What Is Bushwhacking and Why Do People Do It?

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be frightening, but it is also challenging and rewarding. This idea encompasses bushwhacking. 

Bushwhacking through the forest.

What is Bushwhacking?

To put it simple, bushwhacking is hiking off trail through brush and thick forest. There is not necessarily any machete ‘whacking’ involved as some would think. Bushwhacking is actually climbing over fallen trees, getting stuck in mud, crossing over creeks, and making your way through thick vegetation. 

Bushwhacking should not be done alone, it should be done in groups. The challenging part about it is that you have to constantly be aware of where you are located on a map or GPS at all times. If you don’t use a GPS, you will be relying on a compass which takes a lot of concentration. Not only do you have to be aware of your location, but also your surroundings. Since you are off-trail and there is less human traffic, there will be more animal activity. So, you need to be on your feet ready to face any threats. 

Why Bushwhack?

The reward of a bushwhacking hike is getting a view of nature that is genuine. Some bushwhackers do it to get a view that no other trail offers and say that it is more beautiful than the man planned views. Although the view is amazing, it does take almost double the time to go the same distance as you would on a normal trail. 

It is very vital to be familiar your map, plan ahead of where you want to go bushwhacking, and know a general area where your final destination is located. Additionally, it is equally important to wear the correct gear such as long shirts, pants, and boots. Be cautious of areas that may snag your backpack and cause damage to it. 

Here are some more tips on how to make a bushwhacking adventure it successful.

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Scenery after bushwhacking trip.
Gorgeous view after a bushwhacking excursion

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