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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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:
We are on a hitchhiking journey from Europe to India; we have crossed Italy, Albania, Greece, Turkey and are currently getting to know Georgia – stick around to find out more! Click on the orange social media icons in the author box below.
Stray story seeker. Hungry hitchhiker. Wannabe polyglot. Aspiring travel writer. Currently bumming around in Georgia.
Follow me on my wonderful <3 social media – click on the orange icons below!