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A beginner's glossary to hiking and camping

zigzag, switchback, camping glossary

Photo: John R. McNair/Shutterstock

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From vestibule to zigzag

vestibule — a covered chamber, usually an extension of the rainfly, designed to stash wet gear in before crawling into a dry tent.

verglas — a thin coating of ice that forms on rocks overnight, or when snow melts and then refreezes.


walk up — an accessible mountain peak requiring no technical gear or advanced climbing knowledge.

white gas — a specially formulated fuel designed to burn in camp stoves.


yogi-ing — the friendly art of letting hikers and other park visitors offer food or other forms of assistance without asking them directly for it (otherwise it’s called begging).


zigzag — the act of hiking along a switchback trail to reach a destination.