We are all frustrated by the shortage of events... and the seemingly never ending closure of Leisure centres and limitations at our landed clubs, but we are now finding alternative ways off getting our kits off and the most popular one seems to be Naked walking. The interest in Naked walking has risen enormously during recent weeks as opportunities have appeared since the government restrictions were lifted on numbers, albeit in groups of six with 2 metres social distancing applied.
There are many quiet country walks that are possible to complete clothes free, but we all have different views on how these are performed. Some colleagues will wear a kilt with Velcro fasteners and cover up when meeting non - Naturists, others carry a towel to avoid causing alarm or distress, whether this is necessary at all is debatable, but opinions vary. I would think that this would be appreciated when families are encountered – just my opinion.
One thing is for certain - Naked walking is fast becoming extremely popular, so I decided to try this myself. I couldn’t believe the interest that was generated when I used the BN forum to ask members to register for the annual ‘Beacon Tarn’ Naked walk and skinny dip. After clearing this with the local police who didn’t have a problem with it, we managed to attract a good few Naturists despite the inclement weather we had experienced recently. The expert advice from the former leader of the Beacon Tarn walk/skinny dip was invaluable.
I was pleasantly surprised at the way our body temperature automatically adapts to being naked outside, even during cool damp conditions, also the liberating feeling of total freedom enjoyed by walking clothes free - it really is amazing and immensely exhilarating! Being with fellow Naturists, some familiar and some we had never met previously, we quickly familiarised ourselves with these new friends. As a result we now have a WhatsApp group to arrange more of these walks/skinny dips.
The following advice is for ‘would be’ walk leaders - from our experienced walk leader and BN North West coordinator - John Rodgers
When planning a possible route, I start by looking at an O.S map (or O.S maps online) of the area concerned. My aim is normally as follows.
· Find a route of around 9 - 11miles long (obviously the distance planned can vary to the leader and the intended walkers)
· One that passes through attractive countryside.
· Avoids going through villages as far possible.
· Avoids crossing / walking along major roads.
· With minimal walking on narrow country lanes.
· Identify a suitable start / finish point, with sufficient car parking for the numbers expected.
· If possible maybe start / finish at a pub.
If something looks promising on the map, I then walk it on the ground. Normal experience shows that it can take two or three visits to sort a route out, and sometime it ends up being rejected due to factors found on the ground. The final walk would take in the whole route. Suitable places for lunch and tea stops can also be identified. This approach is essential in my view if you are taking a large group. A small party (say less than six) might be happy with the odd “hiccup” where the survey has been a little less thorough.
I would not, in normal circumstances advise the police, and I never have so far.
Experience shows that walks that take say 5 hours solo of with one other, will probably take at least 6 hours with a larger group.
I would also add that from a personal point of view, I would rather cover up to pass through a village, if that made the overall route more attractive, than go for a less interesting option that allowed more nudity.
I would suggest that the status of the walk needs to be clear. Is it an official BN one, or just a case of “walking with friends” as mine generally are. If you are leading a walk, then it is advisable that you at least carry a basic first aid kit.