Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nude Hiking with the Bare Minimum

Often when I do a short one or two mile hike I will carry the absolute minimum so that I get the greatest enjoyment out of my hike. In winter time I carry a full pack with extra clothing and all the survival supplies (yes, I do hike nude in winter, snow notwithstanding), on camping trips a rather heavy pack with everything weighed to the ounce. Summer and I'm usually hiking with some sort of fanny pack to maximize the sunlight on my body. But sometimes I just want to hike nude . . . or as nude as it is reasonably safe to do so.

In the image about I'm only wearing or carrying three things (we'll ignore the watch and wrist band). They are my signature Floppy Blue Hat, a set of flip-flops (rather than my hiking shoes) and a small sling bag that I normally carry my coffee or spare water in. Only, that bag is just perfect to carry the cars keys and maybe a few other small items in. At first it was a pair of shorts in case I needed to cover up. But I'm getting pretty good at 'baring' it with a grin when I meet other hikers on the trail. I've taken to leaving my shorts back at the car when I head off on these short hikes.

I think there is a certain empowerment in leaving the crutch of clothes behind. I walk away from the supposed safety of them and now I have to be me . . . I have to have the wherewithall to handle an encounter on the trail without covering up because I don't have anything available to cover myself up with.

You kind of reach an epithany when you are hiking on a trail like that. Doesn't matter whether you will encounter someone or not. It's theknowledge that if you do you're going to have to deal with it in other ways than hurriedly pulling out a pair of shorts and covering up.

These types of hikes make me feel the freeset of all. My whole skin is alive and breathing in every sensation around me. Summer is ending and so are these kinds of hikes until next year (unless I win the lottery and take a long-earned vacation to New Zealand or Australia . . . someplace warm).

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