Friday, December 29, 2006

I Do Appreciate Comments But . . .

Anonymous does not hack it!

By commenting anonymous you dillute the value of your comment and make me wonder as to your motives. Granted, 'anonymous commenting' has it's places . . . sensitive subjects, etc, etc. But for general discussion, do us all a favor and post a name so that we can sort the chaff from the real kernels of wisdom. Anonymous discourse makes a conversation one way. Blogger makes it easy to attach a name (fake, even) to your posts. Please do so.

In the future, I will refrain from replying to anonymous comments unless the comment bears response (in my opinion). I will also moderate comments by deleting them if they bear little in context with the article commented on.

So . . . 'anonymous' and I'll probably ignore you and quite possibly delete the comment. Use your name and make this a two-way conversation! Better yet, sign up for a Blogger account and sign with it.

Of course, anything even remotely tasteless will be deleted whenever I come across them.

Article: "Can Body Acceptance go too far?"

In the Naked Nudism blog, the author examines a much-thought about, though little talked, tenet of naturism . . . that of the near-universal acceptance of the body despite all the flaws that everyone has to one extent or another. The framework of the argument revolves around the idea that by turning a blind eye to the imperfections of the body . . . in this case, obese individuals . . . are we not in fact removing an incentive on that individual to practice a more healthy lifestyle?

The author writes:
. . . shouldn't we find some way to encourage healthy bodies within the framework of body accpetance? Or is this an impossible task?

Body acceptance is central to the nudist/naturist philosophy . . . not just obesity. We attempt not to make any value judgements on the appearance to others, but can we really? Nudism (and more particularly naturism as I've come to think of it) does encourage a healthier lifestyle; naturists in particular with nude activities that gradually develop conditioning (nude hiking, swimming, camping, bungeecord jumping, etc). Nudist resorts are beginning to encourage cardio-activities at their venues as an adjunct to the ubiquitous 'sunning lawns' and lounge chairs. Doing so to cater to a younger generation gently encourages partaking of a somewhat healthier lifestyle.

I'm reminded of an incident that happened at Scenic Hot Springs several years ago. A delightful lady participated in one of our cleanup activities yet deferred from the chance to soak in the hot springs after the activities. Sometime later we met at a smaller work party and we finally got a chance to enjoy that soak together in the springs, where I learned of her reasons . . . she had had a radical masectomy and now avoided soaking nude in the very hot springs that she loved . . . for chance that she might be looked upon as some freak. As close as we were in that pool, quite honestly I hadn't even noticed the missing breast until she mentioned it . . . the joking and comadre had been the pleasure of the moment.

Body imperfections can sometimes not be controlled. Obesity has many reasons . . . some of them beyond the control of the individual (my mother, with diabetes is an example). Body acceptance means we do not judge or criticize. We accept and provide a heathly venue. It is up to us as individuals to live as healthy as is practical.

But all of this just begs the question. FKK promoted nudism in the pre-war years of Germany as a way to physical conditioning. Body acceptance in the AANR and TNS philosophies fifty years later dilutes the harsh rigor of pre-war German nudism. I think that is a good thing as the movement has become more encompassing and less critical of those with less than perfect bodies (meaning, most of us). However, we do espouse a heathy lifestyle. Are we doing so in practice? I don't have the answers . . . but the practice of naturism has had a very healthy effect of my body.

In any case, I laud the blog writer. He asks the questions many of us think yet dare not voice. Are nudist resorts (and nudist venues) doing enough to encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle?

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Goldmyer Hot Springs: December 22, 2006 access update

From: Beth

Please read the November 28th access info for wintertime things to consider.

As of December 22, the road has been cleared of all the trees that dropped over the road, as far as the river ford, during The Dec. 14-15th Windstorm. High clearance vehicles can drive to the river ford. There is some snow, but not much.... chances are that it will snow up there this week-end. The river is moderate in depth. Note that both road and river conditions can change real quick! We doubt, but don't know for certain, that vehicles can drive to the upper footbridge trailhead because of downed trees and snow.

A number of big trees came down on the Goldmyer property in The Windstorm, but none hit the hotsprings or caretaker's cabin. The water is still good and hot, and it hasn't been too busy with visitors. Great time of year for a soak! Go prepared for winter conditions!

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Merry Christmas to all my Friends

There is much to be grateful to another great year of friendships and wonderful, life-fulfilling experiences. To every one of my friends in the naturist community in particular, and the world at large . . . have a Wonderful Merry Christmas and a Great New Year . . . Rick

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

AANR on MySpace

The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) now has a presence on MySpace, the popular social-networking portal.

Kudos for the start at generating interest in the younger generations that frequent these social networks. I look forward to seeing some interactive and dynamic content being added.

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Insanity at Bagby: Getting trapped in a winter storm

An enlightening recap of one couple's visit to Bagby Hot Springs only to be caught under the full brunt of the winter wind storm that hit the Cascades on Dec 12-13th, 2006. Bagby is a very popular natural hot spring in the National Forest east of, and reasonable close to Portland, Oregon. The original discussion thread was posted in the forums.

After some light snowshoeing near government camp. My gf and I headed for Bagby hot springs. We arrived around 3pm and were greeted by a nice couple who planned to camp. The weather was calm and seemingly stable. On the trail my gf and I passed two men with hoods who stepped off the trail to avoid us, they said nothing, who knows what they were up to.. With our personal safety in mind we decided not to soak until the couple showed. They arrived and headed for the back pool, Four russians were following and they chose the lower pool, my gf and I decided the Honeymoon tub was ideal. No more than five minutes in the pool and at about 6:00pm the winds began to howl... a few branches came down, then we heard rotten tops dropping, echoing like gunshots from just a couple hundred feet to several miles away... Without a word we were dressed and were conversing with the russians. They didn't seem to grasp the concept of a forest falling apart but quickly got the picture. My gf and I along with the other couple took shelter in a hollow log and the russians took shelter somewhere in the complex, time went on and we heard yelling and saw a flashlight, I believe they only had one between them. The russians were attempting to go for their vehicle, senconds after they went it was a cataclysm of events, hearing 50 to 100 trees fall in just seconds, assuming that landslides carrying everything had blocked the trail and surely killed them. All we could do was pray. We waited for over 4 hours in the middle of this mess. Out of desperation we charged the trail climbing over several insane blow downs that were 3 and 4 feet in diameter. Dodging falling limbs we made it to the car only to find more trees blocking the road..I pondered squating in the concrete outhouse, the surrounding trees were just way too big. I even considered hiding under a concrete bridge before the log but also canned that one due to the river rising past flood stage, plus I was wet and felt hypothermic, so we parked our cars.. tried to close our eyes and accepted our was miserable being in that box hearing the madness outside and wondering when a tree was going to pick us. Around 4 am the temperature dropped and snow began to fall. Several inches accumulated.. my gf and I decided then to get the hell out of there and snowshoe 12-15 miles to ripplebrook. After making it several miles and being somewhat confident in ourselves... we were astonished to see a convoy of sheriffs who had received 5 separate reports for missing g/f and I being two of them, unfortunately nobody reported the couple.. The sheriffs explained that they cleared a few dozen trees all the way from carver to get to us, it was a great feeling to know they were out there. After they cleared the last log, we were on our way home. Sleep deprived and hungry we were thankful to beat the odds, I personally heard at least 250 trees drop over the roaring 90 mph winds and pouring rain. There hasn't been a storm of that caliber in over ten years and we just happened to be in the cascades. I wish we had payed closer attention to the weather report, we've seen snow up there, landslides and people trapped but, somehow there was still no way to imagine what was in store. All in all... we coped fairly well and i've decided if someone is going to pursue the outdoors.. they are gonna learn a lesson or two along the way we sure learned ours! Those mysterious guys on foot had to be die hard to be up there with no car, who knows what they did... as for the russians it's doubtful they ever made it anywhere, they probaly just took whatever spur roads that weren't blocked. I'll almost guarantee they ended up in a miserable situation far deeper into the wilderness. We hope they're okay, But the odds for tragedy were very high.

Here is the latest from Volunteer Jack:

I was curious about the storm damage and went up Saturday to investigate. There was a sign at the beginning of Hwy 46 indicating "Storm Damaged Road". Hwy 46 had maybe 5 places where trees fell across the road and Hwy 63 and 70 had about 6 more. In each place, only enough of the tree was cut to allow a single vehicle to pass. With the ice and snow, it was pretty slow going. I moved several large boulders off the road.

The Bagby trail is passable now. I cleared 30 or so large fir limbs from the trail and many smaller ones. I pushed three smallish tree trunks out of the way (8-12 inches in diameter). The only remaining obstacles are 3 very large trees that have fallen across the main trail about 1/2 mile in from the trailhead. The first tree is about 3 ft, the second is 3 1/2 ft and the last is over 4 ft in diameter. The first two are flat on the trail and can be straddled. The largest tree is two ft above the trail on one side and 3 1/2 ft on the uphill side. Hikers are ducking under the uphill side as there's no way around and the tree is too big to climb over.

Be safe, check the road conditions with the Forest Service, and make sure you know the weather forecast. Conditions can change quickly in the mountains, so be prepared!

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The doctor told me not to wear clothes for awhile

Seriously! Well, I've never told her I'm a naturist . . . though my lack of tan lines should be a dead giveaway. Anyway, the reason (and the story behind it) is interesting and has a point about nudity . . . eventually.

When I was 12 years old I got myself tangled up in a thicket of poison oak in the hills around San Diego. I reacted so badly that my parents took me to this 'quack' who promptly injected me with extract of poison oak and then instructed my parents to scrub me down with Lava Soap. Needless to say, that was the most excrutiating two weeks of my life. My mother told me many years later that they did not expect me to survive the episode (I had oozing blisters on the inside of my mouth and nose). However, I did survive but while I seem to have developed a resistance to poison oak (and its' cousins), I have developed extreme allergic reactions to a number of other things . . . including cashews (which, by the way, is related to and a member of the poison ivy family). I avoid cashews like the plague . . . however, that is not always possible and a meal at a Thai restaurant sent me into an pretty big allergic response last week. I am only now beginning to be able to deal with the constant itching and blossoming body rash.

The interesting observation . . . besides the fact that not wearing clothes would remove a large irritant and instigator of itching . . . is that my body rash development followed a predictable route. It was the worst in locations that saw the most coverage by clothing . . . and almost negligible on the areas of skin frequently exposed to air and sunlight. I would say that is a pretty good argument for nudism. The skin is far healthier when allowed to breathe.

Fortunately, I'm almost completely cleared up and wary of the holiday treats awaiting. Tomorrow is my first nude Christmas party get-together (an informal affair with a few friends). Can't say that I've ever played Santa Claus au natural before.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Naked parties: an expose

All the fun with none of the clothes: Naked partygoers bare it all for the Orient.
December 1, 2006

By Kelsey Abbruzzese
Orient Staff

It's nerve-wracking enough to open the door at a party and find a security officer on the other side. Imagine opening that door naked. That's what happened at the first annual naked party in the spring of 2004, when Anna Troyansky '06 answered the door for a female security officer. Consistent with the theme of the party, Troyansky was completely naked.

The security officer simply asked, "Can you turn the music down?"

"I remember peering around the door, reassuring them that we would turn the music down," Troyansky said. "I think they were surprised, as well, to be greeted like that, but I don't think they realized at that point that there were another dozen naked people in the apartment. Who knows what crossed their minds."

At the inaugural naked party, Troyansky was one of only 12 people at the party that could have opened the door and given Security something to look at besides an unregistered keg. Now, the annual Bowdoin naked party thrives, with attendance reaching almost 80 people at the largest party.

"Basically, it started with us waking up one morning and deciding not to wear clothes," said Brendan Mortimer '06, who started Bowdoin's naked party tradition with Vanessa Lind '06. "But, there were pragmatic problems. We couldn't really leave the apartment without clothes on. So, we thought, 'Why don't we just invite our friends over?'"

Mortimer and Lind, who were also inspired by friends who sometimes declared "naked time" in Quinby House, held their party in Mayflower Apartments the same night as Troyansky's underwear party. Since both parties were relatively small and the underwear partygoers were halfway to Mortimer and Lind's theme, they joined the naked party.

"The proponents of the underwear party became the biggest proponents of the naked party," Lind said. "Parties tend to be pretty similar, and people love something novel in a party. It was an infectious thing, and everyone became more comfortable."

Lind explained that while there was a core of naked partygoers, mainly Ultimate Frisbee players, the party grew because of curiosity. There were the first-timers, and there were those who failed to show up but heard the party talked about enough that they were convinced they had to make it to the next one.

At the end of the spring 2006 semester, the entire senior class was invited to Mortimer and Lind's final naked party.

"It added to the anticipation," Mortimer said. "People talked the most when they had gone the first time or when they missed it. It was exciting to see."

At this year's annual naked party on November 11, partygoers, who asked to remain unnamed, agreed with Mortimer and Lind that after the initial five minutes, the nakedness was no longer awkward because everyone disrobed before entering the party and because there is an the acceptance of everyone's nakedness, regardless of body type. As a condition for reporting this story, the Orient agreed not to disclose the location of the party.

"What keeps it from being awkward? The fact that everyone's naked and they don't want people staring at their genitals, so they don't do it to other people," said one.

"When everyone's shown everything, there's no need to be awkward," Mortimer said. "Most people have the realization later in the night that, 'Hey, everyone's naked and it's been like that.'"

"I think a lot of people feel much more comfortable with and confident about their bodies and feel very liberated after attending a naked party," Troyansky added.

The core of naked aficionados is accepting of newcomers and of all body types, stating that everyone embraces the diversity of the bodies walking through the door.

"There's a veteran community of naked people who welcome new participants without scrutinizing," one newcomer said. "They're actually very supportive, but not so supportive it's awkward."

One partygoer's comments didn't even necessarily pertain to nudity: "The most interesting thing about naked parties is that tattoos start showing up so much."

Minus the grinding and clothes present at most college parties, the naked party is just like any other party. There's music, beer pong, and yes, even keg stands.

"Miraculous things happen," one partygoer said of people who are on the fence about attending the naked party. "People get drunk and start thinking, 'What would that be like?'"

When pressed further as to what "that" was, he answered that students' curiosity often leads them to forgo their inhibitions and strip down.

"You weren't curious when you came?" he asked. "You thought we might be cheating?"

A naked party is a hard theme to fake, and one that demands total participation to make it work. One house resident, who wasn't in the main party area, was naked in his room doing schoolwork.

"I'm naked in spirit," he said. "And, well, I'm actually naked."

A disrobing room outside the actual party made it so everyone kept the "no nudity, no entry" motto without freezing in the Maine weather. If it's difficult digging through coats in a crowd, it's hilarious digging through socks, shoes, boxers, and bras with five other people.

For a good portion of the partygoers, it was their first foray into party nudity. But, because of the support and the acceptance of all body types, that foray wasn't as difficult as many initially believed.

"There's always the next group that's convinced they have to go," Lind said, who has done interviews about the growing naked party trend for Canadian nudist magazine "Au Naturel" and "The Daily Free Press," Boston University's independent student newspaper.

If nothing else, according to Lind, "Being naked is a good way to keep Security from coming because sometimes they just don't want to deal with the consequences."

Just keep the music down and the clothes off.

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Kaiser Warm Spring, Arizona Update

This report from Camilla and Bill

Dear Sister Brother Soakers,

We're happy to report that Kaiser is alive and well. The pool has been rebuilt and is a good warm weather soak, due to the 95 degree water.

Catastrophic flooding the last two winters have lowered the canyon floor as much as ten feet in places. It's down so far that we walked by the Touchhole Mine on the right, just before the spring, and didn't even see it, because now it's about ten feet up in the air, whereas it used to be near the canyon floor.

The soaking pool at the warm spring now sits about three feet lower than it used to be. The concrete pool and shade structure are gone, but a new stone and sand pool is in place. Cool swimming 150 yards down canyon in Burro Creek is still nice in hot weather.

Nude soaking, hiking, and soaking are always the norm at Keiser. High clearance 4wd ingress can be made to the edge of the canyon only, one quarter mile below the bridge. The canyon is so badly washed out and filled with huge boulders, hiking is the only possible means of travel from there down.

Nude Naturally,
Camilla Van Sickle Bill Pennington

Stock image of Kaiser Hot Springs,
Photographer Unknown

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wanna Buy a Hot Spring? FOR SALE: Historic Big Bend Hot Springs in Northern California

140 Acres and nearly a mile of Pit River frontage only a quarter mile from the town of Big Bend. Hundreds of GPM's of 180°F artesian water. Unlimited potential for power, recreation, or other commercial ventures. Currently operated as a limited use campsite. $2.5 million. For more information, contact Al Swan or visit California Mountain Properties

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Sespe and Willard Hot Springs closed

According to a commentor on my CommunityWalk Interactive Clothing-Optional Map, Sespe and Willard Hot Springs in central California are closed at least until Spring 2007 due to the Day Fire which burned the area in the summer of 2006.

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hike NAKED - are you cazy?

I got a very nice email today from the editor of Best Hike, a blog on hiking (duh? obviously). It was an apology from a flippant article he had written entitiled, "hike NAKED - are you crazy?" A followup article apologized and accepted that "Nude Hiking is for Real".

The chance for friendly and honest conversation is always welcome by me. The original question being asked is 'Why hike nude?'. Many people don't undrestand why us Naturists do so and I'm always happy to point out a few things that may . . . just may . . . change opinions.

The 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. 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 encounter into uncomfortable situations. But neither am I ashamed of my nudity . . . there is no sexual component to it. It is just free and natural!!!

The blog article 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 here.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Naked Nudism: The Web and Nudism, Part 1

Some really good, thought-provoking ideas about us, as nudists and naturists, promoting our lifestyle on the Internet . . . if for no other reason than to take back the web (and the Google-search listings) from porn sites. A short except:

The problem is that as the web grew... the nudist web didn't. Many of those same sites I discovered 10 years ago are still around, but haven't been updated in years - they're mired with broken links and graphics. Some resorts have among the ugliest, most useless sites on the planet, if they have web pages at all. There are few to none that take advantage of all the tools that are available today: Maps, blogging, RSS, calendaring. Heck - a decent utilization of email remains a rarity. While the number of nudists must number in the millions, there are a grand total of perhaps six nudist blogs, including my own (The exact number is hard to get at, as there are several which simply don't get updated).

Google delivers search results based on a number of factors, the most prominent of which is link-love. Sites with a lot of other sites linking to them get ranked higher than sites with few. Resources like AANR, TNS, resort and club pages aren't present in the top 10 Google sites because there aren't enough other sites out there saying "Look at this great nudist site: AANR". Instead we have sites like BeBareToo, which simply sell nudist porn.

The dangerous consequence of this is that people like me, open to nudism, may never find out about nudism if those first Google searches turn up junk. The nudist community needs to be much more involved on the web if we want to change that; we need to make sure that information about ourselves and our lifestyle is plentiful and easy to find wherever someone might be looking.

I agree with this blog post. The legitimate nudist and naturist organizaions shy from using the Web 2.0 tools of the online world and thus we fail to make outreach to the very generation that might be amenable to our wholesome lifestyle. As the author notes, we also relagate ourselves to backseat while the porn and sex peddlers claim 'ownership' rights to the very words that define nudism and naturism. We are buried in the search engine listings.

Like many, at first I was reticent about starting a naturist blog but I've been doing it for several years now and it has become fun to post about my adventures, about items of nudist interest . . . to use all those great Web 2.0 tools like RSS, blogs, forums, AJAX-enabled widgets, etc. to deliver what I believe is current, appropriate and relevant content. I've taken the attitude that since I enjoy being nude in many places in the physical world, why not share that love in the cyber-world.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Britney Spears unanimously elected AANR President

Humorous article . . . all in parody, I'm sure . . . I hope . . .

Britney Spears is retiring from show business in order to concentrate on her new career as President of American Association for Nude Recreation, informs BBC news.

Ever since the break-up of her marriage to Kevin Federline also known as K-Fed, Britney Spears is fed up being hounded like a celebrity. She knows she is famous, and insists that she did not mean to attract any attention by simply socializing with top socialites Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and revealing her victoria secrets.

Britney Spears's recent display of her naturist side caught the attention of prominent naturist organisations.
Unanimously she was voted as President without her knowledge, yet accepted the post without hesitation when contacted by the nude recreation society representatives.

"She is glad that she will now be able to be herself without apologizing or explaining for her actions to anyone again", said the representatives to Reuters.

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What's New at Nudehiker

Finally managed to find an easy way to include a 'photostream' in the blog after dealing with and becoming frustrated with Flickr . Flickr is a great service, even at the basic free service; enabling easy upload and manipulation of your photos. They also offer a feed called the Flickr Badge, that you can include on your website to stream photos from your account. However, only public, visible to everyone, photos are allowed to be streamed to a badge and that was a problem if your pictures show any kind of nudity at all. According to their terms of service, those pictures have to be kept private . . . and that defeats the entire purpose of sharing.

I checked out several other sites for photo uploading and sharing and the approach is much the same. Seems the photos you upload become available to everyone. Not that I much care if anyone sees me naked . . . I am a naturist, afterall. However, Flickr considers any nudity inappropriate and insists on tagging those images 'private' and unavailable in photostreams. All I want to be able to do is allow the readers of my site an opportunity to share my hikes and my enjoyment of the naturist lifestyle.

Last week I stumbled across SlideRoll and immediately signed up. Their description: "Slideroll™ is a photo slideshow maker that you can use to create slide shows with your photos. Publish your slideshows on the internet, put them on MySpace or YouTube, and e-mail them to friends." You upload your pictures then use the interface to make a video slideshow, complete with transitions. Best of all, you can mark your slideshows as private and yet still embed a private slideshow in your website (or share them as a link in email, if you desire).

There is a paid and free version . . . the free version limiting you to 100 uploaded images and 10 published slideshows. More than adequate for my needs. You can even add music to your slideshow (though I think that's overkill). Since you can mark your slideshows as private, the do not show up in searches nor in directory listings at SlideRoll . . . you need the published link. That's what I did and you can see the results in the sidebar of the blog. Some of the tools I'm experimenting with are Picklish, a Photo Gallery with Video editing tool that creates standalone Flash Movies, and well as the development environment called MDM Zinc. The idea is to create my own photo and video streams that I have complete control over as opposed to the photo hosting websites like Flickr, MySpace or YouTube

I've also begun the process of uploading many of my personal naturist images to Gallery Image on a website that is hosted for me . . . and for which I have absolute control. Literally a couple of thousand images of my hiking adventures, I need to categorize them. Eventually I will post a link to them and offer RSS Feeds.

New, also, are the translate links at the top of the sidebar. I don't know how accurate the translations are but I've noticed quite a few foreign visitors in the site statistics.

Finally, Amazon Recommendations. I gave up of Google Adsense because of the inappropriate ads they served up. Amazon allows me much more control over the offerings that may interest my readers.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

If Yer Going to Walk Around Naked, Do It With Confidence!

© 2006 Zits Partnership, Fair Use (Educational)

"Zit's" comic strip from Dec 1st through Dec 6th has Jeremy, the 15-year old star of the strip bravely chancing to go naked around the house when no one is home. Naturally, people immediately start showing up at the front door. In the final panel (Wednesday) a friend walks in unannounced and surprises the naked Jeremy. Jeremy screams and grabs a lamp shade for cover, only to have his unfazed friend remark, "Dude, if you're going to walk around naked, do it with confidence."

Good advice for the trail when we encounter other hikers. Show confidence. We have nothing to be ashamed of.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Olympic Hot Springs: ONP hopes to open the Hot Springs Road by Saturday

Several vehicles belonging to park visitors were marooned in snow along the Whiskey Bend and Olympic Hot Spring roads in the Elwha Valley.

Power lines are also down in the Elwha Valley.

Park rangers, road, and trail crews are working to clear numerous trees that fell across several park roads under the snow load.

One man's pickup became mired in the snow along the Olympic Hot Springs road.

He abandoned the vehicle only to learn that a tree later crushed the cab.

Superintendent Bill Laitner says crews are working to safely remove trapped cars and downed trees.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Getting into the Season-Thars Snow in dem Mountains

Earlier in the day as I struggled in 3-4 feet of
fresh snow up in the Beckler River area

Seattle's getting hammered with a freak snowstorm, dropping temperatures (dealt with one frozen water pipe already), and stressed out people wondering how they're going to get to work tomorrow.

Not me . . . can't get anything done work-wise so it was the beautiful, raw majesty of Mother Nature up in the Cascades. Much better than sitting in traffic inching along on glaze ice at half a mile an hour (at best). My Civic is really proving itself . . . I've yet to put the chains on I bought two years ago!

Needless to say, eventually we had to head back to reality and the mess in Seattle. I saw more cars abandoned or stuck than I have since the '96 storms in the area. The drive was thoroughly stressing. Then I had to deal with the water pipe. A fire in the fireplace was a natural. It's a pain in the ass to get one going. Essentially I'm lazy and impatient. I won't split kindling and constantly mess with the fire . . . it's a wonder I can ever get one going. My pyromaniacal idea is to wad up the entire Sunday newspaper in an attempt to get a fire going.

A cheery fire is one of my favorite things. I just love to sit next to one and absorb the radiant heat, watch the dance of the flames. No TV tonight . . . just spiced wine and good music . . . and it doesn't matter how much the Arctic-blast wind is howling outside.

A good hot fire, a pot of spiced wine, classical music . . .
what else do you need. Season's Greetings to
all my friends and wish you were here.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Baker Hot Springs is wiped out

Baker Hot Springs has been completly washed away by the last series of rain storms to go through the North Cascades area. Read more about it and look at the disheartening photos in the discussion thread by clicking the title link.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Goldmyer Hot Springs: Update

From: Beth

On November 7th/8th, the latest 'Pineapple Express' flood, with it's record breaking rainfall, turned all of the river valleys and low lying lands in Western Washington into raging torrents. At Goldmyer, the caretakers, who live on the property, had an experience of a lifetime being able to observe the full force of Ma Nature! The streams and rivers flowed brown with mud and debris. They roared with crashing boulders being swept downstream. The hotspring cave and outside hot pools remained intact, and the water is still good and hot.

The Middle Fork Road sustained major damage in one area. About 2 miles before the traditional river ford, a side channel of the river literally washed away the road in a couple of spots. The Forest Service already has a contractor working along the road repairing smaller washouts on their way towards the big washout. The FS has just closed the gate at the Dingford Trailhead, because of concerns of vandalism to the road repair machinery up above. They don't know how long it will take to complete repairs.

Additionally, at the traditional Goldmyer river ford, the force of the river during the peak of the flood was so great that it washed away numerous boulders that used to line the river bottom. If you're experienced at crossing the river there, you will find it deeper than it was before because of the pockets left behind where the boulders used to be. The big tree stump that sat in the river at the ford for about 15 years is gone.

The section of Burntboot Creek by the Goldmyer campsites widened it's channel during the flood, and swept away a couple of our campsites. On the other side of the Creek, and heading downstream, an long stretch of the Middle Fork Trail was washed away. These changes will make it more difficult for hikers coming up from the lower section of the Middle Fork Trail to find where to ford Burntboot Creek and to find the continuing trail on the Goldmyer side.
For the time being, access distances to Goldmyer are:

1) Dingford trailhead is about 4-1/4 miles (each way) to the river ford, if hiking or biking along the road. The MF river might or might not be low enough to ford this time of year, with continued rainfall, and the changed river bottom. Please use your common sense!

2) Hiking in along the lower stretch of Middle Fork Trail from the Dingford Trailhead is about 5 miles (each way), but it requires fording a number of moderate sized creeks and Burntboot Creek (which is more of a 'river' than a 'creek').

3) The only way to get to Goldmyer without having to ford a river is to use the upper end of the Middle Fork Trail, which is located farther up valley beyond Goldmyer. From Dingford Trailhead, this is appoximately 10 miles (each way).

For those who enjoy a more challenging access, the reward is fewer folks using the hotsprings!!

Be prepared and be sensible.

To aid in setting references points, here is the Interactive Map I have of the area:

The full interactive version is here. Rick

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Night-time Nude Hike in the Rain

Despite the windy, rainy weather we have been having, the temperatures have not been as cold as might be expected. And, of course, given half a reason I'm going to be looking for any excuse that I can to go hiking. Saturday was not a bad day for a hike but I had spent too much time driving the Index-Galena Loop, checking out damage to trails and roads. I had little time left over before my evening appointments. The Index-Galena road is closed just short of Trout Creek with a rock berm emplaced before the bridge. The road is washed out beyond that. When we get better weather I'm going to hike down the road to get a better perspective of the condition of the Sunset Mine Trail . . . which I personally think is in extremely bad condition (if not destroyed).

From the other side of the loop, the Beckler River road (or FS 65), the unpaved section at the Rapid River junction is in bad shape with lots of deep potholes and worrisome slumping on the edges. I did not travel up very far knowing that Jacks Pass is above the present snowline and probably impassable to my Civic. If there is serious damage to FS 65 from that side, some of the most popular trails will not be accessible next year until repairs are made.

Sunday I went out again in the late afternoon. There was driving rain by the time I reached the Cascades. As typical I hadn't any firm plans . . . just a need to get out of the city. Mainly exploring, which eventually found me back at FS 6310 as the only reasonable alternative for a short hike. I almost didn't stop; it was dark, windshield foggy and raining hard. The urge just struck me. If there had been a car behind me, the driver would have been pissed at the sudden braking and turn into the trailhead.

A wind-ravaged tree lays across the space where
I last parked to hike here. This time I parked
way in the open away from large trees.

Raining pretty hard and yeah, I was dressed to the hilt.
Though I'm still in sight of the main road, there is little traffic.
Might as well get naked here to maximize the hike.

Deciding to do a hike nude . . . at night . . . in the pouring rain . . . at temperatures in the high 30s . . . didn't come immediately. I was fully dressed in four layers of warm and water-repellent clothing yet for some reason, as I left my car, I stuffed a large plastic sack into my fanny pack . . . almost an unconscious gesture. By the time I'd reached the gate across the road fifty feet away I knew I wanted to hike nude in the rain for awhile.

I undress slowly near the gate, carefully folding my
clothes and placing them in a plastic bag to stay dry.

Undressing in a downpour and keeping your inner clothes dry is an excerise in patience. The parka is a great help. The clothes get folded and placed in the sack. My intent is to hike away from my clothes for as far as I can, and then hike back. I wanted those clothes dry when I returned.

A quick nude pose by the gate and then it's off hiking.

I carry my bagged clothes a little ways in
to place in a safe location while I hike.

Initially I was going to leave the sack and my clothes sitting next to one of the posts at the gate but got a little paranoid about leaving them so close to the main road and the trailhead . . . in plain view. I actually did hike off for several hundred feet thinking about that very thing. What if my clothes got stolen? I returned and picked up the sack to move it in a little bit further.

It's not often that I leave all my clothes behind on a nude hike. Even less so when I'm hiking in cold weather. But doing so is a special type of freedom and I do it whenever I can.

Reaching the extant of tonights hike at a bridge over a creek.
My skin is soaked by cool rain. It feels delicious!

The hike doesn't last long . . . and I knew it wouldn't. Not in driving rain that was thoroughly soaking me, and low temperatures. Then there's the darkness. I hike about a mile in to a bridge over a creek. Far enough. The rain isn't too particularly cold. I don't feel a chill though I know my skin is cold.

After almost one hour I arrive back at my
clothes and dally about getting dressed.

Walking back to where the car is parked,
the coat useless on my drenched body.

As always, eventually you have to get redressed. My skin feels good during the entire drive back to Seattle. Tight from the exposure.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

2006 Floods, What Can You Do To Help

An selfish plug for the Washington Trails Association which is responsible, in major part, for the enjoyment we get from hiking the wilderness. I support them 100% and I'm hoping you will too.

Oregon (as well as other western states) have also suffered extensive road and trail damage as the picture below shows very vividly. This is the bridge over White River on Hwy 35, a prime access route to Mt Hood for skiers and snowboarders. Rick

Down River Side of White River Bridge. The top of the pile on the bridge is level with the upstream side of the bridge meaning about 15-20 ft of fill. Photo credit and copyright TheGreatSunra (Flickr nick)

The Signpost

2006 floods: What you can do to help
Posted by: Andrew Engelson at 1:18PM on Nov 17, 2006 | Link to this thread
Filed under: Trail Maintenance, Trails Funding & Policy, Hiking News

Broken trail bridge, Mount RainierThe question on many hikers' minds after the catastrophic floods of last week is: What can I do to help? Read a statement from WTA about last week's floods here, and then take action:


WTA will certainly be working on many storm-damaged trails, but the vast majority of this work won't begin until the melt-out next spring. We won't even know the full extent of the damage to places like the Wonderland Trail until the snows lift next year. Make a New Year's Resolution to join at least one work party in 2007. Consider taking off a week next year to participate in a WTA Volunteer Vacation. Talk to your coworkers about getting together a group trail work party. For more information on setting up group trail work parties contact Alyssa Kreider at or call 206-965-8561.

File a Trip Report

If you're out on a road or trail and witness flood damage, there are some things you can do. (And please remember that many roads are bad shape and quite dangerous. NEVER attempt to drive across a flooded road, or drive around posted road closures. Road and trail bridges can have unsafe structural damage that's not obviously visible. PLEASE exercise caution when you're out there).
You can file a trip report on WTA's web site, noting the exact location and nature of the damage. Land managers frequently look at WTA trip reports when planning trail work needs. Photos are also very helpful. WTA is currently looking into ways to consolidate trail and road damage information online to make it more useful to land managers, our trail crews and hikers.

Make a Financial Contribution

At the point, probably the most meaningful thing you can do is to make a donation to WTA. If you haven't yet become a member, consider doing so now. WTA is very efficient in how it puts your dollars to work for trails--we leverage volunteer hours to apply for grants, and our small crew of paid summer crew leaders train and manage the 1,600 volunteers out there each year fixing our trails. Today's Puget Sound Business Journal profiled Washington Trails Association as a non-profit that efficiently uses volunteer hours and donations to get work done.
If you'd like to make a donation specific to trail maintenance, the Greg Ball Trail Fund is specifically targeted for work on the ground.

Contact Your Representative

Write a brief e-mail to your Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell telling them that you're an avid hiker and that you're astounded at the level of damage across the Cascades and Olympics. Tell them that by adequately funding our National Parks and National Forests, we can get started on rebuilding. Tell them that you support the American Hiking Society's modest funding proposals:

  • Forest Service Recreation Management, Heritage and Wilderness program: $275 million
  • Forest Service Capital Improvement and Maintenance/Trails funding: $90 million
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): stateside: $100 million; federal $220 million
  • National Park Service operations: $1.868 billion
Photo of damaged trail bridge at Ohanapecosh River courtesy Mount Rainier National Park.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Goldmyer HS Accessibility

Posted in the MSN Goldmyer Group:

At mile 20.4 there is about a 100 yard section of the road that is now in the river and a few 100 yards beyond that point about a 1/4 mile section is missing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lewis Creek Nude Hike

With the break in the weather between rain and snow storms, I wandered off into the mountains to check out conditions for myself and maybe sneak a hike in. For the earlier part of the day it rained and drizzled on and off but there were promises of a clearing.

Snow pretty much above elevations of 2,400ft and with wet rain and snow, and gusty winds, I was not in the mood for hiking naked in that stuff. But lower down in the Index area, the Sunset Mine trail was a distinct possibility . . . even as much as I've hiked that old mining road the last few weeks. There just weren't too many other options that didn't involve wet, chilling snow. Problem was, the news reports warned of major flooding and washed away roads at the six and a half mile mark of the Index-Galena Road. Six and a half miles is just short of Trout Creek and the Sunset Mine Trail. Did I even have a trail left to hike on, let alone access to the Trout Creek area?

Seems I didn't, though as I drove and got closer I kept my fingers crossed the the road closure would be on the far side of the trailhead. I wasn't . . . the barrier of red warning cones was one bend short. The Index-Galena Road was washed away right in the vicinity of Trout Creek. Major repairs needed and no hike down this direction.

The Index-Galena Road looking north at Mile 7 from SR 2.
The North Fork of the Skykomish is to the left.
The water is coming down off the extremely steep
slopes of Iron Mountain on the right, as well as
flooding attributable to Trout Creek. The campgrounds
are a mess. The trailhead access to Sunset Mine is
about midpoint on the right, where most of the water is coming from.

I wasn't the only person checking out this damage. Among others was Andrew from the Washington Trails Association, to whom this picture is attributable. The weather was miserable enough to dispel any immediate thoughts of hiking nude. I was just grateful that my jacket actually kept me warm and dry, and that my boots were waterproof.

However, wandering about in the rain had it's moments. At least I wasn't cooped up inside. Eventually I walked back to the road barriers and settled in my car with coffee, seemingly done for the day. I started driving back toward SR2 and Seattle in a new, fresh downpour.

I hate to be denied a hike. Especially since I hadn't had one in a week. Impulse made me turn into a large cleared area a few miles down the road. I'd seen the clearing before, along with the occassional car parked near the FS gate. Never investigated it though so I pulled in to check it out. No one else was there . . . not that anyone else on the planet would want to hike in this kind of wet weather. I didn't have my charts with me so I didn't know where the one-lane, beat-up gravel road beyond the gate went. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Perhaps a future hike. I got out of my car, dressed to stay warm and dry. Just a look-see.

Not a good sign. Fissuring and slumping
of the roadbed just before the gate

Since I hadn't brought any charts with me, I just referenced it by the bridge just a little ways from the turn . . . Lewis Creek. Later, looking it up on the charts I figured out it had to be FS 6310 and the creek more properly named as Canyon Creek. By the time I figured that out I'd already made a Lewis Creek Trail map

Lewis Creek Trail is properly known as FS 6310,
an unmaintained and gated logging road that
switchbacks 3.5 miles up with a gain of 2,000ft
to the headwaters of Bitter and Boss Creeks
below Jumpoff Ridge

The slumping of the roadbed just before the gate was fresh. Just beyond the gate you could see deep scouring and etching of the roadbed . . . all fresh erosion. The gate, itself, has been here for awhile, the lock inside the steel post old and thoroughly rusted. There is a hiker/mountain bike walk-by so I assume that this road is popular with mountain bikers. None were here today. I walked up about a quarter of a mile and knew this would make a great nude hike. I kept thinking that to myself as I walked back in the drizzle.

Back at the car I waffled as another session of steady rain came down. I drank coffee from the thermos and just couldn't seem to give it up and just go home. I wanted a hike! It didn't feel that cold . . . the rain, I suppose. Still, it had to be in the upper thirties and wet. Not good weather to be nude in for any length of time.

But Mother Nature and the weatherman smiled on me . . . the rain stopped. Still bleak and misty looking out. I got together my hiking gear (the pack, clothing, thermos and hiking staff). Unfortunately, I hadn't brought my lightweight and less bulky rain jacket . . . instead I had a very bulky lined Eddie Bauer parka. It would have to do. At least I'd be glaringly visible to any hunters roaming about, though I didn't think they'd be out in this weather either.

It's funny the amount of dressing one does to go on a nude hike. At least, I thought so as I undressed in my car, removing three layers of clothing and then putting the outer shell back on knowing that within minutes, once out of sight of the main road I was going to remove them again. I put on a pair of warmup pants with snaps all the way up both sides . . . easy to get in and out off without hopping around trying to get my large hiking boots through. The parka was big and bulky in itself. I decided against any other clothing and just zipped the coat over my naked torso. Coat and warmup pants; gloves, hat and shoes. I was too lazy to put the hiking boots back on. Besides, it wasn't raining anymore. It wasn't 50 feet before I was overheated. The clothes came off soon thereafter.

Not my regular jacket that I prefer when hiking nude.
Much too bulky to roll up into my pack. But it is a 'safety orange'.

It is a little nippy out, particularly since I'm near Canyon Creek and catching the moisture-laden cold air that favors mountainous creek beds. Small things preoccupy my nude time . . . like what to do with the jacket . . .

. . . what to do with a jacket that is bigger than your pack

. . . the only practical answer (besides stashing all my clothing somewhere along the side of the trail to hike trully nude - stupid idea but I actually entertained it), is to sling it over my shoulders and wear it like a cape. Gaining altitude, this turned out to be a good decision. I didn't know anything about the road other than what was immdeiately in front of my eyes. I definitely didn't know about the steepening road and the 2,000 ft gain in elevation before me. Meanwhile, the road before me was a gentle bed of autumn leaves that once beyond the first few hundred feet was in pretty good shape.

Hiking in autumn is serene

The jacket is handy to have. It goes on and off with the wind gusts.

Beyond a couple of wide and long switchbacks the road steepens. The weather is nippy, especially in the un-logged areas that take me through dark shade, or an exposed clearcut on the southern slopes in line with an advancing storm front. It's an unusual sensation to have my back toasty warm while the rest of my exposed surface tightens in response to the cold. Hot and cold sensations contrasting.

Crossing the wood deck bridge over Canyon Creek

After a bridge crossing and one more major switchback the road becomes extremely steep . . . in some stretches up to 40-45 degrees. I could see how this road would be a popular mountain bike route . . . imagining in my mind the hard-toiling bikers doing a turn-around at the top for the joy ride of their life barreling down these steep sections. As I, myself trudge on up higher I'm beginning to wonder to myself if this is not a backdoor route onto Heybrook Ridge to the south. The next switchback to the north tells me otherwise and I trudge steadily upwards for almost another mile. The mountainside really steepens. There are some great vistas over the North Fork valley below.

Just below a sharp series of switchbacks and the beginnings
of snow on the ground . . . and in the air.

Passing through 2,600 ft and the switchbacks, the road is no more than a footpath now. Late afternoon frost coats everything and not far ahead I can see patches of snow. I'm glad I have the coat with me and over my shoulders. The air is close to saturated and the temperature dropping. The mist of clouds is hugging nearby slopes, including the one I am on. I don't feel cold . . . I'm sure the jacket does a lot to keep my core heated. Gloves are an absolute necessity and I'm thinking about putting on the warmer pair.

Nonetheless, I'm losing the light and have at least an hour to an hour and a half hike back down. Reluctantly, I survey the scene for a few more tantalysing minutes with thermos dispensing hot liquids. Then it's back. The gate is upon me sooner than I expect. I almost fall into the eroded gully that claimed half the road before the gate. I reach my car, electing to hike nude all the way, well after dark . . . and without the headlamp which I had mistakenly not repacked after the last use. I'm not quite sated but certainly glad to have let impulse drive me to turn off onto an otherwise insignificant dirt road. FS 6310 (my Lewis Creek Trail) is a great nude hike.

Recommendations to hike this trail nude: This is an obvious trail bike route. The bypass on the gate alone attests to that. However, the trailhead is far enough away from civilization that you can assume no cars . . . no hikers or mountain bikes. There is also great sight distance both inbound and outbound. Hard to be surprised by an inbound hiker or bicyclist. Once past the wood deck bridge the road gets very steep. You'd have to be a fanatic biker to go up much further.

Beyond the last series of switchbacks you are headed into the Wild Sky Wilderness (pending). The trail is getting indistinct and I'd expect you to have that area all to yourself. This is westerly, turning to northerly exposure. Afternoon sun is the best. Morning will put you into shadow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Red, White and Blue Beach in Calif to be sold

Red, White and Blue Beach owner throws in the towel

SANTA CRUZ — It's a tough job overseeing a nude beach, and after 41 years, the owner of Red, White and Blue Beach says it's time to throw in the towel and sell his property.

Ralph Edwards, 83, and his wife Kathleen raised their five children in the white two-story house that sits on 170 acres above the beach off Highway 1, six miles north of Santa Cruz.

The clothing-optional beach has been host to visitors from all over the world who come to bronze in the sun, camp overnight and fire up a barbecue pit.

"You can go any way you want, it's clothing-optional," Edwards said while walking his dog, Spike, on the deserted beach.

But Edwards, who says he isn't a nudist, is ready to go his own way.

"It's too much work for me," he said, a pair of tinted glasses and a "Nude Expert Quality Control" baseball cap blocking the sun.

He purchased the land from the Scaroni family in 1965 without a plan but with a bunch of ideas, from building condominiums to opening a mobile home park. He teased about running a nudist operation.

He even threw around a few unofficial names, like Skinnydipper's Paradise, that he can't help but laugh about as he remembers them today.

It turns out a nude beach was the only plan taken seriously by the county.

"I couldn't get permits for anything else," he said.

He said his wife, who is living with Alzheimer's disease in a care facility in the city of Santa Cruz, at first didn't care much for the idea of a nude beach. But it grew into a family business that has attracted 60,000 people a year, mostly tourists from San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Nude people don't want to be close to home doing that scene," he said, noting locals account for roughly 6 percent of his customers.

Some members of his family don't like to hang out at the beach, either.

"Some of them don't like to be associated with something like this," he said. "That's their prerogative."

But the pristine beach gets plenty of attention through nudist publications and the Internet. It's on the Travel Channel's top 10 list of best nude beaches in the world — the only such beach in California to be revealed.

Santa Cruz resident Toby Gray, a frequent visitor to the Red, White and Blue, said he and his wife have been enjoying the beach for many years. They've always gone back because of the family-friendly atmosphere, he said, and to hear bands play around the campfire.

"The whole campground would fill up," he said.

A few hard-core nudists would bare it all, he said, but most people in the camping areas wore a wrap or sarong. Down on the beach, most people laying out don't cover up.

"It's always been very safe and friendly there," he said.

The private setting is a big reason people feel comfortable at the beach, Edwards said.

"I was real lucky to have something like this," he said.

While refusing to name a price for the property, saying he prefers to sell it privately, he said the next property owner can live the life of a movie star, and make it their own private estate, as he has since 1965.

"Except I got these naked people coming into my backyard," he said. "Yes, it's funny when you think about it."

Contact Soraya Gutierrez at

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some Nude Camping Basics: Food

Camping au'natural takes several forms such as:
  • Car Camping which can be as involved as setting up camp right beside an RV Motor Home or loading up the car with camping supplies. You are usually restricted to wherever you can park your vehicle and setting up camp nearby in established campsites or road accessible locations. The advantages to car camping is the freedom to bring along the elaborate equipment . . . from huge multi-person family tents, coleman stoves, chairs . . . to all the comforts of home. The disadvantages are that you often must set up camp in areas where there are multitudes of other maybe not-as-like-minded people throwing privacy and any thought of relaxing in that camp chair naked, out the window (or tent flap as it is).

  • Canoe Camping is one step closer to a purer form of camping in that you can paddle your canoe to more remote areas that often are not accessible by car. The equipment you can take is only limited by the space available in the canoes and a bonus is that canoeing can be a relaxing endevoir with lots of opportunities to enjoy it in the nude once the car-bound enthusiasts are left behind. You can relaxed and enjoy the scenery at an easy pace and pick a spot to camp far away from the crowded campgrounds.

  • Food, shelter and comfort. All must be carried in on your shoulders.

  • The third form of nude camping, Nude Backpacking (or NudeBacking) is what I like to do. It takes reasonable fitness to carry a 40-50 pound backpack miles into the wilderness, often negotiating narrow trails and changes in elevation but the pay-off is some of the most spectacular vistas around and a sense of achievment to go where few people ever attempt. Solitude is the byword of the backpacker on the more remote trails and the freedom to hike as nature calls . . . nude. The disadvantage, of course, is that you have to carry shelter, food, and everything else you might need, on your back.

The Basics

Regardless of the type of nude camping you like to enjoy, you need to address the following:
  • Food and water,
  • Shelter,
  • and Sanitation

Your food and shelter you bring with you. Your sanitation may be provided (as with a commercial campground), may be brought with you in the form of a chemical toilet, solar shower, etc., or properly improvised on site.

Food may be as elaborate as you want it. Only your cooking abilities, the method and the ability to bring it along and safely store it determine what is on the menu. Car or RV Campers may bring lots of items and they often have the refrigeration or ice chests to preserve perishable foods. Or you may camp near prime fishing grounds and enjoy the sizzle of freshly-caught trout in the fry pan. Many of the fish-barren alpine lakes high in the wilderness of the Cascades are helicopter-seeded with non-native trout species for the benefit of campers. One of my favorites is Joan Lake at the end of the Johnson Ridge Trail.

If you have to backpack all your food in with you, perishability and weight become important considerations. All camping outfitting stores carry the freeze-dried, complete meal in a bag and if you are flush with cash it is one way to go. But I find that I can put together a well-balanced meal out of cheaper alternative rights off the supermarket shelf . . . and keep the weight and volumn off my back as well.

Backpacking is a strenuous activity and requires a large caloric intake as opposed to relaxing in a lawn chair at a organized campground. My resting caloric intake is right around 1,500 calories a day yet when I backpack I find that I'm burning 2,500 to 3,000 calories easily. Most of that is exertion but an appreciable portion is due to the nudity as I hike and the need to replace body heat. You may not feel it but perspiration will quickly lower your body temperature and that is when you'll appreciate the reserves of energy required to prevent hypothermia.

Food intake has to be balanced between sugars, carbohydrates, protein and salts.

  • Sugars are the instant energy sources, quickly absorbed into the blood stream and providing the energy to move your muscles in the short run. Most of our sugar needs can be provided by snacks such as trail mix, energy bars or a simple Snickers bar. Sugar is used rapidly when you are exerting yourself and it is important that you have reserves to take over as your blood sugar levels drop or you'll experience the nasty symptoms of hypoglycemia and a dangerous drop into severe exhaustion. For a quick boost of sugar levels, I carry a small packets of runner's gel, which is a mixture of fast-absorbing glucose, longer-lasting carbs and essential electrolytes in a variety of flavors (try the banana-strawberry. Runner's gel can be purchased at most sports and nutrition shops. They are easy to suck down as you hike and quickly restore alertness and energy until you can properly eat a carbohydrate-loaded meal.

  • Carbohydrates are our longer-term energy reserves and are more slowly absorbed and then released into the bloodstream as we need them. We've all heard of carbohydrate-loading by marathon runners and the ilk before a big competition. It works. Carbohydrates are stored in our liver and released as glucose (sugar) in response to our changing blood sugar levels as we need them. Pastas, breads and cheeses are excellent sources of carbohydrates.

  • Proteins are the structural elements of our bodies. Exertion conditions us and builds muscle and protein is a necessary component of that newly-bulked-up muscle as well as any celluar repair that needs to be done. Proteins are also a necessary component in the smooth functioning of our metabolism and adjustment to stress. Protein-rich foods such as tuna, peanut butter, beans and protein-rich energy bars also provide a source of additional sugars and carbohydrates as well as trace minerals our body requires. Don't go overboard of proteins though. Excessive intake of protein is difficult to digest and can commonly induce intestinal cramping when you are exerting yourself heavily on the trail. Proteins also breakdown in amonia-like waste products that have to be secreted in the urine. A craving for water beyond what you really need is often attributable to excessive protein intake.

  • When you backpack, you are going to sweat no matter what the temperature outside is. And when you sweat, you are dumping a lot of your essential salts along with the perspiration. If you were a football star you could simply go over to the sidelines and gulp down GatorAide. But on the trail you don't have that luxury. Salt is usually replaced in the foods you eat but that is not enough on the trail when you are sweating quarts of water a day (and more so if you have a heavy protein-load to remove). I approach salt-loss in several ways. My immediate water source on the trail is from bottles of GatorAide (or a similar electrolyte-replacement drink). I carry packets of salt-replacement powders to make up a fresh batch for the next day's use. In extreme exertion and very hot weather, I carry a small supply of salt tablets. Trust your body and when it craves salt, take that as a warning sign and replace the salt loss. The alternative is heat exhaustion and perhaps severe diarhea and that is serious on the trail away from emergency help. I carry one packet of rehydration therapy powder for such emergencies.
There is nothing like sitting by a campfire after a long day of hiking.
A campfire also dispels those things that go 'bump in the night'.

Plan your meals for the number of days you are going to be on the trail . . . plus one or two extra days just in case. Here is an example for a typical three day backpacking trip:

Day One
Breakfast: Prior to the hike, carbohydrate loading. A good breakfast of pancakes, syrup, hasbrowns, juice. Go easy on eggs if you are making extreme altitude changes as they can produce painful bloating and gas.

Lunch: A packed lunch. Eat the sandwich you made now as it is perishable. If I have time I will set up my stove and prepare some Top Ramen soup with noodles and a cup of coffee. I like to add chunks of Tillimook Beef Jerky chunks to my soup for protein and texture.

Dinner: After you've set up the tent and secured your water supplies, make yourself a protein-rich meal. I like the sealed mylar pouches of tuna you can buy in the store, mixed with a packet of mayo and relish (I stock up on these packets everytime I vist a McDonalds or Burger King) and spread over an unleavened flat bread like Biboli which stores well. A cup of hot chocolate (powder packets) and relax and enjoy the sun going down.

Day Two
Breakfast: Pancakes and Syrup; Coffee. I've preportioned instant pancake mix in baggies, I have a small plastic bottle of butter-flavored pancake syrup, and a small aerosol can of butter-flavored pan spray.

Lunch: I'm in my stride now, having filled a trail thermos with coffee, I sip as I hike and snack from the trail mix or the beef jerky. The trail bars I eat in mid afternoon to keep me going.

Dinner: Chilli. Staggs packages chilli in mylar pouches and I can simply drop one in boiling water. Some crackers and I eat it right out of the opened pouch. The boiling water goes to my cup of hot chocolate (or coffee).

Day Three
Breakfast: More pancakes and coffee, not forgetting to fill the thermos as well.

Lunch: Trail Mix and energy bars as I hike.

Dinner: Back at the trailhead and once I've cleaned up and massaged my sore feet back to normal I'm headed for Burger King for their largest bacon-cheese burger and a large order of fries. I've earned it.

So what did I have to carry in for three days and one backup emergency day? It breaks down to a couple of ounces each of instant coffee, sugar and creamer; six ounces of instant pancake mix in a baggie, 4 ounces of pancake syrup, a 4 ounce can of pan spray, one 4 ounce pounch of tuna with a couple of single-serve packets of mayo and relish, one Biboli bread, a four ounce packet of Tillimook Beek Jerky Chunks, a couple of Ramen Top Noodle Instant Soups, one 6 ounce packet of Staggs Chilli with a few crackers, an eight ounce bag of Trail Mix and four Energy Bar for snacking on the trail, and two packets of instant hot chocolate mix. An emergency reserve of one tuna pouch and a couple of extra hot chocolates rounds out the food I carry in. Total weight under four pounds.

A four-season tent like this MSR model packs
in at six pounds including all the hardware.

Next Installment: Setting up camp and staying nude and warm . . .

Did you get dressed up for a Nude Halloween party?

Interesting post in one of the local nudist forums that asks what is appropriate and inappropriate to wear to a 'themed' nudist event:

Does anyone know if AANR has any official standards about what is prohibited "sexual attire" at nudist gatherings? I'm asking because this question was a topic of discussion at an un-costume/Halloween party I attended recently at a resort to which I and my fiancee belong.

At some naturist events (especially dances or parties with a theme) I like to wear a top or skirt at dinner but have been "chided" for doing so by one of the other members (not the hostess). I am very discreet in my behavior whether or not I am partially or completely nude and found this attitude towards my desire to wear something festive puzzling. I was NOT dressed in apparel from a lingerie catalog -- my costume was sheer and it was feminine but that does not seem to make it overtly erotic to me.

What do you think?

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