Lost in the Woods and Naked!

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Image courtesy of Searching4Eden

Do you ever feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? You know, where he wakes up every morning to the same song, “I’ve got you babe . . .” because his entire life is a repeat of the same day?

Last Thursday, I was in that Groundhog Day rut, and wanted to do something crazy, to carpe diem!, to remind myself that I exist. But carpe dieming (TM) means different things for different people. For some, it’s to go bungee jumping or fishing, or to max your credit card at Macy’s. For me, it’s shedding my clothes to reconnect with nature. Now, I’d like to say that my decision to do this was for research purposes. My next book, Naked in the Wildwood (working title) will feature a naked girl (Thelana) living alone in the woods, struggling to survive. Besides volunteering for the TV show Naked and Afraid, which I can’t do because I get migraines when I skip lunch, it’s always good to experience what you plan on writing. But in all honestly, I write about going primitive because of my deep seated desire to live that way.

There is a park I sometimes visit with the family that has a nature trail, but is no way clothing optional. Fortunately, the park was near empty, being a weekday afternoon with most kids in school. I drove around looking for the trail, but couldn’t find it, so I settled on a secluded spot away from cars. By now my heart was racing. I’d been nude in public before, on beaches and in the woods when I was twelve, but things were different now. Here I could be arrested, or worse, be marked as a sex offender. So I had to be really careful. I got out of my car wearing only my black shorts and Crocs and proceeded to the woods. Looking back toward the road several times, I nervously slipped off my shoes and shorts. Being nude in the outdoors, I cannot help but think of my place in history, in geologic time. Doubtless, some proto-Indian stood on the same spot, feeling the same sensations on his bare feet, the same wind and sun on his shoulders, fourteen-thousand years ago. Consumed by fauna and flora, surrounded only by what has existed for millions of years, my everyday concerns melted away, as did my sense of self. Some people find security in stuff, but as Henry David Thoreau expressed in Walden, possessions can be a burden. The connectedness of social media, and the Internet, are like shackles to me. Sometimes, I crave the freedom of getting lost. Feeling ever more bold, I hid my things at the base of a tree (a really random tree), and went out exploring, without shoes, without shorts, without keys or cell phone, in nothing but my body. I didn’t even bother looking back. You’d think I was planning to live my entire life there, so great was the urge to go.

The trees were so densely packed that I had to move slowly, but it gave me cover, should some random person come along. Contrary to what Nike might tell you, I never felt the need for shoes. Being Florida wetland, the ground was soft and moist, and I could feel every dead leaf and root underfoot, and those things that look like straw (tree hair?) covering the ground. That’s not to say it was the Ritz Hotel. I cut my leg, but that only served to wake me up, when my life so often feels like I am sleep walking, and yesterday blends seamlessly with tomorrow. If it’s one thing I hate, it’s excessive comfort. Put me in an easy chair and I might as well be dead.

The climax of my experience was coming across deer, four young does just minding their own business. One looked right at me, and I sensed that it wasn’t afraid, only curious. Had it ever seen a naked human before? Did it even recognize my lack of clothing? I like to think we shared some kinship, being out there as our mothers’ made us, in that moment of wordless communication. Perhaps they could sense my vulnerability.

Alas, I could not be free forever, as civilization (and the occasional book, movie, wife and kids) beckoned. And I planned to write a chapter that day, so I headed back toward my clothes. But, they, were, gone! Where the fuck were my clothes? And that is when I learned an important lesson about being out in the woods. Apparently, trees look a lot alike. Surely, my shoes and car keys and shorts had to be in that other tree.

Nope.

I didn’t entirely panic, but panic was knocking on my consciousness. Over and over, I told myself to stay calm and focus and not to lose it. My stuff had to be around someplace. Finding them was only a matter of time. Unless, of course, some jerk came by and took them. I mean, anyone finding Volkswagen keys was sure to make the connection to the one car, a Beetle, sitting in the parking lot. But I had not heard anybody come through the woods. I was certainly alone, and my stuff had to be somewhere, they just had to be, I assured myself. But how far from the road had I ditched my things? And why the Hell hadn’t I picked a more conspicuous place? All the while, crazy scenarios kept popping in my head. How long could I search before giving up? Hours? Nightfall? What then? I would have to come out onto the road, completely naked, to seek help. Maybe a park ranger would see me and call the police. Or that lady with the baby stroller I’d seen earlier might lend me her cell phone. How embarrassing would that be? And who would I call? My wife? What would I say to her?

“Um, hi honey. Listen . . . no, no, I am not at Barnes & Nobles. Actually, I kind of need your help . . .”

That would haunt me for life. And yet, despite it all, I was exhilarated. Not for a second did I feel regret. After all, this was the adventure I was seeking! The Quest to Find My Keys! A day like this could never be forgotten, never be confused with a Groundhog Day. I searched tree to tree, climbing over logs and trekking mud and ducking under brambles (this is when I cut myself) no longer concerned with being seen. At one point, my skin caught a spider’s thread long before I could have seen it, a beautifully colored nasty looking thing, which acted as a convenient landmark.

After about an hour, I noticed the blue tint of my Crocs. Of course, I was relieved, but felt no less bold. I walked naked to my car, got in, and started to drive home. Nobody could possibly see whether I had my shorts on, could they? Is it even illegal to drive naked? Sure enough, the first car to drive by was police, and I made damn sure to follow the rules of the road. But the next vehicle, I KID YOU NOT, was a Google Maps truck, the one with the spherical camera on top. OK, I thought, now God is just messing with me.

My story, being true, ends anti-climatically. At home, I hosed off the mud and jumped into the pool. But I’d found fuel for my fiction, and at least I can say that, on May 29th, 2014, Nick Alimonos truly lived.

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I’d like to give special thanks to the amazing photographers over at Searching4Eden, who continue to capture the spirit of naturism in their art!

You can find them on Twitter and Instagram and support them on PATREON!

3 thoughts on “Lost in the Woods and Naked!

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  1. Heyy !

    I had a great time reading your story, as a person who had a lot of „naked forest adventures“ himself 😉

    I’m a 23 year old german male, I have loved being naked since I was little and as I got older I started to understand my connection with nudity and the way it affects me.

    I don’t even remember my first forest walk anymore because I had quite a lot of them (about 20-25 over 1-1,5 years) most of them at night so I can be 100% sure I’m not being caught.
    But still, the way you explained your first time is exactly how I always thought about it. The vulnerability and the pure feeling of freedom and self realization, just you and mother nature dancing together in joy.

    I can’t understand why nudity is still such complicated topic, we both know that nudity does not have to be sexual, but most of the people seem to not know or just never have thought about it and are not willing to give these thoughts a chance. Thats how the people my age (20-30 years) at least think about it. I have one female friend who I’ve been with to public saunas and nude lakes. She is the absolute exception, whenever I talked about it with anyone else, no one seemed to understand, give it a try or at least showed some respect or tolerance towards it. It was always considered as „weird“

    The world needs more people that go nude, it helps themselves (with their body image), people around them (by showing respect and acceptance towards every naked body) and in the big picture the whole human existence (by making the world a peaceful place.(Went a little far lol but you get my point)

    I’m glad I stumbled over your blog, you showed me that I am not alone with my feelings and that there are people just like me out there having the same experiences and feel the same way like me.

    (I also had like 2-3 times panic moments when I was not finding my stuff somewhere in the woods and thinking about all the bad stuff that can happen, so I could totally feel with you.
    pro tip: but your stuff on a tree hanging from a branch so you can find it easier, take a towel or something else with a bright color that you can spot easily and if you plan on having a longer walk, save the location of where you dropped your stuff on your phone so can do a route back to it)

    As a nudist lover I can only recommend you go to the forest more often. It will never lose its excitement and the inner peace afterwards.

    There should be more people giving it a try and feel the magic, and you are doing your part in achieving it with your blog.

    Keep going, stay nude, stay happy and keep preaching the beautiful and life improving joy of simply being naked 🙂

    Like

    1. I always assumed the Germans were more open to nudity than anyone here in the US. Sad to hear that even in Europe you encounter the same hangups. Anyway, thanks for the well-thought comment! I really appreciate it. 😉

      Like

  2. I almost lost track of my clothes once. Things do not look the same coming back to a spot as they do going out and if you toss in the change in shadows as the day goes by, a spot can become unrecognizable. But I knew they had to be there so a painstaking search soon found them.

    I think the problem is that I hide my clothes because I am actually more worried about them being found by someone else than being seen myself. Well hidden clothing might just mean *you* can’t find them either. Having my clothes stolen as a prank happened to me as a kid, so I think about it that sort of thing. And it is really easy to lose a wallet or a keyset in the backcountry such that you will NEVER find them. Best to leave an extra set near the car along with any valuables you wouldn’t want to lose on the trail.

    I do a lot of nude hiking in Southern California and I occasionally blog about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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