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Jargon: Types of Backpacking Trips

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

While a backpacking trip is essentially just putting one foot in front of the other for a certain distance and amount of time, there are certain terms used to provide some logistical clarity. Distance and shape are the defining characteristics upon which the distinctions of “loop”, “thru hike”, “point to point”, and “out and back” are based. Loops start and end at the same place and follow a continuous path that requires no backtracking to complete. Loops that might repeat a section of trail, often leading from the trailhead to a junction where the “true” loop begins are often called a lasso loop, lollipop loop, partial loop, or any other visually descriptive colloquialism. Not to confuse the issue further, but long loops – such as those that are hundreds of miles long or more for example – also seem to fall into the category of a thru hike as a result of the distance covered and the need for multiple resupplies...

@Mark with a look at common terminology for different types of hiking and backpacking trips - take a look in Issue 42:

Jargon: Loops, Thru Hikes, Routes and More

Backpacking Jargon - Loops, Thru-hikes, Out and Back Hikes, etc.

Issue 42 Page 1

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