When it rains, clothes aren’t always the smartest thing

Rain. We all know it.

Naked woman in the rain

This is no exactly what happened to me a few days ago (unfortunately), but I made the best of the weather anyway.

It’s been hot and dry here for a long, long time. Finally, the rains have come. That’s good, because crops and lawns don’t do well on just sunshine. (If you know better, please explain how that works.)

The long, dry period however made that the water drains on the outside gallery of my apartment (I live on the fourth floor, which for Americans is the fifth floor) got clogged with tiny bits of leaves, dirt and other stuff. Which means that water falling from the sky can’t leave.

Now having the whole gallery (where the people walk to get to their front doors) flooded isn’t the greatest thing when the water decides to come inside for a visit. I am sure you can relate to that. No one else on this floor (four homes in total) had the bright idea to look at the drains when it started raining. And it rained hard.

Note – this is not my balcony.

So I took a few wooden chopsticks (really!) and went outside, in the rain, to poke through the clogged drains. I have done this before and it works like a charm.

As I passed by the windows of the neighbour who claimed that the weather being hot is not a reason to be naked, she noticed me and came to the door. She was rather upset that I wore nothing (that attire made all the sense to me, though).

Why aren’t you wearing clothes? You’re getting wet!” (Amazing, no comment on leaving her clogged drain in peace! 😀 )

“Well, this way I only have to dry myself when I get back in. With clothes, I would get much colder, have to take off the wet clothes afterwards, dry myself, put on dry clothes, and hang the wet stuff out to dry before washing them.”

Without another word, she closed the door. (It was raining and her clothes were getting wet.) I continued to handle the drains, which was only a few minutes of work. Then I went inside, dried myself and made coffee.

The heat is on. The clothes are off.

My initial idea for the title of this post was “the drinking naturist”, after the podcast “The Thinking Atheist” that I follow, but that might give people the wrong idea (e.g. alcohol and things) so I changed that.

Here in Europe, temperatures are rising this week. Locally we may see 36 C, which is 97 F. Not the stuff we usually encounter during the year, although it’s getting hotter and hotter each year.

Yes, summer is here and it’s a hottie.

This, of course, is a great thing for naturists, nudists and other clothes-free-oriented humans. I can understand that – I’m writing this post clothes-free too, which is the best state to be in for a human body. Clothes not needed? Leave them off. (When will the world understand that?)

Because of that hot weather, I would like to remind everyone that it’s important to stay hydrated. And that means to drink in advance. Once you start feeling thirsty, you’re generally too late. So drink up while you don’t feel like it. Feeling bad just before you drink is not the smart thing to do, even when you’re nude.

I think it’s also smart to stay out of direct sunlight on the hot parts of the day. Now everyone has their own heat tolerance, but please be smart about it. Just because it’s hot and sunny, that doesn’t mean you have to be out in the sun as long as you can. You will survive with the vitamin D you collect in the ‘off hours’. Sun-stroke and skin cancer are real. Please remember that.

Sunlovers having fun at the beach

Free Range Naturism

Many of us know the joy of walking outside, in nature. Not everyone does, I am aware of that, and I pity you if you’ve never had the opportunity to experience that kind of freedom in nature. It is as if you become part of nature. It’s remarkable (yet again) how big a barrier clothing creates.

A while ago I added a new link to the overview of nudist bloggers: https://TheFreeRangeNaturist.org.

Jon, the person who created the site and maintains it, mentioned it to me via e-mail so I had a look at the site. It is a true treasure trove for people like us who want to walk and see experiences of others.

Barefoot. (Used with permission.)

One post I found there stood out to me: Need a Nude Trail? Make One. (And no, I didn’t read all the posts yet, they have an archive that goes back years, go see for yourself!) In itself, it’s a great post and an inspiration to see how people create their own trails. Of course, this only works when you’re in a large natural area. I don’t see this happening in cities, but the idea is great and I thought I should share it here.

Along the trail. (Used with permission.)

This site motivates me to go out a bit more and see if I can come up with a proper naturist trail near here. I am convinced there’s something possible, perhaps not near where I live in the Netherlands, but for me the German border isn’t far away and there is a lot of forest land out there!

A day at a sauna

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I spent a day at a sauna. A Wellness resort, as it describes itself.

It was great. A whole day of relaxing without the need to wear clothes. Can you think of a better way to spend a day?

I can.

Spending a week like that. Maybe not a whole week at a wellness resort, but in the nude? I’d take it!

I keep being surprised about how wonderful such a day is. Total relaxation, no need to wear clothes. We had a walk outside to cool down. It started to rain. No problem. Who cares about getting wet when it cools you down directly at skin level?

Days like that should be obligatory, at least once a month but preferably once a… day? At least the walking around nude part, without people throwing a hissy fit over that.

I had a good laugh when we walked along and, at a separate building, a relax room with a view over a large pond, there was a bucket with umbrellas waiting for those who were in need of one. Note that I didn’t see anyone there who was holding an umbrella. Naked people in the rain don’t need those things. When it’s too cold out there, an umbrella won’t make much difference anyway.

A stupid thing of many Dutch saunas is that they introduce more and more bathing-suit-days. What the bleep? Who wants to sit in a hot, wet sauna with such stuff clinging to you? Prudishness seems to be more important than hygiene, because all the bacteria you sweat out get stuck to your privates if you keep fabric wrapped up there. Eeeuw….

Do you have a favourite spa, sauna, wellness place, or another way to relax in such a manner? If so, spread your knowledge down here and you might inspire people to go there as well.

Nude hiking is the best

While you read this, I’m probably on my way home from a short vacation on one of the Canary Islands. These islands are wonderful for the naked tourist. No, alas, that doesn’t mean you can wander around in the nude anywhere without getting into trouble, but they offer lots of places where you can.

On Easter Sunday I was out for a walk. I had been looking forward to this particular one as it is a walk I can’t do at home (lacking mountains and the space to do it naked).

Walks like this are always good. I know that many of you, reading this, can and will agree.

For me, the experience of consciously taking my clothes off and going for a long walk (this one was about 3 kilometres long) is an almost spiritual experience.

I am peeling away the physical boundaries between me and nature. All of me will be able to feel the sun and the wind. All of me will be moving without being bothered (yes, that is really it) by the stuff other people demand I wear when in most kinds of company.

And the best thing: it’s free.

And then I mean free in the most literal meaning. No one who has a problem with me being how I want to be. Nothing holding me back except gravity (and I am very grateful for that one 😉 ).

Having this possibility to walk around clothes-free is truly amazing. The sad thing always comes when the walk comes to an end and I have to put the hot stuff on again. That moment tells me how unnatural it is to wear clothes in an environment that is made for bodily liberty.

I can hardly wait to go on another nude hike. Let’s hope the world will someday get its act together and understand that our lifestyle isn’t bad. That we’re actually preserving energy and water.

And let’s hope it happens in our lifetime.

A naturist’s view on nudism. (And naturism!)

Nudism. Naturism.

Is there a difference? I know that in most of the US of A the words are used interchangeably.

nude people
Nudists or naturists?

I also know that in Europe, for instance, the two words are used differently. Naturism appeared after nudism. I’ve been thinking about those two words recently.

Thoughts on the difference.

Nudist bowling alleyNudism. The word has ‘nude’ as its base. Being nude. Like the people in the image on the right, playing bowling, having a clothes free, good time. Great for them, and if you’d ask me I’d join them in an instant. For one it’s a great way to be socially nude, and for another it would be nice to practice bowling again. (I truly suck at it.)

Naturism. The word has ‘nature’ at its base. Being with/part of nature, like the people

Naked mountaineeringon the left. Naked in nature, being part of it and experiencing it that way. Exposing themselves to the real, rough world in their own vulnerability. It’s a way to get things into perspective.

An average human, in clothing (be it protective or not), will consider himself or herself master of the world, maybe because we’ve conquered just about everything. How untrue such a statement is when you’re naked and perhaps even afraid!

naked and afraid
“Naked and afraid”

We’ve not conquered things. We’re adjusting them – and often with disastrous results, like the acid rain the world faced and still faces, climate change, and earthquakes that happen because we empty the earth below us from fossil fuels.

Can you be a nudist and a naturist?

I think that’s perfectly possible. Being naked in and around your house, whenever that’s possible, makes you a nudist (in my view at least). Enjoying the outside in the nude, being close to and having respect for nature (one of the pillars of naturism according to the INF) makes you a naturist.

More and more I feel like dropping all those words and labels. Be who you really are. Be naked and nude and a nudist and a naturist and clothes-free. As long as you feel good about it and you don’t intend to shock others when you’re in your natural state.

A naturist’s view on swimming

“Nude” swimming

It’s so odd if you think about it. Nude swimming. Who in their right mind would put on clothes to go swimming?

Oh. Right. People would do this.

On your left you see original Victorian bathing suits. Can you imagine the agony of having to haul all that around while you’re trying to swim?

I’ve researched this for my book ‘The Unsworth Manor Nudes‘ (available on Amazon) and not only did they have these amounts of cloth hanging around them, the ladies even utilized ‘bathing machines’. Wagons that rolled into the water so people couldn’t see any skin (what skin?).

My first time

The first time I swam au naturel was at a sauna-like place. They had heated pools inside and out, and I went there with a few friends in the middle of a serious winter. The sensation was incredible, especially when getting out of the water. I’m sure that most nude-swimmers will understand and recognise that. If ever you have the opportunity to do this, do it. Swimming outside when there’s snow all around is incredible.

Skinny dipping

Another expression I wonder about is ‘skinny dipping’. I call that swimming. Putting on clothes to swim is just odd. Nobody will wonder what you’re trying to conceal beneath those bits of fabric. The only proper way to swim is still naked, as far as I’m concerned. Getting out of the water with wet fabric hanging off you (and showing everything that’s beneath it very often!) feels bad and cold.

Anyone in favour of swimwear? Please let me know the big advantage of it!

A naturist’s view on hiking

Naturists and hiking.

Nude hikingDamned right they go together. Hiking is a good thing. It means you’re outside, walking, being active, being kind to your body.

Fresh air is good for a person and for one’s skin. Makes sense then that exposing as much skin as possible is the way to go for hikers. Most hikers don’t, which is sad and their loss.

Vitamin D is best taken in through the skin, soaking up sunlight. What nicer way can you think of?

Footwear counts.naked hike

For a decent hike it’s advisable, I think, to be safe. Wear something sensible unless you are one of the barefoot-forever people.

I’m not one of them. I like decent footwear. To each their own. I’ve seen people negotiate a gorge on Crete on flip-flops, so whatever wiggles your toes goes.

Easy does it.

Whatever you feel your goal is, it’s good. Is half a mile a hike for you? Great. Do you go for the big ones, 10 miles of more? Great. There’s no need to overdo things. Take what your body can handle. If your body likes it, it will motivate you to go a little further next time. This is general knowledge, not limited to nude hiking, by the by. It’s easy to go too far, get hurt and demotivated. Be smart about yourself; you’ll enjoy hiking for much longer.

Possibilities.

Where can you hike freely? I know that people in big cities pull the short straw here. I pity you. Also I can’t offer advice to everyone around the globe as I haven’t been all around the globe to see what your situation is. Sorry, lack of money, time and knowledge of where you all are is to blame. 😉

Nude hike England
Me during a nude hike

I’ve taken long, naked hikes on several of the Canary Islands. It’s great to be there and be able to do that. I’ve also made long, nude hikes in England. I’ve found that when there is a place with lots of forests, there’s an opportunity to go naked.

Maybe not all the way but there’s more opportunity than many people assume there is. A big thing over here in Europe is NEWT, an event where a group of people hike through Austria in the nude for an entire week. Here’s a video report of one such events for you:

Maybe you get inspired by this. Look for places. Scout them out if you have to. And hike naked when you can. It’s so much better than in clothes.

Naturist Adventure Weekend

The following experience was sent to my by Colin. Thanks, Colin, for offering this article!

Naturist Adventure Weekend

Despite it being August, the weather in our part of England decided to be very pleasant for a whole weekend. So LL and I planned a little adventure. We enjoy finding out-of-the-way places for swimming, sunning and generally hanging out – nude, of course. We have a guidebook to “wild swimming” places and decided to spend some time locating, and hopefully sampling, two or three of them. So we packed a couple of towels, some bottles of water and very little else and set off after an early lunch on Saturday.

The first destination was about 40 minutes drive away – a stretch of river, by a common, which was described as quiet and secluded. Following the instructions was challenging. We were on the correct road with the river to our left. It said to look out for a footpath sign. We counted five, all pointing in the correct kind of direction. We parked and chose the middle one. We needed to cross a couple of fields and followed the river upstream. Eventually, we could see that the river would be accessible ahead and figured that we had found the right place. Initially, we were dismayed as there was a man, sitting reading on a seat at the top of the bank.

We did not want an audience, so went closer to see what the actual riverside looked like. There was a little beach area, as we had hoped. At one end was a lady, who turned out to be the man’s wife, sunbathing nude. Of course, we then went down there and had a dip in the river. The lady and her husband also sampled the water. I got into conversation with them. It was their first visit to the spot, as they were exploring in exactly the way that we were. While we were standing around chatting, still nude obviously, some more people arrived – a woman and two young boys. LL spoke with the woman, who seemed quite unconcerned about us. The boys were more interested in investigating the water. In due course, we bid our farewells and headed off to find our next venue. On the way back, we found the better footpath, so our next visit will be easier.

Artikel ColinThe second place we looked for was some distance downstream on the same river and much closer to our home. The parking place being a 15 minute drive from our house. From this spot, it was a 20 minute walk along the river to reach the designated location. It was quite out of the way, some distance from the road, with just a small campsite nearby. We made our way down to the beach, which was idyllic in the late afternoon sun. The sole occupant of the beach was a middle-aged lady in a frumpy swimsuit. LL went to chat with her and learned that she worked at the nearby campsite. While they were talking, another bikini-clad woman appeared, accompanied by her two cute dogs and, I guessed, as I heard a voice just around the corner, her husband. LL came back to me and we discussed what to do. LL thought she might just go topless – leaving me to wonder what was “safe”. Yet another woman appeared and was talking to the first one. She changed into her swimsuit in a very practical way – just took off her clothes and put on her suit, with no messing with hiding behind a towel. We took this as a good sign – they were clearly not totally afraid of a little nudity. LL and I took off our clothes and waded into the water, by which time the two women had also got in.

Under these circumstances – going nude where nobody else is – there can be three possible outcomes. Most often, nobody seems to care and you are just ignored. Very occasionally someone will be upset – this is obviously what one fears and wishes to avoid. The third outcome is best of all: everyone else joins in. The two ladies came out of the water to remove their swimsuits and got back in. The bikini lady and her husband swam around the corner, both nude too. Another lady appeared, spoke briefly to the first two, took off her clothes and got into the water. Eventually there were 7 people [and two dogs] and not a swimsuit in sight. The #3 lady got out of the water at a similar time to us and she went off [back to the campsite] just wrapped in her towel. We dried and dressed and, as we were leaving, the #2 lady was sitting on the sand nude, just enjoying the sunshine. It is interesting how, sometimes, it is just a matter of someone being the first to get naked. I felt that it was LL’s “bravery” that enabled everyone else to be uninhibited and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

On Sunday, we headed for another place on a different river. It took 45 minutes or so to reach the parking spot, which we found easily. It was then about 400m to walk to a bridge over the river. We then walked for a while, following the meandering river. We saw a couple of possible bathing/sunning places, but the instructions promised us better if we kept going. After about 30 minutes, we found the place. It was a very sharp meander with lots of beach. The water was cold, but both shallow and deeper areas were to be found. We spent quite a while nude in and around the water. From the time we had left the car, we never saw another person – and this was beautiful accessible countryside on a lovely weekend afternoon. Where was everybody? I even hiked back most of the way nude quite confidently. Eventually we did see someone, quite close to the car, asleep by the river.

All in all it was a very successful and pleasant weekend. All three places were great and we will probably return to them all [as well as seek others]. In many ways, the one nearest to our home was the most enjoyable. Although solitude and isolation can be good, like-minded company is often better. The opportunity to introduce others to naturism or simply facilitate it in a relaxed way is a true pleasure.