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English Hiking Vocabulary

In many cities, people are being told to get outside whenever possible. It’s great for your physical and mental health!

But what can you do outdoors when you’re still trying to socially distance from other people?

What about hiking?

Read the passage below, then scroll down to check your answers.

A Hiking Tale

You wake up and prepare your gear. You put your water bottle and first-aid kit into your backpack. You also pack a light picnic lunch and some trail mix for a snack.

You make sure to take everything you need for navigation. You’ve got your phone’s GPS, of course, but you also have a map and a compass in case your cell phone doesn’t work in the mountains. 

As you’re hiking, you meet some other hikers who tell you about a viewpoint 1 km away. You thank them and keep moving. When you reach the viewpoint, you see a beautiful river and a rushing waterfall

You’re feeling hungry and a little dehydrated, so you sit down and unpack your lunch. You think to yourself: What a perfect day!

How did you do?

Read the definitions below to check your understanding!

1. Gear

→  (noun) Supplies, tools, or clothes needed for a special purpose

Before you go camping, you need to get the right gear, such as a tent and a sleeping bag.

2. First-aid kit

→ (noun) A set of materials and tools used for emergency treatment of a sick or injured person

I cut my hand while I was making dinner. Quick! Get the first-aid kit!

3. Backpack

→ (noun) A bag with two shoulder straps used for carrying things on your back.

You don’t need a new backpack for school – you just got one last year.

4. Picnic

→ (noun) A meal that is eaten outdoors, especially on a trip away from home

It’s a sunny day. Let’s pack a picnic lunch and eat in the park!

5. Trail mix

→ (noun) A snack mix that usually consists of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

I love eating trail mix when I go hiking; it gives me a lot of energy. 

6. Navigation

→ (noun) The act of finding a way to get to the place you’re travelling to

Can we go to the restaurant together in my car? I don’t know where it is—you can help with navigation.

7. GPS (global positioning system)

→ (noun) A system that uses signals from satellites to tell you where you are and give you directions 

I don’t know what I would do without GPS. I use it to get everywhere!

8. Map

→ (noun) A chart that shows things like the rivers, mountains, and streets of an area 

I keep a map in my car but I don’t know how to read it!

9. Compass

→ (noun) A device that is used to find direction with a needle that always points north

The campers used their compass to find a way out of the forest.

10. Viewpoint

→ (noun) A place where you can stop and see beautiful scenery

On our drive down to California, we stopped at a lot of viewpoints to look at the Pacific Ocean.

11. Waterfall

→ An area of a stream or river where the water falls down from a high place

Don’t stand too close to that waterfall or you’re going to get very wet!

12. Dehydrated

→ Having lost too much water from your body

It’s important to drink water regularly when it’s hot or you’ll get dehydrated.

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.