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Cold Weather Nude Hiking

Cold Weather Nude Hiking

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Published by Rick
Some thoughts on hiking nude in cold weather with particular emphasis on preparation and acclimatization.
Some thoughts on hiking nude in cold weather with particular emphasis on preparation and acclimatization.

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Published by: Rick on Jan 22, 2009
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09/29/2012

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1
Be Prepared When Nude Hiking in Cold Weather
 
Originally posted in my Nude Hiking and Soaking blog on Jan 17
th
, 2008
I've gotten a few emails from readers wanting to get out there and hike nudein the snow. For most of us the merethought of getting naked in near-freezing weather does not sound like very much fun, but I can assure youthat the human body is very muchcapable of dealing with cold weatherand the experience can actually be very comfortable, serene, invigorating andfreeing. You just need to take somecommonsense precautions. If that weren't enough to get you out there, trails and routes that are otherwise toopopular or overrun by textiles and families in the warmer months are often all yours with nary another soul to bother you (heck, the lack of tracks in the snow tells you no one is on the trail ahead of you!)Perhaps I should call it "nude backpacking" as opposed to nude hiking or free-hiking. During the warmer months on shorter day routes I prefer to hike with theleast amount of covering possible (a hat, hiking shoes and a fanny pack slungover my shoulder . . . sometimes absolutely nothing at all.) I've been known totake all my clothes off, stack them neatly and wander off completely naked as theday I was born. One writer describes that type of exercise as an epiphany for thenow, newly converted nudist. You will never want to hike in any other form . . .except when the weather requires it.In winter (or any weather that is likely to turn inclement) you'd be foolish to hike without the essentials to insure your survival should things go wrong. One readercommented on the size of my backpack, asking how much it weighed. Well, itdoes look big on my back but if you pack judiciously a 'survival' pack could weighin about 15-25 lbs which is easily carried in a well-balanced backpack. For me, themost cold-sensitive portion of my anatomy is my back . . . a cold chill down thespine can instantly send me into shivers. Since the pack sits slung over my back Itend to stay warm in that area.
"Clothing" for when you need to warm up
Look at what it takes to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while standing inthe snow next to your car at the trail-head and that is what you need to carry with you in your backpack. I pack (after I undress, no need to duplicate):
 
2
Be Prepared When Nude Hiking in Cold Weather
 
 
Thermal, wicking undergarments (remember, no cotton; it gets wet orsoaked from perspiration and you freeze),
 
Two extra pairs of wool socks and an extra pair of wicking undersocks,
 
 Wool Sweater (tight-weave, thick fiber has the best insulating propertiesand insulates even when wet),
 
Snow pants (insulated, the type you'd wear skiing or snowboarding),
 
 Your windproof, water-resistant outer-shell parka,
 
 A second pair of snow gloves or mittens,
 
 A small towel to dry yourself off with should you get wet.I carry these items in a45-gal 3mil black plastic trash bag (the contractor cleanup type) stuffed back into the pack to keep them dry. The trash bag can servedouble-duty as something to sit on, on wet ground or snow, an emergency shelteror as an impromptu poncho by poking three holes in the bottom and pulling itdown over your head and arms. I also carry a second trash bag in the pack. Pack  your clothes near the top where you can get at them easily should the weather getugly or you need to warm up. A little trick . . . activate one or two of those foot orhand warmer packets and fold your inner clothes around them to keep them niceand warm for when you do need them.
Food
 Food is an essential even if you are only going on a four-hour day hike. What would happen if you got lost or were forced to weather out a sudden snowstorm. Icarry the following supplies in a separate ditty bag in the backpack:
 
9- Top Ramen (easy to prepare comfort food to warm your soul, body andspirit),
 
3 foil-sealed packages of tuna (for protein), one of the cellopaks of saltinecrackers from the 4-pack boxes, an assortment of individual-serve mayo,relish and salt and pepper packs shamelessly stolen from BurgerKing,
 
9 hot chocolate singles, baggies of instant coffee, creamer and sugar, a few plastic spoons and forks,
 
4-5 large bars of chocolate; full of slow burning fats and sugar energy . . .the hikers friend and an essential when you are burning large amounts of calories to maintain your body temperature,
 
My  whisper stove and a few canisters of butane (above 5,000 I would carry  amulti-fuel stove as butane doesn't work very well at altitude),
 
My trusty GI-mess kit,
 
The fire kit: A good supply of waterproof, strike-anywhere matches (make your own, coat matches in paraffin and store in a waterproof container. Add a striker surface (emery board, small piece of sandpaper). Add a 30-hour candle or two, a magnesium striker and tube of fire-starter pasteand you should be able to light a fire in pretty much any situation.
 
3
Be Prepared When Nude Hiking in Cold Weather
 
I don't expect to have to dig into the food bag on a day hike. It's there on the off-chance that I'm going to have to survive on my own for a couple of days . . . and yes, I have. I overextended myself on one hike into the Glacier Wilderness,running out of daylight to the point where I had to stop and make camp out of my emergency supplies. It can (and will) happen.I always practice bear-protocol, even when any sensible bear should behibernating in winter. The food bag has a 50 ft length of strong nylon cord insidethat can be used to raise it up out of bear reach. The cord would come in handy for a lot of other uses, as well.
Paraphernalia in the Outer Pouches
In the outer pouches of my pack I carry the paraphernalia of modern society. Themost important one aFirst Aid Kit. The first aid kit doesn't have to be elaborate but should have a few hiker's-essential supplies like moleskin for blisters, band-aids, ointments, gauze pads, some safety pins,etc. to coverthe typical scrapesand bruises all hikers get. I carry the old stylestyptic pencilthat shaver's use touse to stop minor scratches from bleeding. A small roll of duct tape in the pack along with a couple of emergency mylar space blankets cover many other potential repair and emergency situations.I carry my cell phone, my camera and my GPS unit when I hike. When I hike withfriends I also like to hike with a set of FRS radios to stay in contact. I also carry one of thoseneon headlampsfor nighttime use. All of these require batteries. Youshould have a set of backup batteries for all items and you should try to keepthese batteries protected from the cold. Cold drains a battery in half the normaltime.In another pouch I carry my maps and charts, compass and a few other essentialitems.My Bear Deterrentspray and my hunting knife seem to permanently be on the belt of my backpack. I leave them there . . . never had to use the spray.On the back rigging I carry a small, collapsing snow shovel.
 Water
  While it may seem that with snow all around there is no need to carry a lot of  water, dehydration is a serious problem for cold-weather hikers . . . and evenmore for nude, cold-weather hikers. Very cold air is also very dry air, as moisturecondenses out with dropping temperature. That dry air sucks moisture from your

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