There is nothing more freeing than being out in nature. Except, perhaps, being out in nature...completely naked?
This somewhat niche activity encourages hikers to shed their skivvies and experience nature in its purest form, unrestricted by the burden of clothing and peer judgment. What’s more, it has its own informal holiday to celebrate the joys of hiking Adam-and-Eve-style: Naked Hiking Day.
Survey - Attitudes Towards Naked Hiking
Before I get into details of why you might want to shed your clothes on the trail and how you might best go about it, I was really curious about public attitudes towards nude hiking. So in May 2019 I asked America the following multiple choice question:
- It's fine, I have no problem with it
- It should only be allowed in specific places
- It shouldn't be allowed anywhere
- It sounds fun!
I polled 1,505 adult Americans between 24th and 27th May 2019 through Google surveys, weighted to account for Age, Gender and Region, with the answers displaying in a random order.
Here’s the result:
35m People Think Naked Hiking Sounds Fun!
The first thing I noticed was, although the least popular option, nearly 15% of Americans think naked hiking sounds fun. That equates to 35 million people!
25% of Americans Think Naked Hiking Shouldn't Be Allowed
On the flip side, nearly 25% of people think it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere. When I broke that down by demography, there wasn’t much difference based on Gender. The Midwest and the South were more inclined to ban the activity than the North East and the West. The biggest indicator however, was age: nearly 35% of over 65s thought it shouldn’t be allowed, while just 18% of 18-24 year olds felt the same way.
75% of Americans Do Not Have A Negative Attitude Towards Naked Hiking
With 25% of the population outright against naked hiking, that means that 75% are at least relatively accepting of it. This aligns fairly closely with the regular polling conducted on behalf of the Naturist Education Foundation which consistently finds strong support among Americans for those wishing to pursue “clothing optional” activities.
On one hand, given the high-profile convictions for women sunbathing topless in recent years, these attitudes might come as something of a surprise. And yet, the idea that nudity is viewed as a personal right is perhaps less of a surprise in a country that places such a high value on individual choice.
And while I’m certain we won’t see 35m bare bodies on the trail come Naked Hiking Day, I hope the following article might prove useful to those who would like to experience the freedom of being au naturel in nature...