Last summer, quite spontaneously, we decided to rent a camper van and see if it would be a good way to travel with a toddler and a dog.

I have to start out by saying that I’m not the most outdoorsy person in the world. In fact, in our self-written wedding vows, my husband promised not to make me go on any camping trips.

2018-08-13 09.16.20
Me, grappling with the fact that we are actually on a camping trip.

Yet, the camper van was partly my idea, with the caveat that we would stay within two hours of Munich so we could get back to civilization at a moments notice.

We picked a three places: Adventure Camp Schnitzmühle in the Bayerische Wald (suggested by friends), Waldcamping at Brombach See (I saw a write up in HIMBEER Magazin about their Glamping options) and Camping at Pilsensee (I can’t remember how I found it, but I liked the fact that it was so close to the city we could take the S-Bahn there).

Before I get into it, I guess I have to also say that camping in Europe is just not as good as camping in North America. I’m talking drive in camping. There is just less space and/or Europeans are more comfortable being on top of each other than North Americans are.

My childhood memories of camping are at camp sites like these at Kings Canyon or Seqouia National Park, where yes, there were cars and it was nothing like being in the wild, but you had your own spacious little plot next to the parking space for your car.

Here you get packed in cheek to jowl. Basically, you’re in a parking lot. You kind of have to accept this fact going in when rating places. I’m still wrestling with it.

First stop: Adventure Camp Schnitzmühle.

Since we didn’t plan and it was Ferien, we didn’t get a great spot. It was basically on the dirt road going through the campground right across from the bathroom/washing block.

However, after the horror of what we were doing settled in. I saw that this place had a lot to offer (especially if you get a spot right on the river). It had a kind of  ‘alternative/indie/Norcal‘ vibe. It’s right on the Regen river and is a favorite spot for people that like to Kayak and Canoe.

Adventure Camping Schnitzmühle - Bayerische Wald - Wahlmünchnerin
Stunning evening view when you walk over to the river edge of the campground
Adventure Camping Schnitzmühle - Bayerische Wald - Wahlmünchnerin
Our evening view. This, unfortunately, is camping in Europe.

Although it doesn’t actively cater to families, it seemed like a paradise for older kids. They were living summer to the hilt, riding their bikes all over the place, swimming, eating popsicles all the things that make summer great.

It was not so great for smaller kids, as evidenced by the rusty half abandoned playground, but our (then) 18 month old enjoyed nonetheless. However, there is a small swimming pond at the back of the grounds that’s great for all ages and was pretty dog friendly.

Adventure Camping Schnitzmühle - Wahlmünchnerin
Really great swimming hole at the back section of the grounds
Adventure Camp Schnitzmühle - Bayerische Wald - Wahlmünchnerin

A special feature of Adventure Camp Schnitzmühle (though we didn’t get to experience it ourselves) special metal fire pits that you can use at your spot to have a campfire (not sure if this is at all spots though). Again, this is a standard feature of most U.S. campgrounds, but here it is a novelty.

The Takeaway:

  • I would definitely come back, but would try to get one of the spots on the river, ideally with friends. You can book spots and see availability online, which is great.
  • The most anti-Spiesig camping ground we’ve encountered so far
  • The food was pretty good
  • Probably better with kids over 4
  • The Bayerische Wald area is really great and really close to Munich, I want to explore it more.
  • More on Insta here.
Posted by:eleanormayrhofer

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