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Walking through Germany ... is it a good idea?
Posted February 11th, 2013 - 11:33 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 11th, 2013 - 12:40 pm by from Karlsruhe, Germany (Permalink)
yes it is a good idea. I plan also a trip in summer, hitchiking through germany,poland,slovakia,hungary..
I was born and raised in germany, mid may is a good time to do this. it is quite warm, but not to hot. There are of course roads beside the german "Autobahn". Walking works quite well, but camping beside the roads could be a problem, its illegal in germany. You are only allowed to camp at campsites or special marked places. But I would try to hike from town to town and ask some people if you are allowed to camp in their garden, this will propably work.

tips : carry enough cash with you, creditcards are not that common

Posted February 11th, 2013 - 12:59 pm from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 11th, 2013 - 1:22 pm by from Karlsruhe, Germany (Permalink)
Considering the bushcamping, i just wanted to say it is illegal. I also did bush camping before, nearly nobody cares if you are kind.

In germany you usually use cash or debit cards. but credit cards are not that common, only fancy restaurants, gasstations and sometimes malls accept them. if you go to a grocery store/supermarket you have no chances with creditcards.

mobile reception and availability of pre-paid mobile data are no problem. you get SIM cards at every supermarket or gasstation. there are very cheap ones like fonic (9ct min/ 9ct sms and i think 9€ for 500MB Data)

Michael

Posted February 11th, 2013 - 7:59 pm from Nuremberg, Germany
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Posted February 12th, 2013 - 6:55 am from Stutensee, Germany
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Posted February 12th, 2013 - 7:07 am from Stutensee, Germany
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Posted February 12th, 2013 - 8:19 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 12th, 2013 - 8:22 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 19th, 2013 - 9:22 am from Stutensee, Germany
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Posted February 19th, 2013 - 3:52 pm by from Tuebingen, Germany (Permalink)
A lot depends on exactly where in Germany you are. I live in Tubingen, and around here, it is VERY rare for a supermarket, restaurant, or other shop to accept a credit card. Some supermarkets take debit cards (but often only the ones with chips - American ones at least don't work), but usually any smaller shop or restaurant only takes cash. Coming from the US where I never carried any cash, this has taken quite a lot of getting used to! I received a lot of conflicting advice about this issue prior to coming, too, and I've realized it is just highly location-dependent. I imagine that walking, you'll likely be going through a lot of small towns, and in that case I'd suggest that you always carry cash. There ARE, however, plenty of ATMs (until you get to REALLY small towns) so you don't have to run around with ridiculous amounts of cash all the time.

I also second the suggestion that you avoid walking along major roads at all costs. People drive FAST and sometimes erratically here, and also I think there are a lot of places where walking on the road is illegal (at least according to the road signs, which inform drivers when a road is "shared use" or not. In any case, non-shared use roads are definitely not for walking.

I would really like to hear about your eventual experience with "wild camping" in Germany, and others' experience with this. We're from Arizona where you can just pitch a tent anywhere you want, so this idea of only camping in campsite is....well, it takes away most of the point of camping for me! We brought all our backpacking stuff, but we've lived here for 8 months and no hiking/backpacking yet because we simply don't know what we can and can't actually do and get away with.

All the best!

Posted February 20th, 2013 - 4:48 am from Stuttgart, Germany
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Posted February 20th, 2013 - 6:19 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 20th, 2013 - 7:21 am from Stuttgart, Germany
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Posted February 20th, 2013 - 7:51 pm from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 20th, 2013 - 10:35 pm by from Dortmund, Germany (Permalink)
sure wild camping is not legal, but crossing a street by red is not legal either and million of people are doing it every sinle day. speeding is not legal either, but...well... yep...

so, i would say, go for it.
i did something like that when my son was little. walking from germany to south italy. occasionly hitchhiking...like over the mountains and such

so i had a backpack, a tent and little one on top of the backpack :D

it was the greates i have done.
we slept in the bushes quiet often, respecting nature, not leaving any trash.

in night timr many streets aside from autobahn are more quiet than people think. it works just fine... rush hour will wake you up early...lol

many shops do not aczept credit cards for small bills.
it is expensive to let people pay with credit card, so even larger chain supermarkets often do not take it at all.

but well, there is money in any bank to be picked up by CC :)

have fun and enjoy the trip!

Posted February 21st, 2013 - 8:13 am from Mainz, Germany
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Posted February 21st, 2013 - 8:24 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted February 21st, 2013 - 8:24 am from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted March 11th, 2013 - 2:55 pm by from Wilhelmshaven, Germany (Permalink)
Hi there to Aussi-Land and WELCOME TO GERMANY. Some idea from my side, have hitchhiked some years ago - not too long:

* if you walk and hike, do as always use cards with big letters decribing your destiny
* walking and travelling from Southe to North can be a good idea to be done at the former German Border - Stripe - I saw a film once which showed huge areas where you can walk and run for a while and where is space to cross landscapes (EAST - WEST Border) - it is historical too and to camp in tent might be not such a big problem there
* if you tent and camp, just always ask the guys who live there and let them give you allowance - Germany has no everyones right like Sweden or other countries, but for one night - if assumed it will be ok and tried to aks people living there (if you take the border trip you will always have space I guess and I would once check with german authorities and let them give you some kind of written allowance than
* hitchhiking is very unusual, the normal tips you will know where to stand and so on, german highways tend to be filled and people stop, parking places and entries are good and signs where to go, even asking sometimes works
* farmers might be helpfull, they tend not to have a problem at all, just freely ask, they are happy if some people use their land and they might chat or whatever - ask them for water or shower too
* ....

Second thing, you might travel along a river, the Rhine for example or the Elbe, and probably try to use boats time by time, never done this, but aks people in industry boats or other ones, might work - but germans on ships might be bit more closed. Hitchhiking than might take some hours time by time.

Dieter from Wilhelmshaven.

Posted May 8th, 2013 - 7:30 pm from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted June 13th, 2013 - 5:31 pm from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
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Posted June 14th, 2013 - 12:43 pm by from Mainz, Germany (Permalink)
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