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At WildSide, we have a unique badge system designed to recognize your growth as a trailist, the skills you master and the unforgettable moments you experience on the trail. Our trail badges serve as tangible symbols of your journey and accomplishments in the wild, capturing the essence of your encounters with nature.

In our collection of trail badges, we feature the Big 5 animals that we so love to encounter: the Black and White Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, as well as Hippo. Each of these magnificent creatures holds a special place in the African bush, and being on foot we need to pay particular attention to them and their signs. Our trail badges pay homage to their significance in the landscapes we walk and live in while on trail.

But that’s not all—our badges go beyond the realm of the Big 5. We offer a diverse range of badges for various other remarkable experiences and skills gained during your expedition. Here are just a few examples.

Types of trail badges

  1. Birding: Embark on an avian adventure and earn our Birding Badges as you identify 100, 200, 300, and more bird species.
  2. Tent Trail: Embrace the essence of outdoor living by conquering our Tent Trail badge. This badge signifies your mastery of setting up and surviving in the wild with nothing more than the trusty tent you’ve carried in your pack.
  3. Primitive Trail / Sleep Out: The badge that signifies that you have slept out in the open in a group, taking turns to stand watch through the night. What can initially be an intimidating activity quickly becomes a favourite as people embrace the solitude with ones thoughts and connection with the night sounds.
  4. Fire Making Skills: Our Fire Making Skills badge recognizes your ability to kindle flames and keep yourself warm in the wilderness.
  5. Water Collecting Skills: The ability to find sources and collect water in the wild is an invaluable skill. Our Water Collecting Skills badge acknowledges your resourcefulness in acquiring clean water on the trail.
  6. Bush Toilet / Shower Skills: Yes, you read that right! Our humor-infused badge honors those who have perfected the art of “bathroom breaks” while out on trail. Burning your TP safely is what its all about.
  7. Navigation Skills: Find your way through uncharted territory and earn our Navigation Skills badge. It commemorates your ability to read maps, navigate and blaze trails.
  8. Tracking Skills: Develop a keen eye for nature’s signs and earn our Tracking Skills badge. Show off your ability to decipher animal tracks and uncover the hidden stories of the wilderness.
  9. Plants and Insects: Immerse yourself in the intricate world of plants and insects and earn badges that celebrate your knowledge and appreciation of the flora and micro-fauna.
  10. 50km / 100km Trail: Embark on an epic journey covering a staggering 50 or 100 kilometers of terrain on a backpacking trail. Our 100km Trail badge crowns you as a true long-distance trailist, embodying perseverance and a love for adventure. While the 50km is a great achievement on a 4 day trail.
  11. Bush Craft I / II / III – You will need to sign up on a specific trail with a specialist to earn these badges. There will be three different stages.
  12. Runner: It’s the 5th rule of walking in the bush – “Never Run”. But it has been known to happen sometimes…Hopefully we don’t have to award the Runner Badge, it’s not one you want to earn!
  13. Dropper: Awarded to people who drop or leave their equipment and stuff along the way. Not a badge you really want to be awarded either!!

The Trail Badge Ethos

At WildSide, we take our badges seriously, but we also believe in the power of humor. We understand that laughter and lightheartedness are essential ingredients for creating memorable experiences. So, while some of our badges honor the animals who’s environment we share on trail and your achievements on foot in the bush, they also serve as playful reminders of the joy and camaraderie found in the wild. Of all the unplanned funny things that happen along the way.

So when you join us on a trail, WildSide badges are your testament to the remarkable moments, skills acquired, and moments shared in the bush. Wear your badges proudly as you see fit. A bigger collection of badges signifies more time spent on foot, and in the long run we will have trails geared towards more experienced trailists. Equally we will have trails aimed at novices earning their first badges.

Remember, trail badges are not just mere trinkets; they are a reflection of your dedication, passion, and respect for the natural world. Each badge tells a story—a story of perseverance, discovery, and the unbreakable bond between humans and the wilderness.

Share your collection of trail badges

Share your collection of trail badges with us – tag us on Facebook and / or Instagram so we can see your growing collection.

You don’t collect badges?

There is one final badge type. It’s called the Purist Badge. It has to be requested and it’s the only badge issued to the person who requests it. It’s for the person who goes on trail for no other reason than to be there, to be “pure” and enjoy the wilderness just for what it is. It’s a badge out of respect for people who don’t collect and accumulate things.