APPALACHIAN TRAIL: Just Some Random Stuff Here
NOBO = northbound hiker
SOBO = southbound hiker
Thru-hiker = I am not sure of the exact definition but it is either someone that hikes the entire AT in one calendar year or within 12 months of starting.
Section-hiker = someone who hikes shorter sections of the trail over a number of years. Maybe 100 miles this year, 50 next years, etc until they complete the whole thing.
Flip-flop = people who start going north late in the season will never make it to Mt Katahdin in Maine before they close the park on Oct 15th. Some people hike as far north as they can and then “flip-flop” and get themselves to Maine and hike south to where they dropped off the trail.
PUDS = Pointless Ups and Downs. This is one or more hills that the trail is routed over that you feel is worthless. There are a lot of these down south as most of the hills have no views off the top. So, you do all this work to hike up and then immediately go down the other side. It can be frustrating sometimes.
Slackpacking = in simplistic terms, you take everything out of your pack accept for water, snacks/food, headlamp and a trail guide. A shuttle driver takes you north and you hike back to your starting point. The other option is to have the shuttle driver take your gear north and you hike up to it with only a day pack with food, etc. The nice thing about this is you take a 30-40 pound pack and bring it down to 8-12 pounds. It generally allows for a faster and less strenuous hike and usually more miles that day. Its pretty fun and I have done it twice.
Zero = a day with no hiking miles.
Nero = a day where you hike a few miles to get into or leave a town. For example, we might hike into town and get a room for the night and the next day hike out in the afternoon for 3-8 miles. This is called a Nero.