Short for “southbound,” “southbounder,” or “southbound thru-hiker.” When indicating a thru-hiker, the SoBo identification means this hiker started at Mount Katahdin and intends to hike or has already hiked continuously to Springer Moutnain. Some individuals who hike the entire Appalachian Trail in small segments also choose to start at Mount Katahdin and hike each mile consecutively to Springer Mountain.  Short distance hikers may also refer to themselves as “SoBos” if they are headed south for the duration of their trips.

SoBo - Terrapin signpost

Signs such as this one, at Terrapin Station Hostel in Front Royal, VA, show the distances SoBo and NoBo hikers have traveled and how far they have left to go.

Example: “Those guys were cool! Too bad they’re SoBo and I’ll never see them again.”

Fun Fact: According to the ATC’s records, approximately 10 percent of 2,000 milers are southbound thru-hikers.

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