Naked hiker wins right to bare all

All he wanted to do was hike naked.

The 46 year-old man headed out, sans habillement, through the Swiss canton of Appenzell Inner-Rhodes to enjoy the scenery. He passed by a public barbecue area, keeping a safe distance so as not to get his wiener cooked, and near a Christian retirement home. Somebody complained, he got fined, and he went to court, this time wearing clothes.

Appenzell is very conservative (it only gave women the right to vote in 1990) and while it’s not a crime to hike nude in Switzerland, the canton recently made it an offense. The judge ruled that this was contrary to Swiss law and that nude hiking isn’t indecent.

Appenzell has become a popular destination for naturists and the fine was supposed to discourage that. Now that the new law has been shot down the first time it was enforced, it looks like there will be more nude walking in the future, providing alternatives to the traditional nude beaches and resorts.

Photo courtesy Richinud via Wikimedia Commons.

Neighbors bothered by naturist B&B

Neighbors of Domain Farm, a recently opened naturist Bed and Breakfast in Staffordshire, England, are complaining about seeing more than they want to of the guests.

The B&B is a converted farm and features a sun deck, hot tub, and barbeque area, and while it’s set in a rural landscape, it is within sight of other homes. This brings it into the ongoing controversy, not limited to naturism, of where to draw the line between individual liberty and consideration of others. The owners are busy planting trees and shrubs around the property, but their efforts aren’t quick enough for the locals.

Despite the weather, naturism or nudism is quite popular in the UK. British Naturism, the official naturist organization, reports a membership of more than 16,000. There are numerous clothing-optional beaches in places like Brighton, and naturists are encouraged by the fact that there is no law explicitly banning public nudity, only indecent exposure. What this breaks down to in reality is that if you bare all in front of Buckingham Palace, you’ll be hauled away. If you hike in the nude, you’ll probably be fine. In fact, British naturists say nude hiking is quite popular, although I’ve never seen any on my hikes.

I have, however, seen nude hikers at Seven Falls in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, where nudity is clearly not legal. The falls are several miles up a rugged canyon far away from public view, so the cops don’t bother doing anything about it. What with all the car thefts and meth labs in the city, they have better things to do.

So if you like to get your kit off, as the English say, don’t dismiss the UK as a travel destination. The Naturist UK Fact File has tons of information. It may get cold and rainy, but at least you won’t have to deal with the desert sun and cacti like those Arizona naturists!


Photo courtesy of Peter Rivera from the Gadling flickr pool. These are statues in the Louvre, not pasty-skinned British nudists after a long winter.

Want to hike in the nude? Don’t go to Switzerland. It’s now a no no.

In Switzerland shedding clothes and hitting the trail used to be fine and dandy. Nude hiking was allowed. Not any more. That fun has ended. In a move to protect children from seeing those body parts usually located in places where the sun doesn’t shine, the Swiss government has made a law, at least in the Appenzell Innerrhoden canton, that nude hiking isn’t allowed.

It sounds like this was a rush job, according to our pals over at Jaunted. From what I read, the Swiss rushed this law through before hiking season starts this year. Nude German hikers, in particular, have had a growing fondness for hiking in this pastoral region in nothing but a pair of good hiking boots. I can just picture the vote.

“Quick, quick, quick, the Germans are coming!” Germans have a history of nudism that dates way back when. There will be some pretty disappointed Germans with this year’s spring thaw, if they’re looking to go to Switzerland for unencumbered exercise.

There was a well known nudist who lived in Albuquerque when I lived there. He used to walk around town in skimpy shorts, slung low, or a Speedo bathing suit. The suit probably wasn’t his preference, but it kept him out of trouble. Maybe someone in Switzerland who wants to make some extra cash could set up a Speedo stand, or sell towels near hiking trails. Sarongs also work nicely in a pinch.