Caroline Chard really gets back to nature as she enjoys the benefits of holidaying as a naturist
I am a lifelong, though definitely part-time, naturist; I don’t go on naturist holidays in Britain because it’s frankly too cold! Naturism and nudism, are basically the same thing, but naturism is a more accurate description because of its emphasis on nature rather than nakedness. There is a long list of what naturism does not involve, chiefly any form of voyeurism or exhibitionism. It’s not usually a requirement that you get naked, unless and until you’re comfortable.
Naturism is, as its name suggests, a way of getting back to nature in all ways, including dress. It is, in fact, the ultimate in green camping. Most naturist campsites cater for families, and the best ones pay attention to sustainability by recycling, upcycling, harvesting rainwater, and using alternative energy sources where possible. One of my favourite examples of this is the restaurant at a site we stay at regularly, which is built around a large tree growing in the courtyard. The Dutch owner explains, ‘We simply respected the tree.’ Most naturist resorts encourage visitors to use environmentally friendly cleaning and washing products to support their green ethos. Obviously, when you’re not wearing many clothes on a day to day basis, the amount of washing you generate is dramatically reduced too!
It’s not all about nudity
Which brings me on to the main point: clothes. Many first time naturists are worried about clothes. Don’t be. It’s not about going naked all the time; it’s about wearing what you want or need to wear. Getting up in the morning is so much easier when you don’t have to get dressed in your tent! You can just grab a towel and wander over to the shower block. When it’s raining or cold, you’ll see people wearing an occasionally hilarious assortment of clothes, from nothing but wellies and a hat, to street clothes. On a sunny day, someone with very fair skin might be wearing a t-shirt to protect them from the rays. A naturist up a ladder fixing a roof will be wearing safety gear, but may not be wearing anything under it! Naturists are a friendly lot, and will welcome you whether you feel the need to wear clothes or are immediately comfortable in nothing at all.
This is particularly the case with teenagers. Even the teenagers who’ve grown up as naturists get self-conscious about their bodies and want to cover up. I know, I’ve been one. That’s fine; sarongs become standard teenage attire, for both boys and girls. The only place where there’s likely to be strict nudity rules is around the pool and in the sauna. And trust me, when you’ve swum naked or lounged in the sauna with only a towel to sit on, you’ll never want to do either with a swimming costume on again! Your skin will thank you too; it’s much healthier not to wear a swimming costume because your skin can breathe and will dry more quickly.
Source: The Green Parent
Original publication 6 June, 2019
Posted on NatCorn 16th March 2020
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