Author Topic: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day  (Read 142 times)

jbeegoode

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In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« on: June 23, 2020, 10:12:04 PM »
My blog was recently, with good intentions linked to another blog in concern with Nude Hiking Day. A negative coloring is presented there. It is damaging to the holiday and free range hiking in general. It is written with a bias of fears in a poorly researched article.

I addressed the issue on my blog and may further do so. I have sent the following letter to the contact section of the blog, recommending the that the offensive article be taken down.A copy of my letter to then follows.

I am hoping that a few here will send notes of objection to their contact link and also suggest taking it down. I am one voice a few more comments and they will certainly react. Bloggers looking for integrity don't want their reputation smeared because two of their people did a poor job. Things like this are poison to the change that we would like to see.

My letter to: feedback@verywell.com

As avid promoters of World Naked Hiking Day, we are alarmed by your recent article entitled “Caution: Naked Hiking Day June 21,” written by Wendy Bumgardner and “fact checked” by Shereen Lehman, MS.

Facts are not accurate facts unless all of the facts are presented. Your article falsely represents the actuality of World Nude Hiking Day and coats the holiday with the author’s personal fearful outlook. It is portrayed as authoritative and trustworthy, as are all of the articles at your website, but absolutely doesn’t reflect that. It should be withdrawn to protect the integrity of your website.

The article’s irrational scare is inaccurate and ignorant as follows:

One official reaction in one state, Colorado, one in 49 other states, is mentioned. Three years ago Colorado Springs was getting press attention during a controversy over a local ordinance. This situation lead to the official’s comment when asked. No other state mentioned policy, because it is a non-issue for them.

 In the wilds, it is not illegal to be nude. It is illegal to have certain body parts carelessly, or intentionally for sexual gratification exposed, and only in some states.

The “Fact” is that authorities will not chase out into the wilds, to maybe find someone who may still be there in a vast area. They are unlikely to even follow up on a complaint. They have different law enforcement priorities.

Online questioning the actual experience of dozens of nude hikers across the United States has revealed a consistent pattern. Approximately three to four percent of encounters produce negative reactions. Approximately 20% produce confused reactions to the unusual circumstance of encountering a nude hiker.

How many of this tiny minority who would object, actually will report to an authority is unknown, but there are obviously very few that will follow through. Then again, what law enforcement officer would budget the time and effort to go on a likely futile search?

I should say that one person polled did have a negative encounter his first time nude hiking, which has had no re-occurrence. I will volunteer that a county in California had had a serial rapist/murderer on their trail and sent helicopters after an innocent nude hiker to desperately find the criminal. This is highly unusual.

Your article is based on the ignorant projections of two authors, with a smattering of facts to justify unjustifiable fears. What they purport, just isn’t true. Relying on law enforcement for factual opinion in a public setting, or not considering their reality, presents biased and inaccurate information. Excluding other sources is irresponsible journalism.

Further, the planting seeds of fear continue into your article, as follows.

The article relies on a nutritionist for fact checking! I have a Masters in Psychology; I have researched and written papers on the topic of harmless human nudity. I have often been naked in the woods for 50 years and have yet to encountered a negative reaction. In fact, positive feedback is common. It not harmful for ANY person to see another of their own species without clothing. I have worked with Forest Service officials.

The first paragraph brings up the completely refuted concern about children seeing human nudity.

Ticks like people that are bundled up in clothing and moist bodily areas. Nudity actually helps with that problem.

Mosquitoes are a problem, but odds are that you will get the dangerous ones in an urban environment. If there are pest like that it is simply a lousey place to hike. Yes, a pun, but why alert readers to the obvious, a problem which doesn’t require nudity to suffer?

Sunscreen is a whole different issue and I find it harmful. Sunburn is harmful, also, but this needs to be addressed as an entirely different issue.

A significant use of space is taken discussing identification of exhibitionists. First, it is extremely unusual to discover a predator hunting where there are few victims. Secondly, is it not obvious when someone touching their genitals is getting sexual satisfaction? This section only colors the article’s bias.

I can appreciate any article which promotes World Nude Hiking Day, but will be shedding light on your misrepresentation on the internet.

The publishers of TheFreeRangeNaturist.org

Barefoot all over, all over.

Bob Knows

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2020, 04:40:50 PM »
Good response Jbee.  Can you post a link to that article here so we see what you are writing about?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 04:43:50 PM by Bob Knows »
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Peter S

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2020, 06:35:13 PM »
https://www.verywellfit.com/caution-naked-hiking-day-june-21-3436274

Just read the article. Must say it didn’t strike me as bad as you suggest JBee (says it was last edited March 25). Wasn’t a wholehearted endorsement of naked hiking but came across as fairly middle of the road. Perhaps your comments have had the desired effect and the last edit date hasn’t been updated?
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John P

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2020, 09:39:03 PM »
I agree with Peter, the article really doesn't seem too bad. At least it doesn't claim to be "The naked truth" or use the word "cavort", though I wish it didn't start with the word "Caution". What puzzles me is why it includes a picture that very obviously shows clothed people, not naked ones. The location looks like Silver Falls State Park, in Oregon. JBG, could you offer them a more suitable image?

jbeegoode

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2020, 03:10:01 AM »
Ha! I'm sure they are not interested in a nude image.

Each section, or paragraph starts out middle of the road, then ends in a negative. For someone just starting out I would see it discouraging. The outline is just a set of BS excuses that people use to not get out there. It isn't all negative, it isn't all true, it isn't all bad PR. It is sort of like, "sure get out there like you were thinking would be fun, BUT REALIZE THAT YOU ARE IN A PERILOUS SITUATION!!!!!" Yes, it could be worse, or more obvious. It is smooth, but the bottom line is a red flag waving. It IS all about not being seen.
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MartinM

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 10:24:13 AM »
It seems mostly a fair, factual article although it does rather give one side by listing all the potential problems while saying nothing of the benefits, or the problems of being clothed that you leave behind.

What I find most worrying is the suggestion of a natural continuum from harmless naked hiker to dangerous exhibitionist, as if the sexual predator is just an extension of the naturist. I have heard of very view sexual predators who hide behind a naturist’s attire, some reasons being obvious. The kind of sexual predator most likely (but still unlikely) to be found when walking, but less likely still on longer trails, is a flasher, who hides behind his clothing, ready to strike! Much more likely in urban parks. Even flashers rarely progress to anything more serious, I understand. But then some do, and they are clearly exhibtionists, and naturists are basically exhibitionists... at least that is what the reader may conclude.
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Peter S

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 12:09:09 PM »
Logically, a naked person out in the countryside or on a hiking trail is far less likely to be a flasher or molester, as their chances of finding a victim are so minimal. Far more likely for them to be in a park or hiding round the corner ready to jump out when there are lots of potential victims close at hand.
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jbeegoode

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 03:06:57 AM »
Yes, this article is sexualizing simple nudity, nude hiking no less, again like any negative spiel. This one comes across like fair, but then manages to muck up with ALL of the basic fears, excuses and sexualization. It uses facts, but the incomplete facts and the sources, like local police in a politically charged public situation like Colorado a few years ago.

All in all it is misleading and to a novice, discouraging. It is harmful to the end of getting more nudes out there.
Jbee
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BlueTrain

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Re: In Defense of World Nude Hiking Day
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 12:22:43 PM »
I thought the article was fairly neutral but nevertheless was written in a way to make the article (but not nude hiking so much) more interesting. On the one hand, I suppose it's a good thing to bring more attention to an unofficial nude hiking day, yet more attention may not necessarily be a good thing. I don't think that a group of nude hikers is any safer, legally speaking, than a lone hiker. It may in fact draw unwanted attention from the law. The police and other law enforcement agencies in some parts of this country can be very reactionary, as you can see from recent events in the news, almost making up the law as they go along. There is enough in the criminal code to cover just about any behavior that a law officer doesn't like. But be aware that many people simply don't like public nudity but you probably already were.

I am not sure if it is possible to de-sexualize humans. It goes against everything we are taught and desire.

It would probably be easy enough to bring up the subject of nude hiking, or the unofficial nude hiking day, in a more casual manner, in the way nude beaches sometimes are in the travel section of the newspaper. They generally aren't sensationalized but are written about in a matter-of-fact manner. But this article isn't like that.

The subject always comes up in connection with almost any kind of outdoor nudity but I don't think there are any "natural hazards of nude hiking," given that most hikers out and about when it's warm enough to be nude aren't wearing very much anyway. But please don't refer to someone "wearing little more than a couple of handkerchiefs" (from a 1940 book) as a "textile." That is sanctimonious.