I find the lingo of the trail very interesting. The jargon of the thru-hiker is creative, funny, and reflective of life on the trail. I have shared some trail slang in the past and here are four more terms that have the flavor of the outdoors and the spin of a hiker who’s been blazing a bit too long. Here they are in case you want to guess the meaning before reading the definitions:
1. Widow-maker (think trail), 2. MUDS, 3. PUDS, and 4. Web-walking.
Now for the definitions:
- Widow-maker – a dead limb that drops from a tree without warning. I haven’t been hit by a limb but I have been nailed in the head with a nut. A fairly good size branch crashed into the woods about 20 feet away from me on a recent hike – scared me pretty good but no physical damage.
- MUDS – mindless ups and downs (a short difficult trail section with lots of elevation changes).
- PUDS – pointless ups and downs (an extended, difficult trail of section – lots of extended climbs followed by descending trails to the valley – over and over again).
- Web-walking – to be the first hiker on the trail in the morning, thereby clearing spider webs, usually with one’s face. Having been a web-walker most of the summer, I was so glad to know that I have an actual title for my role. I have an uncanny knack of giving the spider a ride on my hat or on my shoulder after destroying his masterpiece spread across the trail.
How did you do?