No Naked Hiking! - Backpacker

No Naked Hiking!

Swiss Alps town bans nude hikers

If you eschew wool and synthetic in favor of "nature's baselayer," you might want to avoid hiking in the Swiss Alps town of Appenzell: Locals politicians recently passed a law levying a fine against in-the-buff trampers. The normally neutral Swiss hope to stem the flow of enthusiastic German "naturist" hikers who love to cruise the their trails wearing only boots, pack, and a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Local government secretary Markus Dörig said: "Local people were offended by the visitors. We live in the countryside and people here want to live a quiet and undisturbed life. These incidents were really annoying."

Nude hikers love the Alps as much as clothed ones, of course, but the practice enjoys a special place in the hearts of Germans. Teutonic nudism has been on the rise since the fall of Nazism, and many German nudist organizations (called "free body culture" in German) are simply suggesting that their members take their love of the buff outside.

International Naturist Foundation Barbara Foley told the Daily Mail: “I can understand that we all have to live in this world together. But I would certainly enjoy doing the hike in the nude and I wouldn't want to be deprived of it. It's nice to feel the sun on your skin. Maybe they should designate a couple of trails and people would know they might come across naturists there.”

Hiking in the altogether might be a freeing experience, but I'd hate to imagine what happens to naturists when a surprise storm rolls up on them—they'd probably have a lot more to worry about than shrinkage.

Would you ever hike in the nude? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below.

—Ted Alvarez

Swiss ban Germans from nude hiking in Alpine town (Daily Telegraph)

Image Credit: Ricardo.Martins