Part of camping’s appeal is the return to basics. Life tends to be much simpler and slower in the outdoors, away from everyday life’s obligations, traffic, notifications, and pressures, even if you’re still surrounded by conveniences. To take it to the extreme, some campers even prefer total minimalism, going so far as to strip everything away to become one with nature.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, we have lots to talk about. Keep reading to learn more about nude camping, from the health benefits to the legalities of it. Plus, we even have an extensive list of places where you’re allowed—and often even required—to camp in your birthday suit.
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What is Nude Camping?
Nude camping, also known as naturism or nudism, is simply camping without clothes. This type of nakedness is a subculture of nudism, the cultural practice of non-sexual social nudity most often observed in private places but also in designated public spots. That’s really all there is to it, but there are a few important things to consider before you disrobe at the campground.
What is a Nudist RV Park?
Nudist RV parks are campgrounds where either clothing is optional or straight-up prohibited because they want everyone to be in the same boat. These properties were built for people to embrace being nude in the outdoors as a way of feeling free and connecting more closely with nature. Without fabric, it’s just you and the trees! Just watch out for splinters on benches.
If you book a campsite at a nudist RV park, you’re agreeing to the expectation that you’ll be around other nude campers. They’re there to enjoy the outdoors, just like you, without their skivvies. But let’s be clear: Many campgrounds are serious about this practice being a natural, non-sexualized activity. Rules at these places cultivate a safe environment where nobody could be perceived as doing anything scandalous. You’ll also find that the majority of campgrounds either don’t allow or have many restrictions around the participation of single males.
Amenities at these parks are on par with what you’d expect at any other RV park with things like leveled sites, full electrical and sewage hook-ups, laundry facilities, potable water, and more.
Why Do Folks Naked Camp?
Clothed or nude, spending time in nature can be healing and liberating. Scientific research reveals that exposure to forests, parks, mountains, beaches, and other outdoor areas has psychological and physical health benefits. So those who answer this primal instinct and partake in the nudist movement get all the benefits of being outdoors, plus more. Naked campers will tell you that going in the buff brings them closer to nature, frees their body and mind, and cultivates community and closeness. Some people just prefer fabric-free, even when they’re camping.
What are the Benefits of Nude Camping?
Research on nude camping (seriously, it’s out there!) shows that going naked has numerous health benefits, from the physical to the psychological. First of all, without clothes, your skin is more exposed to the sunlight, boosting your levels of vitamin D, essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. We still recommend sunscreen though.
Psychologically, not wearing clothes can increase mindfulness and relaxation, promote social connection and belonging in a non-judgemental naturist community, and lead to improved body awareness and self esteem. Accepting yourself as you are can also reduce levels of stress and anxiety—though maybe not at first as you’re getting used to being unclothed. But eventually, in a welcoming environment, you can begin to love and accept all bodies as they are.
Just like regular camping, the activities you can do at and from the campground are limitless. Hiking, birding, and swimming are some of the more common nudist outdoor activities.
What is Nude Camping Etiquette?
The first tip of nude camping is keeping eye contact rather than looking at someone’s body. To preserve privacy and respect, avoid gawking and taking photos or videos. Avoid sexual activity in the open because it can lead to closures and misconceptions about the motivations for naturism. Respect the environment and keep your area clean, as you would when you’re in a non-nudist area. And lastly, remember to get dressed when leaving clothing-optional areas.
What Are Other Ways to Naked Camp?
RV camping is just one way to participate. You can also go naked camping in a traditional tent. Some RV parks even have spots for vehicles as well as tent camping sites. And on the other end of the camping spectrum, there are even glamping resorts and retreats for more luxurious and all-inclusive experiences.
Is Nude Camping Legal?
In some places, yes. But not everywhere. Nudity is allowed in private spaces like RV resorts and campgrounds. As for public nudity and decency, laws differ from state to state in the U.S., but some states allow local governments to set local standards. Do your research before you go.
Surprisingly, there are no federal laws against public nudity in national parks, except at Cape Cod National Seashore. But to avoid getting officials called on you, it’s best to stay far, far away from public view, like in backcountry camping sites. Or easier, stick to private campgrounds designated for nudist communities.
Along with our guide to nudist RV resorts and parks, refer to the American Association for Nude Recreation to find clubs, events, networks, and more places to go buck naked.
The Best Nude RV Campgrounds in the USA
When it comes to baring it all, there are plenty of places around the U.S. where you can bring your camper and go au naturale. (And be sure to also check out this post about 17 Nudist RV Parks for Your Next Trip).
Important note for most nude RV campgrounds: Most nude campgrounds are resorts that’ll charge daily fees (aka ‘resort fees’) on top of any campaign fees you pay. These fees help support the amenities and activities offered by the campground. These fees can typically be reduced if you purchase a membership to the campground and/or a membership to the American Association for Nude Recreation.
>>Here’s our take on some of the best nude campgrounds in the USA:
–Shangri La Ranch, AZ this clothing optional resort is a sun-soaked spot just north of Phoenix that features fun activities like horseback riding, a large clubhouse, hiking trails, a children’s playground and much more.
Shangri La is also home to the Bare Buns Cafe – a well-known spot right on-site for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just be especially careful not to spill your breakfast coffee 😀
Approximate costs: $15/night RV + $20/per person/per day resort fee. Seasonal and annual memberships are also offered.
–Hidden Lake Resort in Jay, FL is a nudist campground that features standard campground activities like campfires and trail rides.
It’s also a water-focused place where you can dig into paddleboarding, fishing, and more right at camp.
Approximate costs: RV sites are $30-$40/night plus a resort fee of $30/day for singles or $40/day for a couple. Annual memberships are also available and would be the best way to go if you plan to be there for a bit.
–Blue Lake Resort in Quad Cities, IL is a family-oriented nudist park focused on promoting body acceptance. This resort is not clothing optional so they expect everyone to practice nudism. Blue Lake Resort is also very clear that they’re focused on naturist nudism and that swinging or other sexual activities are strictly prohibited.
This nudist campground is situated on a 98-acre farm with tons of mature trees for overall privacy. There’s a pond with a sandy beach, volleyball courts, and more.
Blue Lake is open during the warm season only, from May-October.
Approximate costs: RV camping is $56/day (includes the resort fee of $35/day)
–Wildwood Naturist Resort near Dallas, Texas is a year-round spot just outside the DFW metroplex nestled on a 118-acre naturist playground. Wildwood features a pool, seasonal hot tub, wildflowers, and more.
Event-wise, you’ll find events like potluck dinners, dances, and holiday events. Wildwood also hosts the well-known Skinny Dipper 5k, a clothing-optional cross-country run.
It’s important to note that nudism is required at Wildwood, so clothing is not optional.
Approximate costs: RV full hookup sites $30-$35/day plus daily resort fees ranging from $35-$55/day.
–Valley View Hot Springs in Moffat Colorado – This clothing-optional resort promotes the family-focused ideas of naturism – where the option to wear clothing, especially in a natural setting such as this, is a natural and personal choice for any age.
Valley View is owned by a non-profit organization focused on bringing people one layer closer to nature.
Approximate costs: Dry camping only for $10-$15/night depending on season. Hot Springs are priced separately at $15-$17/day. Membership benefits are also available.
The ranch also features a large outdoor gathering area with a pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts, a clubhouse, and more.
Approximate costs: RV hookups (electric/water) are $65/night. Resort fee = $25 single, $40/couple. An annual membership is also offered.
Cafe Delicious serves up some delectable treats
While nakedness is not officially prohibited on many federal lands, it’s important to only practice nudism in designated areas. The Magic Circle is one such area that also features free dry camping.
Approximate costs: Free dry camping. Dump station available.
First-timers also get half off daily price!
Approximate costs: RV camping is $13-$38/day depending on RV site and type. Resort fees are $37/day with seasonal and annual memberships offered to offset this cost.
–Sunny Sands in Florida near Daytona Beach is a clothing-optional nude camping resort that also features a 9-hole, par 3 golf course.
You can also partake of the hot tub, pool, and on-site restaurant and lounge. Nature trails abound too so you can get out and about.
Approximate costs: $30-$60/day for RV sites, ranging from dry camping to full hookups. Sunny Sands also background checks all first-time guests for $10/per person.
There are a wide range of possible day prices and membership options that can be found here.
–Spruce Hollow Campground, in Michigan is a spot that’s sheltered by Northern Michigan’s tall pines and is right outside Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
There are several wineries nearby and Spruce Hollow also hosts regular events such as their popular Halloween party. RV sites are tucked into the woods to give them a backcountry feel. Most of the RV sites are rustic, but a few do offer power hookups.
Spruce Hollow campgrounds are female only unless a male is accompanying a registered female guest. Single males are not allowed at the campground.
Approximate costs: $20-$30/day for RV sites. Day pass is $30/day. Seasonal memberships are offered for discounted daily rates.
–Sandy Terraces, Cape Cod, MA – What could be better than meandering ‘round Cape Cod in your birthday suit? That’s what this New England spot is all about.
Sandy Terraces is a welcoming community that features nature trails through hardwood forests and easy access to the ocean and quaint New England towns (you’ll want to pop your clothes back on for those excursions 😀
Sandy Terraces is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 nudist campgrounds in the U.S. The spot features a pool, pickleball courts, Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, and much more.
Approximate costs: RV camping (water+electric only) is $75/night for a couple. It’s $25-40/day for a day pass. Members of the American Association for Nude Recreation receive discounted daily rates.
–Lake O’ The Woods Club in Valparaiso, Indiana (near Chicago) was founded in 1933, making it the second-longest-running nude recreation club in the country. Their mantra is: “wholesome social nudity in the spirit of naturism.”
This family-oriented nude campground features a 20-acre spring-fed lake, 130 acres of rolling wooded hills, and excellent fishing at its private lake. The grounds offer a heated outdoor pool, outdoor solar showers, two sandy beaches, quiet sun decks, fishing docks, and two floating docks. There’s also a running trail that circles the lake (and yes, you can run nude).
The Ultimate Nude Camping Packing List
When it comes to nude camping, there are a few items that are must-haves:
–Sunblock – More important than ever, for obvious reasons.
–A beach towel – Fun to have and also functional because most nude campgrounds require you to walk around with a towel rather than sitting your bare bum on their furniture.
–A hat – Nude camping involves a lot of outdoor time so having a way to shade your face is clutch.
–Sunglasses – Same idea as above 🙂
–Sandals – Just because you’re going au naturale doesn’t mean you can don some footwear
Nude camping gets you back to the basics and back to the very essence of what it means to be one with nature. Thanks to the plethora of naked campgrounds out there, nudist RVing is an accessible option for all those who wish to try it. We hope this guide has helped point you in an au naturale direction wherever you might choose to roll.