Field report: Traveling on four wheels: How camping by car really works

It was summer 2020 - the first Corona year.

Field report: Traveling on four wheels: How camping by car really works

It was summer 2020 - the first Corona year. My friend and I wanted to get out again. Seeing something different than the home turned into an office. We took a short vacation. That same day we squeezed the bed topper into the trunk of our station wagon and drove off. The destination: Moselle - it might sound a bit like a pensioner's trip, but the idea of ​​trying wine for myself was convincing. It should be different.

When we returned home after about a week, we had more than just a wine tasting on the Moselle behind us. We've been to Lake Constance and Lake Garda, crossed the Swiss Alps, been to Milan, Venice and Tuscany. And all that with said station wagon. We were gripped by the spirit of adventure and flexibility. However, since the trip was spontaneous and unorganized, we had to overcome many challenges. Here are some.

Choosing the right campsite is essential. Find out in advance about availability, facilities and activities in the area. We were lucky and spontaneously found somewhere to stay, but they weren't always the most beautiful campsites with sanitary facilities that took some getting used to. Special books or websites can help with the selection.

When packing, the motto "less is more" applies. Think of the necessary camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags and flashlights. We only had said mattress in the trunk - which was rather uncomfortable due to the lack of darkening options in the car. So you prefer roof tents or normal tents. Plan your meals in advance and bring enough food that will store well. We also had a small electric cooler with us, which kept drinks and food sufficiently cold during the journey.

Safety should always be the top priority. Take a first aid kit with you and familiarize yourself with the contents beforehand. Luckily everything went well for us – but you never know. Follow local rules and regulations, especially when it comes to lighting fires.

Camping means enjoying nature, so help protect it too. Only camp in designated spots, use biodegradable soap to keep the water clean, and avoid loud music and noise that could disturb wildlife.

Leave the campsite as you found it - or even better. Don't leave litter behind and make sure you put out the campfire completely. We regret to say that not all tourists follow this simple rule.

Camping by car was an unforgettable experience for us. We were able to flee the everyday Corona situation at the time, were unbeatably flexible and had hardly any contact with other people - criteria that are still interesting after the pandemic. This was certainly not our last trip by car. Next time we'll just be a little better prepared.

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