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Wendy Bumgardner

Caution - Naked Hiking Day June 21

By June 19, 2009

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Dry Creek Falls"If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise!" It isn't the Teddy Bears' Picnic, it's the bares enjoying the unofficial annual Naked Hiking Day, observed on June 21, the day of the Summer Solstice. This year, it is also Father's Day, and that is leading to concerns about clothed families encountering naked hikers.

Walking guru Colin Fletcher called this his "Second Law of Thermodynamic Walking -- give your b***s some air." He enjoyed hiking naked through the Grand Canyon and along the Pacific Crest Trail on hot days.

In many jurisdictions, it is not illegal to be naked in public if your intent is simply to be naked and not to incite or satisfy sexual arousal. In other jurisdictions, hiking naked can get you a trip to the slammer. If you plan to go naked in the wilderness, know the local laws and seek out places where you are unlikely to encounter others who are not like-minded.

What should you do if you encounter somebody hiking naked? Usually you can tell the difference between nudists and obscene exhibitionists. If they are obviously just out hiking and enjoying nature au naturel, just proceed as usual. If they aren't bothering you or others, and it is legal in your jurisdiction, let them enjoy the sun.

If they are exhibiting signs that they are in fact perpetrators of indecent exposure, depart their vicinity as fast as possible and call the police, according to Pamela Kulbarsh, RN MSW and Psychiatric Emergency Response Team leader in southern California. Verbalizing, gesturing, touching themselves, etc. are obvious signs of this criminal behavior. Most such criminal exhibitionists are not dangerous, but some progress to accosting and even assaulting others. They need to be reported. More on indecent exposure

There are gray areas between the harmless nudist and the dangerous exhibitionist. If you don't want to be misunderstood, you may have to limit your sun-worshipping to clothing-optional designated areas. Naked hikers face increased exposure to:

Photo Wendy Bumgardner

June 20, 2009 at 8:23 am
(1) Adam Abeles says:

I can’t believe it’s legal anywhere. Weirdos should be locked up.

June 20, 2009 at 8:47 am
(2) walking says:

Yes, it is legal to be naked in public in Oregon so long as your intent is not sexual. And in over four decades of hiking in Oregon, the only time we ever encountered somebody naked was skinny dippers in a very secluded stream, away from any developed trail. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean people actually do it.

June 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm
(3) Lea says:

Oh my, this caught my attention and gave me a chuckle. Naked hikers! I will be sure to keep my eyes open on my hike. Although living in Alaska, I am more concerned about momma moose and their babies as well as bears. Hiking naked here would expose too much skin to our ever present, annoying mosquitos. :)

June 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm
(4) Alexander Neave says:

Anytime I run across (pun intended) a comment like that of Adam Abeles I shake my head in disbelief. The obscenities in our society today are rampant, in full view, in every city, county and neighborhood, and have absolutely nothing to do with the unclothed body. In the richest nations of the world, you have huge amounts of homelessness, poverty and abuse, is that not obscene? We spend billions every year on this pseudo missing and exploited children, only to make the executives of these programs rich, while children prostitute themselves openly on the streets of LA, Tampa, Atlanta, and New Orleans, Is this not obscene? We incarcerate a man for stealing a loaf of bread, or finding solace from a impossible cycle of poverty in an illegal substance, just so we can build another facility to house them and make companies like Haliburton and the likes even richer. Is that not obscene. Yes the obscenity in our nations are rampant, I will agree. But it has nothing to do with the naked body, And irregardless of what your pastor says, If God really wanted us to walk about naked, don’t you think we would have been born that way?

June 21, 2009 at 7:27 am
(5) Adam Abeles says:

Nice estrogen-induced meltdown, “Alex.”

June 24, 2009 at 2:12 am
(6) Tiffany says:

There is nothing weird about being naked in nature. It’s… what’s the word… oh… natural. Granted, I don’t make a habit of it… but a good skinny dip is a wonderful thing. You assume people are weird I’m guessing because you can’t imagine someone being naked without it having a sexual connotation? It isn’t like that. There’s something very freeing about being in nature as a part of it, naturally, without all kinds of manufactured clothing on.

June 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(7) Adam Abeles says:

Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it should be done in public (urinary function, for example). “Manufactured clothing” ?? Sorry, hippie, but those who walk around naked are weirdos. I have spoken.

July 30, 2009 at 9:15 am
(8) Dick Johnson says:

Adam, seems like you have some closet issues to deal with. Party on, naked people

August 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm
(9) Rick says:

Now that Adam “has spoken” should I cower? I think not. I think Adam would really like to get naked outside and enjoy nature, but is afraid that someone will laugh at him or his nakedness or make fun of him. He should stay inside if thats the case and let others enjoy nature and stop judging others.

June 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm
(10) Objective says:

Adam can have his opinion. That’s ok. Most of the world is ok with the naked body. Example: the great photo of the swimmer on Victoria Falls in a recent National Geographic. Go naked, get the world in touch with what’s normal.

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