I’m Mandy AND MY DUDE is Jeremy. We are Naturists, love clothing-optional travel & live like curious 5-year-olds on the weekends.
I have never felt so comfortable in my skin since taking the plunge into naturism I’ve never felt so body-positive. And now I want everyone to join me.
Thank you for being here!
XO, Mandy Z.
COME SAY HI!!
INSTAGRAM // @MandyZelinka
PODCAST // http://www.naturistpodcast.com/
SUBSCRIBE // http://www.skinnydippersclub.com/
LEFT COAST TRAVEL GUIDES // http://www.notanotherboringblog.com/
BECOME A MEMBER // https://skinnydippers.club/
Well, that’s not the most straightforward question to answer without research.
Before we talk about Public Lands and what they look like today, it is imperative to acknowledge that the land was stolen from Indigenous people.
I want to recognize that before the United States became the United States, this land belonged to the Indigenous Peoples from hundreds of tribes. They took care of this land and have been a part of it for time immemorial. White settlers took the land and murdered the people who cared for the land and ran free. Giving acknowledgment that the public lands we get to enjoy came at the cost of human life and rights is an important part of every public land conversation. This is also why I believe we must care for the earth and its inhabitants.
If you want to learn more, I recommend following Indigenous Women Hike over on Instagram.
IWH is an Instagram community and Indigenous activism account run by Jolie Varela. Ms. Varela’s account is an excellent place to begin learning about the land beneath your feet, the relationship that Indigenous people have with the land, and the barriers they face in accessing the land and reclaiming it.
If you’re not on Instagram, they have additional platforms. Just use your favorite search engine and look up “Indigenous Women Hike.” Each platform has ways in which you can learn about their work and how to support their efforts.
Now, let’s start looking at modern Public lands and their guidelines and laws.
In the USA, think of government as a hierarchy:
Federal – within Federal are several agencies which we’ll go into later.
State: There are state laws, then there are laws and regulations for state agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources or Department of State Lands, State Parks, etc. And in some cases, such as in Oregon, State Parks may have exceptions for certain places – give Rooster Rock as an example, or Collins Beach, which is managed by the Ore Dept of Fish and Wildlife.
Local – and local can mean county, city, or even Census-Designated Place or even a special district like a water district or special parks district.
For those of you who are already lost – I feel you. Laws about skinnydipping and public nudity can be hard to find and difficult to understand. It’s easier to keep control of the population when people are scared of getting fined, arrested, or labeled a sexual deviant for simply wanting to enjoy some time in an open space without clothes on.
Generally speaking, and again, this is generally speaking, because there always seems to be an exception somewhere for some reason – that’s how politics work. I can personally attest to being present in a room of lawmakers (I was one of them) where we drafted language to be buried in a state legislative bill that would have required certain laws to be applied within a 5-acre city boundary.
If you’re not familiar with my background, I was the mayor of a city in Oregon for six years and have been in local government since 1995. Much of that time has been spent diving into land-use laws and zoning as well as jurisdictional overlaps. I’ve had the opportunity to work with various county, state, and federal lawmakers, lobbyists, and activists along the way. Some of the best groups to work with to help make positive change have been grassroots activist organizations. Passion fuels change. Directing that passion to the right places can make all the difference in the world in getting shit accomplished in the sea of red tape that is the government.
That’s probably all for another podcast.
Before I start running down the things to be looking for, I’d like you all to know that if you’re a paid community member, you don’t need to take as many notes on all this. While Mandy is out RoadTripping and SkinnyDipping, I’m going to be working on updating our regional forums with Public Lands resources to navigate your hiking and hot springs adventures safely.
I’ll also be including some tips so you don’t end up on the Twitter Page “Am I The Asshole.” For example, when I go nude hiking, I take things with me to wrap up quickly if I encounter a group that is also enjoying the outdoors, but their culture is not accepting of people hiking buck-ass naked in a shared environment. Yes, I want to enjoy as much pants-free time as possible. Still, I also recognize that some laws and regulations are written in such a way that is so ambiguous that I could get hassled at the least and fined or jailed just because I didn’t want to cover up because “there’s no law that says I can’t.”
So, let’s start peeling back this onion by hierarchy layer.
Starting with the Federal Government.
Some federal agencies don’t have regulations against being naked, but others do. Additionally, some of the agencies with no regulations will allow the state or local law to take precedence over federal regulations.
I say regulations because the Federal Government has not addressed public nudity as a law. Laws tend to be general, whereas regulations contain the granular detail of specific areas, lands, or programs.
US Forest Service – They manage all National Forests and National Grasslands.
They’ve included public nudity in its regulations under prohibitions. So, right off the bat, you know that If you’re on a US Forest Service property, it’s not allowed. Also, note that the Federal government has not updated language to be gender-neutral or recognize more than two genders.
§ 261.2 Prohibitions > Definitions – Publicly Nude means nude in any place where a person may be observed by another person. Any person is nude if the person has failed to cover the rectal area, pubic area, or genitals. A female person is also nude if she has failed to cover both breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola. Each such covering must be fully opaque. No person under the age of 10 years shall be considered publicly nude.
National Park Service – There are 63 protected areas in the USA known as National Parks.
The National Park Service does not ban public nudity on a national scale – but each park can set its own rules. For example, at Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, it is prohibited to be nude on the land or the water within this National Park’s boundaries.
I feel a National Park Skinny Dipping guide coming soon to a SkinnyDipper community near you. Frankly, I’ve heard most often that the National Parks officers are some of the friendliest to meet – so I think it’s worthy of a navigation guide.
US Fish and Wildlife Service covers a great many Public Lands and Waters. They focus on Wildlife Conservation, Human Recreation, and they partner with local communities.
They don’t ban public nudity in wildlife refuges, but they do recognize state and local jurisdictions’ laws and regulations. So if you’re on a national wildlife refuge in a state that doesn’t allow public nudity on public land, then you’d be subject to the applicable fine or punishment.
§ 27.83 Indecency and disorderly conduct – Any act of indecency or disorderly conduct as defined by State or local laws is prohibited on any national wildlife refuge.
The one I particularly enjoy the most is BLM – that’s the Bureau of Land Management. Why? They seem to allow the most flexibility for people who want to be freed of bifurcated hiking.
The BLM manages about 10% of the overall area of the United States. How many acres does that equate to? Roughly 190,000,000 acres. Congress tasked the BLM with a mandate of managing public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use.
The BLM allows state and local laws to apply, and it’s often up to the local jurisdiction to enforce those laws as there are very few BLM officers.
Then there’s the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. Both agencies also follow local and state laws, and frequently these areas are places where it doesn’t make as much sense to recreate nude anyway, so as we build out the guides online, we’ll likely stick to the major land access areas.
Every state is different. States use terms like “Indecent Exposure,” often with a definition of what that indecent exposure is to them. In some states, women’s breasts are considered indecent, where men are not. And most states have not attempted to be gender inclusive. Some states are so specific about what defines Indecent Exposure that they may specifically list things like “the bottom 50% of the areola”. Or displaying sex organs to a person under a certain age.
Again, in our paid community, I’ll be working on links state by state in the regional forums. I have much of the research done, so it’s just a matter of getting it in the community for you all to use.
Some of the other terms you should specifically watch for is “expose, lewd, arousal, vulgar.” Each state may have a slightly different definition of what those terms mean. The bottom line is that you could be legally enjoying a beach holding hands with your partner nude and be completely legal in one state, but the next state over your behavior would be considered lewd or attempting to arouse. So it is important to know the different definitions. Know your home state by heart and look up the states you visit.
LAST PIECE – LOCAL LAWS
This is probably the most complex piece to explain how to look up nude laws.
The space you want to visit is it:
In a city?
In an unincorporated area of a county?
Is the public land managed by a government entity such as a water district, a park district, a conservation district? Is the land part of a public/private partnership?
Often you can go to the local county assessor’s map online to get all that info, but then you still need to do the law research. We’re working on the tips and tricks to help make this research more straightforward, and we always appreciate having the voices and experience of our SkinnyDipper community!
Spending a little time researching in advance can save you hundreds of dollars in fines and potentially an embarrassing situation such as being hauled off in a pair of metal locking bracelets by people in uniform.
A portion of your Skinny Dippers membership goes to our partnership with Leave No Trace.
The Leave, no trace center for Outdoor ethics, provides proven, research-based solutions for the protection of the natural world.
“This Nudist Club seems to still have much of the momentum, vigor, and energy that likely once filled many of these landed clubs back in the ’60s…”
We wanted to get on the road and make this feel like a real trip; you know, the kind where you get to a certain point in your departure and think, “yeah, this sucks…my ass hurts from sitting”. You experience that moment where you’re just ready to be there already. The thing that makes arriving at your vacation destination so much sweeter when you can finally S-T-R-E-T-C-H !
Well, we think this is one of those places worth the butt-numbing drive. Since our first visit, we’ve already been back and can’t wait to get back for our next. We agree that this Nudist Club seems to still have much of the momentum, vigor, and energy that likely once filled many of these landed clubs back in the ’60s while adding some modern touches.
While it was a long drive for us, the park is less than 30 minutes away from downtown Eugene, home of the University of Oregon. On the last day of our previous trip, we woke early after a great night’s sleep and decided to take a drive to town while the air was still a little too chilly for being out in the buff. We knew we wanted to spend as much time as possible by the pool before heading home, so it felt touristy to run into Eugene for the morning.
Eugene is a very progressive city with an up and coming feel, lots of artistic features, and modern amenities. There’s an Amtrak station in town and is bike-friendly. Eugene is a college city, so you’ll typically see more diversity than many rural Oregon cities. That has been influencing the businesses to have a greater variety of flavor on their shelves. We did a lot of window shopping and stopped in at Whole Foods for a little indulgence from the deli.
Much of that, Eugene’s vibe is alive in the Willamattans. The Willamettans is a landed, well-run volunteer-driven club. As a visitor, think of it as attending nude summer camp, including the snack shack, campfire with built-in seating, arts, activities, and even aquatics! The camp staffers (aka volunteers), many of whom live on property seasonally, take over the concessions. We aren’t sure how the programming works, but they offer/host social activities, some on pause during the pandemic.
Like any organization which is run by volunteers, they have some limited hours to check-in for nonmembers. The hours are not inconvenient for most, but definitely, a factor to consider when making plans to go to a club-style property.
Pool, Sundeck, Club House, Snack Bar, RV Camping with Some Hookups, Rental Units, Tent Camping
As most of you probably know by now both Jeremy and I most likely have ADHD.
We were just kids when doctors started testing for it so neither of us have ever been.
My mom couldn’t handle me so she signed me for every sport she could to keep me out of her face.
Jeremy would turn seven and enter cub scouts. The same age I entered Little League.
I would learn how to kick ass through team sports with a diverse group of feminists and he took to cooking while at camp so that he could stay away from Boy Scout abusers.
Since we’ve founded Skinny Dipppers Club we’ve heard our share of abusive Scout Stories os well as stories of PTSD.
Jeremy wants to help his friends work through these things but Jeremy is a very busy guy.
He doesn’t have a ton of time to spend in this wonderful community that we have built because his job at the county is demanding. But he tells me how impactful you all have been.
He tells me that Skinny Dippers Club and the diversity of voices he hears from here helps shape his work at the county. He’s a hiring manager with over 300 employees and a lot of his brown and black workers face discrimination on the job.
That’s also why he isn’t in here as much. The more he’s been peeling the onion the more he’s determined to fight for change.
Jeremy doesn’t have time to tell you these stories but he tells me in the small amount of time we have together when we aren’t working.
I’ve decided to help him tell you his stories while he cooks me dinner.
I promise it’ll be just as juicy as my steak.
Hope you enjoy,
What does diversity and inclusion really mean?
What do people look for when wanting to know if a nude space is safe for them?
What kind of language and imagery are you using that may be triggering or off-putting?
Two weeks ago Jeremy and I were in Palm Springs solidifying our hotel take-over partnership with Tuscany Manor in Palm Springs.
We chose Tuscany Manor as our hotel take-over event destination because they are welcoming to all. We are very excited to be able to provide a space for all to feel welcome at our upcoming events.
While we were there we recorded our Podcast LIVE! On How to throw Safe Skinny Dipper Events. We cover:
What does diversity and inclusion really mean?
What do people look for when wanting to know if a nude space is safe for them?
What kind of language and imagery are you using that may be triggering or off-putting?
“We could talk for days when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I probably in another life may have even been someone who was like, I don’t know, a diversity and inclusion professional in some way. I’m such a nerd about it. And I, I love it. And I think that’s the thing about your community that spoke to me. You know, you proudly displayed a writing by a gay guy and you proudly display your rainbow and you have no qualms at all about letting the entire world know who you are. And with that, it just like speaks to my soul because I’m such a contrarian and I’m, anti-establishment, you’re also simultaneously giving a big, like F you to all of that!
And I just, I just love that because that’s just who I am at my core. I’m not gonna beat your door down to try to get you to like me. I’m definitely not going to beg you to be my friend. We’re not doing any of that. I am too old. I’m too grown. I’m too tired. I’m not doing it. What I will do is go over here and I’ll build my own thing. And you’ll wish you were over here in the end.”
If you plan on making your own event this coming year, and you need some like code of ethics guidelines, consent policy for events, or a roadmap head over to
and I had the loveliest time there. I found that as a single woman running about town on her own that Australia seemed incredibly safe and I absolutely loved my time there – in fact, I would move there in a heartbeat.
Not only is Kevin Murphy a progressive brand – and still are – they use recycled plastics on all of their packagings, they are a brand out of Melbourne, Australia, so taking care of the ocean is vital to them – they have fantastic brand values.
But I watched them grow their entire company on a Global Scale with grassroots efforts, and I think that’s how I’ve always been.
As someone who has disrupted the status quo my whole life, I truly understand the time and effort that goes into going around the castle instead of storming it. The castle will eventually crumble on its own anyhow.
In my experience, over the years, I’ve just found that I get further by betting on myself and my community instead of outdated structures. They move too slow.
We have the infrastructure within the Skinny Dippers Community website to host non-landed clubs safely. Skinny Dippers Club could be the online real estate that hosts everybody’s online communities.
It certainly can do that.
Many non-landed clubs rely on social media platforms to host their community. They need platforms to post events, dialogue with their members, message each other and post pictures. Skinny Dippers Club has a nominal cost associated with being a member, but these clubs can have their own space and benefit by being closely connected to other non-landed clubs. Skinny Dippers Club doesn’t restrict nudes and doesn’t sell personal information to advertisers. The paywall protects people – it’s a virtual fortress that gets stronger with community and technology and can be agile and responsive.
Security and no asshole rules are imperative to our survival online.
We’ve talked before about the positive effects that running around naked can have on you whether it’s positive mental health, an increase in body positivity, or just simply the lack of laundry and clothing purchasing making an impact on the environment.
But I think the most profound effects that I have seen is in the community that we’ve built around this practice.
Part of the wonderful side of nude vacations and events is that you get to be socially naked with your community. And I think that when everyone’s goal is the same: to have a respectful and good time everyone wins.
After we did Jeremy’s podcast on PTSD and it’s affects on his recovery I started thinking about my own experiences with naturism and how it has positively affected me and I wrote a blog post about it.
A few years back I was able to attend one of the. most epic events of my life: Nudestock.
I’ve always loved the 60’s (the sex drugs and rock ‘n roll part) so when we had the opportunity to hit up our local nudist park and attend this epic event I was all in.
I stocked up on edibles on my way and layed in the grass for three days high AF listening to live bands.
I can’t wait to throw events of my own.
DISCLAIMER: This podcast episode might make you wet yourself laughing.
HOW TO SAFELY NAVIGATE OR THROW NUDE SOCIAL GATHERINGS
I have found a recurring theme in this community and that is that the best places get talked about. If you ask anyone in the Skinny Dippers Club what their favorite places to be naked are, chances are they are all going to agree on a few main spots.
Go for the spots with high praise that you see people talking about over and over again. You’ll end up having a better time in the end.
Bring a Buddy
- Check out the place a few times first. Make sure it’s a safe space for your guests.
- Set clear expectations so that newbies understand what they are getting into. I.e. you may encounter a nude person at the front desk. Bring a towel to sit on (wraps are fantastic!) etc.
- Check on local laws just in case. This activity is just like smoking weed – in some states it’s legal and in some states you’ll end up in the slammer.
- The best scenario is that there are some great community or event guidelines. If there ISN’T we have provided some for you! >>TOUCH ME
HOST YOUR OWN EVENT
You don’t have to be a part of anything (organization or club) to host a nude event. It could be as simple as inviting friends that are curious over for a night of strip poker. And who won’t strip for someone else to cook for them? Naked dining is where it’s at.
If you aren’t too sure, try it via Zoom or make it an apron-only dinner instead. Those that are unsure can cover up and those that don’t care can use their apron to sit on!
Understand the Mental Health and Body Positivity that can come with having tried Naturism on multiple occasions.
Do your homework: Want to really dive in? Listen to a few of our podcast episodes to get a little history and understanding of the naturist movement