Among people – Bikepacking into the stone age

Unter Leuten - Bikepacking in die Steinzeit // Foto: Gunnar Dethlefsen --- Among people - Bikepacking into the stone age // Photo: Gunnar Dethlefsen

I like to be alone. And even when I’m biking, I usually keep it to myself. But also enjoy the one or other trip with Tobias or Stefan.

For this year, however, I have resolved to become a little more open and maybe to get together with people from time to time. With the bicycle and to the Bikepacking.

What I started cautiously at the Kolektif bike show, has now become an Overnighter with Nils and Gunnar. I’ve known Nils for quite some time. We got in touch through my podcast and then kept exchanging ideas. This year he raced the Atlas Mountain Race and we met for the first time in Kiel in the spring for a joint talk at Dawnpatrol Kiel.

With Gunnar // Photo: Nils Thomsen

I didn’t know Gunnar at all, but already at the first meters I knew: this fits! He is a photographer and does photo and video productions. And he supports Nils in his project Hackenpedder.

Photo: Gunnar Dethlefsen

Hackenpedder is a 1,000km bikepacking route through and around Schleswig-Holstein, which Nils scouted in preparation for his race in Morocco. The route leads off the major roads and trails through the north of our country and is a nice and free offer to all who want to try bikepacking and long distances, or just looking for a new challenge in this country.

Hackenpedder Sandpassage // Photo: Gunnar Dethlefsen

If you want, you can ride the Hackenpedder together with others at the end of July and get to know the real north from its wild side. Registration is via the website.

Speaking of wild Schleswig-Holstein: This is also the name of an initiative under which one can now find many wild and free camping and camp sites. These are intended for hikers and cyclists who can pitch their tents and then move on the next day.

Photo: Gunnar Dethlefsen

Nils has incorporated some of these wild overnight campsites into the route of the Hackenpedder. And for our overnighter, we chose the Gieselautal/Albersdorf campground.

Here is a large collection of stone age graves and a corresponding exhibition center also shows the finds and gives more information about the people who lived here at that time. I have been there a few times and can highly recommend it.

And the best: here, away from the museum area, deeper in the forest and situated at the small river Gieselau, there is a wild place to spend the night, directly at a stone age grave. The grave lies above on a hill and directly next to it you can pitch your tent very well.

Overnight campsite Gieselautal

Nils and Gunnar arrived from Kiel and used the day for a route check of a part of the Hackenpedder. I still had to work and left in the late afternoon.

The strong wind pushed me my rather boring route towards the Kiel Canal, where I then met both at the Hochdonn ferry station. Together we then cycled a whole 5 km to the expensive, but recommendable Café Kanal 33.

There you can also rent great cabins with canal view to spend the night, but we made a break here and ate something.

In the dusk of the first really warm and sunny day this year, we roll a few more kilometers along the Hackenpedder track before turning off for the overnight stop at Gieselautal (Albersdorf).

Mat comparison // Photo: Nils Thomsen

Besides us, there are only two other people with a tent. In the last light of the day, we set up our tents and then sit down together around the digital campfire, which this time is my smartphone, with which we spontaneously record an Overnighter podcast.

The night was surprisingly cold and I had to put on some clothes to not freeze in my new sleeping bag. But eventually it worked out with some sleep and the day woke us up with sunshine.

Fresh in the morning // Photo: Gunnar Dethlefsen

After a coffee in Albersdorf we parted ways again. Nils and Gunnar did a route check in the direction of Husum, while I – this time on a much nicer route than on my outward journey – took a slight bend to the east and headed back home.

My conclusion: With people is not so wrong, especially with such pleasant as Nils and Gunnar. That’s why I offered them another ride – this time maybe for two nights with more time to talk.

And I think the two liked it too…

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