It's Nippy Out There
March 17, 2009 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Scenery: check. Hiking boots: check. Spicy sausage: check. Immodesty: check.
posted by william_boot (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Eeeek, that's the last stage of hypothermia!
posted by not_on_display at 10:44 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Like a frightened turtle!"
posted by yoink at 10:46 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


In 10,000 years, archeologists will dig up the mummified remnants of one of these nekkid hikers and learn that we were a silly species that wore nothing but gloves and toques in the freezing cold.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:47 AM on March 17, 2009


Mr. Hepenstrick, 54, is an architect who loves to hike in the altogether. In winter, he said, he has hiked for hours in temperatures well below freezing, though he does concede the need for a hat and gloves. He has hiked in the nude for about 30 years...

Er. Brr.
posted by jquinby at 10:53 AM on March 17, 2009


30 years is a long hike.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:55 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Being nude in the shower/pool/ocean: Sure, that makes sense.
Being nude in comfortable air temperatures: While I prefer to have pockets, tastes differ.
Being nude amonst pokey branches or in the snow on top of a mountain: Stupid.
posted by DU at 10:57 AM on March 17, 2009 [3 favorites]



In 10,000 years, archeologists will dig up the mummified remnants of one of these nekkid hikers and learn that we were a silly species that wore nothing but gloves and toques in the freezing cold.


"Nobody knows who they were or what they were doing."
posted by The Whelk at 10:57 AM on March 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Spicy sausage: check.

Spicy, maybe. Hot, not so much.
posted by dersins at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2009


I'm gonna guess this is NSFW?
posted by amro at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2009


That said, this article definitely strips the subject matter down to its altogether. The bare facts uncovered in this stark portrayal undoubtedly expose its raw nature.
posted by dersins at 11:06 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


sorry
posted by dersins at 11:10 AM on March 17, 2009


amro- it's the NY Times with no salacious pics so you should be okay.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:11 AM on March 17, 2009


I hate visiting the NYT. I have to turn off all my Javascript protections in order to get the page to load.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2009


I'm gonna guess this is NSFW?

Not really. The associated picture is a couple of hikers shot from behind, from far enough away that you don't really see much of anything. This is the NY Times; they censor "objectionable" language in their articles. You didn't really expect them to have shots of frontal nudity, did you?
posted by explosion at 11:13 AM on March 17, 2009


I've actually hiked some of those trails around Appenzell. It's a much denser social experience than you might think as an American. The trails are very well groomed, quite dense, with a spot to have a drink or a train platform or a little hamlet every kilometer or two. I also can't imagine many Swiss getting worked up about wandering by someone naked, although a gaggle of nudists might get irritating.
posted by Nelson at 11:14 AM on March 17, 2009


I, ah, am not sure I believe someone can hike for hours in below-freezing temperatures in the buff without hypothermia setting in. Lets assume there is no moisture, since getting the least bit wet would obviously cause death fairly quickly, but no wind at all? In the ALPS? No wind?

I mean, even with no wind there would almost certainly be enough heat transfer to cause hypothermia in a naked person in sub-30 temperatures, but the slightest breeze would make it happen fast

I'd have to see evidence to believe this one.
posted by Justinian at 11:17 AM on March 17, 2009


I'd have to see evidence to believe this one

Justinian, what the article doesn't tell you is that Mr. Hepenstrick has a preternaturally elastic scrotum, which he is able to wrap around himself in times of inclement weather or high winds. At such times, his testicles sit near the top of his head, where they glow blue to attract the attention of passing rescuers.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:21 AM on March 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


I shrink at the very thought.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:21 AM on March 17, 2009


I was hiking in Iceland once, and on the advice of a local, navigated to a nicely rock-rimmed pool in a volcanic stream and took a nice hot soak. I passed it again a few hours later, and saw a bunch of other hikers doing the same, although like many Icelanders who might happen upon a hot bath opportunity at any time, they actually had bathing suits with them and were wearing them. I now wonder if I broke any local ordinances, or if I would have been subjected to disapproving stares for my, er, immodesty. Surely there's an Icelandic equivalent of Ask Amy?
posted by Ella Fynoe at 11:22 AM on March 17, 2009


there are ticks all over the place

GAH! I'll bet there are...
posted by JoanArkham at 11:26 AM on March 17, 2009


I'm gonna guess this is NSFW?

Yeah, this is the NYTimes Page 3 that HR dreads.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on March 17, 2009


Justinian: You would doubtless be quite surprised at how comfortable one can be in winter temperatures, with nothing more than shoes. And this guy added a hat, and even gloves! It feels rather pleasant, actually. But then, I wasn't in mountains, nor was I spending hours that way.

Where I live, in Zug, Switzerland, there is a small piece of beach where people swim and hang out naked. Quite a pleasant surprise, really. Folks that are relaxed with open nudity tend to be really nice people, and I feel quite comfortable amongst such.
posted by Goofyy at 11:29 AM on March 17, 2009


This pertains to skydiving, too.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:21 PM on March 17, 2009


Justinian: You would doubtless be quite surprised at how comfortable one can be in winter temperatures, with nothing more than shoes. And this guy added a hat, and even gloves! It feels rather pleasant, actually. But then, I wasn't in mountains, nor was I spending hours that way./i>

I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Chicago, so I'm well acquainted with cold weather. There's really no comparison between a brief exposure to extreme cold while naked and spending hours that way; there are "polar bear clubs" all over the northern USA where people strip naked and jump in lakes or whatever in sub-freezing or even sub-zero temperatures.

It is apparently quite exhilarating. Briefly. Stay in the water for 5 minutes and you'll die.

Similarly, standing out in, say, 20 degree (F) weather wearing just a hat, gloves, and shoes for 10 minutes is rather bracing. Doing so for 3 hours is deadly.

posted by Justinian at 12:40 PM on March 17, 2009


ruh, ruh, somebody failed to close an italic tag. Sorry.
posted by Justinian at 12:41 PM on March 17, 2009


hmmm. Is there a female nude hiking component??
I mean, even Mister Tanuki, er, Hepenstrick's companion wouldn't strip down.

"coarse, spicy Appenzeller sausage" um, Party.
posted by djrock3k at 12:42 PM on March 17, 2009


Lots of peaks and valleys.
posted by Paid In Full at 12:45 PM on March 17, 2009


In winter, he said, he has hiked for hours in temperatures well below freezing, though he does concede the need for a hat and gloves.

And a thimble.
posted by chillmost at 12:53 PM on March 17, 2009


Meh. That's not all that hardcore. Hardcore hiking is hiking nude cross-country in the Santa Barbara mountains. I'll happily take snow over poison oak, manzanita bushes and chaparral.
posted by happyroach at 1:21 PM on March 17, 2009


Obviously a trend influenced by Ötzi the Iceman, whose browned naked body, found in the snow of the alps, has become iconic in popular imagination of what it means to be primitive and "free" from the constraints of modern society. Living walking Ötzi's.

re: hat and gloves .. there is a myth that more heat is loss from the head - its origins is a US Army training manual from the 1950s. Recent research has shown this to be false, no more heat is loss through the head than any other part of the body (perhaps even less because of hair). However it feels colder, a matter of perception. And since the head is usually the largest exposed patch of skin, it does make a difference. But if your naked, adding a hat won't change much.
posted by stbalbach at 3:32 PM on March 17, 2009


Where do they keep their Trail Mix?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:50 PM on March 17, 2009


Not until 1990 did Appenzell grant women the right to vote, decades after other regions of Switzerland.

Men with swinging sausages out in the open did not raise my eyebrows, but this certainly did. I had no idea that the Swiss were so backward.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2009


Secret Life of Gravy, that part of Switzerland is Austria for all intents and purposes, which is significantly more conservative than a lot of Europe.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:42 PM on March 17, 2009


If the biggest problem Appenzell has is some naked people on a mountain... I'm moving to Switzerland.
posted by Vavuzi at 5:30 PM on March 17, 2009


Also getting sun-burned in places that have never been sun-burned before, because of the sunlight reflecting off the snow.
posted by Restless Day at 6:27 PM on March 17, 2009


I'm a sausage
I'm a sausage
I'm a spicy European sausage

/MC Kielbasa
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:50 PM on March 17, 2009


Where do they keep their Trail Mix?

Down with their nuts...
posted by bitteroldman at 6:54 PM on March 17, 2009


If it's sunny you can be comfortably warm at certain altitudes. Presumably they know their environment (I don't know it tho). I think this says it all though:
“Simply being naked without any sexual connotation is no longer illegal,” Mr. Kettiger said by telephone, adding, “at the time there was a wave of nudism.” Was he himself a hiker? “Yes, but never nude,” he replied. “First there is the danger of sunburn, and then there are ticks all over the place in the Alps, which carry Boreliosa,” or Lyme disease."

Nothing wrong with being nude (to me), and if it feels good, let 'em, but this whole 'freedom' explaination seems delusional.
Early man put on clothes because humans, like pigs, are one of the few animals that get burned by the sun. There was no alternative though. And wow do bugs like human crotches and armpits. Other bug love not having to fight through layer after layer of thick hair to draw blood, not to mention not having to duck a tail.
So yeah, clothes.
I spent the better part of an afternoon submerged to my eyes in a creek dodging a deer fly with apparently supernatural homing ability. That or I have extra sweet blood. That would have been a real nightmare with my goods hanging out.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:31 PM on March 17, 2009


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