Guest article by: HÄNG
Ditch the tent next summer and hang instead
Want to answer the call of the wilderness? Take a #staycation at home this year – or at a campsite, in the woods, in the meadow around the corner? Congratulations! That’s a great idea. After all, time spent in the great outdoors has been shown to boost our immune system and reduce stress. So get out there!
You have no idea how camping is supposed to work, and what to look out for? No problem. At HÄNG, we think outdoor time is the best time. Over the years, we’ve learned a few hacks that will definitely make your first outdoor trip easier.
Tip 1: Preparation is everything.
“I plan every vacation anyway,” I hear you say. Sure. But when you want to spend your holidays outdoors you have to think about a couple of things that otherwise wouldn’t play such a big role in planning. Be honest with yourself: What do you think you can do, and what can you actually do? A 40-kilometer walk on your first trip? Better not. It’s best to split your route into smaller trips.
Also, the better informed you are, the more relaxed your camping vacation will be. If part of your route is steeply uphill, for example, this stage should be shorter than on flat plains.
Don’t feel like hiking? That’s no problem either. In Germany alone there are over 3000 campsites with 255,158 (!) pitches. There’s something for everyone: campervans or tents, in the woods or by the water. If you prefer to travel with a motorhome, make sure that it has a maximum weight of 3.5 tons. For larger vehicles you need a truck driver’s license.
Also very important: Read the weather forecast! Sounds mundane, but the right equipment is elementary. If you walk through mud in monsoon-like rain in summer slippers, the joy of camping will quickly fade. And it’s not completely safe either.
And while we are on the subject of equipment…
Tip 2: Look for light and practical equipment.
There is not as much space in the van as at home, and especially when you are travelling on foot, every gram counts. Therefore carefully consider what to take with you. Our tip: Make a rough packing list first, then gradually cross off things you can do without. Some things can be optimized relatively easily. If you like to read, for example, you can pack an eBook reader instead of several heavy books.
Pay attention as to how much your equipment weighs and how much space it’ll take up before making a purchase. Especially with sleeping bags and hammocks, there are big differences. Ideal are gadgets that you can use in different ways. For example, you can use the DÄCKE both as a sleeping bag and as a picnic blanket.
Things that you should also pack: A headlamp or flashlight for nightly trips to the bathroom. A first-aid kit: disinfectant, painkillers, nausea and stomach drops, etc. And in case something breaks on the road: a multitool, sewing kit and duct tape can effectively fix minor damages.
Depending on the season and destination, you’ll probably also need sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Tip 3: Think about where and how you’re going to spend the night.
Being outside is fantastic. So awesome, in fact, that you’d love to stay in the woods 24/7 while on vacation. Understandably. But wild camping is actually not legal in Germany.
In nature reserves and on the beach, camping is generally strictly forbidden. In private forests (and that makes up almost half of the German forests!) you’ll need the permission of the owner. But thankfully, it’s only camping in a tent that’s not allowed in the woods. Fortunately there are other possibilities to camp for the night.
There are also some bivouac and nature campsites in Germany. These are in the middle of nature, but have a solid ground on which you can and may pitch your tent.
Not in the mood for campsite atmosphere? Then you can simply roll out your camping mat and sleep on the ground. Without a tent. Or you can put up a hammock; in bad weather you can put a rain tarp over it. This has the added advantage that (most) forest animals will leave you alone at night. Also, it has been proven that you sleep better in hammocks. Just make sure you choose the right trees to hang out in. We’ve summarized how you can tell here.
Tip 4: Be considerate – of nature, animals and other outdoor friends.
The forest is not our home, but that of plants and wild animals. Accordingly, you have to be considerate. That means: Don’t break anything, don’t leave any dirt or rubbish behind and don’t make any unnecessary noise. Leave your camping spot as you found it yourself. Don’t take anything with you – no flowers, crazy-shaped stones, or wood. You don’t know who might actually live in it or under it.
Music is okay, but please not too loud. Better leave the speaker at home.
By the way, this also applies to the campsite.
Tip 5: Dispose of your waste properly.
Okay, this topic is not very sexy – but it’s part of the whole camping experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling by camper or on foot: You will produce garbage. And it has no place in nature. Basically, everything you take out into nature goes home with you. This applies not only to packaging, but also to food waste. Therefore, take enough garbage bags with you. And remember: There must be a place for them when they’re full.
By the way, human excrement doesn’t belong in the forest, either. But of course, on a long hike there is sometimes no other way. You can then dig a so-called cathole. This should be 15-20cm deep and at least 200 steps away from water sources. After going to the toilet, it is then closed up again. So be sure to pack a small shovel. Toilet paper does not belong in the cathole, but in your garbage bag.
And, last but not least: If you are an absolute camping newbie, your destination should not be too far away from civilization. Nothing is more annoying than setting up camp in the evening and realizing that something very important is missing – and then not being able to shop anywhere. After all, you want to relax on vacation!
This blog is a guest article in collaboration with HÄNG. To find out more about our partnership and what they do click here. Of course, we also have a special code that you can use to purchase your first HÄNG product! Start hanging out outdoors today: