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.
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! Then 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.
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:
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.
The bicycle, besides being one of the most environmentally friendly and healthy forms of personal transport, may also lay claim to having done much for the civil rights of women. In the late 1800s, when cycling became fashionable for middle-class European women of the period, it caused an outrage.
Even when women were able to wear a pair of trousers they were dubbed “a cycling dress consisting of a jacket and trousers, the latter being covered with a skirt for the sake of modesty, and to protect the wearer from verbal (and sometimes physical) attacks.” In 1860 a Mrs Linton feared that cycling for ladies would “lead to immorality as girls roamed the countryside in search of adventures.” It was not only women such as Mrs Linton that these adventurous women needed to fear; the establishment was also heartily against the idea of trousers being worn by ladies, as even the medical journal The Lancet declared: “[we] consider this article of dress unnecessary, and in many ways detrimental to health and morals.”
And “that monstrosity of fashion, the divided skirt, is an outrage not to be countenanced.” It might be entertaining to consider what these people would have made of the WNBR. One can only imagine apoplectic fits with bulging eyes, red cheeks and much gesticulation. “It was thought that the combination of straddling the saddle with the pedaling motion would lead to arousal in the female, leading to the habit of masturbation.” Some authorities suggested the logical conclusion would be to render men irrelevant; a grave matter indeed. Although perhaps this was merely a portent of a strange mixture of ideas combining militant feminism and short-sighted genetic experimental ideas in the 21st century.
A hundred years ago Alice Hawkins, a suffragette, cycled around Leicester, in the UK, promoting the womens rights movement, causing outrage by being one of the first ladies to wear pantaloons in the city. It’s worth considering, for a moment, the kind of response an event like the WNBR might have received at that time.
Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.
Just because I’m naked does NOT mean you have to be! From the introduction to One, Two, Free!
Can nudism ever be acceptable to mainstream society? The nudist movement, whether we label it nudism or naturism, and whether we want it to or not, is stepping into a new historical dimension. Modern nudists are outing themselves. Traditional nudism is no more, and it and it’s supporters will remain behind the fences and wooden walls of the 19th and 20th centuries.
21st century nudists are moving into public spaces. They are not seeking public spaces especially, but equally, they are not avoiding them either. In a more or less “soft contact”, ordinary people are confronting the current legal system and the courts with naked facts and nude events. The initially cynical media are beginning to report these events increasingly more objectively.
Read more via the PDF.