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  1. #1
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Stealth Camping in Germany

    I tried posting this in the Europe Regional Forum but got no answers, so here goes:

    I stealth camp, that is camp over night on common land out of sight. I don't start a fire, I don't trample crops because I use a hammock and I have a tiny ecological footprint. I arrive late and leave early. I've never been caught, but some people consider this trespassing.

    I'm going to Germany in April. Does anyone know how the average German might feel about this form of stealth camping?

    Oh by the way, campgrounds as a rule don't want me and I just don't fit in with the camping crowd, so that is not an option I'm considering.

  2. #2
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Here's a link to a prior thread in this forum about stealth camping in Europe.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    This guy stealth camped across the US and then Europe.
    Last edited by vik; 11-16-07 at 08:53 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Germany is ideal for stealth camping, especially with a Hennessy Hammock like you and I have. There is almost always a wooded area between towns, and they are ideal for our style of stealth camping.

    But don't try to start a camp fire, that is strictly "verboten" (forbidden), and will result in getting noticed, reported and possibly arrested.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    It was very easy. In fact I can't believe that you could not find a free place to sleep anywhere in Europe. For example, the other night I camped on top of Glastonbury Tor!

  6. #6
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeArcher View Post
    It was very easy. In fact I can't believe that you could not find a free place to sleep anywhere in Europe. For example, the other night I camped on top of Glastonbury Tor!


    I couldn't imagine a better place to spend the night. I was there several years ago just at sundown, but there were too many people around.

    For those unaware, Glastonbury is the place of Arthurian legend and the tor is a piece of land that shoots up around a low plain with the ruins of a church on the top. It is quite magical. A must see before you die.


  7. #7
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    Yeah, it was great! It was exceedingly hard to get my fully loaded up bike to the top, but it was definately worth it!

  8. #8
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    Here's my funny stealth camping story for Germany. I was on my second bike tour ever and decided to camp in some wooded area just outside of Wurzburg since I couldn't make it into town before dark. I talked to an older couple and asked about camping in the woods. They felt that only a very mean person would ask me to move on. I naively took their advice, rode my bike along a dirt road and with my lack of experience pushed my bike into the woods and waited for darkness to set up my tent. While I waited I took out my butane stove and carefully cooked a meal thinking I was out of sight. Throughout this I was wondering what that strange wooden tower was nearby.

    Before long an SUV type vehicle stopped along the dirt road and a man got out and kept looking over toward me. He then left and darkness set in. A short while later two flashlights came towards me and someone called out "Polizei! wer sind sie?" (Police! who are you?). I quickly called back "Michelle! ... uh, from Canada". It turns out I was camping on some hunter's terrain and he didn't want me there. I guess that would explain the many gunshots I heard earlier. The two police officers couldn't quite understand why I would leave a beautiful country like Canada, with so much nature, to come tour in Germany. I explained that it was unsafe to continue at night and that's why I was camping there since that's how we do it in Canada ...somewhat stretching the truth here ;-). They took my passport and did a check at the patrol car. Then they told me to just move a few kilometres down the road and promised not to come looking for me again that night. They also suggested that I not camp right beside some hunter's tower the next time :-) Now I'm a little wiser and still free of bullet holes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I wonder if it was the cooking that gave you away?

  10. #10
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    You probably won't have too much trouble in Germany. Technically it is illegal and we did talk to one cycle tourer (German himself) this summer who talked of police coming to kick you off the land if the landowner complains. Having said that, in plenty of areas there stretches of woodland where I don't think you'd have a problem as long as you are discreet about it. We wild camped along the Danube cycle path a few times and also along other cycle ways without any issue. The cycle paths are well maintained with lots of benches and picnic tables so it's easy to make supper along the path and take it easy until close to sunset, then run off into the bushes and set up your kit.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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