WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY – Unlucky in love Megan now takes regular rambles in the buff.
A woman who took up naked hiking after a string of failed relationships – posting snaps to Instagram to make her exes “jealous” – has now fallen in love with the unusual outdoor hobby.
City girl Megan Marie, 35, now takes regular jaunts out into the wilderness, trekking through national parks completely in the buff with her trusty canine sidekick Wembley.
Initially, in 2016, she began to document her expeditions online – uploading snaps of herself nude while out in the wild – in a bid to make her former lovers envious.
But now, she has built up over 20,000 followers, and what started as a jokey hobby has developed into something more purposeful, as she uses her platform to discuss topics as varied as hiking safety and mental health.
Explaining her decision to start stripping off in the great outdoors, Megan, who is from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, said: “I was going through a bit of a rough patch and had had a few disappointing relationships that didn’t really go anywhere.
“I suppose I was searching for something – freedom or independence – and I wanted to do something that would be cool enough to make my exes jealous.”
Megan, a manager at a veterinary clinic, began hiking – at first fully clothed – when she found herself single again in 2015, after her relationship of a few months broke down and she made a vow to become more self-sufficient.
This, coupled with a New Year’s resolution for 2015 she had made with her sister Erin, 34, to go camping together more, pushed her to embark on a two-week 2,500-mile road-trip from Colorado to San Francisco – something she would previously have found too daunting.
Setting off in late May, the pair slept in a tent every night, and ate only dehydrated food packs.
“I was really nervous before going, thinking about all the things that might go wrong,” Megan explained.
“But we had such a blast, and afterwards I felt a rush of pride and excitement at having completed something that before had been so nerve-racking.”
From there, several more trips with Erin to various national parks around the country followed, and Megan recorded their adventures by posting shots of the scenic landscapes to her Instagram page.
Then, after a friend jokingly suggested that she should take a photo of herself in the buff, Megan rose to the challenge, posting her first nude picture from her two-week trip to California in July 2016, taken by her sister Erin of her facing out onto a beach at Big Sur, California.
“I was pretty nervous about doing that,” she recalled. “It isn’t something I’ve ever done before and I really worried about what people would think.”
To her delight, though, the picture was liked hundreds of times.
Encouraged by the positive response and requests for more from her followers, she soon uploaded other cheeky snaps and it became a regular, weekly thing during the summer months.
As her follower count began to increase, she decided to use the attention she was getting for good, and began posting about important issues, including mental health.
“The trips have helped me tremendously with my own mental health, having suffered myself from depression,” she said.
She continued: “I tried for ages to build up some sort of a following on Instagram with wildlife and landscape pictures, then as soon as I start posting pictures of my butt it just takes off.
“Of course, I know that it’s an account full of bottom photos, but I feel that now I have such a following I should use that in a positive way to talk to people about important things.”
Now two and a half years on and more than 50 bare-bottomed photos later, Megan has become an assiduous documenter of her rambles in the wilds, which she makes with her dog Wembley, a schnauzer.
To capture each picture, she will find her way to a quiet area with no one around, take her clothes off and pose as the camera – held either by Erin or on a tripod mount – captures her.
“I really enjoy the excitement of being out in the open air without any clothes on and the adrenaline of seeing what I can get away with,” continued Megan, who says she tries to avoid being seen by other hikers by stripping off for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
“But it’s not at all in a sexual or erotic way, as I know some people must assume.”
She added: “I know a lot of people struggle to separate nudity and sex, but for me it has never really been about that.”
Not everyone is as comfortable with Megan’s disrobing, however.
Describing her parents’ reaction, she said: “When I told them they seemed quite disappointed in me, but thought, ‘Well, that’s just Megan,’ and since then we haven’t talked about it once,” she explained.
Still, undeterred, Megan has vowed to continue posting for the foreseeable future, both for her own enjoyment and as a way of maintaining contact with the thousands of people who follow her naked jaunts.
“I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that enjoyed the attention of it all,” she said.
“But it makes me feel equally good to think that I have a platform from which I can communicate with people. It just so happens to be the case that that is through pictures of my naked butt.”
As for Megan’s love life, she is currently in the early stages of a new relationship with a man she met on a dating app.
“Within a month of our first date, I managed to convince him to come with me on a hiking trip in Utah, where he took a picture of me doing a nude handstand,” she said.
“He’s really accepting of my hikes and loves the fact that I put my a** out there – both literally and figuratively!”
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