Nudity & Wilderness: Interview With A Naked Hiker

Have you ever tried naking? While some regard naked hiking as an indecency or outright an invitation for sexual violence (especially when women do it), I believe there is no harm in nudity. (There is a certain harm in meeting a misogynist psychopath, mind you.)

I have found Sara in one of the female traveler groups on Facebook and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her experience with nude hiking. Sara is a young woman from Canada where nudity isn´t something widely accepted, however, she finds it liberating to spend some free time in nature without the restrictions of clothes. Many thanks for your time, Sara!

If you aren´t familiar with the topic of naking, but would like to find out more, you can also read my first article about naked hiking:

Being A River: Women Who Hike Naked And Their Reasons Why

That being said, here is the interview:

How did it occur to you to hike naked? Where did you find out about it or was it just spontaneous?

I have done a lot of hiking in Jasper, AB, Canada and there were so many hikes where I saw absolutely no one. I love to be naked when alone and one day it just occurred to me, why not go naked? I started slowly; hiked in my bra and undies a couple times, then completely naked up top, until I felt confident doing a full hike nude.

How do you usually go about it? Do you get naked every time you hike, or just sometimes?

I feel out the hike.  I am a bit cautious and if I feel like no one will be on the trail then I get undressed. The off-seasons like early spring and fall are the best times. There are fewer bugs and you can hike harder because you aren’t overheating. I have a couple friends that would hike naked, but it’s something I do by myself. I do have friends where we will get naked at the top to take some shots of our backsides and an epic background. Hang out a bit up top naked but those are the friends who don’t look or judge so it’s still comfortable and liberating.

women hiking naked - an interview with a naked hiker

How is nudism generally received in your country by most of the people?

I live in Canada and it isn’t something you see often unless you are in certain areas. We just made it legal to be topless in the 90’s! But people still look at you as if it was illegal or they get uncomfortable. It is a chargeable offense called “indecent exposure” to be naked and you can be fined. Although, if you get caught in the wilderness, the only risk is being embarrassed…..but it will make for a great story later! I think the worse case is you shock and offend some people, but most people in the wilderness will probably get it. It’s all about getting back to nature and being free.

Read more: How sexual harassment changed my attitude to solo female travel

What are all the countries where you´ve been “naking”, actually?

Full on nude hiking has only been done in Canada. I have taken naked photos in Canada, USA, Central America and Italy.

Did you ever meet someone dressed?

Yup, a couple times. Most people laugh as you run behind a tree or rock and panic to get dressed. The 1st thing they generally ask is “Were you naked?” I always reply “yes” laughing, explain to them why I do it and suggest they try it. Most people are more intrigued than offended. It’s the human body and we shouldn’t be offended or ashamed by it.

You said you also take photos…?

Only at the top of a hike with an awesome view. I started with just my backside and arms up. It is my classic pose that I always do and will let people see. I have been getting more comfortable with my body since being naked more and take a couple more shots now where I will have my front exposed but that’s more for me and no one else. To look at a photo of you completely free can help bring back that feeling in colder months, although I have snowshoed naked in good weather.

women hiking naked - an interview with a naked hiker


I’d think it would be too cold! So what is your favorite thing about naking?

The air and the sun on your body! You are one with mother nature and feel so grounded. It’s like you are completely free and nothing is holding you back. You feel liberated and proud. There is a bit of excitement as well with knowing someone might come around the corner. But after 10 minutes or so that goes away and you relax more. I normally stay on a mountaintop and continue to sunbathe and wander nude.

Is there also something you dislike about it? Or circumstances where you avoid it?

Bugs! Those pesky things can kill any feeling of wanting to be nude. Bug spray to certain areas should be avoided. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s more of an early spring and fall thing when the bugs aren’t as bad.

People! It’s something I do for me to feel free and connect to our roots. If a trail is busy or cars are in the parking lot at the trail head then I generally will keep my clothes on.

Bushes! If it’s an overgrown trail or poison ivy/oak is around then it’s not worth the scratches or rash.

Overall, if I don’t feel comfortable doing it, then I don’t. It’s supposed to be a great experience, not a bad one. If you start a hike naked and it’s no fun, there is nothing stopping you from getting dressed.

How long do you usually spend?

If no cars are in the trail head parking lot and there are no other ways into the hike, then I normally hike up and stay at the top naked. I normally get dressed for the way down in case people were behind me. If it’s dusk and too late for people to start a hike and I’m not cold at this point, then I will do the full hike naked. It all depends on the circumstances. I generally never do a full hike naked in the summer with so many people on holidays. Just a naked photo at the top if no one is around.

women hiking naked - an interview with a naked hiker

Would you recommend people (especially women) to try it? Why?

Absolutely! Start slow. Try just getting naked at the top for 5, 10, 30, etc minutes at first. Then try hiking in your undergarments, then in your panties and only when you feel comfortable, do part of the hike naked. Go with your gut. Worst case is you get caught.

What about you, did you get caught? How did it happen?

I did. That time I told my mom I was going to try it. She is my best friend and mentor and even if she thinks I’m crazy, she supports me but questions to understand why. Her reply was “You never know what creep is lurking in the mountains watching you from a cliff.” I explained that it’s the backcountry and normally no one is there. It’s not like I’m going to go hiking nude on a tourist trail.

My 1st time ever naked hiking, I was hiking dressed all morning and saw no one. A man and I startled one another as we both came around a corner, both thinking we were bears. I asked him if there was anyone else up top so I wouldn’t be startled again. I was told: “No one is in the alpine. I’ve been there all morning and haven’t seen a single person.”

Joy overcame me as I walked away with a huge grin on my face, I’m going to do it! I got to the alpine 15 mins later. To the left was a huge rock face and I thought, “No one will come from there.” Ahead and behind of me was alpine where I could see for miles and have enough time to get dressed. It was a dead-end trail on the map, September, and not many cars in the parking lot with other trails around. I thought I was golden!

I got naked, took photos, felt the elements on my body, wandered in the alpine and then carried on to check out the rock wall. I came up over a hill and there was a man. I froze like a deer in headlights. I was caught.

He replied: “You’re naked.”

I dove behind a boulder and panicked to get my clothes on. I panicked so much that it probably took me twice as long to get dressed, all the while, the man is sitting down pretending to get rocks out of his shoes. I didn’t know what to do after I was dressed. Do I run away and leave the poor man to keep clearing his shoes of rocks? Or, do I go apologize and meet him?

I thought it was sweet of him to wait and do what he did, so I approached him. I apologized and we laughed. Needless to say, I was extremely embarrassed. I explained why and he understood and admired me. It ended up being a great experience and story.

My mom was right like always, you never know who is lurking. However, he was not a creep and I inspired him. I’m sure I make a good story for him as well. There are more stories, but that one is the best by far.

It gave me confidence and I realized you are more likely to regret the things in life you didn’t do than the ones you have done.

Read more: Is Northern Cyprus Safe For Solo Female Hitchhikers?

That is quite a way to start! What was your favorite or most beautiful place you´ve been naking at?

I have been so many beautiful places – it is hard to give one place. The west coast and east border of British Columbia and the Rockies, AB are the most beautiful places in the world. I have been many places and nowhere steals my heart like the mountains in western Canada.

Would you add something more that I didn´t ask and that you think is worth saying?

Life is too short to care what others think of you in any regard. Do what your heart desires. Live your life, because one day it will fly by you and you will wonder why you never did what your heart wanted.

Your body is beautiful no matter the size, shape or differences that you have. People who are beautiful on the inside will admire you and be happy for you. People who judge and ridicule you are doing it because of their insecurities or beliefs and you shouldn’t take it personally.

Don’t grow old and regret not living your life. Live it to the fullest! If you want to give it a try then do. But in the end, it’s up to you. If you are going to feel uncomfortable even by yourself then you won’t get the same feelings I do. But if you feel like you can at least try it then you have nothing to lose. You might even become the next hiking nudist.

One question for you. I do wear hiking shoes and a pack until I’m just hanging out. So is it really naked hiking? ;P

women hiking naked - an interview with a naked hiker

Naked in the Wilderness: Up to you!

Again, many thanks to Sara for taking the time to answer my questions and share her experience, opinions and photos. Naked hiking, while considered strange by some, can be a good way to overcome feelings of insecurity, shame or simply to feel more comfortable in your own body.

More people do it than you would think (you should see all the queries I get from Google) – if you feel like there might be a benefit in naking for you, why not give it a try?

Have you ever met a naked hiker? Do you undress on top of mountains? As always, I would love to hear your opinions – you are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments!

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Nothing makes me happier than people repinning my articles. Okay, orgasms and pistachio ice cream top that list, but repins are n°3 for sure! Go ahead and pin me on your boards:

Naking or naked hiking is secretly becoming more popular. Female naked hikers are taking advantage too - read about the empowerment, harmony with nature and peace with one´s own body that Sara achieves through naking in this interview!
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  1. Nana

    Sounds pretty crazy! I dont think I would find it that comfortable tho and I would be too worried about someone seeing me instead of enjoying the trip – it would take focus away! But if it makes her happy all good:)) Just be careful and dont do it in sacred placed or where its not acceptable according to culture. Just read about some people being arrested, deported and banned in Cambodia for taking nudety pictures at their very sacred place Siem Reap. Tourists that think places are made for their funny Instagram pictures and did not understand the culture and meaning of the place. Kr nana

    • Martin

      Sacred places can be some of the most appropriate to be naked. It is about connecting with the elements, with the universe, unmediated, in our ‘purest’ form. Of course, some cultural sensitivity is always necessary, but I am not aware of cultures that have a particular sensitivity to nakedness in sacred places. I think the problems have simply been in those religious cultures where they do not like nudity at all or where the real breach was being in the sacred place – eg many mountains that tourists visit are sacred places which locals have had to get used to it. Maybe being naked and then posting it on instagram is just the last straw or actually the nudity was not really relevant to the offence taken, but get picked up by the media who always make a big issue about nudity, in our western society with very mixed up attitudes to nudity.

  2. Veronica P.

    wow, I never heard of nude hiking!
    I love my body and I believe that all bodies are beautiful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being naked!
    Whenever I go to Crimea (South of Ukraine) I go to a nudist beach. Basically, it is all yoga people wild camping there and I only come for a day. Their attitude towards other people is way much better than in a public beach where everyone is wearing swimwear.

  3. Haha this is an interesting topic! I don’t think I would hike naked mostly because of the negatives that Sara talked about: bugs, bushes, dust. But I think I would get undressed on top of an empty mountain. I can imagine how liberating that feels. And you know bras and sport bras are just annoying haha

    Maybe a good thing to have while being naked is a big scarf or sarong to quickly wrap around the body instead of ducking into bushes and trying to get dressed.

  4. I have met a number of nudists over the years, not many who hike but I can totally understand the appeal. I think some of the more puritanical elements of society equate all nudity with sexuality, which is enormously frustrating. So it’s really good to see articles reminding us that it’s simply about enjoying the sensation of the sun, wind and the world around us on our naked skin.

  5. Brenda Wilson

    EXCELLENT article!!! I am so very proud of my daughter Sara! Your courage and love for life is such a wonderful thing. Keep on living and doing the things you enjoy honey! You make me proud every single moment of every single day. I love you xo

      • Craig

        Hi Karin
        I absolutely loved your story I like the part where you met the man I think that’s heart warming. I live in Halifax Canada and would love to hike a remote trail naked and swim in one of the lakes a long the way without a care but always scared of getting arrested

  6. jim

    good to read the article. i have hiked around southern alberta naked many times. have found carrying small sarong in my hat works well for a quick cover up. that being said many people have past me on the trails and mainly just say hi and don’t seemed fazed at all with my hiking attire. hopefully naked hiking will become more accepted over time with more of us out there. yesterday was able to do a 4 hr out and back naked hike to a small lake in k-country just west of calgary and even had a quick dip in the lake.

  7. Chuck

    I found this while searching for reactions when caught hiking naked. I enjoy it very much, but worry a little about getting caught. It seems most naked hikers think the best action when caught is to just act normal, and don’t try to dive in the bushes or quickly cover. The idea is to not act like your doing something wrong. I have been caught once by a guy and girl. I diverged from the trail a little to make space. The guy just said “don’t mind us”!

    • Hello Chuck! I guess it depends on your personality and who exactly you run into. But I like your suggestion – in the end, there is nothing wrong with it unless you are bothering other people…good luck and happy hiking! 🙂

  8. Unfortunately, the solo male naturist is likely to be considered a potential threat by any females he may encounter. Not my desire to freak anyone out so I put effort into making sure the trail ahead is empty. And I keep my hat ready.

  9. Bill

    I live in NZ and hike naked quite often when it’s warm enough. I avoid the busy tracks but do still meet other hikers sometimes. When I started a couple of years ago I was a bit shy and put on some shorts if I saw someone coming, now I don’t worry. Everyone I’ve met is fine with it, some even stop for a bit of a chat. Acting as if it’s the most natural thing in the world (which it is of course) is best. I enjoy the feeling of the wind and sun on my skin, it’s sensual and I love not having tan lines. I may also be a bit of a vitamin D junkie. I’m just trying to harden up the feet now so that I can go barefoot more too. Also started skinny dipping a few years ago, doesn’t feel right swimming when wearing anything now, everyone should try it. I’m 57 so maybe reservations diminish with age but I wish I’d started many years ago.

    • Hi Bill, thanks for sharing your experience! I guess the folks at NZ are quite open minded then 🙂 As you say, swimming in a bathing suit is not my favorite either. I usually just choose remote places or nudist beaches.

  10. Larry

    Hi, I’m from Vancouver and is a naturist and so from a naturist’s point of view this is all normal and great. We have a beach here, Wreck beach, where people can go naked any time of the year and it’s a place where people can learn to be naked with confidence. I would suggest Sara, or any other nude hikers, to not try to cover up when they run into others but instead act normal, because, after all, this is normal, especially in the great outdoors. You want to be confident in your nudity and show that you’re not ashamed of the natural human body. Also, there’s the annual World Naked Bike Ride that one can ride naked, and so go out and have some naked fun. There is no shame in being nude and natural.

  11. sassycoupleok

    My husband and I both hike nude but him more than me, the bugs and some plants scare me so sometimes I hike clothed with him. It is very liberating for sure. Since we are both nudist as well it is a very non sexual experience. The above advice about encountering others id spot on. It’s simply best to act normally. Some will look the other way, some snicker and laugh and some will stop to chat. Those who stop are usually intrigued and enjoy hearing us talk about the value of nudity. A couple of times we have been asked if it was ok to take pics of us with them so they could show their friends, we have always agreed since it helps spread the word that nudity is normal. Kim

  12. Barehiker

    So nice to see a non-nudist cross over organically into the world of naturism. Temperature permitting there is no better way to hike. I laugh to myself when I see other hikers in their “hi-tech” hiking duds with fabrics designed for “superb moisture wicking”. There is no better material for regulating the temperature of the body than it’s own skin. And you already own it. This gives me hope that I’ll see more nudies out on the trails! Stay naked, my friends!

  13. Chris

    Yep, I agree with Larry and SassyCouple . When meeting people try to just be as normal as possible. A quick “Good morning” or “Isn’t it beautiful out today”, “Yeah, I know, I’m in my skin, hope I’m not offending you” But say something to just break the ice cause most don’t know what to say. However, most who are out hiking are sojourning with nature already and they will get it.

  14. C

    What about bears? Especially hiking alone! I’m also from Alberta. Wife and I tried hiking naked, saw a bear from 25 feet away, turned back, and haven’t ventured out again. Has Sara encountered bears?

  15. John

    I have a question for Sara or Karin.. i’m living in Jasper at the moment and have been waiting to give this a go for quite some time now but unsure which trail to take so i don’t run into too many people, can anyone give me advice on which hikes are best to do naked?

  16. Craig Martin

    Hi Sara
    My name is Craig from Halifax and I only wish it was legal to hike naked here. There’s this one trail goes 16 km back through beautiful trees and runs along some lakes. I would love to hike in and out naked and stop for a swim along the way. Wish someone like you was here to give me the confidence to do what I always wanted to do

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