Naturist Red in Tooth and Claw

Naturist Red in Tooth and Claw by Stuart Pitsligo

Violent deaths are occurring in a remote corner of the highlands of Scotland. Strange, animal-like people are killing anyone they find, and no one seems able to defend themselves against their attacks.
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But a local woman, who lives as a naturist in her remote highland home, may be the only person who can understand what they are and stop their attacks. First though, she must confront a terrible secret from her past…
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Naked at the Gasthof

Occasionally we glimpsed the surrounding peaks getting smaller. After several hours of zig-zagging upwards through the trees, we emerged from the forest onto the ridge and a welcome pause. We were going slowly and stopped for lunch just below the top. We were going slowly and stopped for lunch just below the top, Doug, Mira, mid-p1050335Jacques and Sylvie, then joined us for lunch and then to walk back up to the top of the hill, many people passing us on the fairly busy ridge trail.

Several looked a little surprised to see our group walking naked along the same way as they were, but were all friendly enough, with several smiles and waves exchanged, as one would expect when out on a mountain hike. Continuing along the spine of the alp, we quickly dressed to enter the Hochzelleralm Mountain Gasthof, nestling nicely on the shoulder of the ridge with extensive views of the lower valleys all around. We were just sitting down when Jerome, (organiser of the Brussels WNBR), suggested I ask the staff if it were possible to sit on their terrace naked. Naturally I thought they’d say no, but was happy to ask.

Guests at the Gasthof

The young and friendly waiter looked suitably surprised, but said that it was late in the day, with not many guests, and if the few that were here didn’t mind he had no objection either. So I asked a couple on the nearest table, and they said they didn’t mind, I dutifully fed the response back to the waiter, and he said, “fine, enjoy your drinks on our terrace naked by all means, then”.

We needed no further encouragement and our flimsy wraps and shorts came off, much to the surprise of one other couple, who’d I’d neglected to ask. They however were quite ok with us being naked too, furthermore they were happy to be video interviewed by the naked Gilles as to how they felt about more than 20 plus naked guests sharing their alpine coffee break with them. They seemed pretty comfortable about it all, the lady even removing her jumper to show some solidarity, (or perhaps she was just getting a bit hot).

We chatted for some time, greeting new arrivals with cheerful smiles as usual, and slowly drank our thirst-quenching schorles at this extraordinary well situated alpine Gasthof. The views were stupendous.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley

Into the sunlight

We came out into the sunlight at the top of the woods, and a large open swathe of bright grass led us up towards the gasthof on the ridge. We dressed, shortly before arriving there and, having brought our own lunch, continued along the mid-tegernsee-0018trail to get a little peace and quiet. 100 metres past the gasthof, we stripped off again, just as Tania began to demolish yet another raspberry bush.

A number of people joined the trail here from ahead and to the left of us, and a few cyclists came hurtling past, one trailing a camera and asking if it was ok if he took a photo. We didn’t mind of course, although we thought that if he’d stopped perhaps the photo would not be so blurred.

We continued along the easy ridge path, surrounded by trees again, until we reached an open spot, where we could stop for a bit of lunch.

Salami and sunshine

A little salami and cheese, some fruit and vegetables, a cool drink, a good view and companionable company. Naked in the high mountain sunshine, amidst the trees and foothills of southern Bavaria, we soaked up the atmosphere quietly.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley

Stand and fight or run and hide?

No freedom has ever been freely given, freedoms have always been taken, and the only question is whether we stand and fight, or run and hide. The people who pioneer the new, (because not “normal”), views are inevitably regarded as extremists. Today, we bow to lesbian/gay rights, women voters, etc.Only because some people made a hard stand during difficult times.

Stand and fight?

When those people were fighting for OUR rights, most people called them extremists and nutcases.

Imid-20120717_103914f Emily Parkhurst had been “sensitive to the appropriateness of the situation”, I’m sure she would not have thrown herself under the King’s horse and women would probably still not have the vote. Nelson Mandela is another example of precisely the same case where one man suffers for years under the barbaric of the current regime, while today he is hailed as a hero. He was fortunate, he was able to enjoy his last years of life in freedom.

Alan Turing is another who was shamed, and forcefully chemically “treated”, by the government of his time, for the crime of following his own harmless activities. Turing was so persecuted that he committed suicide rather than face the rest of his life as a chemically castrated individual.

What fate awaits Stephen Gough?

My first naked hike

The hike started. We left the car park and after a couple of hundred metres we turned off down a path into the wood ahead. After the first corner, the organizer stopped the group and we had the opportunity to undress. Now this was exciting. All the hikers removed and stuffed their clothing into their rucksacks, followed promptly by putting sun-cream on. Some people even removed their shoes. So, now was about to begin my first naked hike.

Nearly overwhelming

The feeling, standing naked in the woods with 50 other naked people, was nearly overwhelming. I had been somewhat nervous about what would happen. But it began as every other hiking tour had: with the first step! mid-img_3788Then followed a second, and a third, and after a few hundred metres any nervousness vanished altogether and was replaced by an intense feeling of awareness of my surroundings. An absolutely amazing experience!

I opened up to the weather and began to soak in the surroundings with all my senses. It was a beautiful summers’ day. The sky could not have been more blue and the sun lifted any tiredness away. The air temperature was circa 25°C. The sun’s rays felt very pleasant on the exposed skin and a gentle breeze gave such a wonderful feeling. I looked at the trees around us, at the path which stretched ahead, and was impressed with both myself and the situation, that I was even able to walk along with such a large group of naked people. What a marvelous feeling!

With the first kilometres behind us I thought about what I had discovered. I love the bodily awareness of moving so freely amongst nature. Even the smallest of differences began to push in on my sense of reality. A small cloud pushed in front of the other clouds and created a magical shadow across my body. I did not freeze, but I could feel goosebumps appear over my skin. As the cloud moved away from blocking the direct sunshine, I felt even more comfortable than previously. The goosebumps disappeared as the sun’s warm rays once more caressed my naked body.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Nicole Wunram.

If you don't like the weather

I learnt for the first time what it was not just to be amongst nature, but to be part of it.

Boots had left me stumbling blindly across the ground, oblivious to what lay on it. My clothes had insulated me, not just to the elements, but to the whole environment. Was I really not tough enough to handle a bit of wind, maybe an occasional spot of rain?

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And while paths are often rough and gravel strewn did I really need boots for grass strewn slopes? While the climate of Scotland could be harsh, I realised there would always be days when nature welcomed me, when clothes, maybe even boots might not be needed.

However, you can sometimes get a little too close to nature. One particular example of this takes me back to a hot summer day on the north coast of Scotland. We had thought about finding ourselves a secluded beach to take advantage of the warm Gulf Stream waters, but instead we decided to climb a mountain, Ben Hope, one of the largest of the isolated peaks of the far north.

Parked at the bottom of it, the weather seemed so good that for a moment I briefly considered leaving my waterproof jacket behind. But then I remembered this is Scotland, and we have a saying here – “if you don’t like the weather, just try waiting fifteen minutes.”

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Stuart Pitsiligo.

Etched across the skyline

Continuing up the now more sparsely vegetated valley, sweating under the clear blue sky, we could feel the mountain air glide gently over our skins, keeping us refreshingly dry as it did so.

Etched across the skyline

We could see the summit ridge and our target summit for the day. As we gained height steadily, we began to overtaken by faster hikers, all clothed, and all friendly. mid-p1100178First one couple, then another, then a family coming down the hill, several stragglers and finally we passed a group having a rest just beyond the Austrian/German border, at the col itself. We exchanged pleasantries, and took in the glorious view of the alps stretching away into Austria, before Emma and I settled down nearby to have a light picnic. Polly nibbled on bits of cheese and salami.

At this point the clouds were building and it looked wise to keep moving, so we ambled behind the closed Klausenberg hut, waving back to the friendly group of picknickers there, and followed the narrow and gentle ridge, along to the summit. The views from this deceptively small ridge are quite magnificent, down to the Chiemsee lake to the north, across to the Kampenwand to the west, and south into Austria and the higher snow covered alps.

A short stop on top, and then we followed the trail north along the ridge through more forest, coming to several memorials to people lost in the mountains. A particularly poignant wooden cross impaled in a rocky vantage point, had been erected by the local mountain rescue team to their fallen comrades.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley.

We exchanged pleasantries

Continuing up the now more sparsely vegetated valley, sweating under the clear blue sky, we could feel the mountain air glide gently over our skins, keeping us refreshingly dry as it did so.  On our right, etched across the skyline, we could see the summit ridge and our target summit for the day.

As we gained height steadily, we began to overtaken by faster hikers, all clothed, and all friendly. mid-p1100178First one couple, then another, then a family coming down the hill, several stragglers and finally we passed a group having a rest just beyond the Austrian/German border, at the col itself. We exchanged pleasantries, and took in the glorious view of the alps stretching away into Austria, before Emma and I settled down nearby to have a light picnic. Polly nibbled on bits of cheese and salami.

At this point the clouds were building and it looked wise to keep moving, so we ambled behind the closed Klausenberg hut, waving back to the friendly group of picknickers there, and followed the narrow and gentle ridge, along to the summit. The views from this deceptively small ridge are quite magnificent, down to the Chiemsee lake to the north, across to the Kampenwand to the west, and south into Austria and the higher snow covered alps.

A short stop on top, and then we followed the trail north along the ridge through more forest, coming to several memorials to people lost in the mountains. A particularly poignant wooden cross impaled in a rocky vantage point, had been erected by the local mountain rescue team to their fallen comrades.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley.

Repeatedly amazed

I’m repeatedly amazed at the quizzical responses I get when I tell people that I, or my wife and I, just got back from a nude hike up a river trail to a distant peak. “Don’t the bugs get to you?” “Don’t your ‘privates’ get scratched by the brush?” “You must have one nasty sunburn!” “What if somebody sees you?” “Couldn’t you get arrested?”

I tell these people that in ten years I have had only one person go so far as to voice a brief objection, and that I have never had any more problems with the flora and fauna than I have had when dressed. mid-20120717_103914Try it, I tell them, you’ll like it. If nothing else, hike clothed out to the middle of nowhere.

When you get there leave all your clothes in a secluded spot and bravely walk naked 100 yards in any direction. By the time you return you will have had an epiphany that will change your life. To encourage naturists to get out into the great alpine outdoors au naturel, I offer the following twelve suggestions. My goal when hiking nude is to have a good time, and to do so safely, lawfully, without any lewd behavior, and in such a manner that I and my companions will most likely be alone.

My experiences arise primarily from hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, but these suggestions should apply to hiking nude in any alpine setting.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Mark Storey.

Limestone Hill

Next morning the warm rays of the sun poured onto the veranda as we sorted our gear – a light pack for the walk, and the rest for the postman to deliver to our next stop-over. Our first day began with easy walking over gentle grassy farmland.. Then a steady climb to the highest point of the day – Limestone Hill, 359m:

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From here we descended almost to sea level before climbing steeply up to Tim’s Hill (213m) which required considerable effort and determination. From the top we caught our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

However, we still had another hill to traverse (The Lookout, 165m) before reaching “The Cookhouse” and the cooling waters of the Pacific. The six youngest members of the party still had enough energy to walk two km south along the coast to the remains of the Opua Shipwreck (1926) before returning for yet another scrumptious meal.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Doug Ball.