What Does NOBO Mean In Hiking (Hiking Terms You Need to Know)

When you go on a hike, you might see signs for the NOBO Trail. But What Does NOBO Mean In Hiking?

“NOBO” stands for “NorthBound”.

So, if you’re hiking the NOBO Trail, that means you’re going north. The NOBO Trail is a popular hiking trail in the United States.

It runs from Maine to Georgia, and it’s about 2,200 miles long.

If you’re planning on hiking the whole thing, it would take you about six months to finish.

What Does SOBO Mean In Hiking

“SOBO” stands for “South of the Border.”

The term is often used by hikers to refer to hikes that take place in southernmost regions, such as Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.

While the term can technically be applied to any hike south of the border, it is most commonly used to describe longer hikes in remote areas.

There are a few different reasons why someone might choose to go on a SOBO hike.

For some, it is an opportunity to explore new and exotic places that they would not otherwise have access to.

Others use SOBO hikes as a way to challenge themselves physically and mentally, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones.

And still, others simply enjoy the solitude and peace that comes with being in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

No matter what your reason for going on a SOBO hike may be, one thing is for sure – it will be an adventure that you will never forget!

Appalachian Trail NOBO Itinerary

The Appalachian Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the United States. Every year, thousands of people set out to hike the entire length of the trail, from Maine to Georgia.

If you’re thinking about embarking on this adventure, you’ll need to carefully plan your route.

Here, I’ll share a suggested itinerary for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from north to south (NOBO).

This thru-hike will take you approximately six months to complete. You can start anytime between late April and early June.

I suggest starting at Springer Mountain in Georgia and making your way northbound through the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and finally Maine.

Along the way, you’ll experience some of the most beautiful scenery in America – from lush forests and rushing rivers to majestic mountains and quaint small towns.

Of course, no two hikers are alike and there’s no single perfect way to hike the Appalachian Trail.

But if you’re looking for a NOBO thru-hike itinerary that covers all the bases – including where to resupply food and supplies – then this is it!

NOBO Vs SOBO PCT (Pacific Crest Trail)

Hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail is an amazing experience. It’s a great way to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and to get away from it all.

But, before you set out on your adventure, you need to decide which direction you’re going to hike.

There are two main options for thru-hiking the PCT – northbound (NOBO) or southbound (SOBO).

Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research and decide which one is right for you.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key differences between NOBO and SOBO:

Starting date

The biggest difference between NOBO and SOBO is when you start your hike.

If you’re planning to go NOBO, you’ll need to start in late spring/early summer, as snow will still be present in many parts of the trail early in the season.

For SOBO hikers, starting in late summer/early fall is best, as this avoids hiking through hot desert conditions later in the year.

Completion rate

According to recent data, around 60% of hikers who start a PCT thru-hike attempt from north to south succeed, while only around 40% of those who start from south to north finish the entire trail.

While there are many factors that can contribute to this difference (including weather conditions), it’s something to keep in mind when making your decision.

Hiker culture: One final thing to consider is hiker culture.

Because SOBOs are such a minority on the trail, they often form close bonds with each other and develop a strong sense of community.

If you’re looking for a more social experience on your hike, going SOBO may be the way to go.


What is a Group of Hikers Called?

A group of hikers is called a “party.” While the term can technically be used for any group of people engaged in outdoor activities, it is most commonly associated with those who are hiking together.

The word “party” has been used to describe groups of hikers since the early 1900s.

In fact, one of the first documented uses of the term was in a 1906 article about the Sierra Club, which described a large party of hikers that had recently completed a hike through Yosemite Valley.

Since then, the term has been widely adopted by both amateur and professional hikers alike.

While some may use it interchangeably with other terms like “group” or “team,” others use it specifically to refer to a group of people undertaking a hike together.

No matter what you call them, groups of hikers present both opportunities and challenges.

On one hand, hiking with friends or family can make the experience more enjoyable and memorable.

Conversely, coordinating everyone’s schedules and making sure everyone is prepared for the hike can be difficult.

If you’re planning on hitting the trails with a group this summer, remember that communication and preparation are key!

What is NOBO Backpacking?

NOBO backpacking is a term used to describe the practice of carrying all of one’s belongings in a backpack and camping out in the wilderness with minimal gear.

The idea is to be as self-sufficient as possible and to reduce the impact on the environment. NOBO backpacking trips can range from a few days to several weeks and are often done in remote areas.

What are SOBO And NOBO in Hiking?

“SOBO” and “NOBO” are terms used to describe the direction in which a person is hiking. SOBO stands for “southbound,” while NOBO stands for “northbound.”

These terms are typically used when referring to thru-hikers, or those who are attempting to hike the entire length of a trail from one end to the other.

The vast majority of thru-hikers start their journey from the southernmost point of the trail and hike northward.

This allows them to take advantage of better weather conditions (generally speaking, it gets warmer as you move northward) and also means that they will be finishing their hike in early autumn, before winter weather sets in.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule.

Some hikers may have time constraints that necessitate starting from the northernmost point and hiking southward.

Others simply prefer the challenge of going against the flow. Regardless of why someone might choose to hike SOBO or NOBO, both options present their own unique set of challenges and rewards.


The term “NOBO” is short for “northbound,” and refers to a hiker who is trekking north on a long-distance trail.

This can be any trail but is most commonly used in reference to the Appalachian Trail (AT), which runs from Georgia to Maine.

NOBOs typically start their hike in the spring, when the weather is getting warmer and there are fewer snow and ice conditions to deal with.

Hiking northbound has a few advantages over other directions.

For one, hikers will experience warmer temperatures as they go; this can be a big plus after spending months in cold weather conditions further south.

Additionally, northbound will generally have less company on the trail than those going in other directions; since most people start their hikes from Springer Mountain in Georgia (the southern terminus of the AT), heading north means you’re more likely to have the trail mostly to yourself.

Of course, there are also some challenges that come with hiking northbound.

The biggest one is probably that you’ll be finishing your hike in late fall or early winter when conditions can be very difficult (and even dangerous) in New England’s mountains.

Make sure you’re prepared for cold weather camping and have a solid plan for getting off the trail if necessary before embarking on a NOBO thru-hike!

Chloe Jeffreys


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