Hiking has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years, but the standard hiking attire doesn’t always allow women to get the full experience of nature. Luckily, there’s the option of topless hiking to give hikers the chance to enjoy nature while feeling free to wear whatever they want and benefit from exposure to the sun and fresh air on their bare skin. There are a few things you need to consider before heading out to try this activity, but once you do it’s sure to become one of your favorite outdoor hobbies!
Why Hike Topless
Have you ever thought about going on a hike while topless, but been worried that you’d get in trouble with park rangers or worse yet, other hikers? It’s surprising how many women have felt that way when it comes to hiking without a shirt. For whatever reason though, that fear goes away as soon as they make their first trip out with just a sports bra or bikini top and realize that nothing bad happens. If you’re considering giving it a try yourself, but aren’t sure what all of your options are, then here are some things you should know before going on your first topless hike.
Is it Safe?
Some women are choosing to hike without bras. Is it safe? In a recent discussion at R/GirlGamers, we found that some women find bras uncomfortable, while others dislike how they look and feel with them on. Hiking without a bra means exposing your breasts to sunlight, bugs, and even other hikers. Keep in mind you should always check local laws before partaking in any of these activities. Now it’s time for our male readers out there: would you be uncomfortable hiking with a woman who isn’t wearing a bra or do you think everyone should just get over it? Or perhaps your feelings run deeper than either of those extremes. Tell us what you think about female hikers who go topless below!
Where Can I Do It?
Unlike men, who are able to hike shirtless in many national parks and state forests, as well as some local parks (even though doing so can be considered disorderly conduct), women often have nowhere to legally sunbathe or hike without a shirt. In fact, doing so can result in indecent exposure charges. Why are there different rules for men and women when it comes to getting some sun on your skin? Honestly, who cares!
When Should I Do It?
Topless hiking has become more popular in recent years. However, if you’re planning a hike with no shirt on, there are a few factors you should consider. For instance, how crowded will it be and how far away from other hikers are you planning on going? If you’re looking to do some social hiking or go a shorter distance with other people around, then topfree may be perfect. But if you’re looking for a longer solo hike through a wooded area or somewhere that isn’t as populated with fellow hikers, then consider leaving your top at home. A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, leave it at home!
What should I Wear (or Not Wear)?
If you plan on doing any of your hiking in winter, particularly during a cold snap, it’s worth investing in some quality base layers—these are generally made from synthetics like CoolMax and Capilene. My personal favorites are Patagonia and Icebreaker. The reason I recommend them is that they’re super-soft, not too bulky or restrictive (which means they won’t bunch up or chafe), moisture-wicking (so you don’t get sweaty or smelly), and warm even when wet. Oh, and also because they keep you extra cozy as you burn off all those extra calories!
Tips for Topless Hiking Safety
There are some benefits and drawbacks to consider when deciding whether or not you want to hike without a shirt. Though many think that hiking with your top off will provide an extra breeze, it can actually make you hotter faster. Hiking without a shirt also means more sun exposure—meaning an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Before taking off your shirt, find out if there are any restrictions on such behavior in your area (such as if your trail is federal land), and make sure that you have enough sunscreen on hand. And don’t forget about insect protection while naturist-hiking—just because you’re tanning doesn’t mean that mosquitoes won’t find their way in!
Know the local laws
Before you start your hike, it’s important to know that public nudity is legal in Colorado (where many national parks are located) and parts of New York, but not at all in Washington State. Whether or not it’s allowed where you live can impact your decision about whether or not you want to hike naked—but regardless of laws, please keep safety in mind. Nudity may be legal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.
Respect other hikers
While a growing number of women are embracing topless hiking, it’s always best to practice common courtesy when it comes to other people. If you’re nervous about going without a shirt, try hiking with someone else who is also comfortable doing so. Similarly, avoid wearing revealing clothing that would give other hikers an eyeful.
Never hike alone
Hiking alone is never a good idea. Not only do you want someone else along so that they can call emergency services if something happens, but if you don’t like your body, there’s an excellent chance that it might cause your self-esteem issues while out on a trail. What would happen if you suddenly realized that all of your previous insecurities were valid, and you had no shirt on at the time?
Avoid remote trails
Hiking without a shirt is still generally frowned upon by society, and hiking in remote areas can put you at increased risk of unwanted attention. To protect yourself, opt for popular trails that see lots of foot traffic. If you’re going it alone, try to hike during daylight hours, and make sure your phone has enough battery life (and call or text someone when you get back). Don’t forget about your shoes!
Pack bear spray
No one likes to think about it, but bear attacks do happen. And if you’re going on a hike in an area where bears are common, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most national parks recommend carrying bear spray while on a hike—which isn’t just a good idea in case of bear attacks; it’s also useful as a bug repellent.
Carrying a GPS (Global Positioning System) device is essential if you decide to hike in an unfamiliar area. The device will let you know how far and where you are from your car or your desired location. This way, if you are unable to find your way out of a place because of weather or other issues, you can easily give emergency workers accurate information about where you might be located. GPS devices can range from $150 to $500, depending on whether they come with maps already loaded onto them or not.
hiking in a thong
It’s just like hiking in a bikini except that there is no bikini top. You might be surprised how liberating it feels to hike, swing your arms and feel your breasts swaying freely. Just remember if you’re going for an all-natural look, do not wear makeup or shave your legs! However, if you’re comfortable with some of your femininity showing in addition to your more primal, primal instincts I recommend leaving at least a couple of straps on your bra. It won’t provide as much support as a regular sports bra but it’s still better than nothing at all and you enjoy the topless hiking as well.