What is a Blow-Down?

HikeItForward-Final-MediumFive more vocabulary phrases and you have completed the first level of trail lingo provided by this blog. Here are the terms to consider. See how many you can figure out before reading on. 1) Blow-down, 2) Nero (not the Caesar), 3) Stump Bear, 4) Cowboy Camping, and 5) Gray Water. Do you think you know what most of them mean? Read on for the best definition that I could find.

Blow-down or sometimes called Dead Fall is a tree or shrub that has fallen across the trail often forcing the hiker to climb over, under or through the obstruction. These barriers are often tricky to navigate and a 30 pound pack makes them doubly challenging.

Nero – a Zero day is when a hiker takes a day off and hikes “0” miles on the trail. A Nero is almost (near) a Zero day. Near + Zero = Nero …in other words, a very short mileage day.

Stump Bear – an old tree stump or a large rock along the trail that at first glance looks like a bear, especially in the light of the early morning or late evening.

Cowboy Camping – this experience is where one camps without any shelter – the hiker just spreads his/her sleeping pad and bag out under the stars, putting one’s faith in one’s opinion about the weather staying dry. Cowboy camping was my approach on my two journeys into the Grand Canyon. The skies were unbelievable, the stars were magnificent, and the full moon woke me up each night during my first trip; but I stayed perfectly dry during the Arizona nights.

Gray Water – Dirty dishwater. For those hikers/campers who do trail cooking it is important to dispose of dirty dishwater with etiquette and wisdom. Some campsites will have designated spots to dump your gray water.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpack, Gear, Hiking, Thru-Hike, Trail | Leave a comment

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