Winter is, as they say, coming.
For many nudists, that means earlier nightfall and a break from the stultifying heat of summer sunshine. Residents of the many nudist resorts and communities in Florida, California, Texas, Spain, and other warm areas might be looking forward to a bit of temperate weather.
As a Canadian nudist, though, the rapidly advancing autumn chill brings with it dread for the coming ice and snow. (It's also a time for lamenting the missed opportunities to be nude in the past summer.)
So what are we snowbound Canucks, iced-in Minnesotans, and frozen New York nudists to do? Is the only strategy to light a fire, turn up the heat, and hibernate until the last frost melts?
Luckily, no. Here are some tips to being a winter nudist.
The thing nudists tend to miss most when they're clothed is the feeling of freedom that being nude can bring us. But clothes aren't the only covering you can take advantage of.
You'll tend to be coldest when you're sitting still - working on your laptop or lounging in front of the TV, for example. If your house is cold or drafty, this is when you'll feel it the most. And when this happens, a blanket is your first line of defence. Being nude under a blanket is nude and comfy, and you don't have the restrictions that clothing usually makes you feel.
If you're moving around so much that a blanket is impractical, invest in a quality terrycloth or chenille robe. You can wrap it close around you when you feel chilly and wear it loose and open when you're warming up.
Robe or not, keeping yourself moving is the best way to keep yourself warm. While you're cooking [link to cooking blog post], doing laundry, and other household chores are active enough that even if you're wearing a robe, you'll probably want to shuck it off before too long. (Moving around is good for you, too - check out Amanda Sterczyk's books [link] for more about why you should stay in motion anyway.)
While you're sitting still, you can also keep the cold at bay with a nice warm drink. A herbal tea is a perfect sipper any time of day, but a delicious hot toddy can also be a lovely treat for a chilly night.
One school of thought for some naturists is that being bottomless is the best approach for nudists in cold weather. The thinking behind this is that the need to cover one's genitals is the primary difference between larger society and we nudists. If we are going to cover up, staying bare below the waist asserts that we are still nudists.
I understand the philosophy behind this but I'm not sure it matters. I also find that wearing only, say, a sweatshirt is more effective for keeping me warm than wearing only sweat pants. And it definitely feels more nude, which is when I feel best, too.
In the end, the question is what is best for you. No one should be uncomfortable for the sake of being a nudist, so if you need to dress for the weather, then do so. (As many naturists point out, We're nudists, not idiots.
It would be nice if we lived somewhere the temperature never dipped below the freezing mark. For many of us, there's no other option: winter is a fact of life. It's expensive (and environmentally irresponsible) to crank the heat in the house. Being a nudist in winter just isn't an easy prospect.
But if nudism is an important part of your life, you're going to want to practice it even when the mercury falls out of sight. I hope some of the tips here give you some new strategies for staying nude whatever the weather.
What have you done in the past to stay nude and warm in the winter? Tell me in the comments!