Given the fact that most people hike with clothes on even when there's no physical
need for them, a few precautions will allow those of us who prefer to walk in comfort to do so without
causing any problems. From the excellent Australian starting point posted at
http://www.geocities.com/barebushwalking/Hints.html, I've modified it to:
1. Avoid trails where there are likely to be clothed hikers. It's best to avoid confrontation if at all possible.
2. Use 'out and back' trails. That way if there are no vehicles at the trailhead you can be pretty sure that at least on the outward journey you will have the trail to yourself.
3. Look for signs that others have been on the trail before you, and if you do meet someone coming the other way, ask them if they have seen anyone else on the trail.
4. Avoid trails where there are likely to be children and family groups. People who would normally react with a smile when meeting a nude hiker can easily take offence
if they feel their children are threatened.
5. If possible, hike with others. A lone hiker is more likely to be seen in a bad light than a group. A group with both men and women will also generally be seen in a
better light than an all-male one.
6. If possible do your walks on a weekday rather than on weekends.
7. Be aware of where the trail will take you - you don't want to find yourself in a residential area.
8. Keep an eye out ahead for approaching hikers, and be prepared to cover up quickly. If you are alert you will see or hear them long before they are aware of you.
9. If you are caught by surprise, act naturally, normally and openly. Don't dive into the bushes or act in some other guilty or suspicious manner.
10. Take off sunglasses to greet or talk to others.
11. Be aware of weather conditions. Take clothing that would be required if it started raining or there was a sudden drop in temperature.
12. Put your clothes back on if you have to traverse areas where it is likely you may slip and find yourself sliding down rough or rocky ground. Nude gravel rash is best avoided.
13. Carry sufficient food and fluids for the duration of your walk, and be aware that hiking in the nude makes dehydration occur more quickly.
14. Carry plenty of sunscreen and mosquito repellant.
15. Last but definitely not least, tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.