This page contains definitions of the terms that you might come across on this website. If there is anything missing from the list that should be on there, please leave a comment, or contact us.

acclimate – The time the body needs to get used to the conditions such as temperature, altitude, etc.

A-frame tent – A tent with an A shape. The wall(s) of the tent drape(s) over a pole in the middle

backcountry – An area isolated from civilization, with very few or no roads built by people. “Off the beaten path”.

bathtub floor – A type of tent design, which has the floor running up a bit onto the sides of the tent, so that the shape of the floor resembles a bathtub.

billy can – An empty food can used to boil or cook stuff over a campfire.

biodegradable soap – A soap that decomposes in nature. As nature-friendly as soap can get.

bivouac – A quickly assembled shelter meant to protect campers  or backpackers from harsh weather.

cache – To put away your food for a “rainy day”

cairn – A pile of stone used for navigational purposes.

cat hole – A hole that you dig for pooping. Don’t forget to bury it!.

clip – A device used to attach the wall of the tent to the poles.

dehydration – The phenomena of the body loosing water in excess.

ditty bag - A comfortable bag that you can carry on your back or shoulder while hiking.

dome tent – A round tent with poles that cross over each other at the top of the tent, giving it a dome-like structure.

double-wall tent – A tent that has two layers of cover. One inner wall, and an outer waterproof rainfly.

Dutch oven – A device used for cooking over charcoal.

gaiters – A piece of clothing that fits over the neck of your boots, and protects your trousers and socks from dirt and mud.

factory taped seams – The manufacturer of the tent puts a tiny layer of material between the two layers of the tent that are seamed together with double stitches.

family tent – A tent designed for family use.

foil meal – A meal that is prepared by wrapping the food in foil and cooking it.

four-season tent - A tent designed for winter use. It is not suited for camping all year.

free standing tent – A tent that can be used without securing it with stakes.

frostbite – The phenomena of certain body parts dieing as a result of extended exposure to cold.

gear loft – A little pocket inside the tent, at the top of the dome.

GPS – Global Positioning Unit. A device that can determine our location with the aid of satellites.

glamping – glamour camping. Camping in a luxury accommodation that was built with the aim of enjoying the luxuries of the modern lifestyle as well as the beauty of nature.

grommet – A metal ring used for securing the end of tent poles.

guy-out loops – The end of guy-out lines that are used to attach them.

hypothermia – The phenomena of the body loosing more heat than it produces.

kids’ tent – A tent designed for kids to play in. Usually not waterproof, and not suited for extended outdoor use.

kindling – Flammable material used for starting fires.

leave no trace – Cleaning your campground when you are ready to leave.

mildew – “Thin, superficial, usually whitish growth consisting of minute fungal hyphae (filaments,) produced especially on living plants or organic matter such as wood, paper or leather, or the resulting smell, especially on clothing, paper, or other substances left damp in a household.” from Wikipedia

polyurethane coating – A coating used to waterproof camping gear.

poncho – a comfortable piece of clothing that can be used as a raincoat.

potable water – Water that people can drink with low risk of getting ill.

put up shade – A tarp that you put up to create a bit of shade for yourself.

ripstop nylon – A fray-proof material used in tent walls.

screen room – An extension of the tent that provides shades and ventilation.

shock-corded poles – Poles that consist of smaller separate parts and are kept together by the wire that runs inside the pole.

single-wall tent – A tent that has only one layer separating the inside from the outside.

stake puller – A device used for pulling stakes out of the ground.

stuff sack – A bag made out of plastic, used for carrying camping gear.

tent pole – A long, thin, yet durable device used for erecting tents.

ventilation – The circulation of the air between the outside world and the inside of the tent.

vestibule – The extension of the rainfly in front of the door. Used for storing gear and as a transition area between the outside world and the tent.

waterproof – Water resistant, water repellent.

waterproof tent - A tent with a Hydrostatic Head over 750mm is considered to be waterproof (a Hydrostatic Head is where manufacturers place a column of water onto the fabric and see how much water they can get into the tube before 3 drops of water pass through) Definition taken from the Decathlon website.


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