On a lighter note . . .

I've written a few blogs explaining my past and my thoughts of my journey so far. So I thought I'll share a light hearted experience I had earlier this year.

At the start of this year we decided to go for a day hike. We arrived at the hiking spot and realized that we were the only people there. After hiking for a while, I removed my shirt as it was getting hot. As we got closer to the river, we could that it was flowing strongly.

When we got down to the river, the kids immediately got in for a swim. I removed my shorts and joined them in the river, nude. I really enjoyed it. After spending a while swimming, we decided to continue our hike. I took this opportunity to continue in the nude. I had my shorts tucked in my backpack straps.

With the rest of the river crossings the kids took every opportunity to swim. When we got to the last pool for the day, we had lunch and spent time swimming here. My son quickly joined me in swimming naked and after some persuasion my wife joined US also in the nude. Only my daughter did not join us in the nude swim.

With time marching on we decided to head back to the parking lot. I remained nude. Along the route back, I thought I heard my wife say something so I turned and answered her. She said that she said nothing, that is when I turned around and noticed some hikers in front of us. I quickly walked towards my wife and at the same time slip back into my shorts. Thereafter we continued to walk towards the hiking party in front of us.

We greeted each other as nothing happened and parted ways. According to my daughter when the one lady spotted me and walked away, she shouted "never mind me". That was what I could have heard. I have no idea what they saw or what they thought, but once they passed we had a good laugh about it.

I did remove my shorts again until we got to the next pool and realised that there was another family there, so on came my shorts again. My wife then suggested that I remained clothed for the rest of the hike.

I really enjoyed the morning of hiking nude and can't wait to do it again. I don't know if anyone else has a similar experience of a non naturist encountering you when you were nude. If it has I would love to read about it.

38 thoughts on “On a lighter note . . .”

  1. My personal opinion: I don't think it is good to be naked where people don't expect you to be naked and would possibly be shocked by it. My wife (perhaps like your wife?) felt that going to an accepted social nudity place was somehow "wrong", but she was open to impromptu skinny dips. I have managed to convince her that being naked in places where other people don't expect you to be naked is not fair to them, and that we should rather go to accepted nudist beaches and resorts where there is no chance of offending someone else. I also don't think that unexpected nudity is good for cause of naturism/nudity.

    • I hear you Wayne and I do agree that in the end shocking non nudist with your nudity does not do any good for the cause. It is just a pity that there are not many opportunity to engage in hiking/skinny dipping in nature. I am planning to do the strip tease hike, in Tsitsikamma, sometime in the future wear skinny dipping is encouraged. At this stage though a resort or social getogether will not work due to my wife's reluctance. I am trying to work on it though.

    • I think my overall attitude is probably strongly influenced by the fact that I'm a kiwi and that nudity isn't illegal in NZ. Albeit that I'm living in Australia for the time being.

      The fact is, depending on where you are you're going to see naked people in some unexpected places in NZ. One example is any one of the main hiking trails. It's not uncommon to encounter people bathing naked nearly anywhere there's water.

      On the whole people don't worry too much about it. Anyone who wants to be naked generally stays out of the way of those that don't. If you happen upon naked people it's no big deal.

      If you treat nakedness like its abnormal, obscene or somehow unacceptable, that's how it will stay. I don't think that should be the case.
      If you regard it normally as an everyday thing, that's how others will perceive it.
      If you react like something is wrong when you're naked and somebody else comes along, others will react to you as if something is wrong.

      I'm not entirely sure what's happened to people's attitudes these days. Nakedness seems to have gone from something that was very much okay to something that is very not okay.
      Maybe it's the American attitude to it. Perhaps the free love movement of the 60s has backfired big time. Whatever has happened over the last 30 years, it's very uncool. When the hell did we get so uptight as a society? When did we start taking ourselves far too seriously.

      I can see trends of young people who are trying to turn the tide. Fashion as always is pushing the envelope. I can see small pockets of young people who exclaim, "I'm naked. Deal with it!"

      On balance in my view if you're wary of offending people then realistically in your mind you consider nakedness offensive. For the most part I don't consider it offensive. I consider it a normal aspect of being human 🙂

      • In South Africa nudity is still taboo I believe. It was also the first time I was walking in the nude. So I'm not sure what I should be doing if I'm found wandering the wilderness in the nude. The one thing I would love to do though is attend some C/O hikes with a group. But I guess I need to get my wife still to agree to this.

        You are so blessed in NZ to have the freedom to hike so freely in the nude.

        Just to end off I do not see nudity as offensive but due to the fact that there are protesting going on for the first official nudist beach for South Africa (that have not been officially opened yet). A person needs to tread lightly.

          • Auckland is certainly its own place. In my teens I rode down to Mission Bay from home. Probably about 15-20km.
            I was so hot I ditched my bike at the first spot I could find and headed for the water.
            Having cooled off I strode back to my spot. It turns out in my haste I'd completely missed the fact the two girls next to me were topless.
            I got the sense they were a bit disappointed I hadn't noticed them at all. They asked me the time and struck up a conversation. The fact they were topless was completely irrelevant.

            The west Auckland beaches are the place to head if you want to peel off your kit. I guess when you're there you just know where and when is the right place. I guess that's the key ingredient. If you're naked and somebody happens along its okay. If you choose the middle of a crowded beach to strip, you'll earn the ire of all others around you.

        • The fact you manage the situation the way you feel right is first and foremost.

          I started naked hiking in Australia in 2011. I was as skittery as a rabbit. Oz is probably as conservative as the U.S. where nakedness is concerned.

          As time passed a couple of things happened. On the one hand I worried less about bumping into people. I was on remote tracks and hardly saw anyone. I would cover when I did spot them.

          The second thing that happened was developing an understanding I wasn't doing anything wrong. That was thanks in no small part to people on the Naktiv site who hike naked and stand by the principal of civil disobedience.

          So by about 2013/14 I was hiking naked and not covering when I encountered others. Not that I meet many others. Amazingly I don't even think the people I encountered even noticed or registered I was naked. It occurred to me they were so engaged in their own thing they returned the hello and went on their way.

          The main thing is you do what feels natural and normal. I change openly on public beaches and nobody takes any notice. A lot of "attention" to what you're doing is all in your head.

          The fact you headed out on the track as you did is fantastic. In my mind it seems if nakedness isn't an everyday "something you might see" kind of thing, it's never going to gain any traction as a normality. People are balking at the idea of seeing others naked in communal changing rooms. That's a big worry.

          Somehow or another we need to heading the opposite direction to that. A century of nudist clubs and designated beaches has made nakedness secretive and isolated. "What are those weirdos doing in those places anyway? Having massive orgies?" Why else would you hide yourself away as if you were doing something wrong, or that you don't want others to see.

          I'm aware of this term "free range parenting". Free Range!? Everyone was free range when I grew up. These days if a kid gets to walk 100m by themselves that's free range parenting.

          Society has become neurotic and paranoid. The pendulum needs to start swinging the other way a little. Not way back, but somewhere there's sanity and balance. In a conservative country it's a tall order. Within the next year or so we plan to be back in NZ where people are way more laid back than here in Oz. A recent visit confirmed the stark difference.

          • Yes it does require a mindset that in the end, I'm doing nothing wrong. Maybe as time goes by I will be able to get used to the idea and like you, will not get dressed when I encounter other hikers.

            And lets hope that even in this great country of S.A. people will become more open as more public nude venues are officially declared.

      • Well said Shane – one needs to act that it's OK and mostly it will be. As far as changes over the decades go it is the generally uptightness of the dominant culture. only those who are prepared to be very bold and militant, like British and american gays for example, make progress. BUT progress always produces a backlash from the intolerantly religious for example, (not criticising all religous people here) but whether they are fundamentalist christians in the US or moslems in asia they are attempting to impose their code for life on others.

        • You raise a good point there Richard. The far right worm their values into society influencing politics and public culture. It's quite an insidious process of influence and corruption. Nobody questions "good Christian values" or the "most Holy Koran". If you step back two paces you tend to notice just how extreme and somewhat fascist it tends to be.

          I perceive what seems to be the main issue is the inability of people to live and let live. Gossip magazines and media tend to bred this attitude of nitpicking everyone else to make yourself feel better. I guess when you yourself are so vacuous this is necessary.

          It's reassuring to see the far right Abbott Govt here unravel themselves. Abbott himself seems to be someone who thinks 1950s values and approach is just fine. Nobody needs fast internet and coal is the backbone of the industrial world.
          The harsh reality of the 21st century isn't quite so idyllic. Fortunately so, given the conservative religious baggage that comes along with the ill named "Liberals" here 🙂

      • This is the right approach: nakedness is normal and nobody should be shocked by the sight of a naked body.
        Unfortunately not everybody agrees to this and even in countries such as Spain where being nude is not ilegal, you wouldn't always get a nice response.

  2. The closest experience I've had to this was last summer during a holiday. As a family we tend to be outdoors and hiking most of the day. We especially like to find empty beaches to explore.

    On the second day we hiked to what I was aware to be an unofficial nude beach. My wife had no idea and as I wanted to check out said nothing.
    Sure enough when we got there two or three nude couples were there, but a distance up the beach.
    My wife asked with surprise, "Are those people naked?"
    "Seems so," I replied. "I think this is an unofficial nude beach."
    Since she wasn't too perturbed by the idea I stripped off as did my son. He thought it was absolutely fantastic. My daughter preferred to stay clothed.
    We spent a couple of hours there and everyone was happy.

    The next day we hiked the beaches further up. Towards the end of the trails there was a secluded empty beach we decided to spend the day at.
    My son and I stripped and went surfing. My wife and daughter explored the beach.
    Not long after we got there a hiker happened along. My wife thought it was me and started to approach thinking it odd "I" was lying away from the rest. She suddenly realised it wasn't me, but the hiker sun baking naked.
    He must have spotted us and figured it was ok for him to strip off as well.

    If we're on an empty beach I tend not to cover up if others turn up. I wouldn't get away with hiking nude as you do. My wife would have a fit. At the beach she's not so stressed. I guess nothing has ever come of it so she doesn't worry what other people will think.

    I suspect in a similar circumstance to the one you described I'd probably get away with it. In a family group I think other people worry a lot less about seeing you naked. It's obvious you're not a deviant and when the conditions warrant it, nakedness makes absolute sense.

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