Where should I go camping

Camping in Germany: Wild camping is allowed

No neighbors, no comfort: Away from the campsites, official overnight stays invite you to an undisturbed encounter with nature. We reveal the best places for wild camping in Germany

Wild camping in Germany: Here you sleep well

Hardly anything connects us with nature like a night under the open sky or in a tent. But if you want to spend the night in the open air away from the large campsites in Germany, you will encounter legal gray areas. Because actually so-called "wild camping" is not allowed. However, the individual regulations are a matter for the individual countries. So if you only go hiking with a tent, you have to deal with the nature conservation and forest laws of the respective federal state beforehand.

No matter how small the damage to the flora and fauna may be: tents in fields, forests and meadows are not welcome in Germany. In the worst case, wild camping can even bring a complaint to nature enthusiasts.

Alternative to the campsite: the trekking site

Authorities and tourism associations have now recognized that there is a tourist gap between tightly organized campsites and absolute closeness to nature. And invented the trekking site. In many federal states there are now specially designated places with no frills and comfort that hikers, cyclists or water hikers can use. And that for a contribution towards expenses of 10 euros - or (in Schleswig-Holstein) even free of charge.

In Schleswig-Holstein For example, nature lovers will find almost 20 places in all parts of the country at www.wildes-sh.de - and all away from the major tourist centers and campsites. Many of the free spaces offer no comfort apart from the parking space. You can't get closer to nature.

Also in the Eifel Nights can be spent legally and close to nature under the stars - namely in the High Fens Nature Park - for 10 euros per tent, hikers can get a comfortable wooden tent platform for up to two tents and a composting toilet. Information and reservations at www.trekking-eifel.de.

in the Hunsr├╝ck invite four trekking camps along the 85-kilometer Soonwaldsteig to spend the night close to nature. Registration is also required here - and 10 euros per tent are also due. www.soonwaldsteig.de/trekkingcamps

in the Palatinate Forest 15 places around Kaiserslautern and Landau invite you to a trouble-free overnight stay. The booking also costs 15 euros: www.trekking-pfalz.de

For climbers, bivouacking has to do with the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Tradition. Now hikers can also get off for a while. Overnight stays along the Elbsandstein forest trail, which will open in spring 2018, invite simple forest huts or your own tent (10 euros each) to spend the night in nature. More information at www.trekkinghuetten.de.

In the stateBavaria there are also places to stay - namely in the regions Spessart, Franconian Forest and Steigerwald. Costs: Places in the Spessart and Franconian Forest also cost 10 euros. In the Steigerwald, only 4.80 euros per day are due. More information: www.trekking-bayern.de.

In the very south-west of the republic, in the Black Forest, invite nine places to stay, but only from May to October. More information at www.naturparkschwarzwald.de.

Basically, the following applies to a night outdoors:

  • Wild camping is generally prohibited in Germany, not only in nature reserves. The nature conservation and forest laws of the respective federal state regulate further details. Bergfreunde.de offers an overview of the complex legal situation.
  • If you know who owns the targeted private space, get permission.
  • Even if there is no groundskeeper: Under no circumstances should you leave rubbish or other unsightly traces of your presence.
  • If there is no dry toilet: take a hand shovel with you!
  • If you still have capacity: feel free to take other people's rubbish with you.
  • Last but not least: Anyone who is in nature should listen - and not make any noise.