Naked hiking 101: Those offended by rumps need not enter
When the wild calls, sometimes it calls to your innermost desire to be one with nature. For those who answer this call, there is a style of hiking that is a must-try. Strip off your clothes and bask in the glory of the fresh sun on a nude hike.
Whether you opt to take a solo hike with your buns bare to the sky or you make it a social event celebrating the wonders of unmasked nature, naked hiking is an adventure for those who can throw off social norms and experience the world the way we once did.
Social nudity has long been a practiced component of naturalism. From remote locations of the world where clothing is not required to beaches where tops are optional, enjoying nature sans clothes brings, for many, a sense of freedom, self love, and connection to the wider world.
If you have been looking for a new way to experience your favorite hikes, consider airing out your nether regions and letting the sunlight touch your once guarded parts. Check out these useful tips about the best days for a nude hike. Find locations where you can partake in this time-honored activity legally, and know the pros and cons of bushwhacking fully exposed.
National nude hiking day
When: Summer Solstice June 21st.
Where: Across the United States
You might not know it, but nude hiking is a popular and established event. In fact, in the United States, there is a whole day each year dedicated to taking to the trails in your birthday suit.
If you have been curious about hiking au naturel, consider joining the countless nude enthusiasts that summit peaks, picnic in nature, and explore the great outdoors on National Nude Hiking Day.
Happening every summer solstice, a morning hike up your favorite mountain trail can be an ideal way to kick off this new season with festivities and warmth. Because it is a nationally celebrated day, you can either take part in a group bare naked hike or opt for a sunrise alone in the buff.
Whatever route you go, be sure you understand the best parts of a naked hike and the potential problems that might arise.
The need to know of nude hiking
Thinking of stripping down and heading to the hills? Make sure you understand all that is in your favor and all that could go wrong.
Being one with nature
If you love the outdoors, stripping off everything that is holding you back from truly experiencing nature can be a wonderfully freeing and exciting experience. You might find that you never knew how much your clothing was restricting you from really uniting with Mother Earth.
We often hide our bodies, tucked under layers of clothes, ashamed of a sag here or a wrinkle there. However, stripping off every inch of clothing and taking to the trails can empower you to remember that nature accepts bodies of every type and that the strength that allows you to hike is one of the best perks of having a body.
If you opt for a social nude hike, prepare to bond on a whole new level (and no, we don’t mean like that). Similar to joining a nude commune, a hike buck ass naked can create a closer relationship between you and your friends. After all, stripping away your clothes can help to strip away inhibitions.
A lot of our body goes untouched by the light of day, which is a true shame. Allowing the warmth of the sun’s rays to touch every portion of your beautiful skin can help bring about renewed energy and an extra dose of Vitamin D.
As humans, nothing is more enticing than partaking in the forbidden fruit. If you have never been bold enough to traverse in the nude, a hike without your clothes can be a thrilling delight. Take a walk on the wild side and experience the joy of the unknown.
Things to consider
Sunburn in sensitive places
Have you ever overdone it in the sun on the first day of summer? If so, you know how painful it can be when the sun first touches soft and wintered skin. Now imagine that you have parts of your body that have never experienced the harsh rays of the sun…. ever. “Virgin” skin can singe and burn on a level you never knew possible.
If you plan to hike in areas prone to poison ivy or stinging nettle, be forewarned. A rash that might have been mildly painful on your arm is going to pack a whole new punch when it reaches the sensitive soft tissues of your undie-free self.
Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
Normally, your clothing offers you a bit of protection against branches, thorns, rocks, and other rough things nature might throw your way. Whip all your clothes off and you’ll need to be extra careful about sticks, stones, and breaking bones.
While public nudity in many parks is not technically illegal on the federal level — more on that below — there are plenty of scenarios in which a disgruntled cop or ranger can nail you with a hefty fine. Understandably, you might be leery of having a record that involves nudity and parks…
When you head off into the woods with your most private parts free to the world, you might encounter other nudists on the trails. Make sure you are prepared for the possible discomfort caused by unexpected excitement.
Nude hiking FAQs
Now that we have tackled the good and the bad of nude hiking, it’s inevitable that you still have a few questions in the back of your head. From the legality of taking to the woods sans clothes to tips on places that are ideal for a trek in the buff, we have you covered with our FAQs about uncovering it all.
Is it legal to hike naked?
Probably the first question people have about leaving their clothes behind is whether or not this activity is actually legal. The answer is — well, a little complicated.
Technically, federal laws do not prohibit nudity in nationally owned parks and forests. The trickier part, however, is that local laws can restrict nudity. According to an article by the Denver Channel, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) takes the situation on a case-by-case basis.
The best recommendation is to check with local national parks, forests, or grassland offices before embarking on a nude hike. If you can prove that your intent is not to cause a hazard or a nuisance, you can usually obtain permission from the authorities.
Hiking with a group is also a great way to combat this. In some cases, the local park might ask you to send a clothed hiker ahead to ensure no one encounters your group unwarned.
Where are the best places to hike nude?
From Gymno-Vita Park in Alabama, a nudist resort with plenty of hiking trails, to Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs, a natural hot spring area that becomes nude-friendly in the evening, there are plenty of places littering the United States where nudity is allowed.
Take a trip up to the North East to Connecticut and visit Solair Recreation League in Woodstock, one of the oldest continually operated nudist facilities in the country.
Outside of designated nudist colonies and recreational areas, your best bet is to simply contact local authorities where you plan to hike to find out if your buns can toast in the sun safely. Generally speaking, the more remote the location, the easier it is to make it work.
How can I join a nude hike?
For those who enjoy hiking in the buff as a social activity, there are countless organizations across the nation that promote nude hiking.
Not only is joining a group a fun way to meet new people, but it can also offer you more protection against ticketing.
A great place to start is the American Association for Nude Recreation where you can find local clubs, places to visit, help with legality, and more.
What are the dangers of hiking nude?
A naturist will tell you that experiencing the great outdoors sans clothes is one of the best and most freeing adventures you can have. However, there are a few risks to consider.
Being found offensive and getting ticketed is one of your greatest risks especially in a well-traversed area. Injuries can also easily occur. This makes choosing the right time and place for a hike an important consideration. Sunburn, rashes, and bug bites can also be added nuisances when ditching your clothes.
Finally, you might simply encounter some folks who don’t appreciate your public display of nudity. For the most part though, hiking nude poses the same risks as a traditional, clothed trek in the woods. Be prepared, plan based on the weather forecast, and stay alert.
Tips for a successful nude hike
If all this talk about letting your skin breathe in the fresh air of nature has you ready to ditch your clothes and take to the trails, make sure that you check out these simple tips to make your hike a true success.
A little preparation and knowledge will go a long way in ensuring that your experience is about communing with nature and not about lathering a sunburnt butt with aloe for the next week.
Start with a list of supplies you will need. Depending on the length of your hike, you can plan accordingly.
Just because you are stripping away your clothes doesn’t mean you should head into the woods without a thought. Make sure that you pack all the essentials you would have brought when wearing clothes such as water or your overnight camping gear.
The following are a few key items that will be particularly useful when in the nude in nature:
Bug spray – You’re going to want to keep ticks and other biting creatures at bay, but be careful when applying bug spray to sensitive areas.
Sunscreen – Like roasting a marshmallow, you don’t want your buns blackened or on fire. A soft bronzing down there is all you’ll want or risk not being able to sit down for the foreseeable future. Opt for a high SPF and a hypoallergenic sunscreen for sensitive skin.
Chamois cream – When your body is used to the comfort and protection of undergarments, a hike without them can lead to serious chafing. Be sure to apply a cream or anti-chafing product before you hit the trails.
Clothes – It might sound counterintuitive, but be sure to bring along a pair of clothes, just in case. Whether you are kindly asked by a ranger to cover back up or you find yourself in a scenario where nudity has lost its charm or is possibly not permitted, pack an outfit for a quick cover-up.
Sturdy footwear – While the rest of your body is enjoying freedom and light, make sure you still protect your feet. You can get away with a shoes-free experience if you are simply strolling along a beach or on a mild hike. However, in most situations, you are going to want to wear appropriate hiking footwear.
A good sense of humor – If this is your first experience hiking barenaked, bring along a little mirth. Things don’t always go as planned, and mishaps can occur. Here, general feelings of silliness can take over. If you approach it all with a good sense of humor and a willingness to not take your au naturel body too seriously, you’ll do just fine.
Picking a good location
Armed with necessary supplies, you are now ready to explore the world and enjoy the pleasure of a nude hike in nature. The next step is to pick the best location for the hike.
If this is your first experience stripping off your clothes in a semi-public place, try to find a less traversed trail. The more remote of a location you pick, the less chance for you to face any hassles or angry parents.
Also, consider the comfort of the hike. Keep in mind that any sort of scrambling or technical climbing is going to be a lot harder to do with your most sensitive parts exposed, plus awkward positions can lead to awkward moments if you’re in a group. An easier hike with a nice clear path makes for a more pleasurable experience.
Choosing the right time of day is also important. An early morning hike will allow you to beat the crowds and the blistering heat of the afternoon sun. Not to mention, what could be more awe-inspiring than watching a sunrise au naturel.
For many, picking a location with a body of water is also a must. Why not mark skinny dipping off the bucketlist at the same time? Waterfalls, lakes, and pools of water can make your nude hike a well-rounded experience.
Getting the most out of your hike
As you can see, a little preparation will go a long way in ensuring that your day traversing with your bare body is a wonderful time and that no one is offended in the process.
At the end of the day, the best way to get the most out of your hike is to head into it with the right mentality. Take some time for reflection during your hike. Observe how it feels. Do you experience a greater sense of freedom?
Are you battling self-consciousness the whole time? Nude hiking can be a great form of natural therapy. It opens up your mind from hang-ups and blockades you didn’t know existed.
Finally, have fun with it. Be a little silly. Remember what it was like to be a child and to not worry about running free and wild. Laugh a lot, embrace the adventure, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Perhaps at the end of it all, nude hiking will be a once in a lifetime trip for you.
After a wild day of reveling in the sun, you might also opt to go back to life fully clothed, cozy, and comfy in your favorite high-tech hiking duds. However, don’t be surprised if after you get a taste of the naturalistic life you are left yearning for a little more.
So what are you waiting for? Strip off your clothes, leave your inhibitions at the trailhead, and get ready to experience an adventure unlike any other.
First published on RunRepeat.com used with permission
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Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.