Nudist Camping: What Is That?

Hello Everyone,

This is Doug and Melanie, the former Airstreamers.  We are on the road again.  

Last year, we discovered a small hot spring resort in New Mexico (and I use the term, “resort,” very loosely).  We enjoyed it so much we returned this year and stayed two weeks. 

The place is Faywood Hot Springs. It is small, very rustic and it feels like a throwback to the hippy days.  They have camping sites and private and public soaking pools that are fed by a natural hot spring.  Part of the resort is for “textile” and the other half is clothing-optional.  We chose to camp and soak in the clothing-optional portion of the springs.  Shelly requested a short piece on the resort and the psychology and sociological aspects of the nudist part of our experience.

[A note from Shelly: of course, Doug doesn’t have photos from this trip, so the following are from other places they’ve visited this fall in their new tent camper.]

Faywood Hot Springs

First, the springs.  Faywood Springs, as noted, is a naturally occurring hot spring with a history as a stagecoach stop, watering hole, bathing/soaking spot back to the mid 1800s.   It has approximately 60 camping spots and a few cabins for rent. They offer private pools, public clothed soaking areas and public clothing-optional soaking areas.  I cannot describe the private pools as we only visited the public areas. 

Each public soaking area contains three pools, one cool, one hot and one for Maine Lobsters.  Temperatures of the pools start at 100 degrees F. then 104 and 106.  The water leaves the ground at 137 degrees, and there are large tanks to cool the water for soaking.  Cool water is in short supply but there is an abundance of hot water.  This is the only place where I have seen hot and cold garden taps.

Camping There

The resort is very rustic with a small store and check-in area.   Out houses are throughout the campsites with a couple of flush toilets for the more discriminating.  The textile side can accommodate large rigs (with water and electric hookups) to tents; the clothing-optional camping is for smaller rigs (no hookups) to tents and one casita for rent.   

Going Nude

We are not Nudists but we love to go nude.  What is the difference? 

In my opinion, Nudists are those who embrace the lifestyle.  We have friends who live in Nudist establishments; they rent/own their own section of the establishment.  They belong to Nudist clubs and mainly stay in Nudist resorts when traveling.  Nudity is a central part of their life.   We travel and will stay most anywhere.  If we can experience some of it nude, that is the icing on the cake.

Why go nude?  Physically, we love the feeling of the sun and wind on our skins.  When the sun is shining and the wind is mild, we can go sky-clad in the low 50s or high 40s.  I loathe the feeling of wet textiles but I love the feeling of water.  I will rarely go swimming if I cannot skinny dip.

We find nudity to be very freeing.  Melanie used to have a negative opinion of her body.  Since we started going unclothed, her opinion of her body has greatly improved and she no longer cares what others think. 

When naked, everyone is equal; we are all at the same level.  All indications of wealth, power and status are stripped away (pun not intentional).  It is amazing how much our clothing notes our status in life.  When we are sky-clad we have to learn about each other through communication.  We have had some of the best discussions in life in a pool of hot water au naturel.  We have found that people who go nude are warm, friendly and open minded.

Nude Etiquette

Those who enjoy nudity don’t stare.  Most glance, yes.  Let’s face it, we are all curious, but the longer you are into nudity the less you even look, because we are all the same. 

We don’t dwell on the other’s body.  It is a matter of respect. Conversations are at eye level. 

You do not touch!  We are not swingers; this isn’t about sex. 

Sit on a towel, no one wants to sit where your naked butt has been.  (As The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says, always know where your towel is.)

Nudity isn’t about showing off your body. Its about freedom of expression.  Except for remaining upright, my body has lost every battle is has had with gravity, so I am not there to show it off.  It isn’t about age; while there are more older retired vs younger people in the clothing-optional areas, I think it appears to be mostly due to the venue we seek, and we tend to go midweek when the younger crowd is working.  

This is my opinion and reasoning.  Now, I am curious: if you don’t go nude, why not?  Why do you feel you cannot expose your skin to the outside world?  Why is it uncomfortable for you?

Doug and Melanie

Doug and Melanie are avid explorers and hikers. They travel with their Kimberly Kamper, and their home base is Ohio. (For more posts by these authors, click on their names, above.)

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