Nude camping, also known as naturist camping, may conjure up ideas of pain, itching, and a few jokes if you're not familiar with how it works or nudist-friendly campsites. Camping in the buff can be an interesting experience, though, so it's worth checking out if you've got the itch to do something most of us would probably consider on the wild side of life. Whether you want to do it to try something new, even out your tan lines, or just get back to nature, we're here to help you get started.
Where to Go for Nude Camping
Obviously, not every campground is going to be willing to host a nude camping group. You'll have to do a little bit of research first to find out which places you'll be welcome at-sans clothes. Here are a few places to begin:
- Goodland Nudist Country Club in Hackettstown, NJ has camping, swimming pools, volleyball, billiards, picnic areas, cabins, ping pong, and more. It's like a laidback, regular country club, but not everyone wears clothes (clothing is optional except at the pool, and the staff is fully clothed). If you get tired of roughing it at the campsite, you can just stroll over to the pools. You can visit without membership for up to three visits to get a feel for whether the environment's right for you. Prices range from $25/day to $45/day (including hookups). You can pay $1200 for a seasonal trailer site, too.
- Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in central Florida is fairly modern. You won't necessarily feel like you're "roughing it" which is a good thing for those new to camping! For a list of fees, check this site.
- Bell Acres is a hidden jewel among everyday life. The Atlanta Dragway and several big stores like Wal-Mart surround it. You'll definitely get your daily exercise in, considering how hilly the terrain is.
To find a campsite suitable for your own adventures in nude camping, check out the American Association for Nude Recreation website. Hot spots are listed by location. You can also join a club if you're feeling up to it and nude camping's something you've done before.
How to Enjoy the Experience
If you think about the bug bites, the scratchy plants, other people's eyes, and the burning sun in too much detail, it could be enough to send you running for the hills before you even start your nude camping experience. There are ways around the discomforts of being nude in a world where clothes prevail. One of those is to find a resort-like area like the Goodland Nudist Country Club where it's the norm to be naked, and the amenities are set up with bare skin in mind.
Packing's easier, that's for sure. You'll need fewer clothes if you're going camping in the nude. Take some just in case you need to run to a store for something, but you won't need nearly as many as you would for a traditional excursion. You'll want to bring your own bottled water unless you want to have to boil water from the rivers, streams, or lakes nearby. Another thing you'll want to bring is your own food; don't count on catching your own all the time like they do in movies. For ease, take things you don't have to cook.
Don't forget your tent, bags in which to comfortably carry food and other items, and maybe even your own chemical toilet, depending on what's available where you're staying.
A few other things:
- Bug repellent
- Camp stove
- Trash bags
- Toilet paper
- Light seating (chairs or stools)
- Eating utensils
If you don't want to be seen, find a secluded spot. That means don't camp right on the river because people will be making that trek frequently and will stumble across your campsite.
If you can, camp during the week. Fewer people will have time off from work and you'll be less likely to be bothered.
Say someone does set up a campsite close to yours. Don't necessarily consider your trip ruined and rush to put on clothing. You may not offend the person. If you do, keep in mind, you had your tent set up there first.
If you're going to be in the forest, skip hunting season. You don't want to get shot by accident on vacation. You could be mistaken for an animal. Put up a warning sign that says, "Nudist Area Ahead" or something to that effect. Make sure it's visible before you are, so that passersby can make the choice whether to seek you out for a chat or walk by without being exposed.
Lee Baxandall's World Guide to Nude Beaches and Resorts will spin you up on the places to go when you want to go naked.
For tips and suggetions to help you enjoy your camping trip, see these informative slideshows: