A few weeks ago I was wildcamping with a buddy of mine, Peter. We went camping in the usual spot. It was more busy than normal. This alerted us as we could not sneak into the forest from a side trail undetected. After a while we got to our spot. We planned to stay there for 2 nights and build 3 lean-to's. We cleaned up the debris. We set up camp and made a fire. Cooked some delicous meals and roasted some kosher 'frikandellen'(a dutch sort of minced chicken sausage often fried in sunflower oil). The fire place was restored into its prime and in the morning we would restore the concrete bench.
The next morning we woke up, did our breakfast and went to work:
We started to saw dead wood that hanged dangerously above the camp.
Thats when I saw a old bald man with a man with a blue north face/fjallraven jacket lined with down. We went further up the hill, to search the perimeter. The man was nowhere left to be seen. So we concluded he came not from the wayside but the side of the heath.
We quickly organised our stuff. What was worth saving and what we could leave. All entails from the tent I stowed into my army bag; electronics, papers for kindling fire with personal track info/detail info on it and tools. Then I strapped the bag onto my back. I went lower on the hill to clean out the kitchen area in a rush. I put all food under a pile of leaves and picked up the remaining tools to put into my panniers. Then I saw a man, a forestry worker who stared at us, apparently marking out trees. Thats when I rushed to my heavy bicycle to pull it out of the ridge of a tree. Having all my normal entry way and the emergency exit blocked I had to go to the wayside as quickly as possible to get out. So I had to go up the high hill/grown over sand dune used by Germans in WW2. I litterly had to rut up my bycicle to get upon the hill. Thats when I jumped it to run for it. A branch toppled the spectacles from my face which I had to pick up in a "Tour de France" bike replacement fashion, knowing that every second I lost was valuable time. Crossing a plain, into the forested verge edging of the wayside, in which I had to walk 1 time only. I blew right into the north escape and my friend went the way we came as we lost each other in the hectic. I cycled for my life when I saw a golf cart follow me, however I tried to act normal (looking all dirt and busted up), singing "Imma poor lonesome cowboy" of Lucky Luck. Later I saw the foreman of approaching in his van. He was from a company hired by the forest society to do maintenance. I did not get stopped as he was not yet notified. Likely the things that we left that we too hard to fold and take along are cleaned up already as there were 2 men who noticed us and would have called the authorities. We lost a cheap tent, 2 free received sleeping mats and a tarpaulin. Only about 40 euros in food and materials, very cheap compared to a hefty fine.
First Germany trip
Once upon a time in on the border with Germany we fled 2 female sports cyclists who called us in, the emergency services and hid from the dogs of an angry forester.
We set up camp within a young spruce bush. We let our fire burn too long. Blue smoke above the young spruce forest was seen, the forest was damp. Then Peter alerted me to the detection. So we ran from our spot. A fire brigade truck spotted us. So I tried to act normal but Peter hid himself which looks weird if you are seen. Then we crossed a meadow and hid for 3 hours until 1AM, hearing the dogs bark, we were in a ditch and the wind drove our scent into the right direction fortunately. We saw the fireflies come up, it was a spectacular moment to behold, me not being used to them. Fireflies in a spruce forest is something that will stay with you as a fond memory.
We slept that night in an tree nursery just accross the border.
About a year later we stayed succesfully a week in the Harz mountains of Central Germany, which was very succesful as a roadtrip, adventure and holiday vacation.
Things we did wrong
We obviously should not have a fire when its not dark yet, flames can be concealed and covered up, smoke is hard to control.
We lost our location, as we were not familiar with the surroundings as we found our spot in when it was getting dark. We could have marked the location on our smart phones to trace it back and recover the remaining items.
Went in the wrong season. Winter season is hunting and felling season. Cong flu season is also not kind upon going into a forest undetected; crowds filling the paths in nature. (Summer season is also wrong season as the forest is scanned for infrared heat prints and signals because of a fright of forest fires).
We sawed up trees in a loud fashion. Maybe a good thing they were scared of it and confused by our motives. If we were silent they would have sneaked up to us and saw no danger in confronting us and doing a citizens or job on site arrest.
Morning smoke/ we did not put out the smoked of the coals as we did also not cover up the fire after use, always cover it with sand after use to avoid smell and smoke detection.
Not having a meetup place or contingency plan/working cellphone. This is essential for good completion of the story.
Things we did right
We were rational not chaotic or emotional in our mindset, we knew what to do.
We covered our trails of food and personal papers.
We chose the right priorities when choosing what to leave and what to take.