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Adventures of a Nude Hiker PDF Print E-mail
Topics - Guy & Carla Purcella
Monday, 29 September 2014 23:21

(Thanks to our Facebook Friend, Billy Rayson for this guest post)

Adventures of a Nude Hikerby Billy Rayson

Adventures of a Nude Hiker
Nude Hiking (Billy Rayson)

I’ve been hiking nude since the mid-seventies. At the time I was attending UCSB and would enjoy hikes in the foothills of the Los Padres National Forest whenever I could. It was in Sycamore Canyon one day that I saw my first nude hiker coming down the trail wearing only hiking boots and a gigantic back pack. He flashed me the peace sign as he passed by and continued on his way. That was my light-bulb-over-the-head moment! Having spent as much time as possible nude throughout childhood, this first sighting resonated very deeply within me. I stripped off immediately (except for the flip-flops I used to hike in back then) and continued my hike naked for that first, exhilarating time. The exertion, sun, shade, and the ice cold water of Sycamore canyon felt so much better, intense, closer, and more in tune with Nature than I had ever experienced. I spent the rest of summer, almost daily, nude on the trails, rock hopping, and skinny dipping in the cold, refreshing crystal clear waters of Sycamore Canyon. Been hooked ever since. The exhilaration of that first hike has never faded. By contrast, clothed hiking feels constricted, separate from Nature, clumsy, hot and sweaty. In short (please pardon the kid-speak), yucky!

 Nude hiking over the years teaches you many things about yourself, your abilities, trail etiquette, others who use the same trails, and Nature itself.

Adventures of a Nude Hiker

I have come to regard my nude hikes as a time to commune with Nature as can only be done when naked in Nature as Nature intended. It is also a time for contemplation, reflection, and walking meditation. The rejuvenating properties, and the feeling of oneness you experience when there is nothing between you and Nature are a priceless gift! Not that hiking with friends is not fun (and safer), but I enjoy my nude hikes most when I hike alone. I’ve always returned refreshed and more prepared to face the world after a day nude in Nature.

There are, of course, many practical matters you learn to attend to as a nude hiker as well. I try to keep things as light as possible, but the basics like water, a snack (I only do day hikes), sunscreen, first aid, knife, fire, flashlight, etc. are important to have in your pack. That, and a good hiking stick. I wear Teva or Chaco hiking sandals instead of hiking boots or tennis shoes. To me, sandals are “more nude” and instead of those silly looking ankle tans, yield a “Teva or Chaco tan”, the proudly broadcast hidden message of which is: “This is all I wore this summer!”

Adventures of a Nude Hiker

(Of course as a nail painter, there is the added matter of not chipping a nail during your hike to consider. More incentive to watch your step!)

There are a few other basics particular to nude hiking you pick up along the way. Mostly common sense things like, use trails that are not heavily trafficked: the more remote, the better. Go early in the morning. (The old saying, “Plough deep while sluggards sleep”, really applies here.) And if at all possible, go on a week day. The idea, of course, is to encounter as few other (clothed) hikers as you can.

Regardless of any precautions you take, you will encounter clothed hikers from time to time. Most experienced hikers, particularly in remote areas, have seen nude hikers before, and in general, are of the “we-all-look-out-for-each-other-out-here-in-the-woods” frame of mind. I simply give them the peace sign with a friendly greeting and continue on my way. As a rule, I do not hurriedly cover up or in any way behave as though I am doing something wrong or indecent when I see clothed hikers coming my way. (Be aware, that nudity on federal land is not illegal.) It’s good to have a strong conviction that nude hiking is completely natural, and in no way “wrong”. 

Adventures of a Nude Hiker

In 40-plus years of nude hiking, only one person has told me to cover up (and I’ve even encountered Rangers on a couple of occasions.) Admittedly, I was on a heavily textile trafficked trail – my mistake. My normal experiences with clothed hikers have been, without exception, in the neutral to friendly range. Several times I’ve stopped and enjoyed a friendly chat with textiles about trail conditions, wildlife, or the light-hearted joke about my “all-over tan”! And who knows, perhaps along the way I’ve made a few converts just like that fellow I saw so many years ago did with me.

Remember friends, Be good to the trail, and the trail will be good to you!

(Thank you for this great article Billy!)

FG_AUTHORS: Guy Purcella

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