Monday, April 27, 2009

The Trail and Nudity

Jen and I have been jammin down the Pacific Crest Trail, covering over 100 miles in our first week. This is the longest hike I've ever been on, and it's only just begun! The hike has been going really well though. I strained the top of my right foot and have been hobbling with a trekking pole over the last 40 miles or so, but somehow the experience in total is a supreme one. We have been hiking with a few other hikers the last couple of days: Nina, and Jason. Jason is from the same town Jen and I are from, Arcata. So we can talk and share fond memories of different food places as we hike. Nina is from Hawaii. Just the other night she gave us an awesome little yoga instruction session after a long 25 mile hike. We look forward to hiking with them as long as we can. It works out great sharing information, gear, and keeping each other's spirits high.

Right now we are staying at Warner Springs Ranch (somewhere in So Cal). This place is fairly nice, but not so nudist friendly. They have a wonderful extra large hot mineral springs pool, which is super delightful. Unfortunately nudity is not welcome here! I went in the pool last night in a pair of boxers (ultralight backpacking doesn't afford me a swimsuit). What a ridiculous tradition, the wearing of clothing in the pool! After the swim I took a warm shower next to the pool. The sign above the shower heads read "NO PUBLIC NUDITY!". Fuck; I get pretty bummed when I see something ridiculous like that. I'm trying not to be totally absorbed in animosity towards rich folks who play golf, get massages, and go into the hot springs with clothes on. I'm sure they are wonderful people who make a difference in the lives of others each and everyday. If I got to know them maybe I would see that, but I don't think I will be getting to know them anytime soon. C'est la vie.

So far I haven't done any nude hiking. The first day I hiked with my mountain kilt, and no undies. I had planned on hiking this way a lot, since it had worked so well in Arcata. Arcata is usually in the 50-60s. Starting at the Mexican border, it was more like 80, 90, and 100! Well, it wasn't very long before sweaty genitals rubbed and chaffed against my leg. They got really red and irritated, causing me to walk like I had just gotten off a long ride on a horse. So, I had to give in and don the boxers. After about a day or so the redness went away, and my stride was no longer a funny waddle.

The only nudity so far has been in the shower, and sleeping in bed at Warner Springs. I look forward to skinny dipping at any natural hot springs we find along the trail. I also still want to try some nude hiking, perhaps in cooler weather.

Take Care everyone. More to come, sooner or later!


  1. Lots of people went without u-pants in Vietnam because of the heat and chafe. An alternative is to use some sort of lubricant -- Vaseline or something even more benign -- on legs and genitals. In a cooler, less humid, climate, it might be easier on you. That said, I've never had the problem with my wool kilt.

  2. What are u-pants? I have been able to go for 2-3 hours hiking in the hot desert sun (80s-90s) without any underwear. It really helps cool the body down well compared to boxers. So far no significant chaffing or rubbing after only a couple hours. I have also tried some baby powder stuff that helps initially keep things dry. This could extend nude hiking even more! What kind of wool kilt do you wear? Thanks for the comment!

  3. U=under. Pants=pants. Ergo u=pants is short for underpants be they boxers or briefs. Although I prefer nothing, boxers are the mode of choice. I have a good Scots kilt of 9 yards of material under which the tradition is that nothing is worn. It is worn sometimes. I also have both a mountain kilt from REI and a Macabi Skirt.

    Although, I am a sailor I am following your hike with great interest. Good walking to you both.