It has many local residents up in arms. But others kind of like it. Some say there should be laws forbidding it, while others claim such a ban would be unconstitutional. Such is the controversy currently gripping remote mountain regions in Switzerland: nude hiking.
Yes, a nude hiking phenomenon is sweeping the Swiss Alps. I suppose the first question that arises is why anyone would want to walk around at high altitude in low temperature without clothes. (And it seems from at least one online poll that most people wouldn’t.)
Well, there are any number of reasons to hike naked. Freedom is one reason mentioned by participants. One can also imagine the benefit of more bodily surface area to appreciate those cool Alpine breezes.
Whatever the reason for doing it, the Swiss government is trying to clamp down. In fact, it has drafted legislation that outlaws “abusive behavior that offends against custom and decency.” But that seems pretty vague. For some, the birthday suit is offensive. For others, it’s a symbol of free spirit and shedding off the shackles of our normal clothed society.
Of course, one doesn’t have to strip to enjoy the grandeur of hiking in the Swiss Alps. Many folks, conservative and progressive alike, are just as comfortable if not more so wearing clothes while they soak in those Alpine panoramas. Will there be a day when hiking in the buff is the rule rather than the exception? That’s what many of the locals fear...