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27 votes

What is the difference between a Canoe and a Kayak?

The general answer is: A canoe is a boat designed or refitted to be paddled with a one sided paddle, usually while sitting on either a raised bench or one or both of your knees. A kayak is a boat ...
Monster's user avatar
  • 1,913
25 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between a Pass and a Col?

Both words refer to the same topography, which is a saddle point. The land goes up in two opposite directions, and down in the two other opposite directions. To me at least, a col is just this basic ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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22 votes

Is the correct term Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the name is Canada Goose. The big, black-necked Canada Goose with its signature white chinstrap mark is a familiar and widespread bird of fields and ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
21 votes

What is the difference between a Pass and a Col?

Pass and col are synonymous. Col is French whereas the word pass has entered the Germanic languages (German word is Pass). The word col entered English usage because of anglophone mountaineers in ...
gerrit's user avatar
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20 votes
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What's the difference between a fjord and a fjard?

I think Wikipedia article on Fjard has a very good explanation: Although fjards and fjords are similar in that they are a glacially-formed topography, they still differ in some key ways. Fjords are ...
George Sapkin's user avatar
20 votes

What is meant by "an Easterly wind"?

Wind direction is, by convention, the direction that the wind is coming from. An easterly wind blows from east to west. If the bow of the boat is pointing into the wind, it's pointing to the east.
Pete Becker's user avatar
19 votes

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

White caps are named for the white caps at the top of waves. White caps are sign that the wind is picking up and that the weather conditions are getting worse and look like this at low wind levels. ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Difference between a "path" and a "footpath"?

A path indication on the map means that when the mapper mapped it there was physically a path on the ground. It gives no indication as to who is or is not allowed to use that path. The brown ...
Peter Green's user avatar
17 votes
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Is there a difference between a hiking trail and a backpacking trail, including if it's the same piece of land?

While there's a lot of overlap, a trail that can't possibly lead to anywhere to stay the night is unlikely to be called a backpacking trail, as backpacking implies multi-day trips carrying sleep gear ...
Chris H's user avatar
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17 votes

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

Hiking is a superset of backpacking. A backpacking trail can be used for hiking, since that's how you move along the trail while backpacking too. Any trail specifically stated to support backpacking ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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17 votes

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

Front country is when you go camping in an established campground that is usually reached by car. While backcountry camping is when you go camping in the backcountry getting to the non established ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
16 votes
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What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

There are a few fundamental differences between oars and paddles. One main difference is the position of the user relative to the direction in which the vessel is moving. Oars are used to propel the ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
16 votes

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

According to Wikipedia, a paddle is held by the person and an oar is connected to the boat in some manner, such as a rowlock.
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
16 votes
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What is a nose-hooked carabiner and why is it dangerous?

To put it simply, it is when the nose of the carabiner gets hooked onto something, which reduces its strength dramatically. This happens by preventing the carabiner gate from closing and keeping it in ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

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

Bullets follow a parabolic arc as seen below, Image Source As you can see the yellow line is a bullet fired from a longer barrel which results in a higher velocity and thus less drop over distance. ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

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

You (arguably) are right. I would even approach it the other way around: Should there be another description for outdoor lead climbing on bolted routes. "Proof": Climbing on artificial holds has ...
imsodin's user avatar
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15 votes

Terms for different parts of a mountain

I have come-up with a hand-run sketch, may or may not be accurate. But I have tried to translate the local terms we use, and I have pick-up the terms in English that came closest in terms of meaning. ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
14 votes

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

Charlie has given you an excellent summary of the difference between the two, focused on the difference in exertion and time to reach them, and the amenities to be found at each. There is another ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
14 votes

Clarifying hiking lingo "return"

While this is not a hiking or even outdoors question - it is purely an English language question - I think it is common enough that it is worth popping an answer here: In English, a duration followed ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 24.9k
13 votes
Accepted

What are opposite and opposed carabiners?

This is what a diagram of opposite and opposed carabiners looks like. The gates are on opposite sides and form a X when laid over the top of each other. The purpose of doing this is to make it ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

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

It depends on whether the cat is a member of the Panthera (cubs) or Felinae (kittens). This Panthera is the big cats, The British taxonomist Pocock revised the classification of this genus in ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes

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

As well stated in another answer, whitecaps (the white tips of waves) are a visual indicator of local wind speed over the water. Just wanted to add emphasis that whitecaps, as an indicator of wind, ...
mmcc's user avatar
  • 3,466
12 votes
Accepted

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

North America English Canada / United States "ROCK!" (pronounced /rɒk/) French Canada "ROCHE!" (pronounced /ʁɔʃ/) Europe European Alps "CAILLOU !" (pronounced /ka.ju/...
11 votes
Accepted

In orienteering/navigation, what is a handrail feature?

A handrail feature is something that you can travel paralleled to in order to reach your destination. A good example of this would be a stream/river as while you wouldn't want to follow directly ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What is a catch feature in orienteering?

A catch feature is a feature that you will run into, if you have gone too far. As you can see above, if you are using the stream as a handrail feature to get to the bridge in order to cross, the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Getting lost and circling a trail in a loop?

I believe this is called walking in circles :) What happens is that is that without a compass or GPS, you tend to head to one side instead of going straight. Eventually you will complete the circle ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

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

The difference is mostly one of administrative/bureaucratic elements. Both are protected areas, the difference is in who creates and manages them. All National Parks are run by the National Park ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
10 votes

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

Shock cord If you're looking to replace it, many retailers list it as a shock cord.
user1469051's user avatar

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