April 27, 2009

Little Swiss canton bans nude hiking

Naked hikers are not welcome in Appenzell Innerrhoden, residents of the mountainous region of Switzerland have proclaimed by a show of hands.

The 15,500 people who live in the pastoral Swiss canton decided at a recent town square meeting to slap a $175 fine on anyone found walking about sans clothes, the BBC reported Monday.

I think it's disgraceful, one elderly gentleman said of nude hiking. God may have created us naked, but he gave us clothes to walk around in.

Perhaps not surprising in a conservative region that only gave women the right to vote in 1990. But some locals say those opposed to hiking au natural are making an Alp out of a mole hill. The BBC reported many of those opposed to naked hikers have never actually seen one.

I estimate there are only around 20 to 25 naked hikers in the whole of Switzerland, lawyer Daniel Kettiger said. So really arresting them and fining them is a bit silly. And our courts do have better things to do.

One practitioner who offered up the pseudonym Puistola Grottenposch told the BBC hiking naked is all about getting out into natural surroundings, peaceful surroundings and challenging myself a little bit.

Of course I meet people from time to time, but they always say hello, sometimes they ask aren't you cold. But they're just as friendly as if I was wearing clothes, he said.