What’s the worst brush to walk through?

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Forestree, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,387
    Likes Received:
    51,681
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    The worst I've encountered globally was the Stinging Tree in Australia. Also known as Gympie Gympie. It has a neurotoxin that hurts like a MoFu and you can have some long lasting pain months and even years later that will be reactivated by it from random actions like water splashing on your skin or getting a touched where it stung you. I have encountered thick swaths of this plant while hiking through the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Queensland, Australia. It's a must know plant.

    Another gem that was in the same area was the Waitawhile vine. It had barbed fishhook like thorns that would grab into your clothes and skin and hold you fast until you ripped them out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,854
    Likes Received:
    36,898
    Location:
    New England
    I once, no lie, had to clear three acres of that nightmarish stuff.
     
  3. Logan Woods

    Logan Woods Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    3,768
    A hawthorn thicket can mess your day up pretty bad.
     
  4. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,320
    Likes Received:
    7,877
    Location:
    Redneck Rivera
    Someone always has it worse......I’ll stay in my swamp!
     
  5. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,208
    Likes Received:
    21,536
    Location:
    Central PA
    Sounds like a good time! o_Oo_O
     
  6. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock So long, and thanks for all the fish Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    24,040
    Location:
    Shell knob mo.
    Here in the ozarks we have a thick understory but blackberrys and wild roses are the worst.
     
  7. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    4,840
    Likes Received:
    23,795
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    I was trying to be epic about blackberry and such. I have also read Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburnt Land (highly recommended)... I have some concept of how deadly things can be down under.
     
  8. dial1911

    dial1911 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Location:
    Middle Georgia
    Didn't read all the posts... but my worst memory was salt marsh with reeds and those dang oyster shells in the mud. Talk about terrible ground.

    Had Christopher Columbus landed on that, I'm afraid he might have turned around and left.
     
  9. lyco.woodsrunner

    lyco.woodsrunner by the big White Pine Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    1,027
    Location:
    Lycoming County, Pennsylvania
    Well I guess it depends on if I am just walking through it or if I am forced to cut a traverse line through it. Plenty of crappy stuff out there:D. Here in North Central PA, it's usually Multiflora Rose thickets, Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel. Even Autumn/ Russian Olive thickets can sometimes suck big time.

    Back home in northern WV it was all of the above, plus Greenbriar tangles head high. No good way to get through it.

    But if I have to pick the worst to survey in it's probably, really bad Mountain Laurel. Hundreds and hundreds of acres of it. Once cut with a machete you can't throw it or shove it out of your way. And the cut off shoots at knee high make perfect punji sticks to add to the fun:eek:. Add a foot of wet slushy snow to the equation and it gets really awesome... An 8 hour day trying to survey through it, tripping, stumbling and bumbling, and trying to squeeze your self through with a survey instrument strapped to your back and a tripod balanced on your shoulder makes for a day of pure H#ll!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  10. CosmicJoke

    CosmicJoke Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    3,708
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I was going to make a witty comment about classic adult movies......But...............:54:

    For me, it's blackberry and raspberry bushes, briars, burdock, and nettles. Also anything that knocks my glasses off, they ain't cheap and I don't need to be busting them up hacking my way through nasty brush.
     
  11. ANFwoodsman

    ANFwoodsman Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,543
    Likes Received:
    3,715
    Location:
    Eastern US
    Greenbriar
    Multiflora rose
    Devils club
    Rhododendron thickets
    Muskeg
     
  12. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,855
    Likes Received:
    22,004
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    Wow, y'all can have that nasty stuff.

    The meanest brush I've been through is Hawthorn, and I don't think it holds a candle to some of this other stuff. The Hawthorn at least grows big and thick enough to prevent an understory, and picking a way under near the buggest trunks aint too bad.

    The thickest brush preventing travel through it around me is Snowberry/Buckbrush, it's thick but not particularly mean and lacks thorns.

    And even these are not so prevelant as to be easily skirted.
     
  13. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    4,840
    Likes Received:
    23,795
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    Hawthorn is tough, yes, but a true friend to man. I have native hawthorn on my property, and I plant more when I can. Living where hawthorn is a problem... that’s a good problem to have.

    https://justbod.blogspot.com/2017/03/hawthorn-faerie-tree.html
     
  14. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,669
    Likes Received:
    26,468
    Location:
    Scott County,Tennessee
    Multiflora rose or blackberry thickets really suck majorly. I helped clear a bunch and prefer a bush hog to doing it by hand. Then there’s saw briars with the long thin tiny stickers that’ll snap off even with the skin.
     
  15. Akela

    Akela Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    I walk around brush with stickers. But that may just be me. ;)
     
  16. L0NER

    L0NER -Gone Exploring- Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2019
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    1,398
    Cholla cactus is probably the worst I have had to deal with. It’s not around here but I have worked around it in the past. They call it jumping cactus it seems like you don’t even touch it and it puts little thorns in you.
    Around here I would say manzanita thickets. You just can’t go though them. Going over them (brush surfing) or under them (brush diving) can get you stabbed by the old dead branches we call elk antlers. It’s quite dangerous and over the years I have had to take a few to the ER because of it. There always had to be a good reason to end up in the middle of a manzanita thicket. Like being lost, blood trail from a deer, lost gold mine, ect.ect.
     
  17. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    4,840
    Likes Received:
    23,795
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    Annnd.... we have a winner!
     
  18. NORKALNIMROD

    NORKALNIMROD Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2019
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    650
    Location:
    Idaho
  19. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    10,443
    Location:
    East WA
    Russian olive or black locus thickets suck the only way to get through them is to crawl on your hands and knees as there's a little bit of space down there that does not have 2" thorns.

    The other around here is blackberries with the intermittent rose bushes.
     
  20. Beard-O

    Beard-O Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    There is an area on Fort Benning that myself and many others I know called the "F$%k You Forest." It was a section of thick young Honey Locust trees. That was bad enough, however they were nearly completely choked full of kudzu vines. It was pretty much impassable.

    I second anybody's vote for blackberries as well. I remember when I worked for the county forestry service. I had to set a couple of plots right in the middle of what seemed like a blackberry plantation. Try as I might the shortest route I had was about 200 yards through it. The canes were taller than me and I am 6'1".
     
  21. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    562
    Multi flora rose! They had over taken the perimeter of all the fields on the farm. Had been there a long time, trunks thicker than my wrist with giant thorns. Bought a triangular gizmo that you could spread, put aroud base and pull out with the tractor But you had to get to the base. Used my tractor bucket to lift the canes, crawl underneath and hook up. Tug of war. Worked great.
     
  22. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    11,587
    Location:
    Casco, Wisconsin
  23. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    11,587
    Location:
    Casco, Wisconsin
    In my AO, it's redbrush, cedar, and some kind of hellish Thornberry tree.
     
  24. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,390
    Likes Received:
    10,118
    Location:
    Gila, NM
    @gila_dog's pics pretty much sum it up here...almost every plant will get you, lol. A mix of catclaw and mesquite is rough, especially going uphill.
     
  25. jackpinesavage

    jackpinesavage Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    UP
    Wrestling a canoe through tag alders on a portage. It’s not painful but it’ll make you hate life for a bit.
     
  26. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    10,968
    Likes Received:
    29,871
    Location:
    Sellers, Alabama, in South Montgomery County
    I wish I had a hawthorn thicket from which to harvest spoon carving rounds. I love the satin feel of that wood. I got a single piece once, just big enough for a narrow spatula.
     
  27. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    10,968
    Likes Received:
    29,871
    Location:
    Sellers, Alabama, in South Montgomery County
    Oh, yeah, a pine plantation cutover where the slash is scattered shin deep, covered in blackberry and multi-flora, shoulder high. Threats to leg and ankle bones, as well as flesh and eyes ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  28. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    12,711
    Location:
    southern california
    I fought fires in places the manzanita was 20+feet tall , cutting a fire line , first ax team cut it, I was on Pulaski and had to throw these long brush over the top of every thing . If you packed the smaller bushes in the manzanita you were throwing, you could get rid of a lot of brush fast . the crew behind had to clear every thing down to the dirt and roots leaving nothing for the fire to pass.
     
  29. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    7,855
    Likes Received:
    39,007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Gee, all the good answers are taken ;)
    I still remember crawling on my belly through a Mtn Laurel thicket helping someone trail his deer. At night no less. You can make it into the thicket on your belly. I can't say you can actually make it through...

    So I'll just say a brush with death.
    That can be the toughest brush to make it out on the other side unscathed ;)
     
  30. riverjoe

    riverjoe You d Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    12,565
    Likes Received:
    27,070
    Location:
    Northern In. On the river
    Autumn Olive is a real pain . You can get down on your hands and knees and follow the deer trails sometimes . I think it maybe saves some yearlings from the coyotes tho so not all bad .
    In Southeast Asia the wait a minute vines were a total pain . Believe they are actually some kind of palm tree . Anywhere there was underbrush there were little houses made of leaves that had these vicious ants inside that loved to grab your flesh between their mandibles and then shake their head like a little pit bull .
    One time we encountered a huge bamboo forest that we could not get around . Had to use machetes which we hated since it announced your presence to the small forest dwellers with AKs .
     
  31. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Location:
    New England
    Nothing absolutely nothing is worse than Multi-floral rose and Greenbrier in the right of ways... especially since poison ivy is almost always mixed in.
     
  32. Cascadian

    Cascadian Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    6,481
    Location:
    Northern Oregon coast
  33. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Location:
    New England
    :59:
     
    central joe, S.Decker and Broke like this.
  34. VtBlackDog

    VtBlackDog Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    4,855
    Location:
    Under the 14th Star
    Wet! On a humid, buggy day
     
  35. DirtyPhill

    DirtyPhill Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    La Crosse
    Have to say anything with the word poison in it is less than delightful.
    Burdock is annoying because it leaves behind special treats.
     
  36. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,442
    Likes Received:
    14,596
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, Texas
    We have salt marsh with cane, oysters, mud and snakes. That cane can be over your head and it can give you "paper cuts" on your whole body.
     
  37. tomcfitz

    tomcfitz Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2018
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    2,351
    Location:
    Bull City, NC
    Multi-flora roses are the absolute worst thing to have on your property. I spent a few summers on my grandparent's property near Hot Springs tearing that stuff up. It is hell.
     
  38. Sierramtns42

    Sierramtns42 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    201
    Location:
    High Sierra Nevada, CA

    Amen to that! Manzanita is truly impossible to pass through. It will rip your clothes and it will also rip your flesh. You see a Manzanita patch and you just go somewhere else. Nobody even tries.
     
  39. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Location:
    New England
    I’d say hold my beer but it doesn’t grow here.
     
  40. Stone

    Stone Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    5,970
    Likes Received:
    23,643
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    ...any brush that is also on fire.
     
  41. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Location:
    New England
    :46:
     
    central joe, Broke and blind & lost like this.
  42. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    18
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    16,683
    Likes Received:
    36,511
    I used to think blueberry patches were nothing--then I bumped a bear in one. I have a new appreciation of them, fortunately the bear was more concerned about me than it needed to be and it beat a hasty retreat.

    A month ago I walked into a field to hunt. I got a small scratch on my knee, hardly broke the skin. Over the next couple of days the area swelled and then developed blisters in a perfect line on either side of the scratch, and then the itching started. It vaguely resembled poison ivy rash but I don’t think it was. A month later it is still itching and blistered. I have no idea what I went through, but a patch of that would not be good for me at least.
     
  43. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    13,438
    Location:
    New England
    Had something similar on my arm last year or maybe year before. No idea either what I walked through. South shore area can’t remember the exact town but was like 30 min from Brockton.
     
  44. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    8,615
    Likes Received:
    51,544
    Location:
    Florida
    Giant saw palmetto patches, any kind of briars, and saltwater mangroves are real pains.
     
  45. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    11,587
    Location:
    Casco, Wisconsin
    LMAO :rolleyes:
     
    central joe and Broke like this.
  46. Ghostshaman33

    Ghostshaman33 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    396
    Location:
    Georgia
    Here in South Georgia we have swampy, palmetto-y, blackberry thicket-y wastelands in parts. Oh I forgot to mention sometimes you get a little poison oak or ivy in that mix...
     
  47. Stone

    Stone Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    5,970
    Likes Received:
    23,643
    Location:
    Ely, MN
    Medicine maker, central joe and Broke like this.
  48. kisatchieman

    kisatchieman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    733
    Devils walking stick 2.png
    I vote for the devil's walking stick (aralia spinosa). I invariably grab hold of one of these while going thru thickets around here in north Louisiana.
     
  49. TheGeoSquirrel

    TheGeoSquirrel Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    3,695
    Location:
    S.E. N.M.
  50. slysir

    slysir Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    14,078
    Location:
    Florida
    I do a lot of hiking down here in Florida. I stay on man made or animal trails. Believe me, you don't bushwack cross country in Florida!! :cool:

    John
     
    Forestree, central joe and Broke like this.

Share This Page