They Love to Go a-Wandering (Knapsack Optional)

Published December 13, 2011

It’s official. Nude hiking in northeastern Switzerland is illegal.

The Swiss Supreme Court recently validated a law banning nude hiking in the Swiss canton (the equivalent of a state in that country) of Appenzell Innerrhoden. The court upheld the conviction of a German nude hiker for violating the law of that canton.

Nude hiking (called nacktwandern) in Appenzell Innerrhoden was being promoted in Germany when the law was passed in the canton two years ago. German publications then called nude hiking “a special experience of nature, free and healthy” because “abandoning unpractical clothes enables a direct contact with the wind, sun and temperature.” The Swiss canton, however, called it “an indecent practice.”

The law imposed a fine of 200 Swiss francs, noted Kevin Underhill, author of Lowering the Bar, “presumably payable at some future date when the offender has pockets again.” (The fine is the equivalent of $217.82 at the current exchange rate.)

Nude hiking evidently remains legal in the rest of Switzerland.

Source: Kevin Underhill, “Swiss Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Nude Hiking,” Lowering the Bar, November 21, 2011; Kevin Underhill, “New Swiss Law Aims to Halt Invasion of Naked Germans,” Lowering the Bar, April 26, 2009; – The Currency Converter, November 23, 2011