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German Naturists Pretty Psyched About New Nude Hiking Trail

Where: Germany
October 8, 2009 at 4:03 PM | by | ()

It seems like we're doing a naked travel or nude hiking post every few weeks now, with today's story courtesy of the 11 mile naturist hiking trail opening up in Germany. The eagerly anticipated path goes from Dankerode to the Wippertal dam along the Harz mountain range in central Germany.

Apparently enthusiasts have been lighting up naturist chat rooms over it for months. The Reuters writeup was very specific on this: "Naturist chat rooms."

So scientists believe we started wearing clothes some time between 100,000 and 500,000 years ago. Do you know why our grunting ancestors decided to cover themselves with animal pelts? Because they realized that dirt is dirty. It must have been a radical insight at the time—"hey, all this sticky stuff doesn't get on my skin if I cover myself, and I even feel warmer"—but nevertheless they were able to apply their chimp-like analytical skills to the problem and crack that nut. Not so much with these hippies.

And don't get us started about the freedom of being able to drop the pretenses of civilization. The idea of covering yourself up to block the elements goes way beyond anything even close human culture. Elephants throw grass on their back to stay comfortable. Rhinos roll around in mud so they don't get sunburned. What's that? These naturists use sunblock? Well that's not very natural.

The only potential redeeming feature here is that giggling 20-somethings might want to see each other naked, boosting local tourism above and beyond the small niche market of devoted naturists. Here we have to be a little blunt: 99% of people on the planet are not genetically blessed in a way that allows them to walk through clouds of dust Pig Pen-like and still look good at the end. It's not like a nude beach where at least people can wash off, and even nude beaches don't tend to bring out models of Olympian physique. Usually the opposite.

[Photo: Alain TANGUY/Wiki Commons]

Related Stories:
· Kids, it's a nature walk -- sounds like fun! [Reuters]
· Nude Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
· Naked Travel [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Awkward and sweaty.

Despite the fact that they call themselves naturists, I don't see them eschewing hiking boots and socks (which, in my opinion, is the cherry on top of the whole look). I think this fad is hilarious and irrational and totally entertaining. In fact, I hope they take it to the next level and become avid skiers. The NileGuide blog did a post on similarly eccentric (but more fully-clothed) exercise trends around the world: here. Think it's possible to combine naturists and hulaerobics?

Author Does Not Understand Nudism

My full response is here: http://thepoliticalnaturist.blogspot.com/2009/10/yet-more-disinformation-about-nudism.html The issue is not that clothing is an important utilitarian and fashion element of our culture, it's that we have steeped ourselves so deeply into the wearing of textiles, that we have lost common sense on when it's appropriate not to wear clothes. Take swimming, for example. What purpose is served by wearing a bathing suit, other than modesty, or Philistine laws? Hiking is another activity which is far better done in the nude, free of all the sticky clothing causing body temperatures to rise, and skin to chafe. And don't forget that the original Greek Olympics were done in the nude. With all the recent controversy over new swimsuit technologies which are actually helping athletes to swim faster, perhaps we should return to the original idea of competing without clothes. As for the sunblock argument, I'm so tired of this old meme which seems to pop up in every anti-nudist argument. Do not people in swimsuits also put on sunscreen to protect from UV rays? What about spectators in open grandstands, landscapers, construction workers, and anyone else being exposed to a lot of sun, don't they also need to seek relief and protection? And what do people do when the temperature rises? They wear less clothing. They put on t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sandals, flip-flops and anything else which allows the skin to breathe. The only reason people don't take everything off in the heat is because of society and culture, which stand in the way of common sense.

The Author certainly doesn't understand Naturism!

This article is a most offensive piece of writing that just serves to show the author's complete ignorance of naturism, to say nothing of human evolution.

Do you know how scientists can estimate when we started wearing clothes? The answer lies in the DNA of the clothes louse - that's right, one of the three types of lice that prey on us (the others are the head louse and the pubic louse, commonly known as 'crabs'). So you see, your favoured clothes not only harbour dirt, they are home to specific parasites as well.

Wearing clothes to swim is a Victorian invention, prior to that no-one would have done such a silly thing. Swimming pools that run naturist sessions frequently report that the pool filters need less cleaning due to not being blocked by costume fibres, they also need less chemicals to treat the water due to them not being affected by detergent from costumes.

There can't be many people who have never 'skinny dipped' and all normally enjoy it.

The body's temperature control actually works better without clothes in the way. This is obvious on a hot day or when working hard, such as climbing in the mountains. Surprisingly it can also work the other way; I have seen naturists quite comfortable with the temperature whilst clothed individuals sat next to them have been shivering! Having said that, naturists are not stupid and often wear clothes if that is more comfortable at the time.

This is also why the walkers in your picture are wearing boots. Modern living means that the soles of our feet are not as tough as they used to be, so it makes sense to wear walking boots for walking.

As for definitions of what is civilised, the prudish attitudes and cynical condemnation of naturists who do not posses an "Olympian physique", illustrated in this article, are hardly 'civilised'. It has been shown that the more prudish a nation is, the higher its rate of teenage pregnancy, abortion and STI's. Is this the stuff of civilisation?

Your censorship of the picture just reinforces this prudery.