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Day Out Barefoot (but not naked)

Discussion in 'Out and About' started by Wander, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Wander

    Wander Nomad

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    It was afternoon.
    In the ploughed field below me there were dots of white - a flock of seagulls.
    Then suddenly they all took to wing.
    I wondered what caused this and so I looked around and saw the spread wings of a buzzard come around the hill above me.
    I recalled seeing something similar a few years ago, by the coast. But on that occasion what had set the gulls into the air was a more impressive osprey.

    So after my break, after seeing the buzzard scare the gulls into the air, I decided to climb higher myself - to start my walk up the hill.

    At that moment whimsy took hold of me.

    There was no one in sight. The previous day it had rained and the ground was still soft and muddy in places. There is only a thin layer of soil over the chalk and clay Downs, and in it grows moss, heather and those calcium loving plants that are now resting and hiding for winter.
    In my own little world, where I was the only one around for as far as I could see, I thought how I wanted to walk barefoot.
    I hesitated. ‘If anyone sees me they’ll think I’m a weirdo,’ I thought to myself.
    ‘Oh well,’ I responded. ‘That’s their problem - sod ‘em!’
    So I took my boots and socks off, and stood up.

    I wonder how many of us have tried walking barefoot as adults? Not just at the beach either. Children will launch themselves into it wholesale without care and no one looks at them strangely for it. All of our feet are arched and creased, ready for walking and gripping, from birth to death. We've all furrowed the warm sand on beaches, and hobbled across the pebbles; but away from these permitted leisure spots we seldom go barefoot except in the privacy of our own homes. Many foot problems like bunions and gout have been ascribed to footwear and these ailments afflict footwear-wearing cultures more than barefoot cultures, so it seems it is best for us, physically at least, to go barefoot. How good is is for us emotionally?

    I had expected the ground to feel cold. It certainly wasn’t warm, but it was warmer than I thought it would be. About body temperature.
    I hooked my toes into the loam and felt it surge up between my toes and around my feet.
    My skin was now in touch with the Earth’s skin.
    I no longer felt self-conscious. I looked ahead of me, at the slope of the hills with a threadbare crown of ragged trees along the crest, and I started walking.

    I started off, up the hill.

    I had walked up this particular slope many times before but never barefoot.
    By the time I would get to the top you could be sure that my thighs would know all about it. This time, though, I made the ascent with a gainful stride and when I reached the top my legs barely ached.
    I wondered why this might be; had my mind been focused on the different textures and tactile references I now felt - the soggy moss, the scratchy heather stubs, the slippery chalk, the scattered striped snail shells - rather than the exertion my muscles were enduring?
    Or had it been because my feet had managed to get a better purchase on the turf and the nap of the landscape, making the climb stronger and easier?
    Or a combination of the two?
    But who cares?

    My footprints were now in the mud, heading uphill. Maybe they might survive as prehistoric fossil prints, maybe for a millennia, maybe for just that afternoon. Treading into the ground, making a path, a route-way from sole to soul.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Wander, Nov 24, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  2. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I do hope we don't start getting reports of yetti in your area! :)
    Yes walking barefoot is very healthy for feet. It should be done more often. You get a real connection with the earth that energises the whole body.
    Kids know this instinctively and love to run around barefoot. Why should it be different as we grow up?
    We get so used to putting on our boots to protect our feet and forget the natural ways.
     
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I used to walk barefoot in the Swedish forests, but stopped when I stepped on a very rusty bottle cap, lying with the edge up.

    It is a fantastic feeling though.
     
  4. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    I walk barefoot often. I've been fortunate enough to have good feet that can take a battering. I once took on the wilds of Snowdonia with a friend and after 4 days of walking with heavy loads his feet were in tatters while mine were tip top. I put it down to going barefoot often. With the air getting to the skin properly bacteria won't build either. I've been known to drive the van barefoot, pop to the shop barefoot and I think nothing of taking my boots off when fishing.... everyone should try it. Like the OP says, it is rather liberating!

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
  5. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I love going barefoot. In the summer I like to wear at most my walking sandels . I hate having to case my feet in boots in the winter. I have wide feet now due to the fact I walk bare foot when I can. A nightmare trying to fit into normal women's shoes! They are so cramped.
     
  6. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I wear sandals 90% of the time when outdoors, so that must be why I have problems finding ladies shoes that fit!

    :)

    Joke aside, our feet are not meant to be encased in a restrictive sheath.
     
  7. oldtimer

    oldtimer Full Member

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    When I was a lifeguard many years ago, I used to run all over a shingle beach without thinking about it. For the last ten years though I've had increasing problems just getting in and out of the sea because the st. A month or so ago I decided to go about the house barefoot in an attempt to harden my feet up a bit. However, going barefoot outdoors at this time of year seems a step or two too far.

    I'm hairy enough but a bit to tall to masquerade as a hobbit. How about you?l
     
  8. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    You can be a hobbit if you have to shave your toes to pose as a human! :)
     
  9. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I have hairy toes.
    My hair is slowly moving south from the scalp. Now it has reached my ears and nostrils.
     
  10. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Ah Janne your secret is out! Not a troll at all .... but a hobbit! :) :)
     
    Janne likes this.
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    A Troll is a nasty, ugly, hairy creature in Scandinavia. I am not nasty.
     
  12. forrestdweller

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    i used to walk barefoot along rivers in Oz and on some places hiked barefoot in the mountains in Japan and Korea (where nobody goes barefoot and locals lecturing me that i didn't wear shoes -- wouldn't have noticed on my own:banghead::rolleyes:), given the fact that Koreans like to throw their trash where they like (as a result of which shopkeepers on Tsushima refused to sell stuff to Koreans visiting the island to go fishing...) and of Mamushi:emoji_dragon::emoji_dragon: it's important to keep your eyes open...
     

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