Here’s a funny anecdote. Ever since the beginning of Naked Wanderings we now and then receive messages from naturists asking us when we will organise our next nude hike. A bit surprised we always answered something like “Sorry, ehm, we’re a naturist travel blog, we don’t organise nude hikes”. After a while it became just too strange that people kept asking us about this specific naturist activity.
It became clear when we noticed that we received this question almost exclusively from German naturists. The word “wandering” in English points more towards a journey, which can be seen both physically as mentally (that’s why we picked this name for our blog in the first place). In German however, the word “wanderung” leans much more towards actual hiking. Hence the confusion. When naturists from Germany found our website, they thought we were a nude hiking club.
Which we are not of course. Although we do enjoy a nude hike once in a while. And we’re not alone, other than those caught up in the language barrier there are lots of other naturists enjoying nude hikes. What makes hiking in the buff so attractive?
The uprise of nude activities
The idea that naturists don’t do anything else than relaxing next to a river, baking on the nude beach or play petanque is as old as naturism itself. Only if you’ve ever been to a naturist resort you know that pretty much everything can be done in the nude. Especially when it comes to sports and entertainment. Nude yoga is becoming famous world wide, we see more and more nude volleyball tournaments and in the USA nude 5K runs are a big thing at naturist resorts.
Sometimes we don’t always understand why a certain activity becomes popular among nudists. In France, for example, at many naturist resorts it’s now possible to do nude archery. Archery of all things. We’ve never tried it, so we definitely don’t want to judge. We just hadn’t seen that one coming. What we find a lot more logical is the mix of naturism and art. Artists don’t often have many options to work with nude people. As models or in the case of body painting as canvas. For naturists on the other hand it’s a possibility to learn about art and to be included in an art work. It’s really a win win.
During the constant search for more things that can be done in the nude, another very interesting activity popped up. You’ve probably already guessed it. Nude hiking.
Why would we go on a nude hike?
One very important aspect of naturism is the return to the natural. Not in a hippy kind of way where we would burn all that’s artificial but just the joy of being in nature. Being nude in nature. Because when you’re naked, your sense of touch grows hugely. Which isn’t really a surprise. Most of the time we only feel with our hands or our head. The parts of our body which normally remain uncovered while we’re clothed. Everyone knows the joy of feeling the wind in their hair. Nudists know the joy of feeling the wind passing by their while body.
It’s the same thing with other elements. Feeling the sun on our body, feeling the rain and not having to worry about clothes getting wet. The sand between our toes, the grass when we lay down on the lawn, we can keep going on and on about this. The best way to feel nature is of course when we’re surrounded by it. In a field or in the woods. And when we’re active. When our body moves we can get the most of everything. It’s easy to add those two factors. If you really want to feel nature on your nude body, you have to go for a nude walk in the woods.
Where can you go nude hiking?
The main issue with organising a nude hike is of course the legal aspect. In many countries it’s just not allowed to be naked in public places. And unfortunately, many of the best places to hike and most great hiking trails are not on private property. Luckily for us, there are naturist resorts which own a huge property at where hiking is perfectly possible and legal. Le Colombier in France has built several trails through its forest. At Deanza Hot Springs and The Olive Dell in California it’s possible to make amazing hikes in the desert. And the best place for nude hikes we’ve ever found was Yatan Rumi in Argentina which has a 1200 hectare domain where you can be nude in pristine nature as much as you want.
On public property it all depends on the local laws. Some are great, like in the Netherlands where it’s legal to be nude in all forests and nature reserves. In the USA nude hiking is sometimes tolerated, like at Deep Creek Hot Springs. Other times it mostly depends on how the other hikers react to your nudity. Most of all, on whether or not they will complain at the authorities. The good news is that most others won’t bother that much. The people from Effortless Outdoors have done a survey among 1500 adult Americans which has shown that 45% has no problem with nude hikers at all. 30% more thinks it should be allowed but at designated places and only 25% seemed to be against it.
Nature is amazing to experience nude, but you have to keep in mind that not all nature is as friendly. So depending on where you’re going and which type of hike you’re interested in, you might want to take some precautions. We’re not going to tell you that it’s better to pack some clothes when you’re going for the high Alps. Some places are just not right for nude hikes. But everywhere else in the world you might want to consider taking the following:
✅ Water: Water is the most important. How much water you need depends on the person and the temperature, but for a decent day hike you better take 2 to 3 liters per person. A rule of thumb is to turn around and hike back if you’ve spent half of your water before you’ve hiked half of the trail.
✅ Sunscreen: Feeling the sun on your nude body is great and the amount of vitamin D you’ll absorb will make you a happy person. What will make you less happy are the evenings when you look like a lobster and can’t sit comfortable anymore. So do use sunscreen.
✅ Bug spray: Forests are amazing for spotting wild life, but some of that you prefer not to spot. At least not on your skin. Mosquitoes, deer flies and whatever else that likes to sting nude hikers can be avoided with bug spray.
✅ Foot wear: Again, this depends on the type of walk you’re engaging in. If it’s all grass or sand it will be great to hike barefoot. If it’s all rocks and stingy things it’s better to cover your feet if you want to keep enjoying the rest of your nudity.
✅ A bag: Remember, it’s nude hiking. That obviously means no pockets. You could take a small backpack, a bag or one of those very cool Laboa Belt Bags which can be found in our Naked Wanderings Shop.
Last tip: don’t go alone on a nude hike
Every great experience is better when it’s shared. That alone is a good reason to take someone with you on your nude hikes. But there are more reasons. Hiking, with or without clothes, can be dangerous. You can fall or get hurt. Don’t be like the guy from the movie 127 hours and keep both arms by bringing someone who could call the emergency services.
If you’re hiking on public property and encounter others, it will also seem less weird that you’re naked when you’re in a group. Both to yourself as to the clothed hikers. So a good idea is to find yourself a nude hiking group. For the record, Naked Wanderings not one of those, but we’re sure that you’ll be able to find some fun nude hikers with whom you can tag along.