Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just What is Freehiking?

Free hiking, naked hiking or naked rambling is the practice of hiking in the remote country- side as a social activity while nude

from Wikipedia-Naturism in the Wild

But . . . based on the sense I get in some of the nudist forums and feedback I get to some of my hikes I would venture that the term "freehiking" is deserving of a slightly different definition that takes the meaning of nude hiking to a more purer form. As some of my detractors are fond of saying, 'You're not really hiking nude if you're wearing shoes," or "... you're carrying all your clothes in your backpack." They have a point. All I can say is that in the wild it makes sense to wear foot protection . . . and if I'm going to hike any distance in the wilderness, having clothes and other essentials readily available for unforeseen contingencies makes sense. However, there is a special enjoyment to hiking nude with as little covering or accouterments as possible. That is the spirit of freehiking.

Stack all your clothes in a neat pile and ...

I often quote (more precisely, paraphrase) a fellow nude hiker who advises the neophyte nudist:

Fine a secluded place where you will not be disturbed, take off all your clothes and stack them neatly in a pile, and then simply walk off nude in any direction for a couple of hundred feet or so. The stack of clothes represents the chains that tie you to the strictures of society. Turning your back on the clothes and walking away represents freedom.

By the time you return to your clothes you will have had an epiphany and be on your way to understanding what nudism and naturism is all about. You will not want to put those clothes back on simply to garb yourself.

... walk away from them nude as the day you were born ...

Freehiking is all about recreating that epiphany every time you hike nude. When I freehike I cannot simply reach into my fanny pack for shorts. I am 'forced' to accept my nudity and quit worrying about 'what if I encounter someone?' Acceptance is incredibly freeing.

... you could not be any closer to nature than without
the trappings of society distracting you

Of course, some common sense is in order. Freehike where you really don't think confrontations or 'ill-feelings' might ensue. The idea is to face the majesty of nature in the purest sense practical.

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