Have you always dreamed of taking a nice stroll through the beautiful Swiss Alps wearing nothing but your hiking boots? Well unfortunately you may have missed your chance. The Swiss Federal Court upheld a ban last week on naked hiking in the territorial districts (also called Cantons), and a fine may be issued to anyone caught in the act.
While nudity itself is not banned in Switzerland, public indecency is and as early as 2009 there have been complaints regarding people hiking in the nude. The main concern raised by the public regards people hiking without clothes in areas populated by children.
A man has been fined 100 Swiss francs for public indecency after he passed a public family BBQ area, where there were young children and a Christian centre used to treat recovering drug addicts, while hiking in the nude. His appeal that he could not have known that he was breaking the law was rejected and it was ruled that his human rights, namely freedom of expression were not being breached.
The Canton of Appenzell, considered to be one of the more beautiful walking and hiking areas as well as one of the more conservative in the Swiss Alps, has become increasingly popular with naturalists. There is growing concern amongst the community and the local tourist board that too many nude hikers will deter non-naturalists from visiting the area.
Local Cantons will now have the right to issue fines to people hiking without clothes where they believe it is causing offense or could be considered indecent.
As the temperature continues to drop across Europe you might be pleased to have a good excuse to wrap up warmly before heading out on your hike. Base layers, jackets and waterproof trousers will also not only keep you warm but may also save you from an unwanted expense.