as natural part of nature
Already the founding fathers of the naturist movement at the beginning of the 20th century hiked in the nude. Richard Ungewitter, for example, reports in his book "Nackt" (1908) about his nude hikes in the Schwarzwald [en: Black Forest] Mountains, Germany. Today, the natury website alone informs about initiated nude hikes of around 1,000 km per year. Interested people register with the initiator by e-mail or registration form and form hiking groups of generally between 10 and 30 participants.
is part of the naturist site.
How do you get the idea to hike in the buff?
Quite simple: Because our children wanted to lick an ice cream.
We were the whole day at the bathing lake, of course at the naturist section. It was really hot in the afternoon, our children came up with the idea: Can we lick an ice cream? The ice cream booth was maybe 500 m away and of course provided the children from the textile beach with the coveted refreshment.
However, who can give children a plausible reason: "You must wear clothes to get an ice cream!" What a crap! The whole day we jump around in the nude, and then we have to wear clothes for the walk to the ice cream booth, just because there are also people wearing bathing dresses to buy their ice cream? This is absolutely nonsense!
So, we went all four in the buff to the ice cream booth, and lo and behold: We stood in the nude amongst textiles in the queue and got our ice cream, without extra charge! And because it tasted so good, we made a little detour through the fields, along the pastures, where the cows chewed in the sun, back through the little grove to our beach.
The first sort of a little "nude hike" was done. Because it was so beautiful, we have often repeated it and soon also extended the distance. Some day, we hiked in the nude without a stay at the bathing lake being the starting point. Hiking in the nude through nature is always fun – even more: it is a paradisiacal epiphany!
Hike on Pentecost 2012 in Lahn-Dill-Bergland [en: Lahn-Dill Mountains], Germany, with 95 participants
Is that something for me as well? Should I just try it?
I must be ashamed of myself!
I don't want to hold my hand in front of my genitals for a whole walk like the boys in the photo. No, nobody will catch me on a naked hike! I would be ashamed the whole time, if everyone could see everything of me.
Our answer: As a naturist you know: We are all creatures of God or Allah or evolution – there is no need to be ashamed of our body: It has been given to us, and we can – just as it is – only be grateful for that!
What should we be ashamed of? Why should we hide our bodies from each other? We should also be grateful for the small differences, which make us slightly different: If we all looked the same as robots of one type of production and everyone was confused with everyone else – would we be happier?
I have nothing to hide – do you?
Hmmm: I'm too fat. My breasts sized differently. I have so many moles. There is a surgical scar on my stomach. My penis is crooked. My bottom is no longer firm. My thighs are fat. I have orange peel skin.
So what! None of us is perfect. Otherwise, we would be movie or porn stars. Better normal, then! Among naturists, you are simply accepted as you are!
Moreover, the shine of youth gets wrinkled and loses its elasticity with age – that's the way it is in life, and many of the fellow hikers also show traces of time. However, the value of a person in the community is not measured in hip measurement or bust size but in social skills like empathy and sympathy.
Is this really allowed?
During a rest at the Mittellandkanal Canal in 2019, police officers visited us. An uninformed citizen had reported our nude hiking group to the police believing, that we were doing something bad.
But we didn't – we just hiked and had a rest in between. At the end of the conversation, the policemen apologised for the disturbance and wished us a nice hike.
Hiking in the buff is not forbidden in Germany
Regional daily newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten reported in 2018 statements of a spokesman of the police in Münster (Westf.) and a managing officer "Citizen service and order" of the town-hall in Senden about hiking in the buff. The bottom line of the information stated in this article is, that hiking in the buff is neither a criminal, nor – in general – a regulatory offence in Germany, as long as you only hike and you you do not commit any offence or crime, such as sexual deeds in public.
That's it: We know well, that sexual acts in public are criminal offences. All we want to do, is to hike and enjoy nature – but not to commit criminal offences!
However: What is true in Germany, is not true everywhere
Law always has a limited scope: it applies in countries, in federal states, or in municipalities. So, you always have to take a close look here, because completely different law may apply in different locations.
In most countries, nudity in public is only prohibited, if it serves sexual purposes. In some countries, however, nudity in public is generally prohibited and may be prosecuted as a criminal offence. There are also places in all countries, where nudity is prohibited.
Many countries (France, …) also use terms in their legal texts, of which it is not clearly defined, what exactly they mean. Here, one can only look at legal practice and see, which judgements courts have made in the past - however, legal practice is subject to change over time.
Whether you are allowed to be in the nude or not - you should find out about that beforehand. The natury website helps with information at Nudity and law concerning several countries.
What do clothed people say?
Reactions are practically always positive. Textile wearers, who we encounter, usually make a funny, friendly remark. Naturism is accepted. At least in Germany, there is a 100-year naturist tradition and (according to travel industry figures) around 8 million people book holidays to a naturist destination.
However, there are still occasional rejections, which you have to take into account. Everyone, who claims a certain position, causes distinctive opinions of agreement and rejection. In many cases, however, rejection of naturist activities is based on ignorance, which we can reduce by offering information.
What if one reacts weird to me?
In a community of nude people, everyone is much more understanding and considerate, yes: more turned towards the others. This is probably due to the fact, that you as a person being in the nude feel your own vulnerability very clearly, and you show automatically the consideration, which you expect for yourself, towards others.
So, you can be sure, that nobody will try to put you in an unpleasant situation, but on the contrary, you will be a warmly welcomed part of the community: You are in good hands in the group!
Your first step …
… is the most challenging one for you! By the way, this was the case for all of us – even the most eager naturists of today have thought twice, whether they should take part and how it would be done! But once, the first step has been taken, the conviction grows very quickly, that you've done it right. Nobody has regretted it yet!