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Last week, I published an article on the best nude camping grounds in the U.S. In addition to identifying some great nude campgrounds, I also hit on a few tips and tricks for visiting nudist camps and camping naked.
In today’s article, I want to offer more detailed instructions for nude camping. After all, if you’ve never done it before, it can be a daunting undertaking.
With a little advice, though, you can explore the world of camping nude with greater confidence.
Let’s get started!
Why are People Camping in the Nude?
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Camping nude is often cited by naturists (folks that partake in nude camping) as being a freeing experience. Without the shackles of clothing, camping naked can be liberating and allow you to feel a much closer connection to nature.
In fact, most nude campgrounds have a deep connection to nature. You might find that you can enjoy hot springs, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, or some relaxing time on a beach, depending on the location of the campground.
Aside from feeling at one with nature, many naturists point to the freedom from social conventions as a primary benefit of camping in the nude.
For some people that engage in camping nude, clothing is representative of social stratification and barriers that are imposed on people. So, without clothing, the idea is that you won’t be judged by the clothing you wear or placed into a box based on the way that you’re dressed. Instead, you’re freer to make meaningful connections with other people who are camping nude.
People in the naturist community point to this – making meaningful connections with others – as a prime reason why they stay in nude campgrounds.
Experienced nude campers also point to the no-judgment atmosphere and laid-back vibes of nude campgrounds as being a prime reason for participating.
By and large, most people in the naturist community are warm, welcoming, and friendly, whether you’re a beginner in camping nude or you have decades of experience under your belt (so to speak!).
You’ll find that this sense of community is enhanced at nudist camps through many different planned activities. It’s not uncommon for naked campgrounds to host potlucks, dances, and themed parties. Many resorts also offer loads of activities that enhance camaraderie, like crafting and lawn games, too.
There could be health benefits of camping nude as well…
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Since most of our vitamin D comes from our bodies producing it as a result of direct sunlight, it stands to reason that without clothing, your body can soak up more of this essential vitamin. And that’s a good thing! According to Naked Wanderings, Vitamin D helps our bodies in all sorts of ways, including:
- Fighting viruses and bacteria
- Helping muscles to move
- Absorbing calcium from food
- Carrying information from the brain to the body
Being outdoors, getting exercise and fresh air, and letting the stressors of normal, everyday life melt away while your camping nude can’t hurt your health, either!
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And while I haven’t joined the ranks of nude campers, I understand why they are so passionate about it. We all have a lot of stress in our lives and plenty of things to worry about. For a lot of us, camping is an escape from that.
But it seems like nude camping can be an even greater escape. I mean, the freedom to be without clothing, without social standing, and enjoy the company of like-minded people in a beautiful setting doesn’t sound bad at all, right?!
If you want to learn more about camping nude, visit the American Association for Nude Recreation to get some hints, tips, and tricks for enjoying nudist camps and other clothing-free recreational opportunities.
Is Nude Camping Legal?
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This is a great question and one that doesn’t have a precise answer…
On the one hand, nude camping is perfectly legal in some locations. For example, nude campgrounds that are established as such obviously allow nude camping. If you’re on private property (and you’re there legally, of course), you can camp nude all you like.
On the other hand, many campsites – an established Forest Service campsite, for example – do not allow nude camping. You aren’t going to want to go nude camping at your local KOA or Good Sam campground, either.
Ultimately, though, where you can camp nude depends on local, state, and federal regulations. You can find clothing-optional campgrounds in all regions of the U.S. Some are large, secluded resorts, while others are small, homey outfits.
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Heck, you can even camp nude on some federal lands, provided you follow certain regulations. For example, nude camping is legal on some BLM land so long as it isn’t in an established campground or on developed land. Large groups are prohibited as well.
The moral of the story here is this – before you strip down for a weekend of camping nude, it’s best that you do thorough research on what is and is not allowed in the area in which you want to camp.
If need be, call city hall, the county commission, the BLM or Forest Service, or whatever other agency has jurisdiction in the area to get the rundown on pertinent regulations. This is not a “better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” situation. If you don’t make sure that nude camping is legal, you could find yourself with a court date.
Where Can I Go Nude Camping?
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Nude camping is available in just about every corner of the U.S. Obviously, there are more nude campgrounds in warmer climates than in the colder areas of the country, but even still, you’ll find opportunities for camping nude in the northern latitudes.
The catch with nude campgrounds up north is that many of them are not open during the colder months. So, if you want a nude camping adventure in the depths of winter, you better head south!
Remember to check out our list of the best nude camping grounds in the U.S. to see what options are available. From Arizona to Illinois, Colorado to Florida, there are great options on our list.
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Of course, as was mentioned earlier, there are other potential options for nude camping apart from established nude campgrounds…
There are nude camping opportunities in cities and towns, on private property, state and federal lands, and even in some national parks. And even if naked camping isn’t allowed, you might find that other naked recreational opportunities are available, like sunbathing on a nude beach, nude hiking in a national forest, or nude swimming in a hot spring or lake.
Again, it is critically important that you check local laws and regulations before you strip down!
Who Can I Go Nude Camping With?
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By and large, nude campgrounds and resorts are geared towards hosting couples and families.
If you want to do some naked camping with your significant other, so be it! If you have a trip planned with friends, that will work fine, too.
What some people don’t understand is that many nude campgrounds are for families as well.
Usually, there are no restrictions on the ages of people that can enjoy nude campgrounds. Instead, families with members from infants to the elderly are often welcomed.
This does depend in some cases, though. For example, you might find that some resorts cater specifically to adults, while others might be specifically for couples. Before you plan a nude camping trip, just do your due diligence to make sure that the campground you want to visit is welcoming to everyone in your group.
What Rules Govern Nude Campgrounds?
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While the nude camping experience is one of freedom and being laid-back, there are certain rules by which you must abide when you’re in a formal nude campground.
The first and most important rule is that cameras of any kind are not allowed.
Nude campgrounds strictly enforce this rule as a means of protecting the privacy of their guests. If you have an actual camera – like a DSLR, mirrorless, or compact camera – you will be asked to leave it in your cabin, tent, or car.
As for the camera on your phone or tablet, those are regulated, too. You’ll either need to leave them behind when you join activities with other campers, or you’ll need to place a sticker over the lens so people know you aren’t taking photos and videos on the down-low. Usually, nude campgrounds provide stickers specifically for this purpose.
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Another important rule when camping nude is to bring a towel with you at all times.
Primarily, the towel is for sitting on – after all, it would be a hygienic concern if there weren’t some sort of barrier between your bare buns and the furniture in the campground.
But having a towel serves other purposes. Towels make a good wrap if a breeze comes up or inclement weather moves through. You can also lay a towel out on the ground to minimize the chances of your body contacting grass, sand, or whatever else might be on the ground. If the sun is a little too intense, a towel makes a great sunshade as well.
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When you visit a nude campground, be sure you understand that public displays of affection are typically frowned upon.
Nude camping is not a sexual activity, and as such, many resorts ask that you keep PDA to a minimum, like holding hands. What you do in your tent or cabin is up to you, but when you’re amongst campers, it’s important to respect that other people don’t want to see you making out by the pool.
A related rule – although one that’s often unspoken – is that it can be frowned upon for single people to visit nude campgrounds.
The reasoning behind this is that most nude campgrounds are designed for couples and families. While some facilities might have special weekends just for singles, by and large, if you don’t have prior nude camping experience, you might be turned away from some resorts as a single person.
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It should be noted that some naked campgrounds are clothing optional while some strictly forbid it. So, if you’re new to nude camping, it’s best to check with the campground ahead of time to inquire about this particular rule.
If you need to ease into being nude in front of others, you’ll want to visit a nude campground that allows visitors to wear clothing. If you aren’t sure yet how naked you want to be, and you visit a nudist camp that bans clothing, you’ll be in for a long weekend of sitting in your tent alone!
A final rule that’s worth mentioning is that it’s important that you keep your eyes “up here.” When you’re talking to other visitors at the nude campground, maintain eye contact or look off into the distance. What you don’t want to do is let your eyes drift down, or worse, stare at anyone.
Nude camping is supposed to be a freeing experience, and one with no judgment or worry about what other people think about your body. Everyone simply wants to be comfortable in their own skin, which is hard to do if you’re staring at people in an inappropriate or judgmental way.
What If I Get Self-Conscious?
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The whole point of nude camping is to be okay with your body and the bodies of others. While nude campgrounds work hard to build a community that doesn’t judge, it can still be hard to let go of the preconceived notions you have about your body.
If you find that you’re feeling a little self-conscious, it’s okay! Just take a break by heading back to your tent, RV, or cabin for a little while to regroup and rebuild your confidence.
Another option is to ease into getting nude. If you’re at a clothing-optional campground, you might start the day fully clothed and work your way to being topless or bottomless. Perhaps you can wear a sheer gown or wrap up in a towel to give yourself at least the feeling of being less “out there” for everyone to see.
Campground staff isn’t going to chase you down and demand you get naked, so if it’s just too much to be totally nude, take a deep breath, do what makes you feel comfortable, and give nude camping a go when you feel like you have the confidence to do so.
What Do I Need for Camping Nude?
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First and foremost, you need sunscreen and a lot of it.
Since most opportunities for camping naked are either in sunny locations or in locations that are only open in the summer months, having sunscreen to protect your nude body is of paramount importance.
And while you might not be able to wear clothing, you will definitely want footwear of some sort – flip flops are a great option – that way you can stroll around the campground without fear of hurting your feet.
Also pack a hat of some kind. Nude camping involves a lot of outdoor time, and even with sunscreen, you’ll probably want a little shade to shield your head and face from the sun’s race.
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Bring along a pair of sunglasses as well. In most cases, hats and sunglasses are perfectly acceptable, even in a nudist camp that prohibits clothing.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to have a supply of towels for your trip. If you’re camping nude in an established campground or resort, there will be all sorts of towels on hand. But it still doesn’t hurt to bring a few of your own towels along. Also bring a beach blanket while you’re at it. Having a larger surface area on which to relax will be nice when you’re poolside or at the beach.
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Many folks that enjoy camping naked also suggest that you bring along a backpack or a fanny pack. Since you won’t have any pockets on you to carry things like your wallet, sunscreen, chapstick, and such, having a carry-all for those and other items will certainly come in handy.
And while there are often tons of activities that you can join at nude campgrounds, it might be worth it to bring a book along. You might find that a quiet afternoon poolside with a good book is just what you need to recharge your batteries.
Is Camping Nude Right for You?
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The purpose of this guide is to inform you about some of the central components of nude camping, that way you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.
While there is an unmistakable allure of nude camping, it certainly isn’t for everyone! You’re off on the right foot, though, by reading this guide and getting more information about what nude camping is all about. It’s better to find out whether naked camping sounds like a good idea (or a bad one) now rather than after you get to a naked campground.
As with any camping experience, take the time to plan ahead, get all the needed gear and accessories, and engage the other people in your group in outlining who is doing what. The more you plan, the fewer hitches you’ll have, and the more comfortable you’ll be on your first nude camping trip.