nude hiking is for real

I apologize for being flippant in the past.

I spent time, back in the day, on nude beaches, after all.

Rick, the Nudehiker, contacted me. He’s a Vietnam Vet, IT guy since the ’70s, and a specialist on Information Security.

He edits an excellent blog dedicated to nude hiking and soaking in the Pacific Northwest. (The soaking part sounds great.)

I linked and subscribed immediately.

Rick has links too to key organizations like the Naturists Society and the American Association for Nude Recreation. He has a lot of good content on advocacy, etiquette, nude resorts, hikes, etc.

I learned that the nude outdoor recreation movement is under represented on the internet. Nudists are a tad skittish in a culture that feels traumatized after a brief glimpse of Brittany or Janet.

If we really want to get more profile for nude hiking, Rick, there’s a simple solution. Female hikers.

Check it out for yourself: Nudehiker

nudehiker.jpg

6 Replies to “nude hiking is for real”

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Rick.

    Your question as to ‘Why Hike Nude’ has many answers but the one I like to point out to the genuinely curious is the matter of comfort. As this is a hiking blog as well, we are all aware of the intense amount of heat our bodies generate on a hot summer day with a heavy backpack. The burden of the clothes you wear make hiking as exercise of overheating and sweating.

    The human skin is the largest sense organ we have yet we cover up 90 to 95% under a layer of perspiration-trapping, bacteria-inviting moisture. We do not feel the nuances of the kiss of sunlight or the caress of a breeze because of the clothing we obtensively use to protect ourselves.

    A friend of mine once issued a challenge to would-be nude hikers. He suggested that you find a nice wilderness area, take off all your clothes and stack them in a neat pile, and then walk in any direction for a hundred yards or so and back . . . that by the time you got back to your clothes you would have had an epiphany and understand why we enjoy so much hiking nude . . . au’ natural and in total immersion with your surroundings. That huge sense organ (the skin) draws in so much more of the environment . . . you! become that much more aware!

    Nudist and naturist philosophy goes deeper than that,of course. Nude is not lewd is a common slogan. Steve Gouge, the Naked Rambler, perhaps does more harm than good with his insistence to being naked even under inappropraite circumstances. Most naturists do not abscribe to that sort of ‘in your face’ nudity. When I hike nude I go out of my way not to put people I might hike into uncomfortable situations. But neither am I ashamed of my nudity . . . there is no sexual component to it. It is just free and natural!!!

    You opined that the answer for more profile is to get female (nude) hikers. I’ll clue you in . . . women do hike nude and the numbers are growing. Unfortunately, the very suggestion for more female nude hikers also reveals a sexist component to the statement. The women I have hiked with are well aware of the voyeuristic tendencies of any immature male hikers they may encounter on the trail.

    Try it! You’d be surprised how comfortable hiking nude can be. If you need help or more information contact any number of naturist clubs in your local area and you’ll find them the friendliest people around. Or you can contact me with questions . . . I enjoy advocating. An excellent resource is “205 Arguments to Become a Naturist (Nudist)” which can be perused in my blog at this link: http://nudehiker.blogspot.com/2004/11/205-reasons-to-become-nudist-naturist.html

    Rick with the
    Banged Up Shins

  2. I accept the challenge, Rick.

    (Not this weekend. It is freezing in Calgary. But certainly by next summer.)

    Will let you know how it goes.

    I enjoyed my time on the nude beach. I expect your are right. It will be an interesting experience in the woods.

    Rick McCharles
    besthike editor

  3. I (and sometimes my wife) have gone skinnyhiking (sometimes chunkyhiking) a number of times; in Idaho, Washington, and Kauai’s Na Pali trail. Haven’t done it since, oh, last weekend in the Cascades – deserted trail, hot day, no one else around – didn’t meet anyone for my hour hike – stopped at a creek crossing and climbed up on a ledge by a waterfall, out of sight of the trail, caught some sun and shade, dipped in a pool – aaah… gentle breezes, warm sun, what had been too hot became just right. A few brushes by plants as I walked the trails – gentle reminders of closeness to creation.

    Beautiful and freeing.

    Then my wife and a female friend joined me so I reluctantly put my shorts on – sans too-warm boxers – and shirt and climbed down to join them.

    You don’t need to be in Alaska or Yukon – just pick a trail that’s a dead end, and go on a weekday. If you see no other cars at the trailhead and there’s no intersecting trail up ahead, chances are you’ll see no one else as you go in to the the end of the trail, so you can skinnyhike without offending.

    In Idaho once, hiking out au naturel from a hot spring, we saw a man coming up the trail far below, clothed, so we stopped to dress – I looked down and he had doffed his duds and was natural as we were.

    On the Na Pali trail, we met another nude hiker – and some who hiked clothed but (it was hot) skinnydipped in creekside pools nearby.

  4. I regularly freehike the 2 miles to to Gold Strike Hot Springs (singular desination; for what reason would I dress?) and I have freehiked Mt. Charleston’s North Loop. Water supply became an issue and didn’t summit that time (shame too, 15 / 20 miles completed for the round trip). Water consumption would seem to increase without clothing, which does make some sense.
    Other hiker reactions have been neutral to encouraging. Very pleasant always. I’ve covered only when detecting approaching families in general. Never want to dress when I get back to the trailheads either. Usually end up driving home naked.
    The more I think about it, the more I would intend for all my hikes to be purely naked of torso, and sometimes even without ’emergency’ clothing. I’m only getting more and more certain that my behavior is neither lewd nor otherwise shameful. Not like I’m knocking on people’s front doors naked.

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