It was summer 2020 – the first Corona year. My friend and I wanted to go out again. See something other than your 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 – perhaps sounds a bit like a pensioner’s trip, but the idea of ​​tasting wine was convincing. Things were supposed to be different.

When we arrived back home after about a week, we had more than just a wine tasting on the Moselle behind us. We were at Lake Constance and Lake Garda, crossed the Swiss Alps, and were in Milan, Venice and Tuscany. And all of this with the station wagon in question. We were captivated 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 crucial. 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.

The motto “less is more” applies when packing. Remember the necessary camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags and flashlights. We only had the mattress in the trunk – which was rather uncomfortable due to the lack of darkening options in the car. So it’s better to opt for rooftop tents or normal tents. Plan your meals in advance and bring enough food that stores well. We also had a small electric cooler with us that kept drinks and food sufficiently cold during the trip.

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

Camping is about enjoying nature, so do your part to protect it too. Only camp in designated areas, use biodegradable soap to avoid polluting the water, and avoid loud music and noise that could disturb wildlife.

Leave the campsite as you found it – or even better. Do not leave any trash behind and make sure you have completely extinguished the campfire. We were sad to discover that not all tourists adhere to this simple rule.

Car camping was an unforgettable experience for us. We were able to escape from everyday Corona life at the time, were unsurpassably flexible and had hardly any contact with other people – criteria that are also 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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