The online backpacking and hiking community is fairly small and I read a lot of personal blogs and forum postings outside of the United States, in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
So as a former linguistics student, researcher, and postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, I find that I’m very sensitive to the different words and terminology used to describe backpacking gear and techniques in the United States, England/Scotland and Australia.
I’ve started keeping track of these differences and have listed them below, but if you can help me add to my list please leave a comment.
|United Kingdom||United States||Australia|
|bothy bag||emergency shelter||bivvy bag|
|cagoule||waterproof anorak||rain coat|
|camping mat||sleeping pad||sleeping mat|
|foil blanket||emergency blanket||emergency blanket|
|head torch||head lamp||head light|
|kit||gear list||gear list|
|meths or methylated spirit||denatured alcohol||metho|
|wild camping||stealth camping||bush camping|
If I’ve made any errors in translation, I hope you’ll tell me too.
I like the sound of "wild" camping. It makes it sound really adventurous.
I think you should probably also include:
trainers – tennis shoes
jumper – sweatshirt/pullover
Having owned both an anorak and a cagoule when I started backpacking in the mid 1970's, I thought they were different. The anorak was a hip-length pull-over (mine was not waterproof), while the cagoule was a waterproof knee-length pullover. The bottom of the cagoule could be folded up and snapped so that it only came down to your hips. The cagoule had a drawstring on the bottom hem — you could pull your feet inside, and use it as a bivy. The cagoule worked best in cold, wet weather (White Mountains in early spring). Mine was from a company called Sierra West.
That reminds me of when I used to do a lot of rock climbing with an Austrailian friend. He always called Rappelling "Absailing".
Don't forget braces to keep the overtrousers from falling down…
Will give you a bit of help for Australia – hope the format works ok…..
bothy bag emergency shelter – bivvy bag
bumbag fanny pack – bumbag
cagoule waterproof anorak – rain coat
camping mat sleeping pad – sleeping mat
foil blanket emergency blanket – emergency blanket
groundsheet footprint – groundsheet
head torch head lamp – head light
kit gear list – gear list
meths or methylated spirit denatural alcohol – metho
overtrousers rain pants – overpants, waterproof pants
pegs stakes – tent pegs
rucksack backpack – pack, backpack
trousers pants – pants
waterproofs rain gear – waterproofs, wet weather gear
wild camping stealth camping – bush camping
trainers – tennis shoes – runners
jumper – sweatshirt/pullover – jumper
Good list, hope the Aussie additions are helpful
Frank, I was hoping you chime in from down-under. I'll update the post with a new Australian column soon – just got back from a 10-day stretch of day hiking.
Interesting list – what really struck me was that most of the terms relate to things invented pre 1985 or so. The internet, and emergence of global brands, has caused a lot of convergence – a soft shell is probably a soft shell no matter where you go nowadays. Except in HongKong, where it will get you some tasty crab..