Hikers very much enjoy the use of acronyms, no matter how obscure or unintuitive they may be.
However, the use of acronyms is not exclusive to hikers, and I would venture to say that more groups than not are quite fond of acronyms. Whether it be to instill a false sense of creativity, to create an obnoxious air of exclusivity, or to simply be lazy, people love acronyms.
PCT Acronyms to Know
Hike Your Own Hike
This refers to the idea that you should be hiking on your own terms and not attempting to follow someone else’s agenda. Hike at a pace you are comfortable going, do the things you want to do, and break for number two when you decide it is time. Hiking 2,600 miles will be zero fun if you fail to make it your own hike.
Make Your Own Gear
Pretty straightforward this one: sometimes making your own equipment can provide a far superior (and much cheaper) experience than rushing out to buy all the latest and greatest ultralight bullshit that you may or may not even need.
More on gear here.
Leave No Trace.
Leave no trace is the practice of experiencing the outdoors responsibly, and basically breaks down to providing no evidence you were ever in a place (except footprints, those are allowed). That means everything from not leaving toilet paper in catholes to not carving your name into trees (you asshole).
This acronym simply refers to which direction a hiker will be heading on the PCT. NOBO hikers begin the PCT in Campo, California, and SOBO hikers begin in Manning Park, British Columbia.
More on which direction to hike the PCT here.
Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off
The ADZPCTKO is quite ridiculous as far as acronyms go, and as a result, has become quite iconic in the PCT hiking community. Each year hundreds of hikers attend the ADZPCTKO – read more about it here.
Pacific Crest Trail (Association)/John Muir Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail are one and the same for the majority of the John Muir Trail’s length so it is worth noting that it too has its own acronym.
Base Pack Weight
This measurement refers to the weight of all the gear in your pack (pack included) before you include the weight of consumables (food, water, fuel).
Kennedy Meadows/Vermilion Valley Resort
Two places of note along the Pacific Crest Trail, Kennedy Meadows marks the entrance into the Sierra, and Vermilion Valley Resort is the first place (once you’ve entered the Sierra) that you can easily get to (read: no long hitchhike) for a resupply.
More on the Kennedy Meadows to VVR resupply here.