Naked hiking

Naked walking, also known as naked hiking or freehiking, is a sub-category of the modern form of social nudity.


Attention and opinion

39 naked hikers tackle a narrow gorge in the Gard department of southern France during the summer of 2008

In the United Kingdom, Steve Gough, known as The Naked Rambler, received much media coverage for walking naked from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2003–2004 and again in 2005–2006. He was arrested and released several times during both his walks while in England, but has been imprisoned in Scotland. This does not happen to everybody who hikes naked. Indeed, in both 2005 and 2006 the European Alps were crossed naked during a one week hiking (tour), and there was little media coverage. No one was arrested or troubled, and there was no police involvement whatsoever. Most naked hikers report friendly reactions from people they meet,[1] however the risk of being booked on a charge such as public indecency (and this varies between countries and individual police forces) may be present when hiking in the nude, and one should try to keep away from population centres where practical.

Some jurisdictions have regulations formally prohibiting this activity, and can impose fines or other punishments. A local bylaw to this effect was adopted, for example, by the 2009 General Meeting (Landsgemeinde) of the residents of the Swiss canton Appenzell Innerrhoden.[2] In nearby Appenzell Ausserrhoden the court of second instance "Obergericht" reinforced an unpaid fine of 100 Swiss Francs for naked hiking and added the court's cost of another 3330 Swiss Francs.[3]

Bruce Chatwin enjoyed hiking in the Catskills without clothes.[4]

Special considerations

Although some might insist that naked hiking should be all-naked, others prefer to wear some articles of clothing for comfort or safety depending on environment. For example, some might choose to go barefoot on the beach, but wear mountain boots in the mountains. Sunstroke or sunburn is a danger by any activity, naked or not, but naked hiking in the high mountains exposes the body to an increased level of sunshine not found at sea level, so sunscreen and a sun hat may be relied upon. Bugs, such as mosquitoes and midges, can be particularly troublesome, especially in sensitive areas, so anti-bug formulas are sometimes used by participants in this activity. Walking through a bunch of stinging nettles, poison oak, or a field full of high thistles, can be a painful experience (even with shorts on). Naturally, extra care must be taken.

See also


  1. ^ Stephen Moss “Now which way back to the car?” in The Guardian, August 6, 2003
  2. ^ Swiss canton bans nude hiking (Reuters, Mon Apr 27, 2009)
  3. ^ nude hiker convicted (Tagesanzeiger, Jan 20, 2011)
  4. ^ The Times review, 27 Oct 2010, by William Dalrymple of Chatwin's posthumous UNDER THE SUN: The letters of Bruce Chatwin. Edited by Elizabeth Chatwin and Nicholas Shakespeare

External links

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