December 07, 2011
Mandatory gear: Eyewear, long-sleeve shirt, pants, hiking footwear, compass, map
The gist: Trails? Pff. Who needs trails when you can walk in the woods!
Let your inner animal out! Trails are wonderful for most all hikes. But once and a while it’s good to bushwhack and get back into the thick of the woods. Off-trail hiking puts branches in your face and uneven ground under your boots. But the activity can also transport a hiker into places few people ever see. Follow a deer trail. Walk along the edge of a swamp or pond. Hurdle logs, leave boot-prints in the mud, and try not to get lost! Leaving the trail — be it in an urban park or in the true wilds — is an immediate portal back to nature, true and full.