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Nude Hiking Trails Debut in Germany

Backpack in the Buff: Nudist Hiking Trails Are Germany's New Attraction

I've heard of nude beaches and swimming holes, naked yoga classes, and naked bike rides, but nude hiking? Now that's something new. If you're traveling to Europe anytime soon and you want to really feel one with nature, check out Germany's first hiking trail for nudists, near the town of Dankerode, about 200 miles southwest of Berlin. You'll see signs posted that say, "If you don't want to run into any naked people, stop right here!"

Ever since it opened in the Spring of 2010, the trails have been a big success. Even the town's mayor says it's "the latest attraction," giving hikers the chance to experience the "bodily freedom" only nude hiking can offer. Even Switzerland may hop on the hiking-in-the-buff bandwagon, although the issue is still under legislative review.

It may not surprise you to hear that the nudists hitting the trails are mostly men. I guess hiking au naturel for the ladies wouldn't be the safest idea.

I'm not about to strip down to my hiking boots and sunglasses and hit the woodsy trails just yet. My first thought is, "Geez, I'd go through way more bottles of sunscreen!" And what about bugs, thorns, and poison ivy? I would be so worried a pesky little tick would find its way into my personal business. Not to mention, hiking is a huge sweat fest. Not wearing any clothes would surely result in some chafing. If you're carrying a backpack, it can't feel too good rubbing on your bare skin. And worse, what if you fell on your bare bum? It all sounds pretty uncomfortable to me, but nude hikers say "hiking with clothes is too constrictive and they like the freedom of going without garments."

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Girl101 Girl101 5 years
If it were properly marked and shielded from those who do not want to see a naked human body, I see no problem with nude hiking. Being nude is not necessarily sexual, it can be relaxing and very comfortable. To participate in it though I would have to go with my hubby or there would have to be Rangers patrolling to make sure it was safe. I know it will not happen in my lifetime, but I wish people would be accepting of nudity/clothing optional in society in general. Sadly, the human body has become something to be ashamed of or a marketer's sole means of selling products we don't need.
amber512 amber512 6 years
?? So because I quite despise hiking, let alone being naked in public, that also means I must close my eyes when I shower or make love in the dark? Sorry, I don't do either. I'm just fine with naked bodies and I'm also fine with respecting my own and not letting just any Dick, Joe, or Harry see it.
Jenny-Sugar Jenny-Sugar 6 years
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Definitely gives us something to think about. But I think most of us are so used to wearing clothes when we're in public, that our first instinct is to say, "no way." Here in VT, I've been to many a swimming hole where people are hanging out on rocks in the buff, so opening nude hiking around here wouldn't seem so out there.
MrHappy2bnude MrHappy2bnude 6 years
I have been a nudist about 6 years and I would love to have legal nude hiking trails nearby to enjoy. As to the comment about not being attracted to a person who was nude except for socks and boots - is everyone in your life a possible lover or marriage possibility? If you think nudists are nude just to excite you, or that they are nude just to get excited because you see them bare, you don't understand nudism or naturism at all. To be in nature bare, you are closer to it and more a real part of the experience, and with that does come some danger of ticks and other vermin. Bug spray works! And you can get hurt by falling while hiking, whether dressed or nude, though your scrapes could be more severe if you're naked. If you fall and break a bone, no clothing will stop your bone from being broken any less painfully. Who really thinks naked hiking would be hotter than clothed hiking? Clothes block the air and breezes you will feel on your skin, but if you hike nude, it makes you perspire less because your body isn't trying to cool itself, and you'll also need to bring and drink less water. If you don't want to use more sunscreen, choose a hiking trail in the woods. And anyone who hikes barefoot is asking for pain. I'm sorry if you don't get excited by my hiking sandals, but nudists learn to stop judging people for their coverings once they understand the concept. Why would anyone who claims to hate hiking even bother to comment on the subject if you don't like to do it or get dirty, much less be naked? Stay in your city and your clean apartment and leave the wild spaces to people that know how to appreciate what nature is. Do you keep your eyes closed in the shower so you don't get offended by your own skin, or always make love with your partner in the dark? My goodness, please open your mind to the fact that humans are not born with clothes on. Nudism is the great equalizer - you can't tell the difference between a supreme court justice and a homeless person when they aren't clothed. It is very freeing and healthy. I'd say don't knock it until you try it, but most people will never do it because their parents taught them being nude around others is wrong. Your parents were wrong. I applaud Germany and hope for more of the same elsewhere.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I already hate hiking. I hate getting dirty, and being naked? Besides bug bites or ticks, I can't imagine the damage if you accidentally fall.
awesomepants awesomepants 6 years
What the hell? For real? What about bug bites? Do they still wear shoes? I'd hate to see someone naked and then see them wearing socks and sneakers. Even if the person was hot, the attraction would die right away.
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