Meet Me at the Top: A Semi-Complete List of our Back Country Vernacular

By: Juliana Siler


Origin: After our first reration during NOLS, we had an Iron Chef competition, where the “I Team” (Our instructors) rated meals we prepared for them. They each had to have two courses, appetizer and entree, or hot drink and entree, and one group comprised of Neil, Nate, and Sammy, made an outdoor hibachi grill and were given the seemingly unfair rating of 6.5.

Gap Gab: Mentioned in passing to take Neil down a notch when he’s acting too feisty.

Back Country:

Actual Definition: “a sparsely populated rural region remote from a settled area.” (

Gap Gab: The woods, any region that is not ordinarily occupied by the majority of people. In our case, the Wind River Range.

Close Enough:

Gap Gab: Brendan’s cooking.

In Daily Life: *Brendan’s night to cook, the meal comes out not as planned but still slightly edible* “Eh, close enough, dinners ready!”


Gap Gab: Never. Forget. The. Butter. N e v e r

Front Country:

Actual Definition: “Frontcountry is composed of outdoor areas that are easily accessible by vehicle and mostly visited by day users. Developed campgrounds are also included in the frontcountry arena”


Gap Gab: Home; the land of city slickers.

Fry Bake:

Gap Gab: The worst thing in the world to clean out, never forget butter when you cook in it.


Actual Definition: “any of various chiefly ground-dwelling birds (family Tetraonidae) that are usually of reddish-brown or other protective color and have feathered legs and that include many important game birds” (

Gap Gab: Heaven in a fry bake.

Hella Lit:

Actual Definition:

Hella:  “Originated from the streets of San Francisco in the Hunters Point neighborhood. It is commonly used in place of “really” or “very” when describing something.” (

Lit: “The act of which a person is excited, or hype due to an upcoming event.” (

Gap Gab: Dave thinking he’s cool, and “hip”.


Actual Definition: “a person’s mother” (

Gap Gab: Cheyenne.


Gap Gab: Used in place of saying, “Hey, can I try a bite of that?”

Example: “Yo, lemme get a nib-nib” Or simply, “Nib-nib.”

*Sometimes stylized as a single Nib*

No Thank You Bite:

Gap Gab: Something Nate uses on his four year old sister to get her to eat food. He also uses it on me to get me to eat food that I don’t want to eat, except he screams it. Loudly.

Oh Wooooooooowwwwwww:

Origin: So, one time, Chase went on a NOLS course and his co-instructor was this dude who had an accent, and he always said, “Oh wow”.

Gap Gab: Whenever Chase was being sassy he would say a very exaggerated “Oh wooooooooooowwwwww”, it caught on with the rest of us so he stopped saying it.


Gap Gab: Dave’s way of telling us that we were doing something wrong, and there was a more efficient manner of doing it.


How it’s usually used: A southern greeting said to just about everyone by waitresses and your Grandmother

Gap Gab: Nate’s greeting to everyone, but mostly Cheyenne.

Davey Flay’s thoughts: A demeaning term that should never be used by anyone, however, apparently calling people “Mom” is okay and not demeaning at all.

Truckers Hitch:

Actual Definition: “The trucker’s hitch is a compound knot commonly used for securing loads on trucks or trailers.” (

Gap Gab: The subject of jokes that could only be funny in the Back Country.

Type One Fun:

Gap Gab: The type of fun that has an immediate reward, such as riding a rollercoaster, eating a chocolate bar.

Type Two Fun:

Gap Gab: Goat Flat, Whiskey Mountain, need I say more?

Visualize Winning:

Gap Gab: The term Dave would use when he wanted to teach us how to achieve our end goal. Mostly we used it to make sarcastic comments when he wasn’t around.


Back Country Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved from website:

Macleay, A. (2010, July 6). Backcountry vs. Frontcountry: What’s the difference? Where’s the line? Retrieved from

Grouse Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved from website:

Lit. (2013, November 7). Retrieved from Urban Dictionary website:

Hella. (2004, May 27). Retrieved from Urban Dictionary website:

Mom Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster website:

Trucker’s Hitch. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia website:

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