We first saw a "Wandering Bares" sticker on a Winnebago owned by some, now nudist friends. I asked where they got the sticker and they said they crossed path with a nudist who was selling the stickers.
Now about 12 months later we have tracked down the creator of these stickers, John & Joan Clarke and have bought and now proudly display our own Wandering Bares sticker on our car!
We asked John what was the history behind the creation of this sticker and here is the response:
To begin with, I am a nudist from way back in the early seventies, When I ,with wife and 4 kids joined the old Woodlands, out of Liverpool, Sydney.
Unfortunately, My wife died from breast cancer at 35 years old, leaving me with 4 young children to raise.
Fast forward then to 1986, where with the kids now all with jobs, me up on the Gold Coast, where Joan and I met and became an item. Although Joan had always been textile, she very easily adapted to the nudist lifestyle with me.
In early 1994 we settled on the secluded 40 acre bush block, now called Teatree Park, just out of Agnes Water, Qld. We lived in a caravan while I built our little cottage. When we moved into the house, we kept the caravan area tidy, and made it available as a camp area for travelling nudists. We did a lot of travelling to nudist resorts and beaches. Agnes Water beaches at those time was very secluded then. That was the main reason I had purchased this block in this area.
In 2002 we set off in our little Nissan poptop to travel to Darwin. Along the way we encountered a lot of the "Grey Nomads", as we camped each night in free bush camps. We discovered that the "Campervan and Motorhome Club Australia, had held their Annual Convention at Barcaldine the previous week, and a lot of Motorhomers were also on the way to Darwin.
Quite often as we shared a drink or two with these nomads, I would eye off some of them and think, "look at that couples tan. I bet they're nudists." Politeness, and fear of offending would deter me from asking them straight out. It was because of this that I would think,"wouldn't it be good if they had a sticker on their vehicle that would identify them to other nudists". I decided I would apply myself to trying to make this happen.
Upon our return home, I immediately joined the C.M.C.A. As they instigated various "chapters" in different districts, as well as special interest groups, such as "The Solo's" (nomads travelling alone), and the "Hi-Fi" group for the radio enthusiasts , I wrote to them proposing a nudist special interest group. It didn't even rate a reply. On making inquiries, I was told there were too many old prudes in the executive to even consider it. I decided to "go it alone"
I experimented with a few different designs and caricatures, running them past other nudists at various clubs and resorts, as well as friends, but none seemed to have that "bling" that would really catch on.
Finally, I formed a picture in my mind of what I thought would be an attractive logo. I went to a local graphic artist and went through some design books until we came across the little bear. I had her fill in the changes I wanted, the staff and bundle and such, until the "Wandering Bares" was created.
I liked it so much I forwarded it on to a local sign printer to print 100 stickers to test the reaction.
They immediately struck a chord with all I showed it to, and so the "Wandering Bares" were born.
They took on very well with many single male nudists. They found that it didn't come over as being "in your face" with prudes who would judge them as deviates or such because it was easily explained away to the curious as just a funny sticker that didn't know how to spell "bear". At the same time it was immediately recognised by other nudists they may meet on the road.
They have now been sent to nudists, not only all over Australia, but have sent small orders to the U.S.A. as well as the U.K. and of course N.Z. One description of the sticker that amused me was from an American couple who sent an order for the little "Hobo Bear".
It had never occurred to me that it could be seen as a "Hobo" nudist.
During our trip around Australia in 06-07 we encountered the stickers in many strange places. Not surprising I guess, as we always sought out secluded places to camp along the road, just so we could be in "uniform" while camped. We rarely used caravan parks. It was either nudist places, or out in the bush.
Anyway, that is the story of the little nudist bear.
Thanks to John and Joan for taking the time to share your story.
If you would like your own Wandering Bares sticker to proudly tell "those in the know" of your clothes free preference then send John and Joan a cheque or money order for $5 plus a self addressed envelope to:
J & J Clarke
619 Murphy Road