Dan highlights the naked truth!
Stripping off in the great outdoors – even if you then do something as “ordinary” as going for a walk is always going to catch the attention of the greater public. And while photographer and climber Dan Arkle might have suffered in the winter cold and snow as he stepped out on Crib Goch, the knife-edge ridge in Snowdonia, Wales, recently, he took a great deal of comfort from knowing that pictures of his naked stroll would cause a bit of a stir. Of course, Dan wasn’t suggesting or recommending that we all walk naked in the winter mountains (because that would be dangerous). But he did want to remind us just how very vulnerable humans are in such an environment. He said: "I wanted to highlight how weak and vulnerable humans are in such a place without modern technology and protective equipment.” Dan’s photographs reveal a man who is free of all the modern clothes and gadgets that most of us have come to be obsessed about. In the 21st century, we dress up in the latest technological clothing, wear any one of a hundred different varieties of walking boots and carry GPS devices, rucksacks, tents, sleeping bags and spares. [caption id="attachment_10373" align="alignleft" width="252"] Photos @ Dan Arkle[/caption] In one way, these clothes and gizmos help us to better enjoy the outdoors environment because they keep us warm, dry and safe in the mountains. Yet these modern accoutrements also create a barrier between us and the natural environment. As outdoors fan and commentator Dave Mycroft, who is the founder of myoutdoors.co.uk, says: “Over the last 30 to 40 years we've seen a revolution in outdoor equipment from synthetic clothing to water repellent down and four-season tents weighing under a kilo. “But it time probably no coincidence that during the same time frame we've increasingly lost our connection with nature. “There's an argument that while technology has helped protect us from the extremes of our environment it's also been instrumental in disassociating us to the extent that when stripped of the technology we feel naked.” Dan, who actually walked only a few hundred metres “until my feet got too cold”, revealed that his experience felt “very free”. “It felt so free not be weighed down by my usual equipment and to feel the snow crunching between my toes," he added. "One of the reasons people go into the mountains is for a feeling of awe at being surrounded by powerful and elemental forces." Every so often it’s worth stopping to think about the natural – or naked? – magnificence of our landscapes. We’re not saying, get naked yourselves, just take the time to metaphorically peel off the layers of clothing and gadgets to revel in the wonder of the natural world. Dan’s photographs – but not necessarily the photos seen in this blog – will be exhibited at the ShAFF Lowepro exhibition in April.
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