-gammen or like this one between ...
8
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1answer
392 views

What group of people call themselves “Outdoor Influencers”, and what do they do regarding natural areas of land?

I recently heard the term "Outdoor Influencers" relating to certain groups of people, including conservationists. Apparently some people have negative feelings about their activities, because they ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

What constitutes mountain exposure when hiking or scrambling?

In this question, I focus on the fall exposure component. While I understand the perception of danger will vary from person to person, I'm having trouble characterizing mountain exposure. I can see ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

What does contouring mean in the context of navigation/orienteering?

One of the techniques while navigating in the outdoors is known as contouring, what does this mean and when would it be useful?
2
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2answers
152 views

What are the different names for and sources of alcohol for my stove?

What are the different names for camping stove alcohol and where can I get such a fuel? Note, this is not about white gas (aka "Coleman" fuel).
9
votes
3answers
420 views

What is the defintion of a “unisex tent”?

I was searching around after a new hiking tent, when I noticed a specification called "unisex", I know that something is "unisex" if it's suited for all genders. Though it makes me wonder, how on ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What is the difference between AMO/AMA and ASTM spine declarations?

This question asks "Are the Goldtip and Easton spine declarations AMO/AMA or ASTM??", What exactly is the difference between AMO/AMA and ASTM spine declarations and what difference does it make?
1
vote
1answer
108 views

In shooting, what is a MOA (minute of angle)?

In hunting/shooting, you will often see the term MOA (which stands for minute of angle). What exactly is an (MOA) minute of angle when it comes to shooting?
8
votes
1answer
859 views

Getting lost and circling a trail in a loop?

What is the term for that phenomenon when someone in wilderness start experiencing a strange situation? When, They aren't certain that they have lost the route They may or may not be walking on a ...
6
votes
1answer
974 views

What determines whether the young of a cat is called a kitten or a cub?

The young of cats are called kittens or cubs, depending partly on how large the cat is, and apparently partly on informal custom. Wikipedia, kitten says: The word "kitten" derives from the Middle ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

What is the difference between a dinosaur true track and a natural cast?

Of the dinosaur tracks that people find in the outdoors, there are two main types, true tracks and natural casts (there are also undertracks and infills but these are harder to see). What exactly is ...
3
votes
1answer
828 views

What is a back bearing when navigating with map and compass?

Sometimes when navigating with map and compass one will take a back bearing, i.e. a bearing taken directly opposite to the direction one is travelling? When and why would one want to do this?
3
votes
1answer
101 views

In orienteering/navigation, what is an attack point?

Some features in orienteering or navigation are called attack points. What exactly does this refer to?
0
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1answer
73 views

What is the difference between single action (SA), double action/single action (DA/SA) and double action only(DAO) semi-auto pistols

Somewhat like revolvers, semi-automatic pistols also come in single action, double action/single action and double action only. Also while there are similarities to how this terminology is used with ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

What is the difference between single and double action revolvers?

Some revolvers are single action and some are double action, what exactly is the difference between the two types?
6
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2answers
128 views

What are “minimalist shoes”?

There are some questions regarding "minimalist shoes" on the site. By looking at those with the tag, it seems that the term relates to shoes that have thin soles without much spring to them, and ...
2
votes
1answer
513 views

What is a top strap on a revolver?

Some revolvers like the earliest Colts do not have top straps, and that is the easy way of telling them apart from the early Remingtons or from any modern revolvers. What exactly is a top strap on a ...
0
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0answers
72 views

In rock climbing what does the term “Flash” mean? [duplicate]

If someone "flashes" a climb what does this mean?
10
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6answers
5k views

Is the correct term Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?

The author of a question on our site referred to a certain type of goose as a Canadian goose. Some people thought that the correct name is Canada goose, rather than Canadian. Wikipedia refers to them ...
6
votes
1answer
491 views

What do surf report terms like “fading WNW swell” mean?

I'm confused about whether these headings refer to the direction of the source of the wind/swell, or the the direction they are blowing into. My understanding is that they are talking about the source....
8
votes
1answer
295 views

What is a catch feature in orienteering?

On of the terms used in orienteering is "catch feature". What exactly is a catch feature and how would a catch feature help one with navigating in the outdoors?
8
votes
1answer
121 views

In orienteering/navigation, what is a handrail feature?

One of the terms in orienteering/navigation is "handrail feature". What exactly does this term mean?
4
votes
2answers
98 views

What is the meaning and proper usage of the term “irruption” in bird behavior?

The author of a question on this site wondered if they had possibly seen a snowy owl. A quoted source in this answer to that question used the word irruption in part of a sentence about where the ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Why are large/pear shaped locking carabiners called HMS carabiners?

Carabiners like this one, Image Source are called HMS carabiners. Why are they called that and what does HMS stand for?
10
votes
1answer
105 views

What are the different techniques to jam in a crack?

I have been told that climbing cracks is very much a methodical procedure. Especially in places like Yosemite and Indian creek, where the cracks can be the only feature of the rock that can be used to ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

How to describe a trail well for others in a systematic way?

I occasionally design or lead hikes in areas with multiple trail junctions. I attempt to be thorough in the planning by having several different ways for hikers to follow the trail. (Maps and GPS are ...
10
votes
1answer
636 views

What is a nose-hooked carabiner and why is it dangerous?

In rock climbing a carabiner can get nose-hooked and it is a very dangerous situation. What exactly is a nose-hooked carabiner and why is it dangerous?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a tent skirt and what is its purpose?

Several posts on this side make mention of tent "skirts". For example: A "skirt" at the bottom of the tent, which makes outer tent reach the ground, so wind is not beating into the inner tent; it ...
10
votes
2answers
385 views

What is a dish or dish-like hand hold in rock climbing?

I saw mention of a 'dish' hold, and cannot figure out what this means exactly from Google searches. There are many sites selling dish holds like this one, but I don't understand what 'dish' means from ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

What is a lava tube, as a place to see bats? Are there any in the United States?

I've been looking for places to find bats in their natural habitat, rather than around the house. The author of this question saw some bats in a lava tube. I've never heard of a lava tube before, and ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Does “Sport Climbing” refer to bolted climbing outdoors only or both indoors and outdoors

I was having a debate with my friend on the definition of "Sport Climbing". We both agree it means rock climbing with no pre-setup ropes on a bolted route. I think regardless of whether this route ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

What is the Origin of the Word “Sendtember” in Rock Climbing?

Does anyone know the origin of the word "Sendtember"? I'm trying to figure out what it means and Google isn't being helpful. I think it has something to do with temperatures in the month of September ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

What is an alpine start?

Sometimes climbers/mountaineers will say that they are getting an alpine start. What does this mean and why would they want to do this?
10
votes
1answer
231 views

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Monument in the United States?

In the United States, we have areas designated as National Parks, and areas designated as National Monuments. What are the fundamental differences between the two?
12
votes
1answer
423 views

What is the warning call for falling rocks in your area?

I was inspired by the question "What should one do when climbing if someone above you yells ROCK?" to ask what the equivalents are around the world. So, what would I shout to warn someone below me of ...
12
votes
1answer
782 views

What are opposite and opposed carabiners?

It is often said that when using two carabiners at the same point, such as an anchor, they should be opposite and opposed. What exactly does this mean?
17
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the difference between a Pass and a Col?

Are there any specifics about how to differentiate a Pass and a Col in terms of mountaineering? For non-mountaineering and non-geographical interests it's all the same.
19
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2answers
7k views

Terms for different parts of a mountain

Is there a graphic representation of the terms used in mountaineering literature which narrates different aspects/parts of a mountain? While reading any expedition report, climbing detail we come ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between a “path” and a “footpath”?

I was chacking a map to see access rights on a particular route I know. I was checking if a path was a bridleway or footpath as I know Mountain Bikes should only use bridleways. Studying the key ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

I'm curious as to the difference between an oar and a paddle. Does it have to do with shape, material, or size? Is it solely related to the type of vessel for which it's used? In other words, can ...
2
votes
2answers
299 views

When does a Rope become a Line? [closed]

As pointed out in a comment by cobaltduck in the question What type of rope to use for the mainsheet of sunfish? the proper name for rope when used on a boat is line. If I go to the store and buy a ...
12
votes
2answers
15k views

Is “scat” used to describe the droppings of any animal?

I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings. Is this the ...
7
votes
2answers
188 views

What are the wall-cleaners in climbing called? What equipment/gear do they use?

I have been watching this climbing video of Alex Honnold. In this video his friend goes ahead of him and cleans the wall of any debris or slippery rocks. What are these people who clean the walls ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the difference between a fjord and a fjard?

Last year we visited some friends at their summer home in Lamoine, Maine, in Northeast United States. They took us to a place called Somes Sound, on Mount Desert Island. It's either in or near Acadia ...
5
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4answers
529 views

What is this miniature backpack called?

When I was in Japan I bought this miniature backpack, about the size of a wallet. The sporting good store was in Ochanomizu (御茶ノ水). It lasted me about 5 years. Now I am back in the United States ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Where does the name Deadman come from in mountaineering gear?

Why is a Deadman called so? Where does the name come from?