We are a clothing-optional travel club not affiliated with a clothing-optional resort. We are located in Southern California, with most members and activities centered in and around San Diego. The Camping Bares has been in continuous activity since 1976. As of February 2009, our newsletter was sent to about 220 addresses. Our membership is actually higher than that, since many go to households with more than one member.
The Camping Bares are formally disorganized. We have no written charter or by-laws. Our officers hold their offices by popular acclamation. Decisions at our meetings are reached by consensus of the members present.
We are no a swinging or sex group, nor are we a source for pornographic pictures. The group is not a place to pick up or hit on women, men, girls or boys. If you are looking for those sorts of things, you are in the wrong place. Furthermore, the group is not a place to aggressively promote a business. While many of our members are in business and have other members as customers, advertising is passive and using our membership list for telemarketing or mass mailing is grounds for expulsion from the group.
Our objective is primarily to have a good time while enjoying life naturally, which we define as being nude. We find that people who like to be nude in the open air are much more comfortable when they are in a like-minded group. We never pressure anyone to disrobe and some member couples include one partner who is not a nudist. Several members have commented that while they were initially attracted to the Camping Bares in order to be nude in the open air, they have found that the extended family feeling of our club is a more important factor.
The original Camping Bares included veterans of Black's Beach and a clothed camping club. The result was a clothing-optional camping club. We are happy to acquire new members who are interested in camping and hiking. We try to schedule a camping trip or day hike one weekend a month. We especially welcome people who would like to plan and sponsor events. There are opportunities for backpacking trips several days in length; more often we plan for car camping. Some members prefer tents, others may use RVs, vans, pickup campers or even sleep in the open air. We charge nothing for our camping trips, except for the occasional outside charge for the facilities we use. Although we occasionally visit nudist parks and Black's Beach, our main focus is to enjoy national forest or BLM land areas. We also enjoy trips to natural hot springs.
During summer months we often have an evening hike during the work week in a San Diego-area park or recreation setting. Since these are in urban areas, they are usually not clothing-optional, but they are good opportunities to socialize and get some exercise.
Most of our trips are planned to be within a reasonable drive for anyone in Southern California with a free weekend. A good example is a two-day "canuding" trip on the lower Colorado River in the wildlife sanctuary north of Yuma. We try to take advantage of three-day weekends for longer trips whenever possible. Sometimes individual Bares organize long trips such as white water rafting or extended backpacking trips
We try to avoid confrontations with the authorities or the public. We prefer Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service land, where nudity is legal and not regulated. We may also camp in California state parks, if we can get a site away from the general public. The California State Parks rangers have a policy of not taking action on nudity unless they have received a complaint from a member of the public. They do not cite unless a request to cover-up is not promptly complied with. We have had only one member cited on a Camping Bares outing, and that was over 20 years ago. We have also had pleasant campouts in San Diego county parks, confining nudity to hikes well away from the campground and in areas not visible from other campsites. Most of the local rangers are well aware of us. They welcome our presence in their areas, since we obey regulations, are careful with ground fires wherever allowed, protect the environment, and leave our campsite at least as clean as we found it, if not cleaner.
We have a general meeting once a month at the home of one of our members. We usually have a potluck dinner at the meetings. Members bring a prepared dish or soft drinks to share; those who prefer alcoholic beverages in moderation may bring their own. Before or after dinner, we have a business meeting. Some members have hot tubs and/or swimming pools that they open up to those attending the meeting. We may or not be able to get nude at a meeting, depending on the wishes of the hosts and availability of privacy. It's always considerate to ask the hosts. If you anticipate being nude, bring a dry towel or blanket upon which to sit..
All members must provide their own Camping Bares uniform. If you take off all your clothes, you'll find that you already have one. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, political opinion, marital status or sexual orientation. Members of the Camping Bares are of all ages, although you must be over the age of 18 to join. Members' children under the age of 18 years are considered members, and can participate in events if accompanied by their parents.
Your guests are generally welcome at all Camping Bares functions; use your discretion as to the appropriateness of the guest and the event. After attending several events, people you invite as guests are requested to join the Camping Bares in order to participate in future events.
We are not a money-making operation. All of our officers and leaders are unpaid volunteers. Dues cover the cost of the newsletter, our Web site, our voice mail, and the supplies used at events. All other purchases are approved by a general consensus of members attending a monthly business meeting. Most events are free for members who choose to participate, other than their transportation and meal costs. We have occasional special excursions, such as river rafting, canuding, or visits to resorts, that necessitate charging fees.
Our mailing list is kept strictly confidential and used for distributing the newsletter and for contacting members for official business. Membership information is not sold, traded or given away to sales or marketing concerns.
The Camping Bares is an affiliate of The Naturist Society, a national organization for groups and individuals interested in naturism. Paid-up Camping Bares may join The Naturist Society at a discounted annual rate. Membership includes a direct mail subscription to the society's quarterly magazine. The Naturist Society membership card is usually sufficient to gain entrance to a nudist park and may also get you a discount on the gate fee.
Being part of a naturist organization helps the naturist movement overall. When politicians, law enforcement or religious activists try to control, curtail or otherwise adversely affect our activities, it helps to have a big block of supporters. Many Camping Bares support the Naturist Action Committee, which uses lobbyists and other methods to maintain clothing-optional freedom.
If you'd like to join the Camping Bares, please go to the application page, download the application, and mail it to the address on the form. You can also write to us with any questions before committing to membership.