I’ve been thinking about the strange effect of being cold vs. not really cold with respect to the difference between being clothed and being naked.
A while ago I was sick and tired of the continuing cold spring over here (and that feeling comes fully dressed) so I went to the sauna.
Being there was great, care- and clothes-free, and as I sat outside wearing nothing but a good mood and talking to nice people it didn’t feel cold at all. And that with the same temperature as before, around 14c/57F, which I found cold while wearing all that cumbersome stuff. I’m sure most of you have experienced something similar.
The same thing happened on my nude walk a few weeks ago; despite the 11c/51F, the wind and a little rain it felt just fine.
Now I’m not an expert on the subject, but suddenly I had this idea that the change in sensation might come because of the clothes. Clothes keep many parts of you very warm while other parts cool down. The difference between these two ‘sides’ of the body can give your brain entirely wrong information about the actual way you feel.
When you wear nothing, every part of your body senses the same temperature as it’s more evenly distributed over your entire skin. No big difference from head to toe, so no real sensation of naturally cold (cool) versus artificially warm.
Today was grand, great and impressive. And most of my out-time walking was textile-free too. I walked and hiked a little over 10km in 3 walks today, the last one a good 6km, and about 8 to 8.5 of them were clothes-free. 🙂
This would amount to 6.25miles in total, and 5 to 5.3 miles nude. The weather was gorgeous, people were scarce and a few I ‘suddenly’ met while nude were quite positive about it. (I try to cover up when I see people coming, but sometimes they are unfair and literally come around the corner and then I just keep going.)
It was fabulous being out, had a great walk through a forest/heather area while going around a lake. I hope I can do something like that again in a few days. The weather also helped a lot, I hope we keep that for a while. Say until the week before Christmas? 🙂
Yes. I’m a pagan. I tend to lean towards the Druid path, but that’s not so important here.
Pagans want to connect with nature, want to live in harmony with nature. That is important to them. Often pagans come together to perform rituals, and at times these rituals are done ‘skyclad‘. This is what it says: you only wear the sky, the air around you. In other words: we’re nude:
Spirituality is important to me, as it is for most pagans. It has nothing to do with religion, even when the connection between the two is easily made. Each can exist without the other, although many will not agree with that statement.
Spirituality, for me, is the touching of spirits. The spirit(s) of nature touching the spirit in me. For that I like to be in nature. You don’t go in the cellar to look for something you know is in the attic. The feeling of ‘nature’ at large is something that keeps amazing me. All that variety, all that power in things small and large, it’s fabulous. It is all there, you just have to open your eyes to it.
It becomes even more so when I experience that natural spirit in the most natural state: naked. It makes a difference. Feeling the ground beneath my feet restores my connection to the earth. Feeling the wind on my skin connects me in the most direct way to air. When the sun shines and warms me, that is where fire comes into play, and when I swim or when it rains on me, the element of water is there.
Of course, you can go into nature fully clothed and experience the spirits that way. Over time though, I have learnt that this would be the same as touching the skin of a loved one with gloves on; making love fully dressed; watching the eyes of a beloved through a reflection in a dirty mirror. That makes it all second hand, indirect, circumstantial.
“But in the wind you get cold. In the rain it’s even worse, you get wet and cold.”
True, those things can happen. Those things need to happen, they are also things that go around in nature. Not everything is pretty and the way we want, animals don’t stay cute and young – they grow and die. Flowers don’t remain in full bloom – they wither and waste away. So feeling some cold… well, depending on the season (this is where common sense comes in) won’t kill you. Feeling some rain won’t kill you.
This is what make naturism important to me; the direct contact with everything in nature. Feeling the bark of a tree against your bare back when you lean against it is so different from when you wear a shirt. Sitting in the grass with your naked behind: the same thing.
Being naked in nature also shows you your place, whether you like it or not. With your shoes and your gear you can trample through all kinds of rough terrain, disregard nettles and thorns. Naked, you will watch twice where you go because nettles and thorns will sting. You start to be much more considerate of everything there is. And once you’ve reached that awareness, you can reach the spirit of nature much easier than when you go in with your textile suit of armour.
Maybe you don’t like the idea of feeling that weak when you’re in nature. Man, after all, has ‘conquered’ nature, is the ‘master of things’. That is where so much modern thinking goes wrong. Man, master of things, can’t do a thing against an earthquake or a hurricane or a tsunami. Those are the large scale matters that show us our place.
Isn’t it better to start on the small scale, among the nettles and the thorns, to learn where we belong, so we don’t abuse the spirit of the place? So that we understand the spirit of the world, of the universe, as it connects to our own?
Photo: Rick McCharles Naked trekking in Switzerland may very well rest in the balance of this current court case. WE’VE SPENT A LOT of time at Matador telling you about where to get naked: The Best Nude Beaches in the World, the Best Places for a Skinny Dip, and Nude Trekking, German Style. We’…
On June 14th in Zandvoort, there will be an attempt to break the world record skinny dipping. More information here (in Dutch). Money is collected for the hair-foundation, to help people who suffer from hair-loss.
Luckily I don’t suffer from that, but it’s a good cause, and also a nice opportunity to go nudist again.
Okay, this wasn’t a hike. It was a 5km forest walk, but a very interesting one. The route:
The numbers indicate the differences in speed per kilometre, nothing to worry about.
I started on the circle left of point 3, walked on to 1 and 2 and on until the end, turned back, walked back to 3 and on to the end, turned back and then went on to 4 and 5 (5 is beneath the left top circle – the end. The total was 5km, I walked 37 minutes. First off, it was colder than I thought. It was 6c/42F. This walk was near the town of Malden, in the area called Malden’s Vlak.