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Thoughts on nude hiking

February 3 2012 at 7:53 AM
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BlueTrain  (Login BlueTrain)

 
And nude camping, too, I guess.

The posts I made in a different thread suggest to me starting a new thread about nude hiking, seeing is how that's what I talked about mostly. I'm not sure it counts as casual nudity but at least it is something done outside of a nudist environment. If you take long walks on the beach, that probably amounts to hiking, too, even though the circumstances are very different in most ways from walking through the woods. Of course, there are plenty of places far from the beach where there are no woods, too, but not around here in Northern Virginia.

The reason for hiking without clothes should be obvious to anyone who has ever been naked outside. It is quite a sensation with the wind on your bare skin and the sun, too, some of the time. Nearly all of the places I go are in the shade of the trees. For that reason I at least never have to worry about sunburn, though I took a trip in the early spring one year before the leaves were out and returned home with very curious red patches on my shoulders. I had a tan line (sunburn line?) from the pack.

I don't go hiking to be seen by other people. I'm not exactly a social nudist. In fact, I try to find trails where I am very unlikely to be running into other people. There are some I am 99% certain I won't meet anyone but those trails are less attractive for visiting in the first place. Still, they are always worth a visit just for the purpose of being nude. Other, more popular trails tend to be hit or miss when it comes to meetng other people and it doesn't matter whether or not I intend to be hiking nude or what time of the year it is. I've hiked in Shenandoah National Park on the Applachian Trail on the 4th of July and never met anyone. Other times I have passed as many as two dozen people within a one mile stretch of trail. Another time, when I was at the trailhead, in the parking lot, getting ready for an overnight camping trip in the Shenandoah when first one car followed by several others pulled into the parking lot. In all about twenty young men and women set off down the trail in two or three groups. I followed them about five minutes later. I never saw another soul before I got back to my car the next day.

Many might object to hiking nude on the grounds of all of the dangers of the woods. There are real dangers out there, pretty much the same as the dangers of an ordinary house. Even when totally bare from my ankles up, insects are rarely much of a problem, certainly no more so than when wearing clothes. If I pause to rest in an open sunny place on the trail, flies seem to show up right away but they're there no matter what I'm wearing or not wearing. There are always more mosquitos around my deck at home than anywhere in the woods. Easily the worst pest in my opinion are gnats. They're there waiting for me in the parking lot but usually don't follow me off down the trail. I have no idea how they know I'm coming. You need to watch for ticks but they're easier to spot and pick off bare skin. Sometimes I think I could pick up a tick on a golf course.

Only in a few places are wild animals a problem, though I have seen bears in the woods. I have no idea how much clothing protects you from bears (there are no other dangerous animals) but virtually all hikers in nice weather wear little more than shorts and t-shirts anyway.

As I say, hiking is not streaking. So if I happen to be near someone, I have a pair of shorts that I can slip on. I've been seen often but only by people by themselves. Some nude hikers claim to simply stay naked but I haven't done that. I think that at least putting on shorts takes the edge off any potential problem. Once I was merely sitting in the sun on an overlook when a woman happened along. I was nude but she actually apologized for intruding. You can never guess what people's reaction might be.

 
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Erikag59
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 4 2012, 11:39 AM 

My thoughts are pretty much like yours, BlueTrain.

I don't get many opportunities for naked hiking in Iowa, because there are few places where you can't expect to run into someone on the trail. I skinnydip all the time, but it's easier for anti-nudists to keep a distance from you in the water, compared to a trail where getting face-to-face is unavoidable if you're going in opposite directions.

And so I do some of my naked hiking after dark. Every August and September I lead a full moon hike in a park that is full of people during the day, but nobody besides us has any reason to be there after dark. And if anyone else was there, we could see their flashlights long before they could see what we aren't wearing.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 7 2012, 8:25 AM 

Frankly, there aren't all that many places in this part of the world, either, where one can hike or camp naked without worry, not that it's ever stopped me. I've only hiked at night once or twice but that reminds me of something funny that happened to me. It has a little more to do with casual nudity, sort of.

We used to visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina rather more frequently than we do now. For some reason all of our spare time has simply evaporated. We (the extended family) even owns a cottage there but I doubt it gets used six weeks out of the year any more. But I digress.

I was there once with my wife's parents one late September or early October once year. It was time to close up the cottage for the season. When I had been there before I often took long walks on the beach in the early morning before the sun was up. That way I could go without wearing anything. This time I took a notion to walk in the evening, after dark. It was late in the season, beach-wise, and there weren't many people down there. I didn't think I'd run into anyone at all on the beach after dark. So I thought I'd be a little daring.

I felt like taking a little jog or trot down the beach--naked. So I took off my shorts and t-shirt, all I was wearing, and stashed them in the dunes somewhere near where I came onto the beach. I did that and took off running. I went about as far as I intended to, about 200 or 300 yards (not all that far), turned around and started walking back. Remember, I was totally naked and had nothing at all with me to cover up with. When I was about half-way back to where my clothes were, some folks came onto the beach with flashlights. I guess they didn't like walking around in the dark on the beach.

I panicked.

I ran through the options as I saw them, which weren't many. I could go on past them, trying to act perfectly normal, only I'm not that daring, or at least wasn't at that moment. I could go the other way, which might turn out worse. The water was too cold to go in, so that left only one direction to go. Away from the beach.

Along that part of the beach there are high sand dunes. On some of them people have little gazebos for ocean viewing, I guess, with long stairs up to them. I decided to run up the stairs to the closest one and let them pass on by, which I did and they did. After they went on by I went on back to where I had left my clothes, which thankfully were still there. That was a little more of an adventure than I'd bargained for. The thing that really worried me was the thought that they may have been my in-laws.

That was the closest call I ever had and probably the funniest.

 
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Peter K.
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A close call

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February 7 2012, 2:09 PM 

Hi, Bluetrain -- enjoyed your story about the nighttime run on the beach. I could imagine the physical reaction which you must have had when you spotted the couple with the flashlights (testicular retraction?), the panic which set in when you quickly surveyed your options and the flight which you made to the gazebo. For a few moments earlier on I thought your story might parallel an experience I had in northern Maine years ago but it quickly took a different course.

My close call was different but I did have various scenarios to review when I realized my predicament. I was living in a rental house 'way up in the Maine northwoods, a place so isolated that it didn't even have a key to the front door. One warm summer morning I'd gone for a walk (too leisurely an unstructured to classify as a hike) down by a large pond behind the house. The day seemed warm and when I tested the pond water, I pleasantly discovered that it had just warmed up enough for a swim. Hadn't planned on one but the moment was right so I stripped and jumped in the water, the loons my only companion. I didn't have a towel with me but no matter, I could just drip-dry when I came out. The peaceful swim nude and alone with nature was wonderful! Then I began thinking I should bring my swim to a close and go home for some lunch and start getting ready for my afternoon/evening shift job. That's when I realized that I hadn't taken a good fix of the place on the shore where I had left my clothes!

The situation was sort of like one of those when you come out of a shopping center and don't remember where you parked the car. I had done a good deal of swimming that morning, covered some distance and most of the shore looked the same with no major landmarks. Lots of pine trees, little else. I started visiting possible locations but each one turned up no t-shirt, shorts and sneakers. Worst case I could just hike home nude -- there weren't many people about, usually, but I couldn't count on that. The roadway to the pond went to a number of small cabins which were sometimes in use. And my house was a rental, the older couple who owned the place living downstairs. Yeah, I could just go home without clothes but I would just as soon not. Fortunately at about the 4th or 5th place where I came ashore to investigate I found my things -- and I have been a lot more careful since then, either going shopping or skinny dipping. Paying attention to detail can have its merits!

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 8 2012, 5:59 AM 

I hate to admit it but such things are fun, if not exactly casual nudity. Sort of low-key streaking.

 
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Peter K.
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Any sexual tinge to nude hiking?

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February 9 2012, 6:16 PM 

Yes, that bit about having a hard time finding my clothes was more funny than anything else. I even found it funny at the time for I was pretty sure it would turn out OK -- one way or another.

Another thought I've had about nude hiking was a possible sexual tinge to it and wondering if you had ever felt that at all, too? Basically my idea to start going for long walks (4-6 miles) along the beach was for fun -- the wonderful feeling of the air swirling all over me and the occasional splash into the ocean on a warm-to-hot day. (Nothing like having the surf breaking on your bare butt to feel unified with the power of nature!) And there was the pleasant assertive aspect to it, occasionally meeting up with some clothed walkers going the other way and being able to act normally. And there was the sense of freedom: from the clifftops near the beach where I hiked was a jumping off spot for hang-gliders. It didn't matter, but it was hard to tell who was experiencing the more freedom: the hang-gliders soaring in the air or the nude people on the beach. Taken together we were quite a bunch experiencing wonderful outdoors freedom! I remember one day encountering a guy taking cellphone photos of the hang-gliders while I happened to be walking towards him. He looked at me, laughed nervously and told me he was just taking pictures of the hang-gliders and not of me. I told him, "Hey, no problem, if I didn't want my picture taken I wouldn't be here." And I meant it and felt good about that.

The walks also gave me a tremendous feeling of peace as I was going through a stressful time in my life. And that I expected. What I didn't expect was the sexual tinge.

What I'm referring to is that when I was on a long walk and quite often when there was hardly anyone else around I'd either sense or see that I had generated a copious strand of pre-cum which was dangling one or two feet down from my penis. I had nothing to wipe it off with but my hands, and that left them messy. I didn't feel aroused or stimulated -- but I guess my boys did since they were on an outdoor outing after having been stuffed into underwear in an office for all week. The experience was a surprise, something somewhat pleasant but not expected. I guess having a nude penis in what was then an unusual setting for an extended period of time was a bit of a turn-on for my subconscious.

Hope I haven't brought an element into this forum which isn't welcome. But I have a feeling that members of this community will be comfortable talking about just about anything related to casual nudity, things which are expected or not.

 
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Bluetrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 10 2012, 6:45 AM 

I think there are often unspoken thoughts in connection with nudity and perhaps feeling that people deny they have. In any case, however, it is difficult, I think, to separate into neat compartments all of the feelings and experiences you have. On top of that, the circumstances will vary greatly.

To begin with, doing things while nude is a very sensuous experience. By that I mean it is something you literally feel with your skin--and all over, too. That isn't to say that sometimes being clothed or covered in some way is not also a sensous experience. Imagine getting out of the shower on a cold winter day, drying off and slipping into bed, pulling the covers up and drifting off to sleep. That is as much as sensuous experience as running through the surf on a hot day in August. I suppose running through the surf on a cold day in January with the Polar Bear Club is a sensuous experience, too, but I'll leave that to others. I will stick with the more pleasant experiences here.

But while we're at that point, and after all, it is still February, try going outside completely nude for, say, five minutes in the winter when the temperature is in the 20s or 30s. When you come back inside you will feel ever so toasty and alive. Five minutes is probably enough. As a matter of fact, I have hiked entirely nude, feet excepted, when the temperature was in the 50s, more or less comfortably. It was invigorating to be sure but there was no wind that day.

I can't say I've had sexual thoughts or feelings when I've been out on long walks, naked, but there are other elements there for sure. It is still a daring thing and that's really part of the fun, I think I will admit and may have mentioned already. Being seen is not part of it for me, though that doesn't seem to bother others who have hiked nude and not troubled themselves to cover up when encountering people. I will also admit that it can lead to taking chances, possibly because you seem to come up with goals in connection with hiking or general outdoor nudity. Like how far or for how long. I have a few goals myself.

One of my goals that I'll probably never get around to accomplishing is to take a longish walk/hike/tramp/outing without taking anything along in the way of clothing to cover up with. Normally I take very little anyway. Obviously you could really only attempt that in some out of the way place that you are already familiar with and where you don't think you would run into anyone else. I know a couple such places but what with the cost of gas and my lack of time, I've not made any serious attempts in that direction. Strictly a warm weather adventure.

And oh, yes, they're all adventures.

I might also mention that the sensual experience of taking a long walk through the woods on a rocky trail and carrying a pack is different from taking a long walk along the beach carrying nothing. They're both fun but different.

Happy trails!

 
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Peter K.
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Agreed - no need for separating things into compartments

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February 10 2012, 6:31 PM 

Bluetrain, thanks for your thoughtful and interesting response.

I totally agree that we should let go of compartmentalizing and labelling so much of our experience, especialy when doing so is not particularly productive. Certainly the sensuous nature of being nude outdoors impacts our whole bodies. And pleasure in the body should be enjoyed, albeit responsibly, in whatever part it occurs. You struck a note with me about being nude outside in the cold -- this morning I was out on my patio before getting dressed while it was still dark. I was curious to see if it might be warm enough yet to do some or all of a morning work-out nude. On non-gym days I get some early morning exercise out there and on dark, moonless early mornings I feel comfortable doing it without the aid of clothing. This morning it was about 50 degrees, cold for Southern Californians! But the cool air did feel invigorating around my body -- and the chill that comes with the risk of being outdoors nude in a built-up suburban area somehow adds to all that.

I do enjoy the energizing solitude of being alone outdoors early in the morning before much of the rest of the world has awakened, either nude or clothed. And when I'm without clothes I feel that I have fewer distractions and am better to appreciate myself as one of many species living in a paticular area.

So I guess we can leave it that in some cases it's not relevant whether something has a sexual aspect since really everything has. I rather liked the liberal church signboard I once saw which said "Life is a Sexually Transmitted Condition"! We should just let go, live and enjoy.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 11 2012, 7:58 AM 

Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to keep this forum alive. It might be just me and you.

Frankly, I don't find clothing distracting and I don't feel any more a part of nature when I am nude than when clothed. Some animals have allowed me to get fairly close in Shenandoah Park, deer mostly, but I suspect it is merely because it's in the park not because of what I was or wasn't wearing. I see deer in my neighborhood in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, too, along with a host of other animals like foxes, raccoons, snakes, beaver and groundhogs, more than I've seen anywhere else.

In any case, the sensuous nature of being nude out of doors is the whole point.

 
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tallactordude
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 11 2012, 8:38 AM 

You two are certainly not the only two on this forum, though I have no idea who else is coming here. I haven't really commented because I don't have much to add to this particular thread--I've never hiked in the nude or had the opportunity to swim nude, though I would very much like to. Most of my nudity is at home, and the opportunities for outdoor nudity are very few, but I'm glad to hear about those who have had those opportunities and what those experiences are like.

Now I hope some others will come along and add to the discussion on this forum, and even start other threads on nudity-related topics.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 11 2012, 1:00 PM 

Oh, you sort of have to make your own opportunities. That's part of the fun but not necessarily a simple thing. Depending on where you live, it might even be difficult to find a place just to take a long walk in the woods.

 
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Noel1835
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 11 2012, 7:40 PM 

I'd thought I'd actually tell everybody after I'd actually done it, but I may as well let you all now I've scouted out a place I hope to do some nude hiking or whatever. (I never learned to swim and I'm not very athletic.) It's called Kaniksu Ranch in WA state, and only about 85-90 miles from where I live. It'll have to wait til spring or summer though, probably the latter, as it's much too cold here now.

I think it's singles friendly, even though of course I want it to be non-sexual. It seems to be affiliated with the Association of Nude Recreation or something like that, and though I'm not by any means "anti-family" I'd feel a little uncomfortable in a "family" atmosphere. I've heard comments from some naturists in which they seem to look down on or are suspicious of anybody who might invade the wholesomeness of their activities. I guess I can understand that to some extent, but I just want to try some casual and social nudity without adhering to an entire philosophy.

One question I have is about "the towel". That seems a little awkward to have to carry around all the time. Couldn't I just sit on rocks or the ground and promise not to sit on benches? Were you nude swimmers particularly careful about always sitting on towels?

Anyway, I don't want to go on too much about this, because I can't even guarantee if it'll happen, but I am hoping and planning it will.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 12 2012, 7:51 AM 

By all means, make every effort to go. You will regret passing up any opportunities like that. However, it is customary to contact the club first. They generally will send you a list of their rules, directions and so on. You might be able to go there before summer, too, as there might be someone around now and then during the winter. That would be a good chance to meet at least a few people and for them to get to know you.

Clubs also vary greatly in their facilities and in their membership, so it is hard to say what sort of club you might find. The one I visited, which was even further from home than the one you mentioned, was quite rustic and small but it had its charms. But as I've probably said before, I'm not really a social nudist. Besides, that is too far for me to drive.

Ironically, there is another club here in Virginia that I pass when I go to the beach in North Carolina, at least the way I go. I passed by on one trip and they were having an open house. To this day, I regret not stopping by.

There are also so-called non-landed clubs that have no property. They are still social nudists but do things like rent places for activities and events and sometimes take trips. One local club actually mans an information table or booth at the local county fair.

Opportunities abound.

Get used to the idea of a towel. It makes everything nicer to sit on. Even when I go on outings, clothed or not, I carry a foam pad just to sit on. I appreciate the little comforts like that.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 17 2012, 8:30 AM 

I thought I'd add that mostly, when I've hiked nude, the trip has been planned as such. That is, I went with the intention of being nude as much as possible. It seems to work out better when that's the case. But I've still hiked nude on other trips when for one reason or another, mostly weather related, that wasn't what I planned on doing but a favorable combination of circumstances made nudity irresistable.

 
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R
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 20 2012, 2:47 AM 

I like to hike barefoot. Pretty much all the trails in my area are packed or paved, so it's actually not that difficult. And you get quite a workout in your lower legs that way; my range is considerably reduced when I walk barefoot.

I don't get many opportunities to hike nude. I don't have a car, and I live in a city where that's not a big hardship. But that restricts my late-night nude walks to the city park, which has some unlit paths.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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February 20 2012, 7:28 AM 

Funny you should mention city parks. I grew up in a small town (now even smaller). When I was in junior high school, we moved to another part of town after my mother died and my father remarried. I imagine I had already heard about nudists apparently because I got the notion of getting an all-over tan. There was a big patch of woods literally just over the hill from where we lived and I was over there all the time roaming around. Somewhere in the middle of these woods (actually just an overgrown area with large bushes) was a large rock. I thought it was perfect for sunbathing. Now, I started life as a redhead and among other things, getting a tan is next to impossible. I just freckled. But I discovered it was a lot of fun to roam around naked in the woods. That's pretty much where it all started.

About a mile or so away, in the other direction, was the city park. It was also in the middle of the woods, spread out over a hillside. There was a pool there, open a grand total of three months out of the year. The rest of the year it was virtually deserted. That made it a grand place to bicycle and run around in and I was soon doing that--nude. Fortunately, I never got "caught" (seen, that is), which probably wouldn't have been as much of a problem as it would be now but that's just a guess. But anyway, I didn't have to go after dark.

And I was just a teenager, by then in high school. I haven't been back there for five years.

 
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Peter K.
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A free moment

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February 21 2012, 6:10 PM 

During a hectic day I'm taking time out to reflect on a peaceful moment encountered while having a relaxing day while nude at the beach. Just thinking about it is bringing me some needed calmness.

I had stashed my stuff at a semi-secure place and had headed out wearing just a ballcap and my sunglasses. I was going down the shoreline just where the surf trickes up to the sand before its retreat. The sand was moist but resistant under my feet and I felt a sudden burst of energy as the salt air so nicely enveloped my entire body. With this energy and the warmth of the late afternoon sun behind me and off to my right I broke out into a jog and then a run, dashing down the beach. The additional air current brought about by my running felt great! Somehow the more I ran, the more energy I had.

But what surprised me and entertained me was to look up and to my left and see a gigantic shadow of myself running along with me. Because of the angle of the sun my shadow was well over 12 feet tall and lo and behold! With each step I took the shadow clearly showed a penis well over a foot in length, bobbing up and down as I progressed. How funny and wonderful to have been so well-endowed, even for just a little while! That was truly a great afternoon with a glow that lasted well after the sun went down.

 
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Peter K.
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The beach can be more beautiful with nude people than with clothed ones

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February 22 2012, 5:07 PM 

Some more thoughts of encounters while enjoying a nude day at the beach --

Sometimes I think that what you can see and experience at the beach can be even more beautiful if the people in it are nude rather than clothed. The thing about clothes is that they can tell a lot about the wearer, and sometimes it can be things which the wearer wants us to see or believe rather than who the person really is. As the classical painters and sculptors have so well shown the nude human form communicates universal humanity far better than clothed people do.

Early one morning as I was staring my day of nude hiking along the beach I came across an athletic young fellow who must have been in his mid to late twenties. There was moderate surf and this guy was having a wonderful time diving into the incoming waves, jumping up and turning sinously before diving in again. He seemed totally absorbed in his activity and didn't seem to notice me nearby. He was fairly good-sized yet lean and muscular, combining the musculature of a horse with the playfulness of a dolphin. And all he wore was a wonderful broad smile! Any type of swimsuit I think would have detracted significantly from the beauty of what I saw. He was a universal man in nature and made me think, "Wow, that's a human! I'm proud to be one of those."

After watching this guy's frolic the surf for a little while I continued on my way. Later on I came to a large rock outcropping which must have shot about 20 feet up from the sandy beach. On top of that there was another athletic guy, this one somewhat thinner than the first. He was going through the slow graceful movements of a tai chi routine. The hardness of the rock and of his body contrasted wonderfully with this guy's sweeping body movements which in turn blended with the swirling movement of the sea below. Performance art it was, enhanced by the guy's nudity.

Further down the beach after I stopped to enjoy the lunch I had brought with me I ran into a couple of young surfers running into the sea with their boards. What grace and youthful energy they brought to their activity. They were fully focused on 'catching a wave' and hadn't given a thought to having the trendiest of surfer shorts. It was just them, their boards and the waves.

Yes, it was great for me being nude that day, and I did take some time to venture out into the sea for some swimming, ride some waves and then stand to have the pleasure of ocean waves breaking on my bare butt. I felt so fully invigorated and free with the exercise, fresh air swirling around my nude body. And the day's pleasure was all the greater for having seen the beauty of the beach enhanced by the nudity of humans interacting with it.


 
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Bob (in USA)
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Re: Thoughts on Nude Hiking

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March 30 2012, 7:37 AM 

I don't live in an area where there are remote locations to go nude hiking. There are times that the weather is incredibly fine to accommodate the activity. I have to agree that nude hiking is not streaking. Enjoying nature in a personal way without being covered with all the stuff I wear outside my home each day would be relaxing. Alas, I will have to wait for the time where I can travel to a place where the venture of nude hiking is appropriate. Meanwhile, I enjoy the thoughts of the possibilities and at least living without clothing in my home.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Thoughts on nude hiking

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March 30 2012, 11:00 AM 

I don't live in an area with remote hiking trails either. Those trails are, well, remote. However, there are some pretty good and fairly remote trails maybe 75 miles or so from where I live, depending on which trail it is. Some days they are sufficiently remote for nude hiking.

I do know a couple of other places that really are remote and are perfect for hiking nude but they're more like another 200 miles further away. I took my wife camping in one of those places. I spent most of my time there nude and my wife surprised me by skinny-dipping. Both places happened to be near rivers. These days, the biggest reason I'm not going, other than other commitments on my time, is the high price of gas, which is now about $4.10 a gallon. We're also intensely busy at home because our daughter is getting married this summer. So maybe after she's out of the house...

One of my goals with nude hiking is to take a longish tramp without taking anything at all to wear with me. By longish, I mean something like ten miles, which is about right for a day trip when you aren't carrying much of a load and the weather isn't too bad. Again, the location is everything and like I say, I know a couple of good locations. All I need is time and money. I'm willing to put up with the weather.

 
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