If you haven't heard about nude camping, you're not alone. I read up, and this is what I learned.
Quit blushing and take a second to hear the explanation behind nude camping. Sure, it is indeed a real thing, but not at any National Park, popular campground, or really any public area. Nudists, or naturists as they like to be called, can visit a network of private outdoor rec areas all over the country, it's just that we don't hear about them all that often.
As I began my research into this vaunted lifestyle choice, I not only discovered a ton of highly rated RV resorts and campgrounds, but also a complete interactive map for every naturist out there.
And although it may ruffle a few feathers, many are quite family friendly and seem like wonderful places to spend a vacation enjoying the great outdoors.
Some come in under the auspices of complete and utter nudity for all at all times, while others certainly give you the out of covering up a bit. The whole point is that this is a choice people make, it's a way they're able to feel comfortable being themselves, and if everyone knows the deal and abides by the rules, naked camping seems like it can actually be pretty fun.
One thing we want to make clear: we aren't suggesting you should attempt camping in the buff at any old place, especially anywhere public. There are decency
Most people say they're going camping to "get back to nature." For most that means getting off the grid, doing some serious boondocking, and living off the land. In a way, they're being exposed, and that's sort of what they like about it.
Nude Campers may never feel as exposed as they do when they show up at the nude camping park. The best nudist campgrounds promote good vibes, zero judgement, and take pride in the fact that it is clothing optional. Camping is often a great way to meet new, likeminded people, and wearing your birthday suit seems like the great equalizer.
It's also a good way to find out how close you can really get to the campfire!
It has to be said that there is something deliriously freeing and insanely relaxing about shedding your clothes and getting that whole body feeling of the world around you. In fact, there's a reason skinny-dipping is so exhilarating for the rest of us. Is that what it's like all the time for naked campers?!
These clothing-free campgrounds understand that you may still want your flip flops to get around, a pair of sunglasses, and a hat to cover your head. It's just that your accessories and wearables may end right there. Naked camping allows people to fully embrace their lifestyle while doing something they love, outside their home or backyard.
One major thing to know and understand: there is almost always a serious restriction or a complete ban on the use of cameras and cell phones at nudist campgrounds.
You'll want to have a good quality sunscreen to bring along, or a covered, shaded area to hang out in. You'd probably be well off to bring extra towels for sitting on in any public spaces, and finding a camp chair that doesn't get too hot when left in the sun would go a long way, too.
The American Association of Nude Recreation
It's hard for someone who hasn't experienced what that is like to understand, so here are some answers to questions that...
I had never heard of the AANR, but learned about it pretty quickly. The American Association of Nude Recreation is a great resource when it comes to choosing your first naturist camping experience, as their mission statement proves:
"Protecting nudists and naturists from policies at the local, state and federal levels that interfere with the right to enjoy clothing-free recreation in appropriate settings."
This is an organization that stands for recreation, dignity, and integrity and all in the name of tolerance towards those who simply want a little more freedom, and that includes campers. In fact, they are unambiguous when they state, "We reject categorically any attempt to associate the good name and reputation of family social nudism, of any AANR-chartered club, or of the American Association for Nude Recreation, with the sexual exploitation of the human body."
The AANR even has an entire page dedicated to Nudist Family Values, which they take quite seriously. Their three main points of concern as it pertains to naturist clubs are as follows:
- Call ahead to clarify their youth policies
- Plan to provide constant supervision for your children
- Practice responsible sun safety
AANR addresses stigma, empowerment, and the specific concerns attached to youth, teen, and female community members. As natural as it may seem to some, everyone needs to decide if going nude in such a social setting makes them comfortable in their own skin. It seems like AANR is helping a lot of people explore that notion.
Nude RV Parks
From Arizona to Florida, I found some terrific nudist RV parks just waiting for those who love the RV lifestyle.
The Shangri La Ranch in New River, Arizona always seems to make the top of the lists, along with the Hidden River Resort in Macclenny, Florida. These resorts offer the same amenities as you'd expect from an RV park, such as electrical hookups, dump stations, even bath houses and saunas with plenty of hot water.
You will still need to research their facilities so that you will know their respective rules before you go. As stated, some of these resorts, RV parks, and campgrounds only allow clothing for adverse weather or other specific reasons.
These parks can be on or near nude beaches, have their own swimming pools, or even include the use of private tennis courts. There's a lot to choose from, and the web does a pretty good job of organizing things to make them easy to find.
The Last Bare Naked Word
Before I started looking into it, nude camping certainly wasn't on my bucket list. In fact, I never even thought about it until I started to read up on it. If I'm being honest, it certainly seems less ridiculous now that I know a little more!
But I still don't know if it's worth going nude camping, even if it's just once. I think I would relish feeling the sun, wind, and water on my bare skin. But then I'd remember I was, well, naked.
Those that have done this will tell you that it's not only a complete feeling of freedom, but of accomplishment as well. Sunbathing, hiking, and socializing will never be the same again, and you will certainly have the notch on your hypothetical belt to prove it.
It really appeared as though most of the campgrounds I came across understand that some folks are trying this type of camping for the very first time, and they're eager to give encouragement and helpful advice.
They try to ensure you never feel overwhelmed or guilty, but walk confidently into this world if you so please. Just because I don't entirely believe it's for me, doesn't mean others should be denied the right to learn about and participate in some good ol' nude camping!