You can safely "bush whack" off trail - particularly in friendly, familiar terrain with good visibility.
But unless you're experienced and prepared, going off trail is a recipe for disaster.
Doing so is sometime intentional, though questionable. But it is also easy to do when fatigued, not in a group, not on marked trails, taking false or branch paths, following animal trails, due to poor visibility (darkness, snow, fog ) etc.
Suffice to say most hikers are not experienced. prepared or reasonably prudent.
log in . . . wrote:
GOO GAL wrote:
I have lived near a national forest for over 20-years. I learned long ago to never on any side trails which are lightly used.
How'd you learn that? Did you get murdered?
You have never hiked in the forest. What was posted is common knowledge. Stick with running around your mom's block, kid. You still might get run over by someone backing out of their driveway in a hurry.
This is absolutely not true. People go off trail all the time in wilderness areas and such. It's not common knowledge to be terrified of the outdoors.