Whether you are a naturist or not, you may have heard about naked hiking. In a few simple words, a naked hike is a classic hike, that is practiced naked. Yes, you read well, naked, without shirt or shorts!
This naturist activity has more and more adepts and is gradually gaining legitimacy from hikers. However, as it takes place outside of official naturist centers and areas, it requires a little knowledge to be practiced without risking encountering the police!
Hiking naked, is it legal?
In France and as the French site Droit et Naturisme rightly says, « Nudity is forbidden where it is not allowed! ». Basically, outside of official naturist centers and areas, no nudity. However, a page from the same site dedicated to naked hiking provides sound guidance. If the legal risk is not eliminated, it appears to be extremely limited.
The author gives us three reasons:
- A depletion of horrified walkers at the sight of naked hikers
- Law enforcement has other far more important issues than a bunch of people hiking naked
- Naked hikers take precautions to minimize encounters.
So to answer the question of the heading, naked hiking is generally not permitted by law. Most laws (article 222-32 in France for instance) do not, however, separate the simple nudity from the sexual exhibition. Naked hiking is a non-sexual naturist activity. A majority of naked hikers, therefore, does not consider their nudity to fall under sexual exhibition laws. However, it is up to a judge to decide. For the time being, the absence of preexisting trials proves the limited risk.
It should be noted that in some European countries, such as Spain or Germany, it is perfectly legal to hike naked without any legal risk. Others, like Great Britain or Belgium, have legislation close to those of France. Finally, in others such as the United States, we must rely on the laws of each state.
This being said and understood, naked hiking is waiting for us. So. let’s see where to practice it and the precautions to follow to keep this risk at its lowest level.
So, where are we going?
We’re going on a hiking path! A naked hike is a hike like any other. A good guidebook, a map, a compass or a GPS and you are ready. Not quite! We need to be precautious. Here are three pieces of advice that seem full of common sense:
- Choose low-frequented trails. Some trails are real highways, especially during holidays and weekends. They are to be avoided at first. A walk around social networks will allow you to have an idea. The trail loops of over 10 kilometers in the mountains and 15 kilometers on flat grounds generally attract fewer people. If you are in good physical shape, it is a choice to consider.
- Choose adapted schedules. Early in the morning in summer or during the week off school holidays is usually a good choice. You will encounter few people, if any at all, at these times. Avoid hunting periods, however. Not only the risk of receiving a lost cartridge is not nil, hunting and naturism are generally not going well together.
- Hike in a group. Two, three or five naked people go way better than a man alone. I know it’s not fair to male naked hikers, but it’s hard to end preconceived notions. This should not prevent you from hiking alone if you do not find a companion. But the group effect works fully.
Are you still OK? Have you found the ideal path, the perfect timetable and the companions of your naked hike? So let’s prepare it now!
What to take with you on a naked hike?
As with any hike, a little bit of common sense:
- Water! Lots of water, particularly if it’s hot. I tend to calculate half a liter per person per hour. Even for a six-hour hike, it’s only three kilos in the backpack. And it decreases over the course of the day!
- A good pair of shoes. Some walk barefoot, good luck on the rocky trails. I prefer a good pair of walking shoes for very long hikes (more than 8 hours) or Vibram Five Fingers for shorter ones. The Five Fingers have the immense benefit to be light and to give the impression of being barefoot, without the risk of cuts.
- A hat. This creates a little shade on the face and helps to avoid Besides, nothing is more pleasant than dipping one’s cap in the clear water of a stream to keep the head fresh!
- A snack. Even if the hike does not make you spend lunch on a path, stop to bite an apple sitting facing a beautiful landscape is a way to regain strength. Walking consumes energy. Feeding properly is essential.
- Quick shorts or a sarong. Uh, quick shorts? What’s that? It’s a short that has been prepared to be put on and removed it was a skirt (an example is provided on the site vivonsnus.com Here). Some naked hikers are also wearing a kilt. Short, skirt or sarong will allow you to wear something quickly if you encounter grumpy people or cross frequented areas like villages or roads. For women, a sarong knotted above the chest is an excellent and simple choice.
- First aid kit and sunscreen. We want vitamin D, but not sunburn!
- K-way and warm clothes in case of a sudden change of weather. Of course, adapt these clothes to the climate in which you are going to hike. But remember that a thunderstorm in the mountains can decrease the temperature by ten degrees Celsius in a few minutes. And that a strong wind can also reduce the felt temperature. It’s better to put some clothes at the bottom of the bag and not needing them than not to have them and find yourself freezing!
- A comfortable backpack.
We put all the equipment in the bag. We’ll check it out one last time. And we’re going!
On the trail…
If you follow a marked trail, the number of cars in the parking lot will inform you about attendance. There is none? Great! You will be able to drop the trousers quickly or even right in the parking lot. The ideal! Some? You’re going to have to be a little more cautious without falling into paranoia.
Loops usually have a privileged direction (the one provided by the guide). The majority of hikers will go in the same direction. You have little chance of crossing anyone. You may catch some hikers. Whereby shorts or skirt will be welcome.
Hikers are often friendly people. A big smile and a hello are good. If you are in a group, staying naked is an option to seriously consider. This often allows starting a good conversation with textile hikers about naturism and naked hiking. Alone, you should decide according to the context.
It is not uncommon on a loop to meet no one. It happens to me more frequently than we think. Certainly, because I rightfully choose trails and time. So, I put myself in this limitation of the risk I mentioned earlier.
The most important thing is to have a good time, to enjoy nature, and to breathe with full lungs. Feel free to share your experiences, comments, and comments below! I wish you good naked hikes!
For more information on naked hiking, I recommend you read the wonderful book from Richard Foley, Naked Hiking!