Tips for hikers in Germany

Tips for hikers in Germany

For such a densely populated country,
Germany has a lot of beautiful countryside. So if you enjoy hiking, you may be tempted to
do some, or at least go for some short walks. If so, then this is a video for you. In open country, you’re free to go
almost wherever you like. Almost. Don’t go into any area
that’s fenced off or marked as private, and don’t go into any field
where crops are growing. But while you have a lot of freedom while walking,
the same is not true of camping. You’re only allowed to camp at official campsites or on private property
with the permission of the landowner. You’re not allowed to camp anywhere else. Germany is not a dangerous place for hikers; and it’s quite densely populated,
so you’re never far from civilisation. Still, it is possible to get lost or injured, but at least if you do, you know that
the emergency services are just around the corner. Just make sure you have your phone with you
all the time, and you should be fine. Now, Germany does have some poisonous plants, so don’t eat any berries that you don’t recognise, and definitely don’t eat any mushrooms
unless you really, really know what you’re doing. Otherwise, the only things you have to
watch out for are thorns and stinging nettles, which are unpleasant but not dangerous. As for animals, wild boar are the most dangerous
but will usually avoid humans. Just keep out of their way, and you’ll be fine. Rabies is almost unknown in Germany. Ticks are common in some areas
and can spread disease, so check yourself in the shower
and remove any ticks you find. If after a few days you notice some ring-like
markings around the bite mark, see a doctor. Germany is criss-crossed with hiking trails, from the long-distance ones
right across the country to short round trips for afternoon strolls. They’re indicated by waymarkings,
which can be geometric shapes, letters, numbers or other symbols, sometimes veritable works of art. You’ll find them attacthed to,
well, posts like this, to trees, painted onto rocks or walls or…
well, anywhere convenient. These waymarkings are, of course, printed on
old-fashioned paper maps for walkers, but you can also find online maps
showing these hiking and cycling trails. Now, in some places you may see signs like this, giving information on things like
the local history, geology and wildlife, as well as giving tips on where to go for a walk. And if you’re ever driving in the country
and you see something like this, it’s a good place to stop and get your boots on. So, that’s basically it.
If you enjoy hiking, Germany has you covered. Thanks for watching. If you enjoyed the video,
why not send me a postcard? Here’s the address. Or visit, follow me on Twitter,
subscribe to my blog.

44 thoughts on “Tips for hikers in Germany

  1. hiking, germany and a video about it made by a foreigner. I love it

    Vielen Dank und Grüße aus Dresden

  2. I hiked a lot 40 years ago…I don't see much about Volksmarching any more…that used to be a Saturday morning routine…

  3. Just looked up and found out that Europe has no poison ivy, oak or sumac. Sound like a hiking paradise.

  4. Riesen-bärenklau is also something to watch out for. But I don't know if that grows in all areas of germany.

  5. A good way to avoid boars btw is making noise.
    You don't need to be extremely loud or anything, but you just shouldn't be too stealthy. If they can hear you coming, they have a chance to get away and avoid you and you don't run the risk of surprising them.
    Also, never feed them or anything funny like that.

  6. Interesting video! It's nice to hike through the woods, over fields, then stop in an old Gasthaus for a refreshing glass of cool, tasty Bier!

  7. A very useful and well-produced set of tips. I always love your videos, but this one was one of the most useful for people like me when I next come to Germany.

  8. Since your English and make the remark about toxic plants in front of a flowering elderberry bush: AFAIK this is considered toxic in England, and Germans make syrup and jams of the berries. It's the raw berries that are mildly toxic, so the English approach is probably wise for the hiker. But when they offer you Elderberry desserts, they are not trying to posion you.
    Only sambucus nigra is edible, though; the other species of the genus sambucus apparently all are toxic.

  9. Do camping locations and state and national forest have entrance and use fees? That is if I wanted to use a predesignated public campsite in a state or national park, do I need to pay a fee to the park officials?

  10. Der Campingpunkt ist nicht ganz richtig. Theoretisch darf man ohne Zelt draußen schlafen, aber das ist von land zu land anders und so kompliziert, das man es bei einem allgemeinen Video echt verschweigen kann/sollte 😀

  11. worst things are ticks, wasps, and newly re-introduced: wolves! also do not eat berries etc. that are near the ground because while rabies is rare, Echinococcus multilocularis is not (foxes!).

  12. The most dangerous place for a hiker in Germany is a Biergarten. This will stop you immediately from commencing your journey and poison you with tasty cold alcoholic beverages. You cannot read your map any longer, the compass is visible twice and both images are blurry. So you are lost in orientation. Even the best hiking boots become slippery after a short time.

  13. There are actualy quite poisenes plants around some areas .The Giant Hogweed which unfortunately can be mistaken for a harmless plant called Wilde Möhre / Wild Carrot if it's not fully grown (it gets huge)
    If you ever get in contact with it or suspect having touched it try to avoid the sun since it's poisen is photosensitive and will burn your skin in daylight .

  14. Actually Germany is a perfect place for hiking as well as for bicycle tours. Younger people are more easily excused for "illegaly" camping just somewhere on a meadow.

  15. Also don't go into ammunition polluted areas and military sites. They are often clearly marked on (hiking) maps and by (sometimes half-rotten) signs. If you decide to go hiking on one of the beautiful beaches – especially at the Baltic Sea – be aware that not everything that looks like amber is amber. It can actually be phosphorous! Also there is the danger of encountering naked people.

  16. The most important things you have to take with you when hiking are:
    Verbandstoff (bandage material) and what we call Leukoplast, the generic name for the kind of adhesive tape that will fix all bandages to your wounds for weeks. And wounds you will have when you're new at hiking. Your heels, your toes, your soles, after 20 kilometers they will be bleeding and soaring, because Germany has MOUNTAINS.

    Don't trust Rewboss, he's used to it and completely germanized. Or not. See in this video how he doesn't even wear German hiking shoes. Incredible! NO German ever would go hiking with sneakers, a jeans, and a shirt on. For fear that lightning strikes, they at least need an umbrella.

  17. Staying overnight in public is a complex matter. It is for hygenic reasons that "wild camping" is not allowed, though nobody will be arrested if he or she retires into the bushes in an "emergency". Many car parks have honeybuckets or proper toilets for this reason.
    Staying overnight in a camping trailer, caravan or camp mobile (recreation vehicle ) or whatever you may call them may be limited to one night at the same spot. When those vehicles became fashionable in the 1980s a lot of local administration faced the fact that their inner city car parks changed into camping sites in summer and put an end to that.
    If you travel on foot or bike/motorbike and carry our tent with you, you will find a lot of empty spaces on camping sites even in the most popular time of the year as most modern campers use caravans and the parts of the camping sites reserved for tents are often almost unoccupied.

  18. Hallo Rewboss,

    wieder ein sehr gelungenes Video – wie immer!
    Danke für dieses Video! Wandern ist wieder ein sehr beliebter Sport und eine sehr beliebte Freizeitbeschäftigung geworden in Deutschland und auch bei Touristen immer sehr beliebt!

    Ich möchte Dich auf diesen Spiegel-Artikel aufmerksam machen:
    Deutschland ein kulturelles Kraftwerk. Vielleicht auch interessant für Dich.
    Das Interview ist mit den Engländer Simon Winder gemacht worden den Autor von den Buch "Germany, oh Germany".

    Viele Grüße aus den Bayerischen Wald,

  19. Get your boots on? I'm hiking barefoot. There are specialized tracks for that too but actually you can do that in many locations; the main obstacles are gravel trails as they are unfortunately the only way for pedestrians in some areas to get from one place to another. Those can be rather exhausting.

  20. In Erzgebirge the locals are often jolly hiking from Wirtshaus to Wirtshaus enjoying the company of fellow friends while having a good meal with plenty of beer. Definitely recommendable to join them!
    -Visiting München I was forbidden to tent during winter.. Was not allowed even on a official campingsite!
    Some times you'll find Germany regulated beyond common sense. I actually took to the nearest forest and slept along with the wild boars…

  21. Really helpful video, thanks! I'm going hiking in Saxon Switzerland in 3 weeks and just happened to stumble on this video by accident. 😀 Can't wait! 😀

  22. Also: Leave your knives at home. Pretty much anything except for small swiss army knives is a weapon in Germany.

  23. Please be aware of the fact that in certain national parks (i.e. in the Harz, especially around the Brocken) it is actually forbidden to leave the trails.

  24. About your remark concerning ticks: there are two diseases transfered bei ticks:
    the Lyme disease (Lime Borreliose) and FSME (Frühsommer Meningoenzephalitis = early summer meningoencephalitis). Both are serious diseases, there exists a vaccination against FSME. Recommended for everyone, who comes in contact with brush or trees. Frequency of occurence (of the ticks with these infections) varies, there exist maps with information about this.

  25. I just returned to the US after a hiking trip in Germany. I hiked through a part of Bavarian and Tyrolean Alps. A round trip walk beginning in Tegernsee and ending in Tegernsee. It was spectacular, but challenging. Two years ago I hiked the Ahrsteig from Blankenheim to Sinzig. Again a really great hike. Deutschland ist ideal zum Wandern.

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