Lifestyle & Belief

Switzerland upholds ban on nude hiking


Bracing: naked hiking is an increasingly popular outdoor pursuit in Switzerland, for those who don't mind the odd fine... or the cold.


Peter Macdiarmid

The Swiss federal court rejected the man's appeal, ruling that hiking in the nude qualified as public indecency, reported the BBC.

The rambler had appealed to the court to overturn a 100-franc ($109) fine he received in October 2009, after practicing his hobby in Appenzell-Ausserrhoden canton in eastern Switzerland.

A woman complained to police about the sight of a naked man wandering past a family picnic area, said The Local. The citizens of the conservative canton, "tired of seeing people walking naked in their mountains," had voted earlier that year to outlaw the practice.

But the man refused to pay the fine, leading to a series of legal wrangles over whether the canton's authorities had to right to ban nude walking.

The federal court decided it did. In their ruling Thursday, judges said:

"It is not overly high-handed to qualify naked hiking as a breach of decency customs."

Nude hiking is not illegal in the rest of Switzerland. It has become an increasingly popular - if chilly - pastime, according to The Local, which points the finger at German naturists who it says frequently cross the border to feel the fresh air on their... ahem.

Let's just hope they're wearing warm socks.