Author Topic: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon  (Read 991 times)

John P

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2018, 04:19:50 AM »
Is there any chance that you could persuade Henry to join this forum? I'm a real fan of his.

Rebus

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2018, 04:33:31 AM »
Is there any chance that you could persuade Henry to join this forum? I'm a real fan of his.

I've forwarded your request.

Rebus

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2018, 04:42:11 AM »
I should probably add that this year we encountered a lot more people on the trails.  Reactions ran the gamut from amusement to indifference to parents shielding their kids faces so they couldn't see and/or running away.  Some spent quite some time with us conversing or hiking alongside.

A handful of us also participated in the monthly Portland Full Moon nude bike ride around town which attracted a couple dozen or so riders of mixed gender.  That was fun and the reactions of bystanders was typically very enthusiastic and supportive.

jbeegoode

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2018, 09:22:26 PM »
Any more specific numbers like percentages of how many of these parents that freaked out on their children's behalf out of ignorance? I've been compiling anecdotal information as accurately as I can for a few years now. We actually used the information when we spoke with the forest ranger about Redington Pass.

What I have come up with are 2% give or take will respond poorly. Roughly 20% are confused and uncomfortable about how to react to this strange encounter. So, by far the vast majority have no problem, amused or indifferent. Only a tiny minority, more likely with children have any qualms.

Encounters with children are less usual and most observations are made by people who are afraid of mismanaged law, which is often more severe with children involved. So, we don't have a very good picture of how parents and children generally react. DF and I will simply sitdown so that our genitals are not exposed to be legal, or wrap something around just to avoid the hassle when children are around.

"and/or running away". I'd like to hear more of that story. Someone ran away when they saw you? ;D
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BlueTrain

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2018, 10:26:41 PM »
It is interesting to think about all the people one has passed ("encountered") when hiking or camping in the mountains. As a guess, I imagine I have seen less than a hundred other people on the trail in the last 45 years, counting only those times I've been by myself. But twenty of those I saw at the same time. Of course, I'm not out to see other people, nor am I there to be seen either. I have been seen nude, however, a number of times, without any negative reaction. One of those times, though, a man who did not appear to be phased by my nudity, did let me know that a family group that included children was following close behind. So I covered up.

There were indeed children but I have otherwise rarely seen children on the trail when I've been out by myself. And I can imagine a parent being disturbed by the sight of an old naked man. But I have gotten strange enough looks when I was wearing shorts. Maybe I look strange no matter what.

Rebus

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2018, 11:07:09 PM »
There was only one family, mom, dad and kids, that did the "shield the kids" thing, and it really was the father that was visibly upset.  The mom was actually smiling and friendly.  The kids were following dads orders and mom just played along with dad's seeming offence.
At about the same time and place, there was an elderly man who at first sight ran to what appeared to be his wife who was off trail, and basically ordered her to not look, reminding me of that Ray Stevens song, "The Streak"... "Don't look Ethel!"
There were some 20 to 30 somethings that seemed embarrassed and afraid to look.  Most were indifferent.  Another group of 20 somethings was happy to be hiking along with us and engaged in lengthy conversation before they finally went their own way.  Another guy hung out with us, became our camera man for a while and appeared entirely comfortable.  He was a Korean mountain climber in his 50's (though looked younger) and we shared information on a variety of topics.

So I'd say roughly <5% mildly upset, 15% awkward, unsure how to react, 40% indifferent, and 40% comfortable, curious, or enthusiastic.

On the bike ride in the city, only one person appeared upset (and antagonistic) which was when the group was forming up.  There were at least a couple hundred that were cheering and shouting encouragement during the ride.  I didn't hear anything derogatory during the actual ride.

Gender-wise, during both events numerically the gals were by far the most accepting and friendly.  The only hostility came from guys.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 06:23:32 AM by Rebus »

jbeegoode

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2018, 05:22:17 PM »
So, the pattern continues. This time 5% instead of 2 to 4%, meaning two guys with masculine bravado and set in their idea of what the world that they own is. Hopefully, after thought discussion was, "that wasn't really so bad", instead of status quo, "ugg bad, nasty."

When my son was born, I felt vulnerable when naked out in the tooleys with him and my exceptionally attractive wife. We took it to safe resorts for a while. I suppose the opposite of these two, but that same protector inside.
Jbee
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BlueTrain

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2018, 05:25:21 PM »
I think that two guys together could be the worst. If there is any negativity there, they will egg one another on, trying to outdo one another. Of course, you own appearance and manner will make a difference, too, and besides, you never will know how someone will react.

jbeegoode

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2018, 06:35:40 PM »
When out on a trail, we find that the greater odds are about 97 to one that the reaction will not be adverse. Most people are reasonable. When naked people are acting as though there are not naked people, that is acting as everything is normal and on the up and up, others are more likely to be at ease. Just like clothed hiking, but acting suspicious.

Even a negative reaction is not threatening to us. The threat is law enforcement, or physical abuse. Law enforcement doesn't track down naturist activities unless it is convenient, or if it applies to the trail's jurisdiction. As for physical abuse, my fantasies were like you say, two dudes getting obnoxious, or offensive, and attacking a female that I would be with. Attack is even more infrequent. It is the odds of rape. Animal attack would be more likely, I might think.

The problems are often linked to alcohol, and/or them getting too comfortable during prolonged contact. This takes that 2 to 4% down to nil. The worst that might occur would be akin to construction workers making rude comments and sexual innuendos. Just keep walking away. I've had women act more like New York construction workers, too, but not out on a trail, not that that couldn't happen.

If a prude wants to give a lecture in some remote area, I would just state that I'm offended and that I'm leaving. Still this dwells on the slim odds that the person gets upset by their own ignorance. If I act comfortable and casual, they are likely to take my lead. Another thing is people don't go out into a forest for confrontation. They are there for the opposite reasons. Otherwise, they'd be where the people are.

Personally, I don't get out to be with other people, where there are few people. This could be a part of the reason that other people don't respond negatively, too. It might be the same hiking clothed. Some are polite and friendly, some are ready to ignore others, choosing to give a quick hello and get on with their activity.

Some people think of hiking as a family activity, rated G. They expect that, especially around camping areas and trail-heads. Our movie rating systems seem to reflect and reinforce those perceptions. We're sometimes dealing with that mentality. Nature to them, seems to be some kind of Disneyland. Disneyland is a fantasy land. Disneyland imposes a false world and a narrow sense of values upon reality...but even "Pollyanna" had her skinny-dip scene.

What I'm getting at is that there is lots of squawk and worries about people that might not need be of concern, if it wasn't for these very few in this world infected by this social disease of mandatory clothing. Out on a fairly remote trail, no worries, smile, be happy, feel accepted, or at least politely tolerated.

There are other concerns from those very few, but unless they are taking pictures and hurrying away to complain to a cop, who will have nothing else to do but wait at a trailhead for hours in the chance that you will return...if they can even find a cop....

Then, there is this safety in numbers thing. We recently went walk about, no backup, with a group of seven like minded. Nobody there but us, but, there is a psychological advantage to be had apart from being alone, or just paired.  As a group, we're a movement and democratic majority, a beachhead, the norm, the reasonable normality gauged on the principles of conformist thought patterns. That makes sense to people...somehow. "Gee, everybody seems to be doing it, maybe I should think this thing through."
Jbee
 
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BlueTrain

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2018, 07:38:08 PM »
I'm not so sure that there is safety in numbers, although it might be different in the backwoods. But on a beach where nudity is clearly not legal, it could draw more law enforcement than it might otherwise. But there are other issues, issues not necessarily related to public nudity.

There seems to be an attitude on the part of some hikers and campers that the trail belongs to them. All others are merely tolerated. I hesitate to be more specific, only it certainly does not apply to all hikers and campers. The idea is that the trail or the campground was created especially for them and that others merely get in the way. The same exclusive attitude is found in other places, too. The fact that a few, and they are very few, hikers like to be nude really doesn't enter into the problem.

Rebus

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2018, 02:06:58 AM »
There seems to be an attitude on the part of some hikers and campers that the trail belongs to them. All others are merely tolerated. I hesitate to be more specific, only it certainly does not apply to all hikers and campers. The idea is that the trail or the campground was created especially for them and that others merely get in the way. The same exclusive attitude is found in other places, too. The fact that a few, and they are very few, hikers like to be nude really doesn't enter into the problem.

I run into that quite often.  I hike wilderness areas with llamas.  Many horse riders are snobbish at the least, and outright hostile at times.  They get very upset at the fact that their horse is terrified of "predatory" llamas, not accepting responsibility for their inadequately trained horse.  Even if the horse behaves they still often have the attitude that the wilderness is for their use only and llamas, goats, etc., should all be banned.  Again such expressions of hostility come from men, not the women.  Same goes for encountering nudity.  I've had mounted women encounter me while free hiking without incident.  I also once encountered a woman who rode the trails nude.  (Not something I've done yet -- I would really have liked to ask her if I could try it but we had obligations to get to different places ASAP.)

Outside of wilderness areas I've encountered riders on bicycles and dirt motorcycles.  I haven't had a significant problem with either.  Bikers are typically in too much of a hurry to dwell on anything and motorcyclists are usually very courteous, sensitive to their own precariousness at being allowed on the trails and wanting to avoid conflict.  Riders of quad runners are the worst -- often obnoxious, sometimes inebriated and looking for conflict.

Wilderness backpackers are the easiest to deal with.  Even when nude hiking with llama(s) I've never had a problem.  They're typically friendly, inquisitive (and envious).  Day hikers are a potential problem nude, but not so much with a llama along (which can elicit some rather incredulous expressions on peoples faces, unsure of what to make of it ;).

BlueTrain

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2018, 12:16:49 PM »
What is most unfortunate, and something that we ourselves are probably guilty of, too, is simply judging someone from their appearance without even speaking to them. It's the "first impressions" thing. I even expect that we do that when we see a dog. Of course, the dog may be doing the same thing, too. One's first impression of someone else may be spot on but it's still not fair, really. For example, you see someone who's outfitted with all the latest stuff from the outdoor shop and you think one thing. Then along comes someone who looks like they shop at the Army-Navy store and you think something else.

So, you can easily imagine what goes through someone's head when they see a naked man, especially an older naked man. And doesn't "naked" sound worse than "nude?"

nudewalker

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2018, 05:21:46 PM »
Lately I have found; and it's been verified with many discussions  at both the trail head and campground, that there is a new wave of  people in the outdoors. Mostly it is a combination of money spent plus the quality of equipment equals the better outdoors person.  Al of us older and wiser ones get a chuckle out of the arrogance some people exhibit then watch as their equipment gets destroyed. Other than the RV, I'm more of the Army-Navy store type not REI.

Then there is the issue of mountain bikers. I must say most are very respectful but there is an element who feel that the trail belongs to them ad we hikers are a pain in their  saddle. Not to mention the erosion they cause by their riding.

Bluetrain mentioned the difference between nude and naked. I've seen news articles with banners like "Nude woman seen in park" or "Naked man sen in park". Nude has a more subtle connotation than the stark reality of naked.
"Always do what you are afraid to do"-Emerson

Rebus

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2018, 05:43:42 PM »
What is most unfortunate, and something that we ourselves are probably guilty of, too, is simply judging someone from their appearance without even speaking to them. It's the "first impressions" thing. I even expect that we do that when we see a dog. Of course, the dog may be doing the same thing, too. One's first impression of someone else may be spot on but it's still not fair, really. For example, you see someone who's outfitted with all the latest stuff from the outdoor shop and you think one thing. Then along comes someone who looks like they shop at the Army-Navy store and you think something else.

So, you can easily imagine what goes through someone's head when they see a naked man, especially an older naked man. And doesn't "naked" sound worse than "nude?"

I always make it a point to initiate conversation, even if it's just a hello in quick passing.  Something as simple as a friendly greeting can dispel some misconceptions.  Silence really leaves them wondering and less at ease.

BlueTrain

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Re: FreeHiking group in NW Oregon
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2018, 07:51:12 PM »
The Army-Navy/surplus stores have all but disappeared around here and so have the independent (non-chain) outdoor stores. I shop at REI. Don't buy much but I still shop there.

One area of interest to me is camping from the "golden era" of camping (one of them, anyway) of the time of Horace Kephart and George Washington Sears. I am also interested in the Gold Rush of Alaska era, too. And all the junk I have reflects that. My interests don't end there, of course, but sometimes my interests coincide, like hiking and nudism, which naturally evolved into nude hiking.