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1
Free Range Naturism / A busy morning walk...
« on: August 08, 2017, 03:01:59 PM »
It seems to be ages since I had anything of interest to post here and a significant shortage of time due to a small building project at home has not helped. Anyway, I was firmly chastised for my absence yesterday (thanks, John) and then, today, had one of those odd ball mornings that ought to be shared.

As usual, I was up around five AM and, after a few domestic chores (done while appropriately dressed) I left home with the dogs around six. This was a few minutes later than usual but not far outside my normal schedule, maybe ten minutes or so. As usual, I drove to my preferred parking place wearing a t-shirt (to look fairly normal from outside the car). I got the dogs out of the car and headed up the footpath which leads between a couple of houses to a style that crosses into a field and eventually to the woods.

Usually the t-shirt is in my bag before I reach the style, but today I kept both dogs on leads as I knew that there are sheep in the field. Consequently, I was still half-dressed as I entered the woods. About ten yards inside the woods, I let Hazel (small dog) loose and was about to remove my shirt when I heard something. A second or so later, a chap walked down a side path and came into view. In about ten years walking here, three or four times a week, this is only the second time I have ever met anyone at the start of a walk. Hazel was pleased to make a new friend and he was so intent watching (and talking to) her that he did not seem to notice me at all. Beauty (big dog, about 42Kg / 93lbs / 7 stone and muscly with it) then decided to say “Hi” in her own imitable style; a huge bark and leap in front. That got his attention, but he was firmly focussed on her, not me. Beauty was still on a lead and could not get to him, but he did not take his eyes off her as he greeted me with a cheerful “Morning, glad you’ve got a firm grip on that one!” and then continued on his way without apparently seeing how was dressed.

Oh well, chalk that one up to experience. I put my shirt in my bag, with my wrap and continued. Given Beauty’s long memory and ability to jump fences, I decided to keep her on a lead today. She has an 8 meter wander lead, so it does not prevent her stopping for a sniff or trotting a bit ahead and she is quite happy like that. My route took me out of the woods again into a large arable field and along the outside of the woods on a permissive path (Careful John; I can already hear the wisecrack coming… ) As I walked along the top edge of the field I could see a walker right over in the far corner about half a mile away. Far too distant to see how (s)he was dressed, so I was not worried and continued my walk as usual.

All was well, the air was still and dry with a temperature of 14C (about 57F), the birds were having a singing competition and the world was a happy place. Then Hazel found a young pheasant and decided that it looked like breakfast. She’s quick, but not usually quick enough to grab a bird but either this one was injured or it was one of Charlie Darwin’s candidates for removal from the gene pool. Hazel got it, but, being at least half cat, she did not kill it, she played with it. I could not get it away from her nor get hold of her as she kept running away. Meanwhile, I had Beauty in the other hand, getting rather excited at the thought of fresh food. While I was trying to resolve this, the other walker came around the corner… I pulled my wrap from my bag and put it on before she got too close, then made a comment about dogs that don’t come when called and just how effective all that training is when they get an idea into their tiny minds. She laughed and walked past without any comment about my unusual attire. It was not someone I recall having met there before, but she seemed totally relaxed about walking past a mad man in a skirt holding onto a large, apparently hungry, dog.

Once she’d disappeared from view I put the wrap away again and went to try once more to relieve Hazel of her prey. Still no dice…

To add to the “fun”, this was the point that a small off road utility vehicle appeared over the brow of the hill, complete with fitted gamekeeper. Things just kept getting better and better…

Once again the wrap went on but he came to a stop by me and thanked me for keeping the dog on the lead. He made a point of asking me to keep her under control as I went past the pens where he is reading birds for the start of the shooting season in a few days time. At that point, I don’t think he had seen Hazel and her new friend a few yards away. I apologised and said that I thought she had caught an injured bird (a fit one would have flown before she could get to it). We then spent a few more minutes before we managed to get Hazel in a pincer movement and relieved her of the bird (still alive, for a minute or so but a quick check over soon showed that it would not survive and it was disposed of as humanely as possible).

We had a short chat, he advised that he had already chased one chap out of the woods earlier in the day. Apparently, poaching is an increasing problem at present. He also introduced himself as the new head game-keeper, recently moved from one of my old stomping grounds in the North East and we had a chat about some of the excellent walking I have done in that region. During that conversation, he remarked that he “had been warned about me; which was why he was not too perturbed when he first saw me”. That made me smile and demonstrated, once again, Bob’s view that familiarity is the best way to overcome any shock reactions to naked people. We all need to be seen more often :D .

We went on our ways with Hazel firmly on a lead for the rest of the walk. A while later I passed him again, reloading one of the bird feeders. I did not bother to cover up this time, he had said he was not perturbed so it did not seem worthwhile. He greeted me cheerfully and pointed out the areas where the birds usually forage first thing so that I would know where to stop the dogs going on future walks. No problem.

The remainder of the walk was uneventful, even crossing the field of sheep the dogs behaved impeccably, not so much as looking at the sheep.

Thinking about it now, I still can’t believe how many people I met in a single walk. It is very rare to meet anyone on that route, even at later times of day in perfect weather. However, none of the three people I met reacted to my lack of clothing. It is entirely possible that I have met both the first chap and the female on previous walks. At a rough count, I have walked naked in that wood around 2000 times and I cannot claim to remember every encountered person with any certainty. Maybe today was proof that I have become sufficiently well known that I don’t need to be concerned anymore, at least on that particular part of my home range.

Have fun,


Ian.

2
Trip reports / Posts salvaged from the memory banks
« on: March 05, 2017, 12:42:32 PM »
I stumbled across this report recently, while looking for some information for a new free hiker in the Newcastle area, and I enjoyed re-reading it and the memories it brought back. I hope a few folks here will also enjoy this trip down memory lane (originally posted on the old TSNS forum).


Ian.

Edited: Since there seems to be some interest in having a few old reports reposted, I have changed the thread title. Feel free to add any older posts that you'd like to get back into cyberspace.   Ian.

___________________________________________________________

Walk report – Watson’s Pike and Hexhamshire Common 19/6/2012
___________________________________________________________


Last night I decided to take advantage of an unexpectedly pleasant evening to get out on the moors of Northumberland again. I had identified four caches that I could connect into a circular walk of about 9 miles. Only one cache was actually on the route, but the other three were within a few hundred yards and I was hopeful that I might be able to do the entire walk without the need to cover up.

I left work on the dot and headed out to my selected starting point, about a mile and a quarter from the first cache. Arriving at 5pm, I soon established that there was no one around and stripped off even before organising my kit into my daypack. The road I was parked by leads to just two more farms before petering out, so the likelihood of any passing traffic was tiny. The route I walked (corrected to show my navigational glitch towards the end) is shown on the map below:



The walk started off along a track, but the cache route suggested walking the path 20 yards or so to the right of the track. This proved to be good advice as the track was rutted and, in places, flooded while the path was damp, but generally fairly easy walking. There were some fresh boot tracks on the path, but only one pair and going in the opposite direction, so I was not concerned.

I had put my t-shirt in my pack and rolled up my wrap and put that in a mesh bottle pocket on the outside of the pack where I can reach it if required without having to stop. Boots only was the only sensible attire for this walk, the ground was harsh in places and would have been way beyond my tenderfoot capabilities and some ankle support was also welcome when I occasionally found edges of holes out of sight under the heather. The sun was shining with just a few clouds occasionally blocking it. Temperature was just under 20C (67F) when I set out and there was a fresh but warm breeze blowing. Perfect walking conditions.



The track rose slowly up the right (west) side of Lilswood Moor and after a mile or so I diverted to find the Trig Point on top of Watson’s Pike, knowing the cache was within a hundred yards or so of that.



The cache proved to be a quick find, thanks to accurate co-ordinates and a good clear horizon allowing for my GPS to collect signals from 10 satellites over a wide spread of sky. Once I’d signed the log and dropped off a trackable coin, I wandered over to the trig point to bag it, as is my habit.



The views from here are stunning and I did what I could to capture them with a full circle panorama from the trig point. Sadly, I seem to have lost that picture.

From here my route took me back to the track, south and then west towards Ladle Well. This area of the moor has many streams and brooks and provides water supplies to the local area hence there are a number of wells and manholes, which always look somewhat incongruous in surroundings like these:



The second cache, just past Ladle Well, was also an easy find, but was sadly in need of maintenance. It was wet inside (hardly surprising given the rain of recent weeks and the fact it had not been found for over six months). I dried it out as best I could, signed the log book, then munched one of my sugary bars to keep my energy levels up and drank some water. I did not stop long as I was keen to get all four caches and get back to the car with plenty of daylight left. If all went well I should be back with an hour to spare before sunset, but delays for eating, drinking, photography, cache searches etc can soon add up and I was very aware of this.

The track continued west towards my next planned stop at Stobb Cross, passing some spectacular views on route:



If you look closely at the picture above you can see one pine tree standing taller than all its neighbours, I logged the cache at the base of that one last week (also while suitably attired).




After a while the cross came into view above the valley. I always feel better once I can see my destination and was pleased to note that I was making good time.




A short climb brought me to the junction of the paths and then it was on to the cross for my third cache of the day. This cache was in a very sorry state. It was in a clip top box, but had lost three of the four latches that keep the lid on and was literally awash with water. I emptied it and just about managed to sign the mushy remains of the log before replacing it wrapped in a couple of dog poo bags (unused!) to provide some weather protection.



In the background of the picture above you can see the track I’d walked along to get here and if you look really closely at the hill to the left of the cross you may just be able to make out the trig point on top of Watsons Pike.

The light was still good, so I took a couple of self-portraits, using a rock to support the camera as I did not want to spend the time getting the tripod out of my bag and assembling it again.



According to my GPS I was two miles from the final planned cache of the evening. I reckoned I had plenty of time to complete my route, but there was the option of turning off early and cutting almost a mile off the total walk length if time started to run short.

The scenery remained impressive and a good enough reason to have done this walk (even clothed had that been necessary); I had not seen hide nor hair of anyone else since leaving the car and was thoroughly enjoying the walk accompanied as it was by the sound of curlews and lapwings and interspersed with the startled “laughter” of grouse put to flight by my presence. I had also seen rabbits (in huge numbers) plus, of course, sheep roaming free and a few cattle fenced into fields in a couple of spots. The tranquillity was amazing and just what I needed to calm my spirit after a couple of stressful days in the office.



At the junction of paths I had my first head scratching moment as I tried to work out which track or path to follow. Although the Ordinance Survey maps show all the official paths and tracks there were several additional obvious tracks made by game keepers (or their clients) vehicles and I chose the wrong one. After half a mile I decided I was too far west and amended my route to get to the final cache of the day. Yomping over the heather was great fun, but hard work and would not have been an option in lighter footwear. I have to confess that I was half expecting to have to do part of the walk barefoot, as my boots are rapidly approaching retirement.



This cache was also an easy find, but fortunately it was in better condition than the last two. While sat on a rock to sign the log I spotted something odd over the top of a drystone wall. How on earth did they get this up here?



Time to turn back towards the car. I had to retrace my route back to the last path junction, but this time I would follow the wall rather than the track that had mislead me earlier. I was about 200 yards short of the junction when I spotted a couple of heads coming up the path I intended to take. They got to the junction and I hoped they would turn away from me so that I did not have to dress. Sadly they stopped there, leaning on a gate as the husband tried to get his breath back after the climb. Rats! Time for the wrap. I passed them with a cheery “Hi” and received a greeting in return. No apparent curiosity about the guy wearing only a skirt and rucksack.

A minute or two later I had dropped behind a rise in the ground and was able to remove my skirt again though, since I was approaching the no through road I was parked on (albeit mile from the car), I kept the wrap in hand. I could see two farms I had to pass, but they both looked to be far enough off the road that I thought I could stay naked and I was hopeful that land levels would provide extra visual shielding.

I could see a 4x4 across the valley, being driven slowly and apparently checking the grouse feeders. He was far enough away that I did not feel any need to dress even though I could just about make out the drivers clothing when he got out, however there was no way he could reach me quickly enough to present a threat. I had to stop to take a picture of these trees; apparently it gets a little breezy here on occasions…



As I continued I had an excellent view of the road ahead before it disappeared behind a stand of trees, so I was confident I would see any traffic approaching from that direction in plenty of time. The steep hill behind me hid anything coming from that direction, but I was confident I would hear anything climbing that slope and so was able to stay naked. I had hoped to go the entire walk without covering up, but that possibility had already been scuppered by the couple at the path junction, as a result I was not too disappointed when I spotted a Landrover on the road ahead. I waited until it was behind the trees then covered up with about 20 seconds to spare before it came into view again in front of me. I stepped off the road (a good idea given how narrow it was) and got a wave of thanks from the driver who was soon out of sight over the brow of the hill behind me, allowing me to strip off once more for the final section of the walk.

I could see another car parked by mine, but guessed that belonged to the couple I’d seen earlier. As I got closer I was able to see that it was unoccupied and so continued back to my car properly dressed. I sorted my pack out, swapped my knackered hiking boots for a pair of crocs and then, very reluctantly, dressed to drive back to the apartment.

I’d been walking for three hours and fifty two minutes and naked for all but seven minutes of that time. Fabulous. I have to confess to slightly tight calf muscles today, but since my GPS recorded a distance of 8.93 miles at a moving average speed of 3.3 miles an hour over broken terrain that is not entirely surprising.

Now all I need is a chance to plan another walk…

Have fun,


Ian.

3
General Naturism Discussion / Naturist holiday
« on: January 11, 2017, 04:03:01 PM »
Since Carole is not a naturist, I have never taken a naturist holiday, although I make the most of any opportunities that arise.

This year will be different. Carole has been on at me to go on a cruise for years and I have always fought shy as the idea of a floating holiday camp is not particularly appealing to me. However, Carole has a significant birthday this year and wanted a "special" holiday so we are booked on a cruise from Dubrovnik to Venice and then back down the Croatian coast with one stop in Montenegro. I am sure I will enjoy it, but I do not anticipate much opportunity to get my kit off.

The flip side is that Carole has decided to treat me (apparently she thinks I get her great presents and she never knows what to buy me) to a week long cruise of the Croation coast and islands; with British Naturism! Carole will not be going, but I have arranged a cabin share and am now booked. The cruise is on a small boat (just 18 cabins) and so is also far closer to my idea of how holidays should be. Am I loking forward to this? You bet!

I reckon that is about as accepting of my naturist habits as I could possibly ask for...

Have fun,


Ian.

4
General Naturism Discussion / Abbey House Gardens CO days 2017
« on: January 10, 2017, 09:21:26 PM »
The gardens will be open for clothing optional visits on the following dates in 2017:

Sunday 21st May 2017

Sunday 11th June 2017

Sunday 16th July 2017

Sunday 13th August 2017

Sunday 3rd September 2017

I have always preferred the gardens in the early part of the season and will try to make one of the first two dates. Anyone else interested?

Have fun,


Ian.

5
Free Range Naturism / My Scotland caching trip
« on: August 02, 2016, 11:22:15 PM »
A few weeks ago, Carole announced that she was going to join a few friends for a weekend of yoga and pampering. That meant that I could plan some time to do things that I would enjoy but she would not. After a little thought, I decided a naturist drive and cache and camping trip would be fun and that with a little planning I ought to be able to complete my English and Scottish mainland counties challenge, by finding at least one cache in each county I had not yet logged a find in. There was also the UK Jasmer challenge (finding at least one cache that was originally hidden in each month since caching began (not all months are possible in the UK, there were no caches hidden before December 2000 and there is no existing UK cache from March 2001). To keep costs reasonable I decided to camp in the car, a two ring gas cooker, a few pans, a jerry can of water and a sleeping bag is really all I needed and I already had most of that.

Day 1; Thursday.

I set out on Thursday morning, after a three hour naked walk with Hazel. I had decided to leave Hazel at home as it would be some long drives that are not really dog friendly.

I  initially drove to Broomsfleet in East Yorkshire with a view to finding a series of caches in the only English county that was outstanding. The drive was just under three hours and was, naturally, done naked. In the warm weather I doubt if I even attracted any second glances from other drivers, I certainly did not notice any. As is my usual practice when driving naked, I sat on my wrap so that I could drape it across my lap if required, in the event, I did not have to do that. On arrival, I was able to park and leave the car by the roadside without dressing and headed straight to my first target cache. I did not search hard for that, it was heavily overgrown with brambles and nettles and definitely not nude friendly. Walking on to the next one in the series proved that the whole path was heavily overgrown and I found myself using a walking pole to clear the worst bits before I gave up too much flesh and blood to the vegetation. The second cache in the series was similarly defended by nature, so I decided to try one more and if necessary return to the car to identify another target I could look for to fill in the county blank. In the event, the third cache was a quick find with no need to dive into heavy undergrowth, so once the log was signed I returned to the car to move to Garforth and the UK Jasmer challenge cache.

There was no need to dress for the drive and I was able to get to my planned parking spot properly attired. However, I had to walk a section of lane to get to the footpath and there was enough traffic to suggest that clothing was going to be required, so I dressed before leaving the car. Once off the road, I was able to strip and continue my walk, collecting 7 caches on route, including the important Jasmer series, and only having to cover up a couple of times to cross relatively busy roads (such as the M1 (on a bridge) where I did not want to be a distraction that caused an accident). Then it was back to driving naked to get into position for the next days planned walk in the Scottish Borders. That was a further three and a quarter hours and 160 miles, again entirely completed naked apart from a short stop to get something to eat. I was getting used to driving naked and my initial hesitancy was wearing off as experience confirmed what I already knew at an intellectual level; no one was likely to notice I was naked and if they did it was unlikely they would care, let alone do anything about it.

I reached Hownam (pronounced "Who-nam")at about 10:00, found a place where I could park without blocking the single track road or a passing place. (It was actually the bypass to a cattle grid, however, the gate was open and I was able to park so as not to prevent anybody using the bypass.) A few minutes sorting the car for the night, no need to dress to do that, then it was time to hit the sack.

Day 2; Friday.

By 05:30, when I woke, I had established that the front passenger seat is remarkably comfortable as a bed when reclined to the limit. I was refreshed and ready for a planned 12 mile walk on the border ridge, but first I needed to eat. Stove out, boil kettle and make tea. Right that was the most important thing done, then it was time to cook up some porridge (instant porridge in a tub, (just add boiling water), is surprisingly edible, though probably not high on JB's lists of good food. I am certain that the fried sausages and baked beans that followed would have stopped anyone complaining about the nutrient value of synthetic porridge :D )



Suitably fed and after chatting with a couple of local dog walkers, I set off up the lane (dressed as I knew it was fairly well used and that there were a couple of farms to pass). Once past the second farm, I was able to put my clothing in my rucksack with the essential safety bits and provisions and continue my walk in a more comfortable state.

The walk took me past the (now disused) Heatherhope Reservoir, where I collected the first cache of the day.



Shortly after that, the route started to ascend the flank of Phillip Hope. This was a fairly steep path and I was very grateful that I was not clothed as I worked up a good sweat that would have saturated clothing and made it even more uncomfortable than usual. The view of the reservoir from the cache halfway up the slope gives an idea of the terrain:



The track I had walked can clearly be seen along the left hand side of the reservoir. I had left that track for a much smaller path just at the bottom of the hill, slightly out of sight in this picture.

The path continued to a cairn on top of Phillip Hope and then descended slightly towards the border with England, which is marked by a three foot high wire fence, designed to keep sheep on the Scottish side of the border and out of the Ministry of Defence land used by soldiers for war games (and catching the occasional straying lump of mutton...)

I made use of one of the fence posts to support my camera for a quick selfie



The track along here is technically a road, known locally as “The Street”, and had a few surprising reminders of its' legal status:



A few more minutes brought me to one of the old caches that I was really after on this walk. It is called “Where's Georges' kidney stone?”, for reasons that are too convoluted to explain here and is actually a virtual cache, that is to say that there is no physical cache to find, simply a question to be answered to prove that you've been here. I wonder how many other cachers have visited while properly dressed...



From here, I headed north again, back into Scotland towards the top of Mozzie Law and another cache, as you can see, some of our roads are fairly narrow...



This is actually part of the Pennine Way, a long distance path that runs north-south along the top of the Pennine Hills. According to the guide books, this is a fairly busy stretch of the path (hence the paving to protect the environment from wear) though I saw no one in this area.

Once I'd located the cache at Mozzie Law, I reversed my track, heading back past Georges' Kidney Stone and up the street a little before turning off onto the border ridge proper to walk to the top of Windy Gyle and Russels Cairn, where the second of my target caches is hidden, another one dating back to 2001. This one contains the original logbook and I spent a happy half hour sitting down, munching a snack, drinking a bottle of water and reading the old logs in the book. I love finding these old logs and connecting with cachers who have gone before me as well as spotting a few names of people I have met.

On the edge of the large cairn is a trig point and I could not resist the obligatory “Angel of the North” picture on top of the triangulation point.



Once again, I backtracked a little before setting off on another path to make the return to my car along the top of the ridge on the opposite side of the valley to the path I took past the reservoir. A mile from the end I had a great view over the top of the village of Hownam. If you look to the left of the picture, you can just make out my car at the end of the line of trees.



I got back to the car at about 17:00, having walked 16 miles and climbed 7,000 feet, and decided that rather than camp there as I had planned, I'd move on to the Dunfirmline area, where I was planning my first walk of the next day. Once again the drive was accomplished naked without issue and I was able to find a good parking spot by a small, though fairly well-used lane. By reversing in, I was able to create a small area that was screened from the road, which allowed me to cook and eat dinner naked before drafting my caching logs and uploading them via a combination of tablet and 4G phone connection. A quick phone call to the boss to convince her I was safe and had not been eaten my a carnivorous sheep, a swarm of sabre-toothed midges nor fallen foul of a hoard of hairy skirted men with screaming octopuses over their shoulders. Then time for sleep; deep, comfortable, well earned sleep.

Day 3; Saturday.

Once again, I woke reasonably early and a combination of yesterday's careful parking, the location and the time of day made a naked breakfast possible. I have to confess to another batch of sausages and beans and can hear the nutritionists shaking their heads and muttering about heart attacks. At least the porridge was a reasonably healthy multigrain product with no added sugar.

Saturday's first walk was up a steep-sided hill with a flat (ish) top, known locally as “The sleeping giant”, but marked on maps as Benarty Hill. I left the car with my clothing in my bag (no need for a full rucksack as I was only planning a couple or maybe three hours and could return to the car fairly quickly if the weather should turn against me).

The walk up the initial climb was steep enough to work up another good sweat and towards the top I decided to turn off the track and bushwack through the dense pine trees to get a more direct route to the cache I was aiming for. That worked but left me on top of the hill in dense heather having to wade through it to find a track, it was almost half a mile to the cache and I did not find a path until I was just a few yards away. The cache was hidden under a large flat topped rock, which I sat on to enjoy the view while I was signing the log. There was a farmer rounding up cattle using a pick-up truck in a field below me but I do not believe he saw me and if he did it is unlikely he could see how I was dressed.

The walk to the next cache was on the fairly flat top of the hill, although the cache itself was hidden at the top of a cliff. A slip there could have been rather unfortunate...



The water below is Loch Leven, which lies to the north of the hill. The pylon below me gives an idea of the height of the hill sides; there is a reason why this cache had a terrain rating of 4 out of 5.

In all I spent about three hours caching on top of the hill, meeting only one other walker who I saw well before he saw me. I did consider staying naked, but Scotland has different laws to England and |Wales and I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and covered up before he noticed me. I left the area, driving north to collect another cache near Perth in the interests of filling a hole on my finds map (I had to be dressed for those, they were right next to a main road) but before I left the area I grabbed one more picture of Benarty Hill.



After Perth I continued to Archiestown, near Elgin. There I parked up and left the car naked to walk up onto the hill. Half a dozen caches and another trig point bagged I returned to the car after just one quick cover up for a young girl (about 10) on a pony.

I could have camped where I was parked but decided that instead I would continue to the start of the next day's planned walk at Abriachan, just north of Drumnadrochit on the north side of Loch Ness. On route I stopped in Inverness for some shopping (dressed!). The Abriachan Forest trail car park provided a great camping spot. There were toilets and picnic tables and I was able to park by one of those to use for cooking and eating, which was easier on my ageing body than working at floor height. No one else in the car park made it possible to be naked, however the midges were hungry an so a long sleeved shirt and a sarong became the clothing of choice. No phone signal, so I could not log the days caches but drafted up the logs and saved them on my tablet for another time. Once again, I slept as though I had a clear conscience (it is really a sign of a poor memory :D) It was only as I drifted off that I remembered that I had intended to be on the Naturist Ramblers walk at Hoo that day.

Continued in the next post...

6
General Naturism Discussion / SOC naturist walk programme 2016
« on: January 21, 2016, 10:30:28 AM »
The SOC has published the walks programme for the year and, for the first time, there are two Saturday walks. The programme is as follows:

Thursday 28th April, Leith Hill (Dorking) 10 miles

Saturday 7th May, Gallows Hill (Salisbury) 10 miles
Thursday 19th May, Whiteways (Amberley) 12 miles

Wednesday 8th June, Weald Side, (Cowden), 10 miles
Thursday 16th June, Wepham Down, (Arundel), 13 miles
Thursday 23rd June, Friston Forest, (Eastbourne), 11 miles
Tuesday 28th June, Deans Bottom, (Goring-on-Thames), 11 miles

Wednesday 6th July, Bury Down, (Didcot), 12 miles
Thursday 14th July, Ackling Dyke, (Salisbury), 11 miles
Saturday 23rd July, Hoo Peninsula, (Gravesend), 11 miles
Wednesday 27th July, Red Shoot, (Ringwood), 12 miles

Wednesday 10th August, Sugar Hill, (Swindon), 11 miles
Thursday 18th August, Harting Down, (Petersfield), 12 miles
Wednesday 24th August, Ashdown Forest, (East Grinstead), 10 miles
Wednesday 31st August, Box Hill Maze, (Dorking), 11 miles

Thursday 8th September   , Grovely, (Salisbury), 11 miles
Wednesday 14th September, Charlton Forest, (Chichester), 11 miles

Tuesday 4th October, Mereworth Forest, (Maidstone), 11 miles

More details can be obtained from the SOC walks website (http://www.justwearasmile.co.uk/socwalks/). If anyone wants general information about these walks please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

Start times and locations are available from the walks co-ordinator (contactable through the website), these precise details are not shared in open forum to reduce the chance of the noisy minority turning up to complain...

Unfortunately, I shall not be able to get to more than a few of the walks (that "work" thing is always getting in the way...) but if you are intending to join a walk please let us know here so that others can keep an eye open for you.

Have fun,


Ian.

7
Free Range Naturism / One of my local walks
« on: November 02, 2015, 06:25:10 PM »
Back in April I posted the note below (or something similar) on the TSNS forum.
Quote
I like a challenge so I spent some time on Saturday trying to get a self-timer shot with the dogs. This was the best one of the batch:


(Click for larger image)

The puppy (bottom left) is now 15 weeks old and is rapidly turning into an inexhaustible bundle of energy, fun and trouble. (The German Shepherd and Jack Russel belong to a friend who was unable to walk them that day so I took them with me).

Yesterday I was back in the same woods and decided to try and get an updated picture of the same spot. This was the best I managed:



As you can see the weather was pretty kind for November. I was walking for about an hour and forty minutes and did not see or hear any sign of other people around. I thought I'd try to grab a few more pictures of the walk to share here to give you a flavour of my normal walking environment at this time of year.

This tree, covered with cobwebs, was not easy to picture, especially with only an iPhone. I really was annoyed that I had not taken a proper camera with me yesterday.



A couple of general views of the wood:





When I stop to take a picture, Taz tends to make himself comfortable (in years gone by he would have been too busy chasing through the leaves to stop, but it seems that age is bringing some wisdom with it).



Hazel is less inclined to stop for long, I had to interrupt her train of "thought" to get this shot:



Another view of the sunlight coming through the trees:



This shack is occasionally used for a camp out by the family that owns the land, however, it is more than a year or two since I saw any sign of recent activity:



(Apologies for the washout colour in that one, iPhone cameras simply can't deal with high contrast as well as my "proper" cameras, let alone a chemical camera loaded with slide film.)

Have fun,


Ian.

8
Free Range Naturism / Singles Outdoor Club
« on: August 25, 2015, 09:56:20 AM »
There are a few SOC walks left this year:

Wednesday 26 August, Ackling Dyke, Salisbury
Thursday 3 September, Sugar Hill, Swindon
Thursday 10 September, Box Hill Maze, Dorking
Wednesday 16 September, Chiltern Scarp, High Wycombe
Thursday 1 October, Mereworth Woods, Maidstone

At present, I am intending to join the walk on 10 September (I have booked the day off) and, possibly the walk at Maidstone on October 1. Is anyone else planning on joining any of the above walks? I have quite a bit of leave left to use by the end of November so could possibly be persuaded to join you...

Have fun,


Ian.

9
Suggestions / Posting pictures to the forum
« on: July 13, 2015, 03:36:37 PM »
Some folks have been wondering how to post pictures here without stealing all of Stuart and Karla’s storage space and bandwidth.

I keep pictures for publication on Flickr and post links to them there. Here is my step by step guide to posting clickable images from Flickr in a forum post without opening up my entire photostream.

I upload most of my images to Flickr with the properties set as visible only to me and restricted. This avoids any issues with Flickr’s terms of service. They don’t seem to have much of a problem with "edgy" images judging by some of the things I have stumbled across, but my settings allow me to be sure I’m not pushing my luck and prevent people looking at the rest of my photostream.

To insert the picture into a post you need to use image tags like this:

Code: [Select]
[img]Address of picture[/img]
To get the address you need for the code, follow these steps:

Once you have uploaded your picture to Flickr find it in your photostream and click on it. Your screen will look something like this:



Click on the download symbol (circled in red in the image above) and a dialogue box will open thus:



Select “View all sizes”.

Select the size of image you want to display and then right click on the image, this will open the submenu pictured. Select “Copy image url”.



Paste the url into the code I provided above to replace “Address of picture” and check that no spaces have been inserted just after the first IMG tag or just before the second one. This is important as spaces here will prevent the code working.

Your code should look like this:

Code: [Select]
[img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2913/14019636110_e320f4c27c.jpg[/img]
If you preview your post it will look like this:



This image is not clickable (hover your mouse over the picture and the pointer does not change). If you want to insert a small image that can be clicked to provide a larger view you will need to use this code:

Code: [Select]
[url=Address of large picture][img]Address of small picture[/img][/url]
For the small picture I usually use an image that is big enough to see, say 500 pixels wide, rather than a thumbnail as I find having to open every picture a chore.

Use the above steps twice to find the two addresses you require and past them in place of “Address of large picture” and “Address of small picture”. (Again you need to be aware of any spurious spaces inserted by the software). Your code will look something like this:

Code: [Select]
[url=https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2913/14019636110_d46a6bcba2_k.jpg][img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2913/14019636110_e320f4c27c.jpg[/img][/url]
And when you preview your post it will look like this:



Note that the pointer shape now changes when you move it onto the image, indicating that you have a clickable link.

Hope that helps, but if not I’m sure you will ask…

Have fun,


Ian.

PS The above was written for Flickr because that is what I use. However, a similar approach should work with other photo sharing sites.

PPS Note to Stuart and Karla, there is no "How to" FAQ or "Technical support" section on the board so I have posted this here. If there is a better place, please feel free to move the post.

10
Free Range Naturism / How was your month for Free Range Naturism?
« on: July 13, 2015, 09:59:06 AM »
Have we revived "How Was Your Month for SN" yet?  If not,  Ian, start us up again with July's stats, please.  HWYMFSN ran to 50+ pages and was a pillar of the old place.

OK. The gauntlet has been thrown down, so here are my numbers for June. As was usual, after the monthly figures I have included the year to date numbers in parenthesis.

Walks: 20 (119)
Skinny dips: 0 (10)
Bike rides: 2 (5)
SOC walks:0 (0)
Encounters: 1 (5)
Naked geocache finds: 15 (40)

Total free range naked time: 50:09 (213:21)

Some meat on the bones:

The bike rides were both home from the pub leaving around 22:30. On each occasion, I cycled until I was just out of town and then chucked my clothes in a bag to cycle the rest of the way naked apart from the footwear required to use the clipless pedals on my bike. My route is cross-country with no roads apart from one point where I have to cross a road, for which I usually cover up unless I am very late. I dressed just before entering the town where I live.

The encounter was around 06:00 with a jogger on a rarely used path. The path is bounded with a thorn hedge and pig wire either side for about a quarter of a mile and is generally very quiet, I have only met people here a handfull of times at any time of day and never before in the early morning. On this occasion, I was about a third of the way along the path when the jogger crested a rise in front of me. There was no time to hide or cover up so I simply called Hazel to me and made her sit while he went past. I offered my usual cheerful greeting and received a slightly breathless response and a thank you, presumably for keeping the dog out of his way. There was no particular reaction to my attire.

The cache finds were in Cornwall while visiting one of Carole's sisters. Seven were on a walk on Bodmin, including climbing Brown Willy, the remaining eight were the next day on a circular walk around the outside of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a couple of miles from where we were staying. I was able to get away from Carole and sister because the plan had been for all three sisters to get together for some sister time. The other sister dropped out and I offered to drive Carole down rather than have her do a five-hour drive on her own (she has never done a drive over three hours). I really must make an effort to visit the Lost Gardens themselves one day; I wonder whether they could be persuaded to run an Abbey House Gardens style CO day?

When John suggested starting this old TSNS thread here he also wrote:

I've had a corking month with loads of skyclad time, some in the presence of the wifey, no less, with her moaning throughout but nevertheless being there!

I guess this would merit a little more information...

Have fun,


Ian.

11
Trip reports / A weekend off...
« on: July 07, 2015, 04:13:35 PM »
In another thread, john wrote:
I love lush green woodland glades. Dappled sunshine on a hot day, soft moss beneath your feet and cool shade in good supply. A cool stream and a swimming pond would be lovely to slip into on a woodland hike on a hot, sultry day; I've never had such a locale to myself...but maybe one day?

John

I found just such a spot on Friday as I was driving north. I stopped to walk near Rutland water and then, once I realised it was too busy to be naked without raising other people's eyebrows, moved on to the nearby Morkery Woods (south Lincolnshire, just off the A1). I was able to spend almost three hours wandering naked here and only saw one older couple in the whole time. Wonderful, and sixteen more geocaches found while properly dressed :D

Saturday was spent climbing Ben More, just north of Loch Lomond. Also naked, despite somewhat inclement weather. A straight assault on the slope generated more than enough heat to keep me comfortable.

Sunday was the day to walk around Ennerdale Water in the lakes. The north side was too busy to get naked once east of the Bowness Knott car park, although I was able to stay naked between the western end and Bowness knot. The south side of the lake was quieter and I managed to walk the entire length of the lake at a leisurely pace with only a few cover ups. I had a short skinny dip under Anglers Crag and then climbed the crag (up the footpath this time, no direct ascent without climbing gear) to collect a geocache. Three small groups passed on the path behind while I was drying off after my swim. None of them cold have failed to see i was naked, but no one said anything.

Monday was my drive home, mostly done naked, which included a detour to Shropshire to walk in the Brown Cree Hills, another three hours with no clothing required and this time I literally saw nobody for the entire time I was away from the car.

All in all, a good weekend :D.

Have fun,


Ian.

12
Trip reports / A week in Menorca
« on: June 27, 2015, 06:35:15 PM »
The following posts were originally written for the SecretNaturistSociety forum, now sadly gone :(. However, I promised to repost them here so here goes... (To add some contect for those who don't have the history of TSNS, Carole is my wife and is not a naturist, but I keep hoping and gently educating her :) )

Friday 1 May

We needed to leave home at about 9AM to get to the airport without any rush or hassle so I had time to walk the dogs before they had breakfast and I had to take them to the friend who had agreed (bravely?) to have them while we were away. The walk was a little shorter than usual as I had to wake Carole first (read make her a cup of tea) and could not afford to be late. Just a normal morning walk, brightened up by the bluebells which were in full flower. Did not see anyone during the 75 minutes I was out. Air temperature was a balmy 5C (41F).

We landed at Mahon late afternoon (18:40 local time) so by the time we had transferred to Son Bou, found our apartment and unpacked it was time to eat. Certainly no time to go naked exploring; that would have to wait.



Map of the area, the little smiley faces mark caches I have found. Pictures in this post may be clicked for a larger image.

Saturday 2 May

We decided to have a quiet day looking around Son Bou to get our bearings and maybe a sit on the beach. Nothing too exciting, but I had hopes that I could introduce Carole to the western (naturist) end of the beach. After a morning meeting with the local reps for our travel agents (always good for a few pointers at places to eat) we moseyed down to the far end of town (ten minutes walk) and arranged a hire car for a few days from Monday before wandering past one of the beach bars to the beach itself.

We settled on the beach not far from the bar. No evidence of anyone naked there and the general advice on Trip Advisor seemed to recommend going past the river before losing the clothing, so I decided to bide my time. After an hour, I started to get bored so I suggested a walk along the beach, towards Santo Tomas, so that I could collect a geocache on the 15th anniversary of geocaching starting. As we passed the river across the sand (river is a bit too grand for the small stream, but that’s how the locals refer to it) I noticed a couple of kids, apparently naked, poking around in the rocks a couple of hundred yards ahead. As we got closer their mother appeared, also naked, and was happily helping them to find things of interest. As we passed them I could see other naked folks spaced out on the largely deserted beach and was waiting for a reaction from Carole. It never came. I had stayed lightly dressed to avoid putting any pressure on Carole and pushing her into a reaction before she had seen for herself that naked was OK here.



Once I’d found the cache (it is hidden in a spot in the picture above), we continued along the coast path (Cami de Cavalls) to Santo Tomas where a large beer had my name on it. Carole also ordered beer and then started to eye up the food menu. I developed a feeling that the holiday might not be as cheap as I’d hoped. Oh well, have another beer and stop worrying…

The Cami de Cavalls east of Santo Tomas is fairly rough initially, but was also empty when we’d walked in. I was wondering whether I’d be able to get naked for the walk back.

By the time we walked back, there were folks all over the path. I decided not to push the issue. However, after a short distance the path looked empty and I had a good long view ahead and behind. Carole was walking slightly ahead of me, so I stripped off and dumped my clothes into the bag I was carrying. Carole did not look around so there I was walking naked along the coastal path waiting for her to turn around and give me a lecture, but she never did. After five minutes or so I asked her if she’d mind me stripping off and she just said “no problem” and carried on. Result! I was now walking naked with my wife and her agreement. Woo Hoo! It may not be DF style joining in, but it is a massive step forward.

We stopped for a while and just enjoyed the sunshine. Carole stripped to her bikini and me still comfortably naked. By the time we returned to the textile end of the beach, where I dressed, I had been naked for 97 minutes.


To be continued...

13

There is an online petition here asking David Cameron MP (the UK Prime Minister) to intervene to get Steve Gough, the naked rambler, released.

I doubt whether it will get sufficient support that DC will pay it any attention, but it's worth a try.

Have fun,


Ian.

14
Introductions / Greetings from the Thames Valley
« on: September 08, 2013, 10:01:22 AM »
I remember the old Naked Munroes site and always yearned for the wide open spaces in your photography, to give me the opportunity for long naked hikes. However, despite living in the Thames Valley (between London and Reading), I have found that it is relatively easy to enjoy naked walks with a little care.

Time constraints mean that I generally have to walk my dog early in the morning and at that time of day it is rare to see anyone else about. I usually walk naked and just carry a small shoulder bag for clothes, dog clean up bags, mobile phone and car keys. A typical walk is around 90 minutes to two hours.

I was working away from home for almost a year recently and took up geocaching as a way to find interesting walks (and to keep me out of the bar). That helped me to find loads of places I'd never have visited otherwise, many of which were good for naked walking.

I love the whole concept of this site and hope to see the forum grow into a place where people share hints and tips as well as stories of their exploits. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to create this little corner of the internet.

Have fun,


Ian.

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