Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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34
votes
2answers
25k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
30
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1answer
56k views

What's the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing?

What is the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional (Trad) Climbing? Is it just that Sport Climbing uses bolts?
21
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
23k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
10k 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.
17
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2answers
14k 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What is “Isolation” and “Prominence” in mountain terms?

When I was browsing through the wikipedia page of the Denali mountain, I came across some piece of information. Refer the screenshot below. What does the term Prominence and Isolation mean?
16
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
15
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4answers
26k views

What's the difference between frontcountry camping and backcountry camping?

I know what camping is, but what are frontcountry and backcountry camping?
15
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4answers
34k views

What do you call the criss-crossed elastic strap on this Northface backpack?

This Northface backpack has an elastic strap which criss-crosses the back side of the pack. What is this type of strap called? The image below shows what kind of strap I'm talking about:
15
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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 ...
15
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
24k views

What do the climbing terms “Redpoint”, “Pinkpoint”, “Flash” and “Onsight” mean?

In climbing what do the terms Redpoint, Pinkpoint, Flash and Onsight mean? Where does it come from?
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What are “Aggressive” climbing Shoes?

This question was borrowed from a comment on this question. But what is meant by an "aggressive" climbing shoe? What is the difference in a non-aggressive shoe? And when would you use one over the ...
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?
13
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2answers
309 views

What is Geocaching?

There are questions on this site tagged geocaching. This appears to be some kind of GPS game. How is it played?
13
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1answer
2k views

What is a “fast pack” setup for a tent?

Reading around forums and in products, I see descriptions and weights for a "fast pack" setup for tents. What does this mean and what is it used for?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the term for completing a climbing route uncleanly?

If a climber completes a route without using their protection that is called sending. What is the term if one completes the route but had to depend on the rope either for a rest or for a fall? Let's ...
12
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
521 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
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1answer
2k 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?
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

What does glass mean in the context of hunting?

I have read several blogs and watched videos on hunting where I have heard people use the term glass. I have no idea what it means and I have found very little on Google about what it could mean. So,...
11
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
814 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?
11
votes
1answer
327 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?
11
votes
1answer
919 views

Difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard

This is just a climbing terminology question: What is the difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard? Maybe there is no difference at all? Maybe it's subtle? I have been Googling around and ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

What do you call a small backpack? (so I can search for it)

I've been borrowing this High Sierra small backpack from my friend for a few days and I'm looking to buy my own. So far I haven't found any barcode or product name on it, and I haven't found anything ...
10
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
385 views

One-sided overhand bend

Why is the one-sided overhand bend also called the European death knot (EDK)? Is it safe for climbing and mountaineering purposes?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What does it mean for a caliber to be flat shooting?

Certain calibers such as the 300 Winchester Magnum are often called flat shooting. What does that mean and why would a hunter care that the caliber is flat shooting when selecting a rifle to go ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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?
10
votes
1answer
690 views

Is there a difference between Trail and Fell running?

I recently read an article by Ordinance Survey about trail runners for beginners (my interest has sparked due to my recent uptake of running which I do cross country through parks and fields), in ...
10
votes
2answers
514 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
690 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
505 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?
9
votes
1answer
169 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?
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What does “expedition-weight” mean with regard to clothing?

I'm going on a trip to Alaska in September, including a guided camping/trekking trip in Denali. In the packing list I received from the company, they recommend having an "expedition-weight" top and ...
9
votes
1answer
10k views

What's meant by poundage or weight of a bow?

I see a lot of posts in archery which contains topics about the "draw weight" or "poundage". I assume that it doesn't have to do anything with the actual weight of the bow. So, what does it mean (in ...
9
votes
1answer
916 views

What is a “shooting jacket”?

I read this news report today about a Malaysian competitor in the commonwealth games. Commonwealth shooting champion Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim will be unable to compete in Glasgow after her ...
9
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between back country camping and front country camping?

I heard two terms 'back country camping' and 'front country camping' but I don't know what the difference between the two is. How are they different.
8
votes
1answer
888 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
202 views

What is a glass artificial horizon?

On Amundsen's polar expedition they had, Of instruments and apparatus for the sledge journeys we carried two sextants, three artificial horizons, of which two were glass horizons with dark glasses, ...
8
votes
1answer
480 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
228 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
614 views

What is Arc'Teryx Technical down?

Today I received an e-mail from Arc'Teryx stating that Fall 2013 ushers in the arrival of technical DOWN and NEW GORE-TEX® Pro technology. What is technical down? I assume it is some sort of ...
6
votes
1answer
723 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....