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Get out of the city and into nature with PaulCamper

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Hello summer 2023 — on the road with PaulCamper

Welcome in the summer of 2023. The sun warms the city, the asphalt heats up and the air dries, and with every train ride you start to sweat more. It attracts to the lake, to nature, out of the city. Many accommodations and cabins are already fully booked for a nature break. A “temporary home on four wheels” is a good alternative here. We got a van from Paul Camper rented and escaped from city life in the direction of the Brandenburg Lake District to jump into the most beautiful lakes in Brandenburg.

On the road with Paul Camper
With PaulCamper to the lake

What is PaulCamper?

PaulCamper is a platform where you can rent campers from private individuals. Here you are always in direct contact with the camper owners, who will explain all the details of the van and will be happy to give you tips for the trip. You can also register your own camper and dieat when you are not out and about sixd, rentto earn money on the side. That's exactly what Jasmin and Nik do. We have yournomad" Camper rented and were traveling for three days and two nights.

Jasmin and Nik rent out their Nomad Camper

Let the journey begin — our mobile home on the forest pitch

Nik and Jasmin bought their Volkswagen Crafter (built in 2016) two years ago — and converted it themselves.

Solar shower, gas stove, running water and a dry toilet. Everything is included and you can live independently for up to a week. We rented a forest parking space right on the Großer Zechliner See to explore the area from there. The minimalistic Waldstellsplatz offered us quiet togetherness - perfect for our needs and equipment.

At the lake with PaulCamper
At the Great Zechlinsee

Experience the waters of Brandenburg

Almost 100km north of Berlin you will find the deepest and most beautiful lakes in Brandenburg — Großer Zechlin Lake, Großer Stechlinsee, Wummsee, Wittwesee and many many more. The lakes are natural and invite you to swim. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can relax and unwind here.

Great Zechlin Lake
Bathing at the Berlin lake

In addition to this northern cluster, there are countless other lakes and bodies of water around Berlin. Some notable are the Werbellinsee or the Bernsteinsee. Nik and Jasmine themselves recommend the Bettensee or a trip along the Oderspree.

Camper essentials — what to expect on a van adventure

Am arrival evening we let ourselves drift in the Großer Zechliner See. The air was fresh and the smell of the sea brought back childhood memories. At sunset they woke up mosquitoes more and more up. You can't avoid the humming torpedoes on a trip to the lake. Here are a few tips from Nik and Jasmin regarding mosquitoes.

We always have a spray with us, which should never be missing and is part of the basic equipment. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are somehow part of outdoor life, since you are more off the beaten track. We often use candles or incense sticks for this, because the smoke and certain smells drive away the insects. We avoid bright light sources or place one a little away from us as a distraction to lure mosquitoes away. As soon as it gets dark, we also close the doors to avoid large gatherings.

We also rubbed ourselves with eucalyptus and tea tree oil. Yes, the best thing to do anyway is: just close the door and make yourself comfortable. The Nomad Van was perfect for this. Inside we had an extractor fan that blew the air at the Kochen ventilated out, and likewise Fresh air blows in. With a book, tea and candles we felt safe and comfortably warm. And overnight it was wonderful and neither stuffy nor freezing.

Candles against Mosqutios

1. Eat on the go

With a camper you can cook from anywhere - but the "small mobile kitchen" makes you inventive. one pot Recipes less work, both in preparation and washing up. And saves valuable water. We were definitely able to eat well.

Classics here are porridge in the morning or the couscou salad recommended by Jasmin and Nik. Wraps are also very popular. Everything is done quickly and there is often some left over for lunch the next day.

Eat in the camper
delicious food by the lake

2. Working out of the campervan

Between laptop and hammock - is that possible? Two days off in a new environment with enticing lakes is enough for one work Adventure not really over. However, you are now well equipped for longer distances. There are mobile WLAN routers and thanks to EU roaming you can even find reception in remote corners of Europe. On too over Vans that have a WiFi set-up provide. And the feeling of making the work call out of the van knowing that I would jump back into the lake right away was wonderful. Nik and Jasmine to “work on the go"

We always ensure a stable internet connection and have always checked in advance whether there is a cafe with a stable connection nearby so that we can make important calls and uploads without any problems. We also have a mobile router to support our smartphone hotspots. We adapt our route so that internet-intensive work can take place in a well-connected location and offline work can take place in locations that do not have network coverage. We always use a VPN on public networks to protect ourselves.

Van with Wifi
Working in the van

3. Living in confined spaces

If you move out of your own four walls and into your home on four wheels, you will get to know your own body and premises in a completely new way. You bump your head, push things over three times and pack everything before you continue your journey – only to unpack it again later. The van life also poses one or two challenges: Especially if you don't put the hose from the sink in the drain bucket properly and then wipe it with the rag (oops). Jasmin and Nik themselves on “living together in a small space”:

We make sure that we give ourselves the freedom we need when it is necessary and also do something on our own (be it walking the dog, doing sports alone, etc.). In that sense, it's not exactly a narrow space, since it's a place of retreat, but you're outside a lot, which compensates for the supposed narrowness. In our case, we made sure that our bus was divided so that you could either cook for two and that we had enough space not to step on our toes all the time. Because you experience new impressions and see new places every day, this feeling of confinement does not build up. It is working bFor example, very good for us, because we both have the same demands and expectations. This should definitely be coordinated in advance. We keep our bus clean on an ongoing basis as this helps maintain comfort. As soon as you leave the laundry for you, you immediately notice that a feeling of discomfort creeps in through clutter. Mutual respect is very important as you are in the same boat and the more comfortable you make each other by showing respect, the nicer it is to travel together.

A trip by van is a starter for a minimalist and adventurous lifestyle — what do I really want from life, what do I need ich, find themselves between forest and lake?

To the lake with the van

Creative expedition to the Great Lake Stechlin

Water and sun relaxes – and inspires. At 70 meters, the Great Stechlinsee is the deepest and clearest natural water body in Brandenburg - and offers countless bathing spots and hiking trails around the lake. If you park in Neuglobsow, you will pass Cafe Glasklar. There is a delicious cafe and a small shop with regional and organic certified food. You can also work there if you need to: we had cake and ice cream on the go.


Cafe crystal clear
Big Lake Stechlin

We have a nice and startingsituated We chose a bathing spot and had natural earth colors with us. Mixed with an egg, the colored jelly had a great consistency — we then painted on ourselves in the sun and for let creativity run wild. In between, jump into the lake, chill in the hammock, or nod off while reading a book.

Paint with earth color
Body painting with earth color

A relaxed nature adventure comes to an end — and makes you want more

There are all sorts of things to discover around Lake Stechlin. For example, Rheinsberg lures with a quaint marketplace, the country bakery Janke with cake and ice cream. The red brick wall of the old painting in Rheinsberg is all that remains, and the cinema in the village of Zechlin should probably open again, says Peter, who grew up in the village and also wants to grow old there.

The environment feels real. Life is slower and the trees around the village core are ancient and huge and seem to embrace the residents and visitors.

ancient trees at Lake Stechlin

On the second day of travel, you will also feel comfortable in the van, have understood the cupboard system and know where to stow things and how to approach curves so that the drawers don't open. If then that Coffee is finished and you lie down on the bed with a view or get behind the wheel, the wanderlust sets in.

with the camper on vacation

You feel free, zapping uninhibitedly via Google Maps or following a beautiful country road until you reach a piece of meadow with a view, where you park briefly and spread wraps. Conversations have more space, you don't have to be anywhere, and the feeling of mobility stimulates thoughts and inspiration. The heart becomes more nomadic, the desire to travel tastes better and better and with the camper the door to Europe is wide open.

Where is the next trip going?

rent from PaulCamper
Paul Camper Van

Text and photos: Jakob Wolski

Jakob works as a freelance author and cooperation strategist for Good Travel. Moved by his studies in anthropology, Jakob is particularly interested in the social and cultural aspects of sustainable travel and would like to encourage destinations and companies to rethink sustainable tourism in the long term. When Jakob is not working for Good Travel, he is on theater stages or working on social interaction games.


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