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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain


Updated: Jan 17

Here's my site disclaimer and some information about being responsible outdoors.

My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome.


Everybody defines bushwhacking in a different way. Here are a couple different definitions:

  1. “A challenging, non-trail hike through (sometimes dense) foliage.” –Uncruise

  2. “Hiking someplace off-trail” –Terns

  3. “Most of the time a bushwack means the bushes whack you, not the other way around.” –Terns

I guess the main thing to clear up is my definition of bushwhacking doesn’t involve making a path through the jungle with a machete.

The terms bushwhacking, off-trail hiking, and cross-country hiking are all somewhat interchangeable from what I’ve been able to find online. I’m just going to keep it simple and call anything off trail, where I’m making my own trail (without damaging nature) bushwhacking.

Be sure what you’re doing is legal. In certain areas going off trail is illegal and it’s important to respect those laws because they’re there for a reason.

When I do bushwhack, I do my best to follow “leave no trace” principles and leave the smallest footprint behind. This means not stomping all over plants or cutting things down to make a path. The idea is to move with the forest, not against it. When traveling in a group, disperse where each person walks so that it doesn’t trample down one area. It leaves less of an impact if you don’t all walk in one line.

Bushwhacking Difficulty Rating System

Creek and River Rating

Access Classifications on Lake & Peak Posts

Leave No Trace Principles

The 10 Essentials

My experience—knowing your skills & limitations

I’ve grown up hiking, backpacking and just being in the outdoors in general. I’m very comfortable in remote wilderness areas and driving on 4-wheel drive back roads. I know my skills as well as my limitations. I am always prepared and aware of the weather and environment I am in. I know what to do if something happens medically or I get lost. It’s important to know and evaluate your own skills and knowledge before doing any outdoor activity. There is always a risk and by choosing to go out you are willingly choosing to take that risk.

  1. It’s important to have a healthy respect for nature and wildlife.

  2. Always let someone know where you’re going, especially if you’re going out alone. Even if you’re going out with multiple people you should still let someone know where your group is going.

  3. Be smart and cautious. If you feel uncomfortable doing something don’t do it. (Unless you’re an anxiety ridden person like me who wouldn’t leave the house if you listened to that uncomfortable feeling. I've found it important to learn the difference between my anxiety/paranoia and my gut response to something feeling wrong or too risky.) Just be aware of your limitations and don’t put yourself in an unnecessary situation that could cause injury.

  4. Personally I choose to take a forest service map of the area whenever I go out in the woods or on a hike.

Information Not Provided

  • I choose to intentionally not rate the difficulty of trails beyond stating the ways to access and my personal experience, because I find trail difficulty ratings to be subjective. There are plenty of websites where trail difficulty ratings are given such as AllTrails and if that's something you're interested in knowing I'd suggest looking there or somewhere else.

  • I also, most of the time don't share the length of time it took to hike somewhere since that also varies by person. I really want to promote recreating in the outdoors in whatever way that works for you, at whatever pace, and in a way that works for your own body and needs.

  • I don't share the location of dispersed campsites most of the time because I think half of the fun in dispersed camping is finding a spot to camp while out adventuring. There are resources online that do provide information for dispersed campsites if you don't find the same enjoyment in spontaneously finding campsites as I do. Make sure to check the legality of dispersed camping in whatever region you are recreating in.

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