Sunday, October 11, 2009

Freehiking the Yukon Territory

“A friend of mine made a comment in the summer of 2003 that applies nicely to nude hiking. He said that it's only skinny-dipping (or nude hiking) if you're with someone else. Otherwise, it's just swimming (or hiking).

I first discovered the freedom of hiking without clothes 25-30 years ago while living in Chilliwack, in the southwestern corner of the Canadian province of British Columbia. My passion has always been for wilderness travel, and this was a difficult, steep, off-trail hike in remote country on a hot day. It didn't matter how many layers I took off, I was still sweaty and uncomfortable.

As alone as I was in that valley, removing my shorts, though physically very comfortable, was psychologically rather troubling. What if someone saw me? Never mind the fact that there was virtually no chance of anyone being on this slope, or probably even in this valley, what if?

Following that initial experience, I starting choosing my hiking locations partly for their suitability for nude hiking. As the area became more and more crowded, though, finding those locations became increasingly difficult, particularly on weekends. But, the more I hiked that way, the better the experience became, and since moving to the sparsely populated Yukon Territory, I seldom hike or canoe with clothes on (on warm days!).” - Human

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