Section 118 of the German German Act on Regulatory Offences specifies three preconditions, which must be fulfilled, in order that a deed might be classified as a regulatory offence. This article determines, that hiking in the buff (or a similar naturist activity) does not fulfil any of the three mandatory preconditions.
The German Act on Regulatory Offences contains in section 118 a little precise, very interpretable wording:
Whoever commits a grossly offensive act which is apt to disturb or endanger the public and to prejudice public order shall be deemed to have committed a regulatory offence.
The increasing popularity of hiking in the buff often causes, that uninformed citizens call the police or regulatory authorities to inquire, whether hiking in the buff is permitted at all. However, even officials of regulatory authorities or police spokesmen now and then give the wrong information "If someone feels bothered, we will intervene!". In fact, it does not matter if someone feels disturbed. All three preconditions mentioned in section 118 must be fulfilled.
Statements by the police and a responsible head of department
An article »Nacktwandern ist keine Belästigung« [en: »Hiking in the buff is not a disturbance (of the public)«] of the German newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten (WN) cites on the 18 October 2018 a statement of a police spokesman: As unusual as some people may realise this leisure activity, enjoying nature in this way is quite legitimate. "Hiking in the buff is not a punishable criminal offence", police spokesman Rolf Werenbeck-Ueding explained on WN's request. Under certain circumstances, it could be at most an administrative offence.
The responsible head of department of Senden also opines that view. The newspaper WN: Stefan Vorspohl confirmed: "According to the law, hiking in the buff is not a disturbance of the public. As long as you only hike, there is no reason, to take action against it", the responsible head of department "Civil Service and Order" in the townhall of Senden summarised the legal situation.