By: Blonde Two

July was an unusual month for writing work; a paucity for the first three weeks led to a plethora for the last. Writing jobs, it would appear, are like buses (but less smelly). To help myself keep calm over my latest slack period (not a female anatomical term) I have been indulging in word puzzles. This occupation has left me a tad word-ridden; I love the English language and puzzling with it appears to have reignited a few vernacular synapses. So much so, in fact, that I have invented a few new English outdoor words of my own. I am most gratified with them and am plotting a campaign to see at least one enter the Oxford English Outdoor Dictionary (if such a volume doesn’t exist then I am just going to have to write it!) I would be interested to hear your opinion and also any ideas of your own.


Dripstate (noun)

That still-just-about-smiling state that one finds oneself in after a rainy day out in the hills. Usually not observed until just within the door of a warm pub, a dripstate can creep up on one.

Cartastrophy (noun)

The result of an unfortunate map mis-purchase during which one mistakenly thinks that it would be a good idea to buy a paper map for a week’s walking in Wales. A cartastrophy will usually result in an unusable map and a swift return to the car park. Waterproof maps protect against rain, coffee and sheep poo.

Hillebrate (verb)

To hillebrate is to demonstrate a state of extreme self-satisfaction upon reaching the summit of a hill or mountain. This demonstration can take the form of loud whooping, trig pillar balancing or inappropriate selfie-taking. Devon folk tend to be more reticent and leave the hillebrating until they reach the pub (this may or may not be because Devon doesn’t have any mountains). Hillebration (n), hillebrative (adj).

Navictory (noun)

That moment when one realises that one’s superior night navigation skills have, for once, paid off and one has found, in the dark, the hidden trig point, dragon-painted boulder or 10cm metal cross.

Sunprise (noun)

The shock of unzipping the tent door to discover something yellow and shiny in the sky. A sunprise should not be taken lightly but be rewarded with an early morning swim and a good newspaper (not at the same time).

Zipfrency (noun)

That state of being when you wake up, desperate for the loo, to find that your sleeping bag zip has wrapped itself twice around your body in the night leaving you unable to find your way out. Zipfrency is heightened by the addition of too many hoods, a sleeping bag liner or a bivvy bag to your sleeping ensemble and can be alleviated by deep breathing and meditation.

Miscontour (verb)

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2016

To miscontour is to underestimate the significance of contour lines on the map thus giving oneself more hill to climb than was expected. Miscontouring can be avoided by walking in Norfolk or Holland. Miscontouration (v) miscontourative (adj).

Bivvily (adv)

To do something bivvily is to perform an action inside a bivvy bag. Example tasks might include passing wind, attempting to remain on top of your sleeping mat or taking your bra off.