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Glossary B


Flats Low-lying sandy regions on the landward side of the sand dunes. Often covered with salt-tolerant grasses and shrubs.

Backbarrier Marsh
Marsh formed behind a coastal barrier, often containing significant coarse sediment that has washed in from the seaward side.

A potentially hazardous mistake that can be made while lead climbing. The rope is clipped into a quickdraw such that the leader’s end runs underneath the quickdraw as opposed to over top of it. If the leader falls, the rope may fold directly over the gate causing it to open and release the rope from the carabiner.

Back Country
Remote uninhabited areas of public lands, national parks, forests.

Backed Bow
A bow that has been backed with rawhide, wood, fibre or sinew.

Any type of line used to partially fill a reel before the main fishing line is added; commonly used in fly-fishing or by bass anglers who use many of the newer thread-like or polymer lines.

Backing Line (fishing)
Nylon or dacron line tied between the fly line and the reel to provide additional length if required to play the fish.

Hiking into the back country with all of your gear on your back.

Backrush (ocean)
The seaward return of water following the uprush of the waves. For any given tide stage, the point of farthest return seaward of the backrush is known as the limit of backrush.

A method of weaving the end of a rope to keep it from unraveling.

Part of a beach that is usually dry and is reached only by the highest tides; by extension, a narrow strip of relatively flat coast bordering the sea.

Back Tack (camping)
A stitch sewn over a stitch to reinforce highly stressed areas where two pieces of fabric must be joined. Good quality tents use back-tack stitching.

Shallow area of a river that is sometimes isolated, often being located behind a sand bar or other obstruction in the river. Large backwaters that are isolated may be referred to as oxbows.

Back Weight (hunting)
A device added to the bow for target shooting (usually in pairs on a V-Bar), and in conjunction with a front stabilizer bar to perfectly balance a bow for a particular archers needs.

Bacterial infection of the blood. It is the principal means by which local infections spread to distant organs. Often results from simple cuts or scratches, and elicits a vigorous immune response to keep bacteria from spreading.

Single-celled organisms that are often parasites or saprophytes and lack nuclei.

Very irregular topography resulting from wind and water erosion of sedimentary rock.

Smaller fish in the food chain used for bait to catch larger predator fish.

A broad, sloping depositional deposit caused by the coalescing of alluvial fans.

Large stiff plates that grow down from the gums of the whale’s upper jaw, allow whales to filter feed. Baleen is made of keratin, the same protein that makes up hair and fingernails, and is strong, yet elastic.

Type of wood several lures are manufactured from. This wood is very light, yet highly buoyant.

The sides of a river or stream between which the water normally flows. The raised ground next to a body of water.

Long, shallow ridge in a body of water.

lagoon separated from the ocean by a sand bar.

The discipline of shooting without a bow sight, stabilisers and release aid.

Barndoor (climbing)
Swinging outward with one hand and one foot still touching the rock.

 device used to measure the pressure of the atmosphere. The barometer unit of measure is called millibars.

A general term for dark-colored, igneous rocks composed of minerals that are relatively rich in iron and magnesium.

Base Level
The lowest level to which a stream can erode its bed. The ultimate base level of all streams is, of course, the sea.

The see-through plate of an orienting compass onto which the compass housing is mounted.

A copperhead intended for pounding into a crack.

An area of land largely enclosed by higher land.

A small flat-bottomed boat, squared off on each end.

A very large body of igneous rock, usually granite, that has been exposed by erosion of the overlying rock.

Bat Hook
A bat hook is a hook filed to a sharp point for tapping into shallow drilled holes for aid climbing.

Bathtub Floor (camping)
In tents, a floor that curves upward at its perimeter and is joined to the canopy. Bathtub floors keep stitching away from ground moisture, thus adding to a tent’s waterproofness.

The science of measuring water depths (usually in the ocean) to determine bottom topography.

Bathypelagic means of, pertaininig to, or living in the deep ocean near the bottom.

body of water that is partly enclosed by land (is usually smaller than a gulf).

Bay-Mouth Bar
A narrow deposit of sand and/or gravel found across the mouth of a bay.

A small, slow-moving stream or creek.

A signal light used to help guide boats and airplanes.

The direction of travel from your current position to a landmark or destination, expressed in degrees from 1 to 360. Also called an Azimuth.

A small stream.

Bed (of a river)
The bottom of the river or other body of water.

Bedding (hunting)
In trapping, the act of making a leg-hold trap sit solidly in position so it will not tip or move should an animal step on a part of the trap beside the spring.

The solid rock that underlies all soil or other loose material; the rock material that breaks down to eventually form soil.

Belay (climbing)
To secure a climber by attaching to another person or to an object offering stable support.

Belay Station
An anchored stance from where a climber provides roped protection for a partner in motion.

Bell Mare (hunting)
Where mares go, geldings usually follow. Many veteran horse packers place a bell on the lead mare so they know where to find their horses.

Bellows Call (hunting)
A type of squirrel call with a rubber device on one end that the hunter taps to produce a sound that imitates a barking squirrel.

Bench Mark
A permanent object that is either natural or man-made with a known elevation that can be used as a reference point when navigation.

Bend (knots)
Joining two lines by intertwining them, without splicing, or sewing.


Benthic Environment (ocean)
The sea floor.

Benthic Life (ocean)
Plants and animals that live on the ocean floor.

A low ridge towards the rear of a beach marking the uppermost level that waves reached during the previous high tide.

Beta (climbing)
Any helpful tips, solutions to problems, guides, tricks, etc that one climber passes on to another, usually about a particular problem (as opposed to tips about bouldering in general, though there is obviously some overlap).

Bight (knots)
A bight is any slack section in the middle part of the rope.

Bight (bodies of water)
A large and often only slightly receding bay, or a bend in any geographical feature.

Any of several species of pelagic fish, including sailfish, spearfish, blue, black or white marlin, and swordfish. A fish with long jaws.

Billy Can
A coffee can (any food can with the lid removed) used to boil water or cook food over a campfire.

The aggregate amount of living matter or a specific species within a specific habitat, or the total number of a specific species in a specific habitat.

The complex of living communities maintained by the climate of a region and characterized by a distinctive type of vegetation. Example of biomes in North America include the tundra, desert, prairie, and the western coniferous forests.

Bipod (hunting)
A two-legged support often used by varmint hunters, which is attached to the fore-end of a rifle, used mainly for long-range shooting.

Birds of Prey
This term is synonymous with raptors and includes eagles, hawks, falcons, kites, and owls.

Bitter End (knots)
The free end of a line.

The site where a tent is set up; also a forced camp usually made for on night when bad weather stops progress.

Black Ice
Permanent ice found in shady couloirs or on steep north faces that is usually extremely hard, dense and difficult to climb.

Blacktail (hunting)
A smaller species of deer similar to a mule deer in appearance that are found on the West Coast.

Blind Call (hunting)
Setting up in area turkeys frequent and calling occasionally, hoping a bird will come within earshot.

Blood Knot (more about blood knot )
knot used to tie two pieces of tippet together best known for its strength in tying monofilament’s of different diameter and material together. Also known as a barrel knot.

The nostrils of a whale are on the top of their head, and can be pair or singular.

A high, steep bank or cliff.

Blunt Force Trauma
Trauma caused by impact or force applied from a blunt object. Blunt force trauma is the most common type of injury sustained by humans, and is a broad term covering trauma like contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and bone fracture.

Boat Paddle (hunting)
A box call especially designed to make loud, high pitched sounds. Usually used as a locator call.

A small piece of cork or light wood or plastic attached to a fishing line to show when a fish is biting; a float.

Bob-Tailed ArrowA arrow that is thicker at the point. It tapers to the nock end.

Body Gripper Trap (hunting)
A style of steel trap that catches animals by the head or body, usually killing them quickly; also called a killer trap.

habitat that consists of waterlogged spongy ground. Common vegetation are sedges and sphagnum moss. Bogs are common in Canada, Russia, and Scandinavia.

A large knob of rock or ice used as a belay anchor.

Is a closed desert basin with no drainage outlet, surrounded by mountains.

Bolt (climbing)
An expansion or glue-in anchor used in conjunction with a metal hanger as protection on sport climbing routes, and for anchors at the top of sport, and some traditional routes.

Bottom Fish
Fish that spend most of their lives on bottom, such as cod, snapper and grouper.

Bottom Fishing
Fishing on or near the bottom of the water with weighted bait.

Boulderer (climbing)
Any person participating in bouldering; usually synonymous in context with the more general term ‘climber’.

The forward (front) part of a boat.

Bow Line (boating)
The rope attached to the bow of your boat. Used for docking or towing.

Bow Press (hunting)
A mechanical device used to compress a bows limbs, so that the string and cables can be adjusted, otherwise worked on, or the bow limbs taken off.

Bow Stave
A piece of wood used to make a bow.

Box Call (hunting)
A wooden box with a lid screwed to one end. Moving the lid across the top of the box makes turkey sounds.

A person that makes bows.

Water that is mostly fresh, with some salt. The far ends of tidal creeks are mostly brackish, supporting sometimes fresh and saltwater fish.

Braided Channel
Usually found on freestone rivers, braided channels are ever-changing smaller channels that together constitute the course of the entire river.

Braided Line (fishing)
A fishing line made up of multiple strands – providing better abrasion resistance with no memory so coils are less of a problem.

The amount of air that is let into a garment and water wicked, or taken, away from the inside of the garment.

A small stream.

Twigs, leaves, and young shoots of trees and shrubs that animals eat. Browse is often used to refer to the shrubs eaten by big game, such as elk and deer.

A small pocket compass with sights and a reflector attached, used in geological surveys.

Brush-Buster Pants (hunting)
Breeches with a layer of thick canvas or other heavy material on the legs to turn briars and other thorny plants when hunting in dense cover.

Brush Loads (hunting)
Shotgun shells containing either flat or square shot or a special spreader wad. In all three cases, the idea is to make the pattern open up very quickly for close range shooting.

A male deer.

Bugle (hunting)
The distinctive whistling, bellowing, grunting sound made by a bull elk in the rut. This sound can be imitated by skilled hunters to draw bulls in.

Bullet Trajectory (hunting)
The arc made by a bullet after it is fired from a rifle.

Buntline (boating)
A rope used to furl (wrap up) a square sail up to the yard arm.

A floating marker. A device that is tethered to the sea floor. Buoys can mark an offshore location, warn of danger, or show a ship where a navigable channel is.

The tendency of a body to float or rise when submerged in a fluid.

Making one’s way through bushes or undergrowth without the aid of a formal trail.

A flat-topped rock or hill formation with steep sides. (see more about a bute)

Button Buck (hunting)
A deer with small nubs for antlers.

A prominent feature that juts out from a rock or mountain.

Buttresses (rainforest)
Root structures that help support tall trees.