In six trekking camps in the northern Black Forest, something is allowed that is strictly forbidden almost everywhere else: camping in the forest.

Done: The tent is up, a small fire is crackling and crackling, the noodles are simmering in the pot on the gas stove. The first day's stage is behind us - and the first night in the forest ahead of us. It is slowly getting dark around us, snuggled into our warm sleeping bags we listen to the silence of the night. The small stream that runs a little below the camp gurgles and murmurs softly. Every now and then there is a crackling sound somewhere in the undergrowth. It's not eerie - but rather quite soothing.

Panoramic views and thickets

Heavily loaded, we left Freudenstadt in the morning for a three-day trekking tour through the northern Black Forest. In six trekking camps there is allowed what is otherwise strictly forbidden: to pitch his tent in the forest. The camps are equipped with no more than a fireplace and a compost toilet - so we carry everything we need on our backs: Tent, sleeping bag and camping stove, water and provisions, clothes, toilet paper and flashlight. We also carry a bottle of red wine - just the bare essentials. There are only two kilometers between us and the Freudenstadt marketplace when we are already in the middle of the dense green of the Black Forest. At the beginning, we are still walking side by side and chatting comfortably on wide forest paths, but soon the paths become narrower, steeper and more winding. Under the leafy canopy it is pleasantly cool despite the summer heat. In places, ferns grow man-high over the path, forming green thickets on the left and right. Here and there mighty firs and spruces tower above the other trees. In between, the forest opens up again and again and provides a view of the hilly landscape.  

Those who want can hike from camp to camp for a week 

The trekking camps are located between Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt hidden and off the beaten track in the Black Forest. To find them, you need the GPS coordinates. Each camp is designed for three tents, after one night you have to move on. There is a day's hike between each camp, so they can be easily combined into a multi-day tour. 

With every step the distance to everyday life grows

After a wonderfully restful night, we peel ourselves out of our warm sleeping bags much later than expected. About 15 kilometers lead us over partly steep, rooty paths on the second day to several natural beauties in the northern Black Forest. Around noon we reach the Sankenbach Falls and climb over stony paths down to the Sankenbach Lake, which sparkles from afar between the trees. Later, we enjoy the view over the gently rolling landscape from the panorama platform above the Ellbachsee. The deep dark Ellbachsee, embedded in an almost Grimm-like fairy tale forest and almost completely covered by a floating carpet of grass, has a mystical aura. Soon after, we are already on our way on the last kilometer of the day. With the dusk we are at the camp and put up the tent. In the flickering light of the fire, the sweaty hiking boots dry, while we hunger for a bowl of steaming pesto pasta, and then crawl into the tent, full and exhausted. This time we wake up early, a polyphonic bird orchestra welcomes the new day. At the nearby mountain stream we slap water on our faces, ice cold, sip coffee, hot, crunch muesli bars and banana, before we set off on the last day's stage. After only two nights in the forest, we are completely relaxed. No hurry - we decide to take our time today and shorten the last part of the way: from Baiersbronn we take the train back to Freudenstadt.

The three days in the forest grounded us - we discovered that meals like pasta with pesto, which at home tend to be considered a quick emergency solution, sitting on a log by the campfire can beat any five-course meal in a gourmet restaurant. That you can get by (for a change!) without Wi-Fi and hot water, that a lack of cell phone reception can be something wonderfully liberating. And now we are looking forward to a warm shower as much as to our next trekking tour. 
How else you can experience the Black Forest can be found here: Free of charge through the Murg and Höllental - experience the Black Forest

Cover photo: The way to the camps can only be found if you know the coordinates © Dietmar Denger

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